One photography project for this year was to go through old negatives. Having grown up with film, I have plenty. In addition, I inherited a file with old negatives from my father. One set is dated 1967 and contains pictures from Berlin of a guy named Alex.
As shooting occasions are scarce for the locked down photographer, opportunities to read on the subject should expand. At long last, I managed to read Doreen Spooner’s autobiography ‘Camera Girl’. Spooner’s claim to fame is having been the first female photographer on fleet street. The book is more about her than photography -not surprising in an autobiography- and it will mean a lot more to those who know at least half the celebrities she mentions. I had the rare experience of not being quite old enough -nor British enough- to get all the references but I guess the target audience will have no such problem.
During this year’s #filmfeb I professed that my projects for the year were to shoot more 4×5 and revisit some old negatives. Shooting 4×5 in a lockdown is a bit of a challenge, but it seems to be the ideal time for digging into old negatives. I shall start by going some 30 years back.
The good people at Ilford Photo have not only introduced their Ortho-Plus 80 emulsion in 35mm and 120 formats, they also made it available to the market. This alone is a vast improvement over some competitors.
On my most recent visit to Berlin I decided to do something I had so far avoided: take some shots of the usual Tourist motives. I had done this elsewhere of course, but never in Berlin. The obvious starting point for such a mission is the Brandenburg Gate, where I got the standard shot towards the end of the golden hour. The film was 120 format Kodak Portra 160 in a Zenza Bronica SQ-Ai, I brought a 50mm and a 150mm lens.
As analogue photography regains popularity, a frequent question in photography forums is, which cheap, good quality analogue camera to pick when trying out film. Until recently, this would not have been an issue: almost all analogue gear was cheap, but prices have been rising for a while. In spite of this: late SLR models from the 1990s and beyond are often overlooked.
Where the main motivation is the look and feel of old or purely mechanical gear, this makes sense. But those who mainly want to try film as a medium and get the most bang for their buck should look at late analogue SLRs. They are likely to look like digital cameras but offer everything a film camera can, from full manual control to point and shoot automation.Continue reading “Resuscitating an analogue Canon EOS300”
The Zenza Bronica SQ series SLRs are capable, relatively young medium format SLRs which still trade at reasonable prices and are capable of delivering high quality results. Unfortunately, they are not problem free.
The East German ORWO products have long appealed to more old fashioned photographers. I shot ORWO black and white films occasionally, when they were still being made and used their photo paper regularly. ORWO paper was actually made of paper, or cardboard, at a point when most modern photo papers were made of some form of plastic or at least resin coated. To those photographers with a bit of a Luddite streak the traditional paper just looked nicer. Continue reading “ORWO Expired?”