Saturday, March 31, 2012

4x5 Portrait using Polaroid 900 conversion

I am in the middle of a project shooting some portraits on 4x5 of people engaged in a creative action. Here is the first one from the series of my friend Morris playing flute. I used my Polaroid 900 4x5 conversion. The lens on it is the Schneider Xenotar 135mm f/3.5. I shot this at f/4 and 1/100 in shade on T-Max 100 and developed it in Acufine as an experiment for 1 hour semi-stand. It's a tad over-developed so I will pull back the development to about 30 minutes next time. I think I like Acufine for negatives in mixed light that I want a lot of acuity. It also produces a different tonality than T-Max RS. Still experimenting though so I can't say for certain if I like it better or not. Anyway, here is the shot:

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

One 4x5 from Grand Bay - using Acufine developer

It's been too long since my last update! Many gigs last week prevented me from shooting almost anything. I went out Saturday with my friend Ed to shoot for fun out at Grand Bay. I just had my 35mm. I have taken so many pictures there I am rather bored with it so I haven't been there since last year. However, there was some very interesting green stuff floating on the water, coating the entire surface. I was unprepared for how neat it was. I ended up returning yesterday with my 4x5. I took a couple color shots and one b&w.

The b&w one was in with some other holders that I took some other shots today with. I really messed up and rated my shot I believe 4 stops underexposed. This was a bad error so I decided to experiment with some semi-stand development for long periods of time. But I developed this shot from Grand Bay accidentally first. I used Acufine 1:5, shook it vigorously for 1 minute, and then let it stand for 2 hours. I shook it every 30 minutes for 15 seconds. Despite the extreme over-development compared to the recommended time on this shot, correctly rated @ 100, the negative looked really good. Even more interesting, the amount of detail and acuity is stunning, much better than T-Max RS usually gave me. I will have to try out Acufine some more with "normal" photos. The other shots that are messed up are still developing but things are looking okay possibly.

Here's the shot. It is taken with the Nikkor 360mm telephoto at f/32 for 15 seconds. Toned in PS:

Sunday, March 18, 2012

TMZ - Kodak T-Max 3200 Test Roll

I was very lucky a couple of weeks ago to buy a brick of new-old-stock TMZ, or Kodak T-Max 3200 film. This ultra-fast film (actually about 1000 ISO but designed to be push processed) is one of only two emulsions designed with that amount of light sensitivity, the other being Ilford Delta 3200. I like T-Max films and I really like the grain in TMZ, but it generally is too expensive to shoot casually. The 20 rolls I got were priced right though. I shot a test roll in my F4 Friday night to try it out.

For this roll I used ISO 1600, but developed it as rated for a normal 3200 metering. This suggestion was one I found on many forums and has garnered good results in the past. Because I'm a cheapskate, rather than use T-Max RS developer I used Kodak XTOL at 1:1 since XTOL is so cheap.

Here is a quick selection of images from the roll, all taken in downtown Valdosta at dusk or later. The grain is obvious but pleasing. I was able to shoot in virtually no light (the wedding figurines photo was taken at f/1.4 and 1/15, which for normal ISO 100 film and a standard f/2.8 zoom would be a 4 second exposure!). All photos were taken with either a 28mm f/2, 50mm f/1.4D, or 85mm f/1.8D. I used my Photoshop Action to give a subtle brown toning to these and also did a bit of perspective correction on a couple:

Thursday, March 15, 2012

"The Boneyard" at Big Talbot Island State Park, FL

Here are 4 images from "The Boneyard" that I took Tuesday on a little getaway day to Jacksonville and the surrounding area. These were taken with the Nikkor 90mm f/8, Nikkor-M 300mm f/9, or Schneider 47mm f/5.6 XL (I'm sure you can figure out what's what):

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

8x10 work near Moultrie

I went for a joyride out to Moultrie to pick up something and shot some 8x10 sheets while out there. These two both were taken with the Gundlach Radar 300mm f/4.5 at f/16 for good subject isolation. Movements were used on the first to change the plane of focus to follow the fence and get both the foreground and background in focus. I could have just stopped down to f/45 or further but I wanted to try it this way, and I like the result.

