Just got my LC-A!

Yeah i finally got an Lomo LC-A after so long! I got the original made in the USSR version not the China made one.

Took it out one morning, left the house abit earlier to go to the Esplanade and shoot the roll off. Quite liberating when all you need is to set the focus distance and just shoot.The viewfinder is quite nice i can see the frame quite nicely even with my glasses on and the view finder displays the focus setting as well so you don’t have to take your eye off to check the focus distance.

Most of the shots with large expanses of sky resulted in a bit of underexposure other times it was fine, quite a few the colors were quite saturated. I still don’t really understand why it happens but it guess that’s part of the mystery and fun when using such a camera. Film spacing between frames are abit too close for my liking since i need to cut it quite accurately so it does not cut into the other frame.

Scanning the LOMO film was not too difficult, i used VueScan and locked in the base color of the film to do the scan and then just some simple levels and exposure tweaks.

Catch the photos on my tumblr page @ http://tmblr.co/Zg1BLqxUtZjC. The shots were all taken using LOMO 400 film and scanned on my Epson V600.

Links
Wikipedia LOMO LC-A

F8 1/100: Shooting with a Holga

A Holga is a simple unassuming camera that just allows you 2 apertures and a single shutter speed, coupled that with a view finder that isn’t very accurate and focusing by guesstimation. What you have in most sense is a camera that most photographers won’t even want to touch with a 10 feet pool. But yet this simple camera has become the tool for a number of photographers.

Just take a look at the Flickr holga pool and you can see that the Holga can be quite a capable camera in the correct hands.

For me the Holga becomes a tool for taking pictures without care. Since there is very little control, you just make sure to switch on the flash when your are indoors or just take pictures when its sunny. You might think that because of the limitations you might find less pictures to take.

On the contrary, you just discover the pictures that you can take because the limitations are there, you just need to concentrate on finding the picture rather than deciding on what aperture or shutter speed to use.

The Holga is only sharp in the center so remember don’t try all sorts of funny things with the Rule of Thirds if not you might be disappointed about how blur your pictures always are.

It’s possible to get sharp pictures from the Holga, just don’t count on it every time. Seems like my sharpest photos are taken with focus set at the the single person setting (0.9m check out this guide), that’s probably the distance i can judge the best.

 

DigitalRev recently put a Pro Photograher with a Holga, it just goes to show that having a vision about what you want to shoot is more important than the tool itself.

So go out and have some carefree and fun time shooting with a Holga.

All pictures here are taken with a Holga with either TriX or Delta 400.

Ektar 100 Rocks ! – A review

Pinwheel

Just managed to shoot off one roll of Ektar 100, usually i am mostly a B&W kind of guy so i don’t really shoot a lot of colour. But after i see the scans from my Ektar 100. I am amaze at the vibrant colours that came off the scans! They reminded me of slides films, i think Ektar could be a good replacement if you like slides, considering that E6 process is getting harder to find and expensive.

Kodak calls Ektar “The Worlds Finest Grain Negative Film” and i tend to agree, scans show minimal grain.

Ektar promises

  • Ultra Vivid Color
  • Exceptional Sharpness
  • Extraordinary enlargement capability
For those who like camera porn information, all shots taken with a Leica M2 with Voigtlander Color Skopar 50mm F2.5 with a Voigtlander clip on meter. A Nikon Coolscan V with VueScan was used to scan all the negatives using the Lock Film Base Colour method and Generic Negative. Slight post processing include levels and vignetting.
You can click on the images for the larger image.
The film seems to emphasise the reds and the greens very strongly and gives off a saturated look overall.
For skin colour, it renders Asian skin tones quite naturally. Perhaps just with a tinge of redness or warmness to it.

Don’t you just love the colours :), one thing i found was that if you underexpose Ektar it tends to colour shift. I haven’t really try overexposing Ektar and see what’s the effect on the scans.

I think Ektar is one of those films perfect for those who like vibrant colours and want to go back to seeing those colours pop up like colour reversal films. I still have another roll around, and will continue to experiment with it.

For the rest of the images please visit my Flickr page.

Yeah a Rollei 35T

Rollei 35T from digicamhistory.com

I have been in the habit of looking out for small pocketable 35mm film cameras. This is the latest one to add to my collection, the Rollei 35T. This is the one with a 40mm F3.5 Tessar lens and its made in Singapore where i live. Look out for a review soon.

Minox 35 GL

Recently i;ve got a nice Minox 35GL with the Flash. Always wanted to get one of these and try it out, since it all so small and tiny it would be easy to take it around.

It weighs about 200grams and comes with a nice 35mm F2.8 lens. Exposure is Aperture priority with shutter speeds from about 1/15s to 1/500s. With ISO 400 film you should be ok, with 800 there might be overexposure on a bright and sunny day. You can only scale focus it but no problem, the scale focusing aid starts from F4 and since the focal length is 35mm you do get a bit of range when scale focusing with it. Scale Focusing its not as hard as it seems and you will get better with time. My trick is to take my height and just so of imagine where i would be if i was lying down and then just estimtate from there.

