Quick Notes

220830 – I was given a 36-exposure roll of Kentmere 400. It’s a film I was interested in trying but it would have taken me weeks and weeks to finish the roll. So I put the 36-exposure cassette and an empty Alden 74 bulk loader in my changing bag, pulled the film out of the cassette and put it into the Alden, took the Alden out of the changing bag and in the daylight bulk loaded two 12-exposure rolls in Leica FILCA cassettes. One is in my IIIg now. I expect to finish, develop and scan it this coming weekend.

200814 – When I had an all-analog workflow I worked in a darkroom. Now that I’ve switched to a hybrid workflow, and use a changing bag for loading exposed film into the developing tank, I still have a room where I do wet analog processing but it no longer needs to be dark. What do I call the room now?

191014 – Just another test. Uploading a photo from Photos. It seems to work. (TinyPic has ceased operation.)

190425 – Since so much of this blog is related to old Leica cameras I’m going to try to go back and tag some of the older posts accordingly.

190314 – The digital color project is finished. The patron is happy. I’m going to ty to get back to posting regularly.

190124 – My recollection of using my 105/2.5 Non-Ai Nikkor lens fifty years ago was that with its short focus throw it was super fast to focus on moving subjects. It was my go-to lens for anything involving action. I have started using it again and the focus is now very stiff. A bit of looking around on the Internet turned up quite a few reports of the same problem. If I am going to continue with the Nikon F I have to fix it or get it fixed.

190112 – The F6 experiment was an abject failure, as I should have known it would be. But the resolution to stop writing about particular cameras is probably still a good one.

190108 – If the F6 experiment succeeds (see post Admitting Defeat) I will probably stop writing about particular cameras altogether and confine my posts to topics related to hybrid film photography. Ironically, this would be a better fit with the blog name than the current state of affairs.

181108 – I was pleasantly surprised to find that I can set size and borders of a print directly in Affinity Photo, eliminating the need to use Print-Tool or Epson Print Layout. I still need to see what else I can and can’t do with the Canvas function but it does exactly what I want for simple printing.

181018 – Not only do I like my results with Silvermax 100 in Rodinal, I like the results better than with the same film in Silvermax developer. (Sorry, can’t share. These are family pictures.) It looks like a serious contender to replace MF.

181006 – I have a 36-exposure roll of Silvermax 100 in the IIIg. I’ve taken 12 pictures so far. Tomorrow it comes out, no matter how many frames are exposed, to be developed in Rodinal (1+50). One thing I emphasized when teaching telephone company craft to maintain high capacity digital transmission equipment was to never change more than one variable at a time when making tests. I’ve decided to do that myself when testing films. Going forward, if it doesn’t work with Rodinal it doesn’t work for me.

181002 – It just occurred to me that all of my 50+ year old pictures that I like more than those I am making today were taken when I had just one camera. I had a variety of cameras in those days, but every one of them was financed at least in part by selling its predecessor. Maybe I should be asking myself the “if I could have only one camera” question.

181001 – I put a 24-exposure roll of Tri-X in a borrowed Nikon F6 with a 24-85mm zoom (the lens that forced me to learn how to correct barrel distortion with Affinity Photo). The experiment is to see how well the VR works. [edit: A few minutes using the F6 were enough to remind me how much I dislike menus, thumbwheels and all the other accouterments of computer based cameras. I abandoned the experiment.]

180910 – I’m redigitizing a roll of Silvermax 100 I shot earlier this year. I badly underexposed most of the shots and never followed up with the few that looked OK on the contact sheet. It’s part of yet another attempt to choose once and for all between 35mm and MF.

180829 – Working at the Fair today I was taking a few pictures with my favorite camera of the week, a Leica IIIf RD ST with a 50/2.8 Elmar. A gentleman who might have been even older than me, holding a big Canikon DSLR with a lens the size of a can of Fosters ale, walked up to me, took a close look at the Leica, and said, “That’s amazing. It looks just like the real thing.” As we talked I learned he had thought the IIIf was a retro styled digital camera. I wonder if someone is missing a market opportunity.

180707 – I went out for a walk with the 80/2.8 Planar lens of the the Hasselblad 500 C/M. I found I couldn’t focus the camera hand held. With the camera on a tripod I can rock the focus back and forth watching a particular shape in the field of view go in and out of focus and gradually settle on a focus point in the middle. When I tried to do that with the camera hand held I found the shapes I was trying to use for focusing were moving around too much. Oh well, so much for that.

180701 – I did some test scans of 6×6 negatives with the Epson V700 and with the Fuji X-T20 on the BEOON copy stand. In crops of 12″ square prints I can’t see a difference in sharpness. This is in stark contrast with my 35mm negative scans with the Epson and the X-T20 where the digital camera scans are much much sharper than those from the Epson.

180629 – After some experimenting with both eyes, with and without eyeglasses, and fiddling with the diopter adjustment on the Leica rangefinders I have switched back to my left eye without eyeglasses and it’s working pretty well. It looks like I can continue with 35mm for the time being.

(The rangefinder diopter adjustment is one of many advantages of the LTM Leicas over the newer M film Leicas.)

180618 – My dalliance with MF continues. A recent episode affecting my “good” eye is making focusing with a rangefinder or a small SLR viewfinder window more and more difficult. I find the easiest to focus of all my film cameras is the Hasselblad 500C/M with a plain Accu-Matte screen. I’ve started experimenting again with digitizing MF negatives with the BEOON setup.

180608a – In furtherance of my effort to disentangle myself from social media I thought I’d try linking to a public image in tinypic. I used it for that purpose years ago and didn’t know if it would still work. Here goes…35i5fmuIt looks like it works. The downside, of course, is that the image is public on the tinypic site so I can’t use it for family pictures.

180608 – I bought an OTVXO vertical viewfinder for the Visoflex II on eBay for about a quarter of the going price. It was misidentified by the seller. It should make tabletop photography a little easier. —- Still working my way through the roll of PAN F in the IIIg. This 36-exposure business is ridiculous. I should just take the roll out and develop it.

180530 – I just put a 36-exposure roll of PAN F film in the IIIg and attached the Voigtländer VC Meter II. I haven’t used the IIIg in months, I’ve sworn off rolls of film with more than 12 exposures, I don’t think I’ve ever used PAN F, and I very seldom use the VC Meter. I have no idea where this is going.

180520-1 – In the last few weeks I have looked closely at about 100 of my old contact sheets and about 20 of my father’s. My first observation is that my father was a better photographer than I will ever be. My second observation is that most of my better photographs were of subjects that were new to me when I took the picture. And that is discouraging because as time goes by I am less and less comfortable getting out and about.

180520 – Sometimes things come to mind that I’d like to write about but there’s not enough there to justify a blog post. For example, I’ve been redoing some of my older contact sheets and I am pretty discouraged by what I see. I’ll try to collect my thoughts this afternoon and write something here.