Tag Archives: 120

Lou and the Llamas and the Levy Jamboree!


Levy Jamboree Flyer
Been a little while since I last posted, very remiss of me I know…

So I thought I’d catch you up with a little something that’s going on as part of the Levenshulme Festival this year, The Levy Jamboree.

It’s a little gig on Friday the 9th of November at the Klondyke club in Levenshulme , organised by Lou Armer who organises the Levy Uke Up that I’ve mentioned previously on here, and featuring all local artists. Weirdly enough, I’ll actually be playing the banjolele as part of the Levy Uke Up (as will my better half on her uke) so do feel free to come and heckle, it would be lovely to see you!

Conveniently enough, Lou’s band, Lou and the Llamas (although you could have guessed that, right?) played their first gig a week and a bit ago and I shot a few frames of film while I was there. I’ve just got them back and well, now seems like the perfect time to share. All of the Black and white shots were taken with an Olympus OM10 on 35mm Ilford XP2 Super 400 and the lone colour shot was taken on a 1920s (I think) Voightlander 6×9 folding camera on Portra Pro 160 VC.

If you do come down on Friday, do come early as all of the acts are good, and if you enjoy live stuff with real instruments of the more gently acoustic persuasion, you’ll be in for a right treat. It may only be the Llamas’ second gig, but they play beautifully together and create a wonderful sound. So, I’ll stop wittering on now and let the photos speak for themselves.

Enjoy your week and maybe see you on Friday? I’ll be frantically practising till then!

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An accidental panorama

A Birthday Panorama

12 exposures, some of them multiples in the space of about 9 or so…

 

 

 

 

So kids, this is what happens when you don’t pay attention to your camera settings!

It was a friend’s birthday last week, so I thought that I’d take the Holga along, of course I’d got the single frame setting on the thing wrong and it was showing me numbers for 16 frames per roll. I had the 12 frame per roll mask in place. Oops…

Still, I got it developed, asked the lab not to cut the roll for me, so as well as their attempts at getting individual frames (see below…) I could also put it on the flat bed scanner at home and get it in its entirety! The whole panorama scanned direct from the negative at 2400 dpi was just over 60,000 (yes, that’s right, 60,000!) pixels wide. So, not a small file… You can click here to view a version on Flickr that’s roughly 30 times smaller than that and still not viewable all at once on a normal monitor…

All good fun though 🙂

 

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A Voightlander visits the Gower

My late 1920's Voightlander Bessa

My late 1920’s Voightlander Bessa folding camera.

Just a quick post this time, just to say hello after being away for a week or so in South Wales. It’s the first time that any of us had been to the Gower peninsula, and you know what, it’s an absolutely gorgeous part of the world. Stunning scenery, just a shame we couldn’t say the same for the weather. It was, at least, warm all of the time. It was, however, windy and windless and scorching sunshine and cloudy and foggy and light rain and torrential rain and thunder and lightning… So, a typical summer in the good old British Isles…

Anyhow, I took a couple of film cameras with me, the first being a 1920’s Voightlander Bessa folding medium format camera. It takes 6x9cm negatives on medium format 120 roll film and I can honestly say that it’s the most difficult camera that I’ve used so far.

You see the little square bit to the top right of the lens in the picture? That’s the (tiny!) viewfinder… It’s also distance scale focusing (I love distance scale focusing…). Still it is medium format, it’s got a nice 11cm f4.5 Anastigmat Voigtar lens and should in theory be capable of taking 8 very lovely 6×9 pictures per roll. Yes. Eight.

Not much chance to get things wrong then…

Although to be fair, I did get seven well exposed negatives out of eight from the roll of Ilford XP5 (B&W) that I loaded it with, and from the couple that were in focus, you can certainly get some stunning quality from it. It was, however, incredibly difficult to get accurate focus with. The lens takes a full (very stiff) turn to go from 3 feet to infinity focus and at around £2 per picture for develop and scan, when compared with the success rate, it could get rather expensive…

Still here are the 7 shots from it taken over the course of a very lovely week in the Gower. It was wonderful to get away from it all for a little while 🙂

Wood turningThe Gower Heritage CentreThe Mumbles beachThe mumblesPort EynonThe MumblesThe view from the campsite.

 

My Olympus OM10 SLR

My Olympus OM10 SLR

The second camera I took with me was an Olympus OM 10 with a Zuiko Auto-S 50mm f1.8 lens.

The OM10 is a complete contrast to the Voightlander. It’s very simple to use and even has in built metering and manual focus that you can check through the viewfinder. All the mod cons!

This has got to be the easiest film camera I’ve used so far (apart from the no control point and shoots) and is an absolute joy to use. Manual focus is generally quite easy as well due to the large viewfinder and focus confirmation point. So here are a few of the shots from that as well. B&W shots are on Ilford XP2 Super 400 and the colour ones are Kodak Ultramax 400.

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Are two lenses better than one?

My mint condition Seagull 4B-I TLR

My mint condition Seagull 4B-I TLR

Well, as I go on holiday tomorrow down to the Gower Peninsula, I thought that I’d post a very quick blog before I go and soak up some of that lovely south Wales sunshine (I hope!) and leave you to your own devices for a week or so.

Now I’m not one for broad sweeping definitive and ill considered statements, so I thought I’d address a nice simple question, are two lenses better than one?

Specifically, Twin Lens Reflex (TLR) vs. Single Lens Reflex (SLR).

Discuss…

 

So far I’ve put two rolls of film through the Seagull. This camera came to me in mint condition with only one film ever put through it, and that was still in the camera! Apparently, this was bought new in the 1960s and never used, unfortunately, the film that was in it had degraded so much that there were no pictures on it at all, just fog.

I have to say, I’m not sure why it wasn’t used, the viewfinder ( a 6×6 square of ground glass with a magnifier) is beautifully bright, clear and easy to focus with, as long as it’s light. Of course, the first film I shot with this was in the dark, in a club, of several bands… Got some wonderful multiple exposures but this was before I’d found the magnifier, so I wasn’t having a brilliant time focusing… A few examples of that film are below, some shots of Salford band Trojan Horse, one of Rapid Pig, and one from outside the gig of a dude with an awesome afro…

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The second film that I shot was a little more varied and in situations with considerably more light! These shots cam out very sharp indeed in the focused zone, and gorgeously smooth in the fall away to distance. Take a look at the shots below for film number 2…

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So, are two lenses better than one? In short, I really can’t answer that.

The quality of picture is so different from medium format to 35mm film that it kind of renders my observations irrelevant as I’ve never shot a medium format SLR (anyone have a spare?…). The depth of field that you can get when using wide apertures on medium format is so beautifully narrow and the out of focus areas so smooth, the colour that the Portra Pro 160 imparts to the images are all just stunning and not really something I can compare to 35mm or digital in any meaningful way.

At the end of the day, a TLR is just a slightly different way of taking the photos, it seems to be the format that you use that makes the difference, be it digital or analog. Each to their own.

Now, if someone would just give me a Hasselblad or a Bronica, I could start making proper comparisons…

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The Analog Revolution

So, there I was. All happy in my nice little fluffy land of my lovely D9o DSLR. You can take over 1000 pictures on a nice, relatively cheap 16Gb SD card, it’s re-useable so no costs there, you’ve just got to spend your time afterwards in post processing. I love my digital workflow…

My Holga 120 CFN from the lovely @justkristin

My plasticky, wonderfully low-fi, analog Holga Colour Flash

Then, someone, a lovely someone at that, who I’d never met and only ever spoken through my twitter account, (yes, that means you @justkristin) offered to send me a Holga that they didn’t use.
From a whole ‘nother continent and everything.

So of course, I said yes and some time later, this badly put together, poor quality, plasticky, plastic lensed monstrosity (I’d never handled a holga before…) turned up on the doorstep. This put it several leagues beyond any film camera I’d ever used before, you understand…

So, now I’m down to a limit of twelve 6×6 medium format negatives on a roll, each roll of which will cost me 12 whole english pounds (!) to develop and scan (at low resolution, more for better resolution scans…), no instant feedback, no integral meter, 2 shutter speeds, fixed aperture, guess to focus… The list goes on…

Despite all that, I’ve now put two films through the camera, one B&W and one colour negative film, and while it’s inconvenient, the focus is , well, shit, and the pictures are as soft as a badly under-inflated balloon, especially if you miss focus (which is most of the time).

The thing is though, the good pictures are great. I genuinely love some of the ones I’ve shot from the first couple of rolls, and a couple will even get framed and hung, and there’s always a fantastic sense of anticipation when you get the shots back, you never quite know what you’re going to get, something I’d completely forgotten about since going digital.

There also seems to be one other consequence of getting a Holga, I’ve now got a growing collection of other film cameras to try, ranging in vintage from a 1920’s Voigtlander folding camera to a 1970’s Olympus OM10. Ebay is a very, very dangerous place right now…

Portmeirion housing and statue - multiple exposure taken on expired Kodak Portra 160 VC roll film using a Holga 120 CFN Passageway and waterfall - multiple exposure taken on expired Kodak Portra 160 VC roll film using a Holga 120 CFN Photobombing - multiple exposure taken on Ilford HP5 plus using a Holga 120 CFN

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