Chloe Punggol Waterway

Some problems you might have with the older Minox is that it uses an old 5.6v PX27 which can be replaced using 4LR44, 4SR44 or 2 CR 1/3N batteries. The problem with all those options are that the voltage is increased to 6volts which impacts the exposure meter.

I compared it with my light meter and found the exposure increased by about 1 to 2 stops . That is to say if you set the camera to ISO 100 you are getting readings for ISO400.

If you still see the meter stuck at the bottom (at the 1/30s) mark after giving it 2 strokes, maybe you did not wind the film properly.  Give it another slight push on the film advance and the meter should kick in.

There are also some reports of the shutter becoming stuck or unresponsive. someone on flickr posted some pictures and how to fix it. http://www.flickr.com/groups/minox35/discuss/72157612937954151/

Untitled

I had quite a bit of fun just bringing the camera around and just snapping away, the camera is so small and discrete that no one takes a look at you (besides they are all looking at their smart phones to notice you anyway). The shutter is so quiet that i couldn’t hear it sometimes when i pressed it. I have to confirm by trying to advance the film lever.

Minox Flash

I got it together with the Minox FC35 auto flash which fits nicely on top of the camera but takes about 8-10 seconds to charge it up. The flash itself is almost as big as the camera and looks abit unbalance on top of it. But in practical use it actually feels ok, not too heavy topside. The above was a shot taken with the flash at lunch. You can see how shy my colleague is about having his picture taken.

Comparing it to the Olympus XA i find the XA more userfriendly with the rangefinder and you just need to slide to use, much easier than the Minox flip open design which looks fragile to me. But i have been bringing the Minox out everywhere I go, as somehow i find more “fun” in shooting with such a simple camera, compare with my Leica or the XA .

All the above was taken with the Minox 35GL, Delta 400 @ ISO 800 in Ilford DDX

Olympus XA Review

My Olympus XA

I’ve got my Olympus XA quite some time ago, but never used it. I think it must have sat in my dry cabinet for almost 3 years or more.

The Olympus XA has a 35mm F2.8 lens, shutter speeds from 1s to 1/500 in a small body that will fit in your jeans pocket.  Yoshihisa Maitani the designer of the camera manage to squeeze a rangefinder, clam shell body and a 2.8 lens all in this small body. It’s simply amazing and the quality of lens is great.

Unfortunately you can only set up to ISO 800 on the camera, but only a maximum of 1/500 shutter speed that is reasonable. The leaf shutter on this thing is quiet, much quieter that that of my Leica M2, and the focal length of 35mm makes it quite suitable for street photography and of course home photography, which sometimes i find 50mm is a bit too long.

The rangefinder patch isn’t as great as a Leica but its good enough. For zone focusing there are only 4 distances marked 2.8ft, 4ft, 8ft and infinity, most of the time i use zone focusing anyway only when the light level is low then i will use the rangefinder.

I’ve got the A11 flash which is powered by one AA battery, the inital charing of the flash takes probably about 30s which means its not meant for spontaneous flash shots.

A nice pocketable camera with a great lens and best of all its not expensive on the used market, i saw a few for about 100-150 around the internet.

The images below are TriX shot at 800 iso and developed in DDX scanned using my old Epson Perfection 1660. Click on the images for high resolution pictures.

Peeking

Shot the above using the A11 flash.

Links
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Olympus_XA
http://www.diaxa.com/xa.htm
http://www.cameraquest.com/xa4.htm

 

Zeiss Iknota 521/16 – Blur!

Seems like there are focus problems with my Zeiss Ikonta! Almost all my pictures are blur when shoot @ 1/100. There are certain sharp portions but they seem to be focused quite far in front. I think the focus is a bit off. Found this link on the web for adjusting the focus. Seems easy enough, maybe will try it over the week.

http://photosttl.blogspot.com/2010/04/adjusting-infiniti-focus-on-folding.html#comments

Zeiss Iknota 521/16


Remember i wrote about getting a medium format folder, this is the one i got. A Zeiss Ikonta 521/16 with a F3.5 Tessar lens. Quite simple camera with just zone focusing, nothing extra about, quite a light camera compared with something like a Mamiya 645 or a TLR. The unfolding is absolutely cool, You just point the camera downwards and press the release. Both the lens and the finder just pop open.

This model was produced from 1948 to 1953, comes in many variations of the shutter and the lens. The Tessar version was the high end one. Carl Zeiss now exits as mainly a optics company producting besides camera lenses, but also many other optical products.

Since its a zone focusing camera, i did up a little hyper focusing chart to help me.

Behind that i put a little rangefinder card so that i can judge distances with it. At the bottom in reverse wordings are the shutter timing test that i did, so that i can roughly know how much to compensate, seems like mine is abt 1 stop off in the slower shutter speeds up to 1/50. I did the test using a microphone and some sound processing software.

Lets see what this can do when i put a few rolls through it.