Here they are. As you can see my scanner still sucks with all the lines and such. Good enough for proofing though. I might contact print these:

Monday, March 12, 2012

The Crescent in the morning and the Azalea Festival

Saturday I went out early to get a shot I've been meaning to do of the Crescent for a while. It's a simple architectural shot but I wanted to get it on 4x5 so I could print it for upcoming use. I used the Nikon 90mm with a bit of front rise:

The rest of the day was spent at the Azalea Festival, held at Drexel Park. I decided to shoot some Tri-X 35mm for fun but they didn't come out all that great, mostly because of the extremely harsh sun. I am still working on my film developing in extremely contrasty situations, especially in 35mm. Nevertheless, here are a couple of snaps:

Some digital shots after the break

Friday, March 9, 2012

8x10 vs. 35mm

No pictures today, just a funny shot comparing my 35mm Nikon SP to my 8x10 Gundlach with extension:

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Trying my hand at some still-life images.

I've always loved still-life images and detailed images of objects. I haven't done a lot of them so yesterday and today I tried a couple. I just took some photos of things I had on hand that mean something to me. First up is my piccolo, a Powell Custom model that I got about 5 years ago I think. It's my main instrument when I play in orchestras. For this shot I used my 4x5 with the Schneider 150mm APO lens. The image is at about 1:2. I used heavy front and rear tilts to get all of the instrument in focus and stopped down heavily for additional DOF. I wanted the black-on-black effect so I exposed this a little under and overdeveloped (about an N+1.5). Here is the result:

The second shot I did was of my Nikon F4 and a new lens, a 28mm f/2, that I bought as a small and fast wide-angle. I like the combination and space-age lines of the F4. I used a white background instead on this one and used my 8x10 with green x-ray film. I recently found an extension rail for the 8x10, but it was slightly different in construction and didn't work with my camera. After some modifications with assistance from my good friend Mr. Kilgard I was able to make it work and now I have about 700mm of bellows extension! I used my Nikkor 300mm f/9 lens for this at about 1:1. I exposed the film at an ISO of 50 and developed it in Rodinal 1:100 for 6 minutes @ 68 degrees. This is giving me nice negatives after I strip the rear emulsion with bleach. Here is the result (unfortunately I did have some dust issues, as well as Newtonian Rings. Oh well):

Here is a quick shot of the setup:

I am looking forward to doing some more.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

More 35mm near Clyattville

Shot some old color 35mm film for fun while out driving around near Clyattville, GA. I stopped at an old cemetery in the middle of a huge orchard (not sure what the trees are there). I used the Nikon F4 again. The nice thing about the F4 is all of my regular lenses that I use on the D700 work great on it too, even my old manual-focus 16mm f/3.5 fisheye, which I busted out for the first time in a while (that lens is possibly the sharpest I own!).

Here is a selection of shots from the roll. One I converted to b&w because I didn't like the colors but all were shot on some expired Fujicolor 100. Lenses were the fisheye mentioned above, a 50mm f/1.4D, or 85mm f/1.8D:

Saturday, March 3, 2012

35mm photos from two different cameras

Before I start this post I'd just like to point out that I've had over 2,000 views! Pretty cool.

Moving on: I didn't ever post any shots from some recent 35mm rolls, so I thought I'd post some from two different cameras as I got a new 35mm camera the other day.

First, here are some shots from the Nikon SP with either 21mm or 50mm lenses taken while I wandered Albany waiting for the concert I was playing in. They were shot with Tri-X 400 developed in D-76 straight. I wanted to retry D-76 since it's the "universal developer" but I really just don't like D-76. I'll be going back to XTOL. Yes I know I am supposed to test and such with a developer but I have always preferred the midtones in XTOL. Anyway here are the photos:

Now the new camera I got? It's a Nikon F4! I always loved the look of the F4 and I wanted to try one ever since my F5 got trashed. Well I found one at such a deal I nabbed it. I took some random shots around campus and such on an old roll of Kentmere 400 and pushed it to 800 in XTOL. All are taken with either the 35mm f/2 or 85mm f/1.8 AF-D lenses. The Kentmere is kind of cheap film (and I believe it's actually Ilford Delta 400) but it looks really good even pushed to 800:

I didn't mean for this to be a comparison or anything but it is interesting for me seeing the difference between two films and two developers - one the classic Tri-X/D-76 combo and the other an Ilford film (I guess) with the modern XTOL. I like the latter myself, and even better is Tri-X in XTOL. But it's all subjective, especially when you get in the darkroom rather than scanning!