Over the next few weeks, expect more pictures of the local scenery. When I went out, at last able to do more than a hobble because of my foot, I went up to the botanical garden. With the seasonal changes come color changes, even here in Southern California. The local garden is always changing, and autumn and spring are the seasons with the most changes.
On this trip, I was determined to finish up a couple of rolls of film – the Olympus Trip 35 had Fuji Superia 400 in it, and the Agfa Ambi Silette, loaded in 2019, still had a lot of Kodak UltraMax 400 to be used up. The Agfa, too, had never been tested – it was one of those vintage cameras that intrigued me, so, being me, I bought it. The Trip 35 and the Agfa are small, but compared to the Trip 35, the Agfa is a tiny tank. A nice tank, but still a tank. It has no lugs, either, so I had to use a wrist strap that screws into the tripod mount. Awkward, but it works.
I always play with my photos, digital or analog, in Lightroom. Post processing is part of the way I see photos – like pictures and paintings – I want them to show what I want them to show, not what is straight out of the camera. One of my friends says this is cheating . . . ah, well. It’s autumn and time to show those colors and textures!
I busted a toe about 5 weeks ago and am finally able to wear more than a piece of tape around my 3rd and 4th toes and tight shoes. I have been hobbling around and taking, slowly and surely, short walks. I think I am out of the woods for the most part, and last week I was able to walk, very carefully, along the trails at the botanical garden. These wheel barrows reside behind their maintenance building, and I rather liked their colors and lines, so neatly stacked upon each other.
I took these with my Olympus Trip 35 and Fuji Superia 400 film. I picked up the film today and scanned and edited in post. The little Trip 35 does a great job for a camera ca. 1967. Some of the roll didn’t advance right, but when it did work, it did a pretty darned good job.
I save a lot of money on film since I don’t process it myself by scanning my own images in either my vintage Pakon 135 scanner, Epson V600, or Pacific Image scanners. Here I used the Pakon and my old eMachine XP laptop. It’s a pretty easy process. Once scanned, into Lightroom, and the rest, as they say, is history. There is something about film, even when edited in the digital darkroom, that a totally digital experience cannot replace – not even those great Fuji films mods in the X100V.
Besides acquiring a bit of old glass, I have also, as said before, been wandering through my digital archives. Here, a photo taken in March 2017 using the Retina IIIc with the Xenon 50mm f2 lens and Agfa Vista 200. Some images I desaturated to B&W because I thought they looked better that way. Digitalizing film can be quite a good thing!
When I first used this camera, I found it rather trying. It has an EV metering system which made absolutely no sense to me, even after reading the manual. Yes, I do RTFM! However, YouTube came to the rescue once again, and there are several good videos about the Kodak Retinas from the 1950s. Many consider these to be some of the finest Kodak cameras ever produced. I won’t disagree. Nearly every American in my age group has used Kodak cameras, and many were rather cheap and produced rather poor pictures. But, for a kid, they were just perfect!
This camera came to me about 4-5 years ago from Chris Sherlock at Retina Rescue, across the sea in Australia. He’s great. You can find his videos on YouTube. Playing with it again, and having more experience with older cameras. I really appreciate this camera far more than I did before. I think I am going to throw some film in the camera and see what this puppy can do yet again.
Yesterday, after waiting about 3 weeks for the local lab to return to me, I got my first roll of Fuji Velvia 100 film back. Velvia is a slide film and requires specific chemicals known as E-6 to be processed. I was asked if I wanted it cross-processed, but I said nay. The reason for slide film is . . . because it is slide film (though I do plan to try it with Agfa’s slide film).
I ended up scanning the images on my Epson V600 scanner, at 48 bit and 2400 dpi resolution. I don’t know if the scans or the film were dirty, but I had a lot of clean-up to do.
There are more pictures ahead, some panos as well, and so far, I like the colors, though they may be a bit off – dunno!
Technical specs: Nikon F100, Nikon 24-85mm f2.8-4 D, post in OnOne 10 and LR 6.
Today is the very, very first day that On1 Photo Raw is available for usage. I think the original idea was to have a product ready to roll in October 2016, but rather than have a “finished” product full of bugs, they realized they had more on their plate, and held off until today, November 23. I’m glad they did – and I am glad, too, that they realize that this really is a “work in progress” as it stands.
Personally, I love On1, and have been using them since version 8, which was a while back. I use it with Lightroom. What makes On1 great as a company is their support, ongoing consistent development, tutorials, and so on. On1 products are sophisticated, and while they do not rival Adobe Photoshop for complexity, On1 products are far easier to use. I prefer their brushes, spot and blemish removal tools, as well as the fact I can create presets which I can store. At this point, the presets from On1 Photo Suite 10 cannot be used in On1 Photo Raw, but I expect they will have the ability to port them later on. The one-up that Photoshop has is its “content-aware” fill.
The image above, Waiting for Lovers, was edited using On1 Photo Raw. It is a film image using Kodak Ektar 100 in a 1930s Welta Weltur rangefinder. The lens is an uncoated Xenar – probably about 75mm – which has an ethereal quality to it that I really love. Scanning the image with my rather dirty Epson V600 (I have since cleaned it), I ended up with a blue streak across the entire image. On1 took it out quite nicely. Spots and threads were also easy to remove. I think On1 did something to their processing algorithm (or whatever), as the spot removal works very quickly.
This image is a pano stitched together in LR, and consists of two images taken with the Olympus XA4 and Lomography 100 film. The only thing I did was perk it up a bit with some detail, in LR and in Photo Raw. It is nearly identical to the SOOC image.
Finally, the above image was really pushed in On1 Photo Raw. Spot removal, brush usage, presets, whatever. This was an overall high-key, pale image, but I set it up to be contrasty and bright – possibly too much so – but wanted see what I could do. This was also taken with the XA4 and Lomo 100 film. Both of these two images were scanned using a Pakon 135 scanner.
There is so much software out there for photographers, that competitors to Photoshop seem to come and go. My favorite and most consistent programs are Lightroom and On1. I also use DxO v. 11, and while it is good for some things, it lacks the diversity of On1. Capture One is good, too, but it makes me crazy as it does not make sense to me at times . . . but I admit, I have not put in time to using it as it has a higher learning curve, and is not, for me, very intuitive. So, two thumbs up to On1 for its Photo Raw software – I think it will prove to be a real winner as they continue to develop it.
I live in the middle of suburbia, where scenes such as this do not exist. Good? Bad? Who knows . . . the myriad and mixture of people and activities is so much fun to watch, I could sit here all day, sipping coffee and sneaking a pic or two.
If you have ever experienced the scudding light – bright, shadow, dark, bright – as clouds race before the wind, you know what I mean. Suddenly one patch is brilliant against the ominous dark, then vanishes before your eyes.
This was taken with an Olympus XA4, a very small rangefinder from the 80s. The XA4, from 1985, sports a five element Zuiko 28mm f3.5 lens focusing to 0.3m (12 inches), with the help of corded measuring devices for macro work. The cords attach to the camera and extend for measurement. I acquired on which was new old stock, and it’s quite a fun little 35mm camera. It is also – I swear – the last film camera I plan to buy (for awhile)!
I had the film developed at a local lab, and scanned it myself with my Pakon 135.
Out of all the pictures I made with the Trip 35 and the first roll of film, this one pleased me the most. I really like the ship in the background – didn’t even see it when I clicked. The Santa Barbara Channel is a main shipping channel and route for migratory whales.