This is from a summer or two ago. We drove along Hwy 49 in the central coastal area of California. It is a lovely drive – quite unpopulated in many ways. The hills and valleys spread out on either side of the road, with trees dotting the grassy slopes. Grapes are grown here, and the Paso Robles area is known for its wines. If you take some of the side roads off the highway, which is a nicely paved two-lane roadway, you can find yourself under the canopy of old oak trees, deep in the gloom of shade on a bright summer’s day.
Zeiss Ikon Ikonta, Tri-X 400 by Kodak. Scanned and processed with Epson V600, VueScan, and Negative Lab Pro.
In 2021 we headed out on what was to be a 3 week long road trip. The first part was up the Eastern Sierra along Hwy. 395, stopping and staying in Independence, CA. One of the most notable places to see along this route was Manzanar National Historic Site – a not very nice part of US history. It is a Japanese internment camp which was built for imprisoning Japanese Americans, natives of this country, and therefore citizens, as well as immigrants.
I took along a digital camera, and a folding camera, the Zeiss Ikon Ikonta 521/16. Only now am I scanning the film – it took quite some time to finishing up the roll! I used Kodak TriX 400 and got twelve 6×6 images out of the roll, which is 120 film. To process the film, I took it to a local lab and then scanned it myself using the Epson V600 and Negative Lab Pro in Lightroom.
However, the trip ended when we got breakthrough Covid. We headed back home, sadly, but better safe than sorry, eh?
What is it about old German folding cameras? I have a number of them and, while they can feel clunky compared to point-and-shoot cameras, or DSLRs (or mirrorless), there is something just so wonderful about using a film camera.
This is a cropped 6×9 image from my Zeiss Ikon Ercona, ca. 1950 and serviced by Jurgen Kreckel. His cameras are well worth their costs, high or low.
I have problems figuring out how to go up or down with a camera-top viewfinder. My brain doesn’t seem to “get it” but maybe I’ll get the other half to logically explain it to me. He’s good at that.
So, out for a walk to check out the camera – I bought it last July – and trying to become familiar with the camera, and guestimating exposures. Some good pictures resulted, and some dogs. I’m better at guessing exposure factors for 100 speed film. I used a roll of 120 Portra 400 film as my test roll.
Whenever I get film back, I am always so pleased. I really do prefer it to digital, hands down, but digital has its place, too. This Ercona was fun to use, a bit of a pain, too, but whenever you have something new in hand, or something old, there is always a bit of a trial-and-error period. This happens even if you have shot with the camera before.
A rose by any other name, and shot with any camera, is pretty sweet – even better when you like your photo!
I felt like a tourist when I headed out to the botanical garden a few weeks ago. I had my Olympus XA4, my Kodak Retina IIIc for its maiden voyage, and the Perkeo II loaded with Fuji Neopan 400. I am so impressed with this film – the blacks are black, and the whites are white. I didn’t have an orange or red filter with me, so some pictures were not what I would have liked to see; still, the detail and beauty of the film is seen here (and the Perkeo is no slouch, either). Sadly, Neopan in this form is no longer made – the C-41 form – although Acros is available.
I’ve been on quite a roll using my older cameras. This is one of maybe 2 or 3 images (out of 8 possible on a roll) taken with my only 6×9 camera, the classic Voigtlander Bessa RF from the 1930s. This my first experience with Fuji Pro 400H 120mm film. My scans were not the best, but worse was the amount of crud on the film. Processor or me?
Overall, pleased with both film and camera, especially how dark the trail was from being underneath so many trees, the fact that it was early morning, and that I had to handhold the camera – no tripod! – to get what I wanted. Oh, I guessed at all the exposures too!
About a week ago I took delivery of an Agfa Isolette III, refurbished and CLA’d. It came with me to Colorado, and film went through the x-ray machine a few times. I didn’t take a lot of pictures with it, but did do two rolls, one of Portra 400, and one Ektar 100. Altogether, the pictures were ok, but part of it is simply learning how to use a new camera. A few I really liked – this is not one of them – but I did like the leaves on the water and the colors which resulted. Next time, I will drop the iso 20-30% for greater saturation with negative film.