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Found 6 results

  1. Vintage gear seems to be getting a bit of attention at the moment and I've been having a play with some old stuff from the back of my cupboard too. I picked up a roll of film and loaded up my old Nikon F70. I bought it around 1997 and it was my main camera for nearly a decade before going digital with a Nikon D50. I've had a few different lenses with it, some I still have, others were traded for some Fuji gear. One of the interesting things about the F70 is that it was one of the early menu driven cameras. It didn't have any functions that weren't available on other cameras of that era, the only difference was accessing those functions. The other cameras relied on a lot of different buttons to drive all the features - you'd press a button for say "mode" and then spin the command dial. On the F70, you controlled most things with one of two buttons and the command dial. The menu on the F70 wasn't the long lines of text that we have in the digital era, it was more graphical and built into the top LCD. There were 8 main subject areas, which were selected by pressing the 'Function' button on the top left of the camera and spinning the command dial. Once the subject, such as mode or focus area had been selected, pressing the 'select' button and spinning the command dial allowed selection of the particular value. For Mode, that is would be the P,S,A,M that we are used to today. There were a few extra buttons. For some reason focus area setting got it's own button next to the power switch. Next to the focus area button was the 'Ps' button that allowed selection of various scene pre-sets within the P mode. It also had the ability to save some settings in quick recall mode, accessed using the 'In' and 'out' buttons next to the 'Function' button. This control system was certainly polarising at the time, but compared to current menus, it was quite simple and straightforward. I'm sure that most people nowadays would get the hang of it quite quickly. In my current shooting, I haven't felt the need to play with the settings too deeply - I do just occasionally double check that I haven't inadvertently set something that is going to make me waste a roll of film. Shooting with it, it is pretty much what you would expect from a SLR/DSLR experience. It is perhaps a bit lighter than a digital equivalent, but that will be due to the smaller batteries and circuit boards, etc. Compared to the Fuji X-E3 that is my current main camera, there are only two things that are catching me out - the lens mounts in the opposite direction and the half press on the shutter release of the F70 is rather sensitive - there have been a few premature shots. There are still a couple of frames left on the film, so the results of my experiments will have to wait a week or two. Oh, and the lens on there - it's an 18-55 zoom. This lens is about 10 years younger than the camera. The full description is AF-S Nikkor 18-55mm 1:3.5-5.6 G. The F70 can handle both the AF-S focusing (it has the old screw driver focus drive too) and the G, although the absence of an aperture ring means problems with the A and M modes. The other thing is that it is a DX lens. I like it and am using it because it is small and light compared to the other Nikon lenses I still have lying around. Obviously at 18mm, the lens barrel is visible in the corners. By about 24mm, the barrel isn't visible in the viewfinder and I'll have to wait until I finish the film and get the negatives back to see if there is any darkening in the corners - my guess is that it is probably only good from about 28mm. Well, the sun is out. I should head out and finish the film!
  2. Film 1 I think there is something more to the description than the obvious view. I dragged my old film camera out of the back of the cupboard and stuck a new set of batteries in it and found an old roll of film and gave it a go. Perhaps some of the quality (or lack of it) is because the film was a cheap film anyway and has sat on my shelf unused for around 15 years. I did find one problem, film 2 the film didn't always wind on. The effect here isn't too bad - somehow the various frames seem to line up. At this stage, I'm still unsure whether to try another roll (perhaps a fresh one), but I did notice after removing the film, that there seemed to be something snagging in the film canister, so it may be the fault of the film rather than the camera. Strangely, when the film did wind, it wound exactly the right distance, the frames were all correctly positioned and when it didn't wind it stayed positioned exactly on the same frame, no partial frames. Part of the reason for this was to decide what I'm going to trade in and what to keep - I probably won't get anything for the camera, but I might get something for the lens. However, after paying for the batteries, film and developing, I could well end up spending more than I would have got for the lens, just to help with the decision about whether to keep it or not. Film Comparison And for comparison, a digital shot of the same scene (my son came for the walk with me and we kept swapping cameras and lenses, so I can't remember which of us had the film and which digital at this point). This also illustrates why I hung on to Nikon gear for so long - I'd originally picked Nikon as a brand because I could have a compatible set up for either manual or AF shooting (although I never did get round to getting a fully manual camera) and later for film and digital (although again, once I'd moved to dSLR, whilst I could continue to use the same lenses, I completely stopped shooting film).
