I have been harboring a secret desire for a while to get back into film.
Couple reasons. There is something comforting about not seeing little pixelations for one thing. Two, I think that at this point in my life it will make me a better photographer, forcing me back to manual settings. I can romanticize about my film days but an objective look at the output tells me that I had more than my share of misses. Digital is just too easy, this will put me back on my toes.
The first camera I ever remember using was the exact same camera, around 1962, my stepfather's. I bought two more rollies last month, for peanuts up in San Francisco, an early Rolleicord with the Schneider 3.5 Xenar, in mint, never used shape and a 1961 Rolleimagic, one of the first aperture priority automatic exposure cameras.
Unfortunately when the selenium goes out in the meter on the magic you are left with a very pretty paperweight and I think that is what I am now stuck with. There is a guy up in Manhattan Beach who is supposed to be a rollei wizard and I will take it up to him and see if he will take a look.
I bought a roll of Ilford black and white and a roll of Fuji Velvia 100 at Oceanside Photo and Telescope and decided to put the Rolleiflex through its paces. Grabbed Brett, one of my favorite people and models, and headed for the alley next to the pub.
I was shooting at about F 5.6 and a third of a second. Have a new Sekinon light meter and I shot off my heavy Induro tripod. The Rolleiflex has a Zeiss 3.5 Opton Tessar lens. They can be soft at times and a little tricky. The velvia transparency film is known to be pretty temperamental as well.
I shot the velvia and Ken was nice enough to take it over to the North Coast lab in Carlsbad for development. My transparencies came back in a day. I have a new Epson v600 scanner and digitized the slides this morning and brought them into Lightroom.
I am reasonably pleased with the output and stoked about the camera. All of the new tools are going to take some dialing in and getting used to. The handheld stuff is pretty worthless. There is some sharpness variation even off the tripod. Will need to shoot the Xenar and see if I can tell the difference.
I like the organic quality of the bokeh and the blur of the film image, which in my opinion can not be matched by digital. Lot of my favorite photographers used this camera, Diane Arbus, Cecil Beaton, Robert Capa, Vivian Meier, Richard Avedon, Imogen Cunningham and the great Eisenstadt. Good enough for them, good enough for me.
Everybody is shooting film at some point tomorrow, except maybe for Reardon. Ken just bought a mint Yashica tlr which was delivered yesterday. You can pick these things up for a song.