Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Roll: Pentax MX Randomness

"Oh, Wow... you look like baby face." ~Tommy Wiseau
The last few weeks have been really crappy in terms of weather. The few sunny days we've had here in Chicago I've spent working as a photographer's assistant.  I still managed to take my Pentax MX out a few times and take some photos. All of these were photos were shot with fujifilm 200 speed film.

Thanks for looking! I just bought a new enlarger, and am getting the lens cleaned, so new darkroom prints should be coming somewhat soon!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Print: Dwelling

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I found this clown at an estate sale I worked it. He's pretty creepy. This is why you should not walk through the woods alone. I used my Mamiya C330 with a 105mm lens.

Thanks for looking!

Monday, January 7, 2013

Spolight/Roll: Olympus OM-2

Last week I happened to come across an Olympus OM-2. My original intention was to re-sell the camera on our Etsy shop, but I decided to take it out for a test-drive before I decided what to do with it for sure.

First off, the OM-2 is small. It's about the same size as my Pentax MX, but even lighter. It feels really nice to hold in your hands, even though my hands are kind of on the large side. One thing I found odd about the OM-2, and actually, all of the OM series cameras, is that both the shutter-speed and aperture selection is located on the lens barrel (The knob on top of the camera is devoted to exposure compensation).

This WOULD make it much easier to adjust your exposure while your eye was to the viewfinder, if the Olympus had a full information viewfinder. One reason I love my MX so much is that you can read the aperture and shutter-speed in the viewfinder. The Olympus only shows shutter-speed, and it only shows you that much in aperture priority mode! In manual mode, all you get is a simple needle; no shutter-speed indicator at all.

The lack of viewfinder information is probably the most frustrating thing about the design of this SLR. Besides that, I quite like the OM-2. The aperture priority mode provides accurate readings, and the focusing screen is very bright. I very much like the placement of the rewind button (on the front of the body rather than on the bottom). Lastly, the 50mm 1.4 Zuiko lens is impressively sharp. I shot a few photos of Katie in our local library using available light at f1.4, and was pleased with both the sharpness of my subject, and the bokeh around her.

Here are the rest of the shots from my roll with the Olympus OM-2. Thanks for looking!


Friday, January 4, 2013

Spotlight: Kodak Retina iiic

The Retina iiic was introduced to me by my former boss/mentor, Tom Foley. Despite the fact that it bears the Kodak name, it's actually an excellent little German rangefinder camera. The iiic is quite compact, yet very powerful and versatile at the same time.  The lens is a beautiful 1:2 50mm Schneider-Kreuznach, capable of producing some very sharp, crisp images. The lens is also removable, allowing for an 80mm or 35mm lens to take its place. 
Top View
The iiic offers some unique features that are worth mentioning. For starters, the camera has a cool system of selecting your aperture and shutter speed. Once you determine the correct exposure using the built in match-needle selenium cell light meter, that set exposure becomes locked. So let's say the correct exposure for a certain subject was f8 at 1/125th. If you then change the aperture to f5.6, the shutter-speed will change with it to 1/250th. If you change the aperture to f11, the shutter-speed becomes 1/60th. Either way you turn the dial, the exposure stays the same. This way, you can change the aperture or shutter-speed quickly and not have to worry about changing the other setting. Of course, you can over-ride this feature any time by pushing on a lever.

Another odd feature about the iiic is that the film advance lever is on the underside of the camera, unlike every other camera every made, which has the lever on the top. Why the manufacturers did this, I don't know, but it takes a little getting used to.
With the door closed

Now, as Tom likes to remind me, my Retina iiic is a "piece of shit". See, Tom owns a Retina iiiC (big C). The iiiC is a bit rarer than the iiic, and is arguably better. The iiiC viewfinder screen has markings for where the 35mm, 50mm, and 80mm lenses cut off. My iiic's viewfinder is only meant for the 50mm lens. The iiiC viewfinder is also a little brighter. The iiic's light meter, however, is adjustable for both bright and dim situations. So which is better? Answer: No one cares. Well, maybe Tom cares. 

Anyway, here are some shots I've taken with my Kodak Retina iiic. I've only put one roll through the camera so far, but I hope to do more in the near future. Thanks for reading and enjoy!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Print: Earth Mother

I made this print today in my darkroom. "Earth Mother" is a mixture of photography, painting, and sculpture. When I bought the subject at an estate sale, she was painted plain white. I then took her back to my house and painted her to look as she does in the photograph. She kind of ended up looking like a Japanese demon/geisha thing. I then photographed her out in the forest a couple of days ago. It was DAMN cold out. I used my Mamiya C330 with a 105mm lens.

Thanks for looking!