  3. I have been on record in complaining that digital killed B&W as a truly viable monochrome end-product (unless created by extremely skilled practitioners, of course), with the interpolation of Bayer sensors and the algorithms written for "removal of colour" changing what was once a guttural, organic look that film gave to a B&W image replaced with a smoothed-out "plastic" looking image with the colour removed. the tonal response was now linear, as opposed to the "S" curve response of B&W (silver halide) film. So on Saturday, with the winter sun shining and not a cloud in the sky, I tracked down a few static subjects filled with contrast and tonal gradations, packed my two Sigma Merrill Foveon cameras along with the Fuji X-T1 and my Mamiya RZ67 film camera, along with lenses for the Fuji and Mamiya that would roughly equal the AOV of the DP1 Merrill (19mm) and DP3 Merrill (50mm) with the intent of setting up a tripod and shooting the same scene with Foveon, X-Trans and T-Max in turn, just to verify that my satisfaction with the Fuji, as far as its monochrome rendition goes, wasn't just mere wishful thinking over the battle I had had in getting a B&W result that pleased me with all my previous Bayer sensor cameras. I also threw in the Sigma Merrill cameras to confirm that while they did to a degree reproduce the classic digital "plastic" look, the tonal gradation and acutance with which they did so comes as close to matching or even exceeding a print up to 20x24 from a 5x4 film negative. As I no longer have a 5x4 camera I couldn't do a direct comparison, but I was keen to affirm that the little Merrills definitely surpassed the medium format Mamiya, which a mere decade ago was still up there with the Hasselblad, Pentax 6x7 and Rollei as the standard equipment for professional use. As they say, the best laid plans...... well, don't necessarily follow suit with preconceived outcomes. While the overall expectations were partially confirmed, it was the performance of the once-professional Mamiya RZ67 and the T-Max TMY (400 ISO) film I had loaded which gave me one heck of a jolt as to just how far digital from relatively tiny APS-C-sized sensors has come, and while I was hoping to prove that film still does B&W "better", I have to concede up-front that this is no longer true, and by a surprisingly huge margin at that. I still prefer the "look" of the non-linear tonal response, but that's where it begins and ends. So my quest to find a good used Fuji GSW 690 film camera and start shooting hand-held location and street on film again died a swift and permanent death when the scans started coming off the scanner. I think I'll put the money to far better use in buying either another lens for the Fuji X-T1, or maybe even a new Sigma DP0 Quattro. Thank you all the greedy bastards on eBay who were asking way too much for a 25+ year old obsolete film camera with absolutely nothing other than a fixed lens with inbuilt mechanical shutter, a range-finder viewfinder, a place to put a roll of film, and a shutter button and a crank to expose and wind on the film. You just saved me hundreds of dollars. Much obliged. For me, aside from maybe (very) occasional use of the RZ & RB67 cameras to consume the film I still have left in the freezer, B&W film is dead. So, to the results: I still think maybe that B&W film "looks" better, but IQ-wise the difference now is so great that no matter how good it "looks", you wouldn't intentionally use it instead of digital if you owned either a Fuji X-trans or a Sigma Foveon. The Sigma is still challenged with blowing out highlights and bedevilled absolutely awful software processing support, but the Fuji is none of that - the results are superb, the dynamic range more than adequate, and the equipment itself is a joy to use. I love holding and using that camera as much as I loved holding and using my Hasselblads over a decade ago. All photos cropped to roughly the same dimensions, resized to 1600px high, so you'll have to "click up", and better still, hit the "Click here to view full size" button after clicking up, and save them to a folder on your desktop so you can flick through them to really appreciate the differences. First image (shadow/highlight detail on a mainly monochrome subject) : Mamiya RZ67, TMY (400 ISO) film, 50/4.5 lens, f/16: Sigma DP1 Merrill 19/2.8 lens, f/11 @ 100 ISO Fuji X-T1, 10-24/4 lens @19mm, f/11, @ 200 ISO Second image (shadow/highlight detail, colour differences, vegetation and image resolution): Mamiya RZ67, 50/4.5 lens, f/16 TMY Sigma DP1 Merrill, 19/2.8, f/11 @ 100 ISO Fuji X-T1, 10-24/4 @ 19mm, f/11 @ 200 ISO Third Image (separation of many different colour shades tonally, shadow/highlights, fine detail retention) Mamiya RZ67, 180/4 lens, f/16 TMY Sigma DP3 Merrill, 50/2.8 lens, f/11 100 ISO Fuji X-T1, Zeiss Touit 50/2.8M lens, f/11 @ 200 ISO Method & conclusion: I used the digital cameras at their native resolution - the Sigmas because increased ISO is purely and obviously an amplification of the signal which adds noise, and processing the top layer only of the three-stack sensor for cleanest results distorts the colour response to that of the full three-colour layers when converted to B&W as a whole. Likewise I used the Fuji at 200 ISO to completely kill any possibility of the DR function kicking in as it can at higher than 800 ISO to dramatically increase dynamic range. The object was to see if film really does still have that legendary DR advantage. (No, it doesn't! ) I used T-Max 400 film as (1) I have the most of it left in stock , and (2) I assumed that the huge area of the 6x7 format would enjoy an unfair advantage over the minuscule APS-C sensors if used with finer-grain T-Max 100. (Wrong again! ) As I have already indicated, even allowing for the fact that a scanned negative won't be as good as a directly printed one, fact is that this is the way most negatives will be put to use these days - scanned and an inkjet print - at least that most certainly is the way that my negatives would be put to use. I have absolutely no intention of resurrecting my wet darkroom for printing, even though it is still fully assembled and operational. I've done more than my time under the amber lights over several decades, so never again...... I reckon the Fuji overall blitzes the field here - combining just the right amount of "organic" look with the superb resolution of the Fujinon and Zeiss lenses. I will now stop lamenting the past and start actively pursuing B&W again without thinking that "this would be better done with film". The Sigma can't be faulted for finesse in resolution and smooth tonal transition, but it really is hobbled by the lack of software support and its propensity to blow highlights. The Mamiya - well, that's just an antique, obsolete, collectible curiosity now. From this little exercise, I will now shut up forever about the superiority of film B&W. It isn't.
  4. I have been on record in complaining that digital killed B&W as a truly viable monochrome end-product (unless created by extremely skilled practitioners, of course), with the interpolation of Bayer sensors and the algorithms written for "removal of colour" changing what was once a guttural, organic look that film gave to a B&W image replaced with a smoothed-out "plastic" looking image with the colour removed. the tonal response was now linear, as opposed to the "S" curve response of B&W (silver halide) film. So on Saturday, with the winter sun shining and not a cloud in the sky, I tracked down a few static subjects filled with contrast and tonal gradations, packed my two Sigma Merrill Foveon cameras along with the Fuji X-T1 and my Mamiya RZ67 film camera, along with lenses for the Fuji and Mamiya that would roughly equal the AOV of the DP1 Merrill (19mm) and DP3 Merrill (50mm) with the intent of setting up a tripod and shooting the same scene with Foveon, X-Trans and T-Max in turn, just to verify that my satisfaction with the Fuji, as far as its monochrome rendition goes, wasn't just mere wishful thinking over the battle I had had in getting a B&W result that pleased me with all my previous Bayer sensor cameras. I also threw in the Sigma Merrill cameras to confirm that while they did to a degree reproduce the classic digital "plastic" look, the tonal gradation and acutance with which they did so comes as close to matching or even exceeding a print up to 20x24 from a 5x4 film negative. As I no longer have a 5x4 camera I couldn't do a direct comparison, but I was keen to affirm that the little Merrills definitely surpassed the medium format Mamiya, which a mere decade ago was still up there with the Hasselblad, Pentax 6x7 and Rollei as the standard equipment for professional use. As they say, the best laid plans...... well, don't necessarily follow suit with preconceived outcomes. While the overall expectations were partially confirmed, it was the performance of the once-professional Mamiya RZ67 and the T-Max TMY (400 ISO) film I had loaded which gave me one heck of a jolt as to just how far digital from relatively tiny APS-C-sized sensors has come, and while I was hoping to prove that film still does B&W "better", I have to concede up-front that this is no longer true, and by a surprisingly huge margin at that. I still prefer the "look" of the non-linear tonal response, but that's where it begins and ends. So my quest to find a good used Fuji GSW 690 film camera and start shooting hand-held location and street on film again died a swift and permanent death when the scans started coming off the scanner. I think I'll put the money to far better use in buying either another lens for the Fuji X-T1, or maybe even a new Sigma DP0 Quattro. Thank you all the greedy bastards on eBay who were asking way too much for a 25+ year old obsolete film camera with absolutely nothing other than a fixed lens with inbuilt mechanical shutter, a range-finder viewfinder, a place to put a roll of film, and a shutter button and a crank to expose and wind on the film. You just saved me hundreds of dollars. Much obliged. For me, aside from maybe (very) occasional use of the RZ & RB67 cameras to consume the film I still have left in the freezer, B&W film is dead. So, to the results: I still think maybe that B&W film "looks" better, but IQ-wise the difference now is so great that no matter how good it "looks", you wouldn't intentionally use it instead of digital if you owned either a Fuji X-trans or a Sigma Foveon. The Sigma is still challenged with blowing out highlights and bedevilled absolutely awful software processing support, but the Fuji is none of that - the results are superb, the dynamic range more than adequate, and the equipment itself is a joy to use. I love holding and using that camera as much as I loved holding and using my Hasselblads over a decade ago. All photos cropped to roughly the same dimensions, resized to 1600px high, so you'll have to "click up", and better still, hit the "Click here to view full size" button after clicking up, and save them to a folder on your desktop so you can flick through them to really appreciate the differences. First image (shadow/highlight detail on a mainly monochrome subject) : Mamiya RZ67, TMY (400 ISO) film, 50/4.5 lens, f/16: Sigma DP1 Merrill 19/2.8 lens, f/11 @ 100 ISO Fuji X-T1, 10-24/4 lens @19mm, f/11, @ 200 ISO Second image (shadow/highlight detail, colour differences, vegetation and image resolution): Mamiya RZ67, 50/4.5 lens, f/16 TMY Sigma DP1 Merrill, 19/2.8, f/11 @ 100 ISO Fuji X-T1, 10-24/4 @ 19mm, f/11 @ 200 ISO Third Image (separation of many different colour shades tonally, shadow/highlights, fine detail retention) Mamiya RZ67, 180/4 lens, f/16 TMY Sigma DP3 Merrill, 50/2.8 lens, f/11 100 ISO Fuji X-T1, Zeiss Touit 50/2.8M lens, f/11 @ 200 ISO Method & conclusion: I used the digital cameras at their native resolution - the Sigmas because increased ISO is purely and obviously an amplification of the signal which adds noise, and processing the top layer only of the three-stack sensor for cleanest results distorts the colour response to that of the full three-colour layers when converted to B&W as a whole. Likewise I used the Fuji at 200 ISO to completely kill any possibility of the DR function kicking in as it can at higher than 800 ISO to dramatically increase dynamic range. The object was to see if film really does still have that legendary DR advantage. (No, it doesn't! ) I used T-Max 400 film as (1) I have the most of it left in stock , and (2) I assumed that the huge area of the 6x7 format would enjoy an unfair advantage over the minuscule APS-C sensors if used with finer-grain T-Max 100. (Wrong again! ) As I have already indicated, even allowing for the fact that a scanned negative won't be as good as a directly printed one, fact is that this is the way most negatives will be put to use these days - scanned and an inkjet print - at least that most certainly is the way that my negatives would be put to use. I have absolutely no intention of resurrecting my wet darkroom for printing, even though it is still fully assembled and operational. I've done more than my time under the amber lights over several decades, so never again...... I reckon the Fuji overall blitzes the field here - combining just the right amount of "organic" look with the superb resolution of the Fujinon and Zeiss lenses. I will now stop lamenting the past and start actively pursuing B&W again without thinking that "this would be better done with film". The Sigma can't be faulted for finesse in resolution and smooth tonal transition, but it really is hobbled by the lack of software support and its propensity to blow highlights. The Mamiya - well, that's just an antique, obsolete, collectible curiosity now. From this little exercise, I will now shut up forever about the superiority of film B&W. It isn't. View full article
  5. Two weeks ago I participated in an analog only photowalk. It was an exercise in self-restriction, don't press the shutter button unless you're 100% sure! I had the images developed and scanned by a professional lab, costly but they did a great job so worth the money spent. These images were shot in the lovely city of Leiden with a Nikon F100 + Tamron 28-75mm f2.8 on Ilford FP4 Plus 125 film. 1. 000030 by Luc de Schepper, on Flickr 2. 000029 by Luc de Schepper, on Flickr 3. 000028 by Luc de Schepper, on Flickr 4. 000027 by Luc de Schepper, on Flickr 5. 000024 by Luc de Schepper, on Flickr 6. 000022 by Luc de Schepper, on Flickr 7. 000020 by Luc de Schepper, on Flickr 8. 000015 by Luc de Schepper, on Flickr
  6. FILM Ferrania is trying to restart the production of film using equipments from the closed Ferrania factory in Italy. They have here https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/filmferrania/100-more-years-of-analog-film a Kickstarter project to fund the transfer of 3 critical machines out of the Ferrania building before it is demolished. Not that I'm using film again but we must keep it alive, I think. First seen by Thom Hogan http://www.filmbodies.com/newsviews/help-save-a-film-factory.html
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