Saturday, May 26, 2012

Providence Canyon, 8x10 style

Yes, I'm still alive, if anyone was wondering!

I've been swamped with "real life" lately, working on a great number of projects, both personal and professional, as well as starting up my summer job that I have done every summer for 8 years now (working at an instrument repair shop.

Anyway, as I mentioned last post, all last week I was out of town in various locations. My first stop was Providence Canyon. I decided to lug my 8x10 all over this canyon system because I wanted to try a new lens primarily, but also because I'm crazy. My load was somewhere in the neighborhood of 60 pounds or more.

Well all that and I only took two shots. But they came out really well. When I get a chance I'll be contact printing both of these. So I also took my nice shiny new D800E as well. I didn't really take a single outstanding shot on the D800E. As much as I try, I just can't quite gel with digital shooting landscapes. I think the tactile experience of shooting a large format camera, along with the act of composing the image on a huge piece of glass, just works for me better.

Here are the shots. The first is taken with a 210mm f/9 Graphic Kowa lens that I just picked up. I really like this lens as this is my favorite focal length on 4x5 (kind of like a 28mm on 35mm cameras). The second is also with a newer lens that I got at a great price, a Nikkor 120mm f/8. This is a super-wide (equivalent to 17mm) lens. Both were shot with some HP5+ film I was given. I have seen some photos from HP5 before and I've never liked them. I still don't like the film really after shooting these but it's not too objectionable, especially since they'll be contact printed. I simply don't like the clumpy grain structure. I must admit it scanned very well though:

More images from the rest of my trips will be incoming shortly, so stay tuned...

Friday, May 11, 2012

Withlacoochee Project Part 3

It's been too long since my last post. I've been exceedingly busy, too busy to shoot much, but Saturday I will be up in the north GA mountains for a week, so I hope to have many images to share afterward.

But before that, here are three more 8x10 images from the Withlacoochee River that were finished up recently. The first image was shot with the Nikon 300mm f/9 lens while the other two were with the Gundlach Radar 300mm f/4.5. As you can see I'm still occasionally having lots of problems with banding on my scans. One of these days I need to get that scanner open and clean it.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

New lens for the Nikon SP

Enough of that digital junk, back to film stuff (that's a joke!).

After two months I finally received a lens I ordered from overseas for my Nikon SP. The Nikon uses a slightly modified Contax mount; therefore, many legacy Contax lenses will work on it, especially wide angles. I have always missed the 35mm focal length on the SP so I found a Russian-made Jupiter-12 lens on eBay.

These lenses are copies of the Zeiss Biogon design. Most folks say the quality-control is suspect and many are excellent but some are dogs. I'm not quite sure about mine. It has positively awful corner performance, even at f/5.6. However, the lens has amazing micro-contrast that really makes the photos look "3D." I might just have to crop everything to a 4:5 ratio and call it a day. I will have to do more tests with it stopped down to f/11 or more. I'm not sure if it's curvature of field causing the poor performance or just a dog of a lens.

Anyway, here are some snapshots from the lens taken on old Kodak Gold 100 film. I converted a couple to b&w because the colors were yucky: