Saturday, April 26, 2014

Spotlight/Roll: Railside Ruins on the Leica M3

So around October of last year, I bought a Leica M3 Double Stroke with a collapsible 50mm Summicron from a vendor at a local camera show. For about $750, I thought I was getting a fantastic steal of a deal. The camera looked to be in great condition. I was wrong. Upon developing my first roll, I found that the camera was front-focusing. I thought the problem might have been the lens, but two new lenses later, and it still wasn't working right. I finally sold off the body on Craigslist (and got most of my $750 back), and recently bought a new M3 from a reputable Chicago Leica dealer, Tamarkin Camera. I got a Leica M3 Single Stroke with a 50mm f2 rigid Summicron, lens hood, yellow filter, and caps for just under $1500 (a very fair deal). It comes with a 6 month warranty.

The long, painful lesson I learned from this whole experience was to never, never buy anything expensive from a camera show (or anywhere), without a money-back guarantee.

Thankfully, this "new" M3 works just fine. More than fine. My M3 combined with my 50mm Summicron has produced some of the moodiest, most brilliant images I've ever taken (on 35mm film). The best part about Leica lenses like the 50mm Summicron, is that even wide open at f2, images are quite sharp. Much, much sharper than my Pentax 50mm wide open. The out of focus "bokeh" is also very pleasing to the eye, it's right up there with the Zeiss Biotar 58mm on my Exakta.

As stated in my previous two posts, I took a long hike all the way along the abandoned train tracks, spanning from Winnetka to Highland Park. These are the photos I took along the way that did not get turned into prints. I've also included some other shots I took on the end of one of the rolls, for good measure. These shots were taken on Fuji Neopan 400 and Kodak Ektar 100.

I've enjoyed working with my M3. The build quality and picture-making potential is phenomenal.  For me, it is absolutely worth the lofty price tag, and I look forward to using it for years to come.

Thanks for looking!

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Print: Evidence

While walking along the abandoned railroad tracks last weekend, I spotted something large and blue out of the corner of my eye, in the line of trees that ran alongside the tracks. I stumbled down a small hill and through a bunch of fallen branches and found this; a disgusting seat, ripped right out of a vehicle, surrounded by beer cans. Evidence of a killer party. 

I used my Leica M3 with a 50mm Summicron, and Fuji Neopan 400 film. The physical print is 7x10 inches.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Print: Open Seating

Last weekend, the weather actually decided to be nice for once, so I took a long walk. I journeyed along an abandoned stretch of railroad track extending from Highland Park to Northbrook, Illinois.  I had no idea the tracks existed. I just hopped out of my van to check out an old parking lot I saw, and woah! The tracks were right there.

I found this chair a few miles down the tracks. Looks like someone had just been hangin' out on the rails. To capture the chair, I used my Leica M3 with a 50mm Summicron f2, with Fuji Neopan 400 film. The physical print is about 6x9 inches.

I will post the rest of the roll (and perhaps another print!) from my outing sometime soon. Thanks for looking!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Print: Paradise

While in South Carolina, Katie and I stayed with my parents and brother in a condo complex called "The Lagoon Villas". It's located on the Isle of Palms, which is about 30 minutes east of Charleston. This print depicts two poolside chairs at the Lagoon Villa. Pure paradise.

I made this photo with my Pentax LX, a 35mm f2 lens, and Kodak Tri-X 400 film. I used a waist-level finder to help acquire the low angle.  The physical print is roughly 11x14 inches.

Print: Posterior Spare

I made this print earlier this evening in my darkroom. The subject is the rear portion of a car I saw while in Charleston, SC. The car was in pretty rough shape, and looked like it had been rolling on this small spare for quite a while. I used my Pentax LX with a 50mm 1.4 lens, and Kodak Tri-X 400 film. The physical print is 7x10 inches.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Roll: Charleston

Last week Katie and I took a short trip down to historic Charleston, South Carolina. We stayed with my parents (who are planning on retiring there), as well as my younger brother, Pearson.  The weather was wonderful, and the food was fantastic. There was plenty to see, do, and photograph. Here are some photos I took on our trip. I used my Pentax LX with my 50mm f1.4, 35mm f2, and 100mm f2.8 lenses. I shot two rolls, one on Ilford Delta 400, the other on Kodak Tri-X 400. 

NOTE/EDIT: Blogger has been acting up for me lately. Some uploaded photos have very weak contrast compared to their original files. Some photos, such as the one of my brother, even take on a sepia tone, even though the original files are in black and white. I have no idea how this happens. God damn it, Blogger! If this continues, I may have to switch hosts. 

So yeah, we had a pretty fun time. There are a few shots I didn't post here that I may make into prints sometime soon. Stay tuned!