Thursday, April 18, 2013

2x3 "Baby" Century Graphic and 80mm f/2.8 Xenotar Tests

Got a new camera in the mail yesterday. Picked this up on a lark, and as it happens, I really like this camera!

I've always liked the Crown/Speed Graphic form-factor. While the lack of movements make it a poor candidate for a lot of LF-type photography, the mini 2x3 model is just about perfect for a walk-around camera, with enough movements and capabilities to put other medium-format cameras like the Pentaxes or Mamiyas to shame!

The bonus discovery is the 80mm f/2.8 Xenotar. This lens design, the same as the Zeiss Planar, is featured on the really expensive and sought after modern Rolleiflex TLRs. My only beef with a TLR is the waist-level finder. It can be cumbersome to shoot out in the wild while trying to look down a WLF if the tripod is high. It's also awkward to shoot anything with straight verticals (to me, anyway). Plus of course, no lens changing unless you are using the beastly Mamiya C-series.

Anyway - the 80mm Xenotar is fabulous. Fast, gorgeous OOF rendering, and SHARP. I've coveted the Rolleiflex TLRs with either the Xenotar or Planar, but now I've got one! I also love the RF focusing on a Crown.

Enough blabbing. Went hiking a little and also took a few shots near the Continuing Education Building at VSU with some color film that I don't like. I need to stop using the Fuji 160C film, it just doesn't look good. It's got some kind of weird tint. I'm thinking it might do well outside at night in tungsten lighting. It literally looks like tungsten film with a bluish cast, either from my scanning or just being old or poorly stored. Here's a few of the shots from each roll:

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