My latest film camera crush.

pentacon6-grid9

PENTACON six TL.

The PENTACON six TL is my current film camera crush. 120. Love the square.

The 9 shots above are examples I snagged from Flickr. No attributions, sorry, but here’s the Flickr group photo pool >
https://www.flickr.com/groups/pentaconsix/pool/

Here’s the tag if you want to see more pictures on IG >
https://www.instagram.com/explore/tags/pentaconsix/

… and here’s a fairly critical review >
https://www.thephoblographer.com/2017/07/25/vintage-film-camera-review-pentacon-six-tl-6×6-square-format/

And a good guide >
https://emulsive.org/reviews/camera-reviews/pentacon-cameras/camera-review-pentacon-six-tl-a-hopefully-comprehensive-guide-to-a-legend-by-ludwig-hagelstein

I definitely wouldn’t mind adding this medium format shooter to my collection…

Every once in a great while.

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Not often, but…

Every once in a while an image I’ve made gets a little attention.

One of my pinhole images was published in SHOTS Magazine, Fall 2019 Issue No. 145 “The Journey.”

It’s 35/45, the picture I made with the Zero Image 6×9 and an expired roll of Fuji Acros 100. The story of this pinhole adventure/experiment is well documented in an earlier post.

I pointed to the same same post when I uploaded the image to Flickr.

To my delight, the picture in that post ended up on Flickr’s Explore, which is something that hasn’t happened for my work in a really long time.

I noticed it earlier this month. Any comments on Flickr are rare these days and the notification made me check it out. At the time there were 58 faves. Crazy. The comments indicated the picture made Explore.

I went there, scrolled through until I found the image. Verification! Pretty cool!

flickr-explore-3545.jpg

As of today “35/45. a little experiment” has 9,121 views, 75 faves, and 4 comments.

Amazing.

I make images to satisfy a personal need, but it certainly is nice to have this kind of reaction to my work. And I appreciate it.

My desk.

The utter chaos that is my desk

Utter chaos.

Sometimes more, sometimes less, but without a doubt, always a mess.

1 > Olympus Stylus XZ-2 & Sony RX100III battery chargers
2 > An unexposed roll of 35mm Ilford XP2 Super 400 I pulled out of an old Canon SLR
3 > Fuel
4 > An unopened box of Fomapan 100 4×5 film (soon!)
5 > iPhone 8
6 > Blood pressure log & calendar
7 > Zero Image 6×9 pinhole camera
8 > Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF1
9 > Western Digital 320GB external USB powered hard drive
10 > Apple Mac Mini, 2012 vintage (16GB RAM)
11 > Nikon P300 point and shoot
12 > A pair of Newer Technology 2TB hard drives
13 > 8Banners pinhole camera
14 > Apple Magic Mouse
15 > Nikon One•Touch Zoom90 AF Quartz Date 35mm camera
16 > Thingyfy Pinhole Pro S11 pinhole cap
17 > Olympus M.Zuiko 15mm f8.0 body cap lens
18 > Sekonic Flashmate L-308S light meter
19 > Minolta XG-1 w/Rokkor MD Rokkor-X 28mm ƒ/2.8

There are a few other things that’re just out of view, like an ATT wireless router, a Kodak instant photo from 1984 of my future wife and I (35 years this month), 2 Fuji FP100c prints from the Shen Hao, a 1970 nickle, an ‘R’ scrabble tile, a blue mini-armadillo toy, an Ilford 120 Pan F Plus ‘unexposed’ paper band, a Minolta lens cap and body cap, a Lumix lens cap and body cap, my Epson V500 scanner with a bunch of stuff stacked neatly on top of it, another stack of external drives, an aging Drobo, a really old Mickey Mouse coffee cup that has a Tokina 28-108mm ƒ/3.5 Minolta mount lens in it, an Apple USB Super Drive, an old Sekonic Twinmate L-208 light meter in its storage bag, and those are really nice Bose Companion 2 Series III speakers flanking a pair of ViewSonic LED monitors.

Wild.

Rusty shutters #7.

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Vivitar Ultra Wide & Slim.

September 2008.

An eBay purchase from around mid-2008, specifically to use on World Toy Camera Day, which was on October 18 that year. I loaded it with 35mm Kodak Elite Chrome 100 and had the film cross-processed at the local Ritz Camera store. Remember those?

I joined a photo stroll that day in San Francisco, walking around The Mission District on a bright, sunny day.

All plastic – including the lens – the VUWS is a simple point-and-shoot, but the camera’s tiny aperture requires a lot of light.

At 22mm, the pictures are super-wide angle with plenty of vignetting.

I was happy with the results.

Cool little camera. Still in my collection.

Film type: 35mm
Focal length: 22mm
Aperture: ƒ/11
Shutter speed: 1/125 sec
Focusing: Fixed focus

 

Rusty shutters #6.

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Holga 120N/S.

March, April 2006.

I have both the S and N models. The N is a Holgamods (Randy Smith) hack and the S was a gift from my wife.

I like this camera. Lots. The S has a roll of Ilford Pan F Plus in it right now.

The Holga is essentially a toy. It has 4 focus zones and two aperture sizes, but all of that is really a crap shoot! It’s plastic, including the lens, and light leaks are common.

There’s a hack for getting closer to your subject… focusing past the single person icon by loosening a well hidden screw on the shutter assembly. It’s located in a deep well, and once you spin the screw out you’l be able to focus a bit closer. Great for portraits.

I don’t use either mask. And I spray painted the inside of the film bay flat black to eliminate any reflective glare and I laid a couple of strips of gaffer on either side of the film bay to keep the film from getting scratched as it transports from one spool to the other.

To stop light leaks, I tape the whole thing closed with gaffer. Works fine.

Film type: 120
Masks: 12 or 16 exposures
Shutter Speeds: 1/100 sec – Bulb
Aperture: ƒ/11 – ƒ/8 (sunny/cloudy)
Focal Length: 60mm
Viewfinder: Optical
Focusing: Manual/zone
Dimensions: 5.3in x 3.7in x 6.8in

Rusty shutters #5.

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Ricoh GR Digital II

July 2008.

Fun little camera.

Tiny. Killer. Awesome macro.

Love the 1:1 format, the GRD2 was my first digital with that option and boy did I abuse it. This is a couple of years before Instagram launched.

Love the B&W.

Love the 28mm.

Acquired new mid-2008, I’ve even got the little GV-2 add-on viewfinder, the wide-angle adapter and lens, the external cable/switch, and the AC adapter.

Resolution: 10 megapixels
Max image size – 3648 x 2736
Display: 2.7in LCD @ 230,000 pixels
Zoom: 4x digital
ISO: Auto, 80, 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600
Shutter Speeds: 180 sec – 1/2000 sec
Aperture: ƒ/2.4
Focal Length: 28mm
Macro: .6in
Metering: Multi-segment, spot
Dimensions: 4.2in x 2.3in x 1.0in
Power: Li-Ion battery
Memory card: SD/SDHC

Creativity.

Paper and Light

Ideas, influence, and inspiration.

The co-founder of The North Austin Pfotographic Society, Josh Baker, gave a super-animated prezzy on creativity at last night’s monthly meeting.

There were a lot of great take-aways, from his use of storyboards and sketches, knowing and breaking rules, to taking advantage of spontaneous situations. Josh’s work is large-scale, and he talked about all the planning that kind of photography demands.

At a couple of points in the presentation, he spoke briefly about inspiration, which I think could be the subject of a whole ‘nutha meeting.

It was an excellent talk!

I do think we’re all influenced by our surroundings, and by filling my life with things I love, the work I do is a direct reflection of my interests.

Plus, my interest in photography is more out of curiosity and experimentation – not business – so I tend to look at things on a much smaller scale. I’m not saying big is bad, I just don’t have the budget, the gear, or the network a working professional has.

But small scale doesn’t mean you can’t be creative.

In September of 2005, I enjoyed an exhibition at San Jose Museum of Art titled “Caja de Visiones/Box of Visions: Manuel Álvarez Bravo.” It was wonderful. The show included about 50 black-and-white photographs.

There were a couple of Álvarez Bravo’s images that I found to be so totally different from the the rest of the exhibit, almost out of place, but demonstrated a playful side. They were pictures of paper, folded and bent.

I was excited to try something similar using a Lensbaby 2 that I’d added to my kit. I’d done a series of macros of a plastic rainbow Slinky earlier that Summer and was happy with the results.

Wash machine

One evening I ventured out to the garage with my camera, the Lensbaby, a small LED flashlight, and this idea.

Working on top of our wash machine, I cut a 3/8″ x 14″ piece of layout bond and curled it tightly around an exacto knife handle, let it fall on a piece of black construction paper and made some slight adjustments to the arrangement.

I then pointed an LED flashlight from various angles at the resulting composition and pulled the Lensbaby away from the camera body to get a closer crop.

The experiment was a success.

Of the eleven images made, I had three of them printed, matted, and framed.

Paper and Light 1

Paper and Light 3

Paper and Light 3