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Author Topic: Your nostalgia list?  (Read 10103 times)
BernardLanguillier
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« on: June 25, 2008, 03:33:32 AM »
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1984: Praktika (a)
1988: Nikon f601m (f)
1997: Nikon F801s (a)
1999: Nikon F100 (a)
2001: Nikon F301 (a)
2002: Nikon D100 (f)
2003: Kodak SLR/n (s)
2004: Ebony 45SU (a)

(a) meaning available, I still have the camera, (f) means that a friend of mine still owns it.

So amazingly, leaving aside a few compacts not worth mentioning, and the SLR/n I still own or can get reasonnably easy access to all the cameras I have ever owned in some 24 years.

Cheers,
Bernard
« Last Edit: June 25, 2008, 05:36:38 PM by BernardLanguillier » Logged

A few images online here!
David Sutton
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« Reply #1 on: June 25, 2008, 05:26:38 AM »
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Oh dear, now I feel dated.
My first camera.. an Eastman Kodak folding bellows: the sort you open the front and the lens with its attached viewfinder slid out on rails.
I have never forgotten the smell and texture of the leather and wood. I found a few still discernible 3 1/2 x 5 1/2 negatives from it the other day. Images of places now as forgotten as a roll of film with its orange backing paper.
Time to go away and sigh.
David
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Rob C
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« Reply #2 on: June 25, 2008, 05:52:09 AM »
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An interesting topic, but perhaps only for us gentlemen with the distinguished tonsorial colours around our ears - personal grey scales, as it were.

I know for a fact that my interest in photography was brought into being by two factors: my attraction for the shape/design/symbolism of cameras such as Leicas and Canons that I would see advertised in the pages of American magazines during the late 40s and early 50s; the enthusiasm of my mother who had lots of books on art around the house and who would also take me to galleries when the chance presented itself.

There was an intrinsic beauty in those pre-M Leica designs that simply made me want to have one. I didnīt know squat about apertures, shutter speeds etc. only that the jewels looked so lovely. I knew somebody who had a Rolleiflex of some sort and an aunt had a Rolleicord which she allowed me to borrow for a while, long enough to convince me that a groundglass was the way to go.

The very first camera I had as my own was a Brownie Reflex TLR though a relic from an earlier age - a black Kodak box which could be turned on its side to make either v or h format images was around for a long time. Next, but first in adjustable cameras, came the Voigtlander Vito B, with 2.8/50 Color Skopar, I think. I did buy a rangefinder for it, but perhaps that was just an exercise in daftnes - zone focussing would have made more sense. But you do have to learn by experience. That camera, the Vito B, was funded by my girlfriend who became my wife - guess gratitude manifests itself in strange ways! Anyhow, I did pay her back via my pocket money...

As far as real cameras go, the first in line was an Exakta Varex IIa which I bought after much scanning of the pages of Popular Photography Annuals - it seemed to be the top dog of its day. That was followed by version 11b - God knows why - no difference I can remember today - and the lens arsenal was a 2.8/50 Tessar, a 3.5 or 4/135 Schneider Tele-Xenar and a Flektogon(?) wide which sucked. The Schneider was very pleasing. At the same time I bought a second-hand Rollei T with yet another Tessar, 3.5/75mm, which was a bit soft but worked well enough. Those two brands, Ekakta and Rollei, powered me into professional life on my own.

The shortcomings of a 75mm lens for portraiture were always apparent, but lack of money is a great creator of patience and argument for not doing really close shots. I eventually bough a Mamiya C Something with a 180 lens to fill that need.

Then came the day when I could get my first Nikon F and Hasselblad 500C! Well, not both on the same day, but probably in the same year, then, if you want to argue the point. Both Rollei and Mamiya became memories at that point.

But, the problems with hand-holding a Hasselblad soon made me realise that single-lens reflex cameras above 35mm create as many problems as they solve! Mainly, we are talking about vibration. However, to the list you have to add the fact that long lenses do need pretty fast shutter speeds if you are trying to stop human action, even when itīs standing still, posing for you. Nonetheless, to the 500C I added a 500CM. (However, the departed 180mm Mamiya optic was more pleasing for what it did than was the 150mm Sonnar for which it had been early substitute.)

Around this time, early male menopause began to rear its ugly head: I started to listen to advice from stock agents. So, off went the two Swedish squares to be replaced by a single Japanese rectangle, the Bronica 6x7 version, in fact. What a load of crap!

Reduced to a jelly of indecision, I thought that the way forward from the mess would be to invest the Bronica into more Nikon stuff, which I did, ending up with, apart from the original F, an F2 Photomic which had come into the group some time along the way as well as a Nikon FM for its 125th synch. (When the FM2 came along with 250th sec synch I got rid of the FM.) An F4s also entered my life sometime abut then.

Stock was still not making me a millionaire, despite the fact that I was with Tony Stone Worldwide (now Getty), and in yet another menopausal moment of truth I parted company with perhaps the best agency in the world and flirted with another, which had always advocated 6x7 (again - I should have known better from experience) so the obvious thing to do was to get rid of all the 35mm and buy one of the new Pentax 6x7 cameras, which I did, with 55mm and 200mm lenses. Clearly, this took me nowhere, as digital was already striking fear and loathing into both suppliers and stock outlets. Oh yes it was - millions of transparencies were never going to be replaced or/and scanned without the expenditure of real mega-bucks all round. And nobody likes money to flow in that direction.

Having decided that stock was costing me more than it was earning, I bit the bullet as well as all the fingers on my hands and sold the Pentax.

Some work was still around - should I want it - doing stuff for travel brochures, so I thought why not? I now found myself in the enviable position of being cameraless, so with all the world to choose from, I discovered that the Nikon F3 was still being produced, despite Nikonīs best efforts to hide that fact by not advertising the thing. And thatīs what I bought. Along with a 2.8/24mm which covered 99% of what the brochure market needed. I have to say, I did miss my 35mm shift a little bit, but it was too long; the 28mm shift wasnīt much wider, so the 24mm compromise seemed better. I just couldnīt make myself go Canon. It was an aesthetics thing: I detest the shape of those EOS creations: melted Mars Bars, I always think.

By this time, after many years in the battle, I came to the conclusion that being an amateur was perhaps the better option. Well, that was an idea that was helped along by a first heart attack, something which made me aware of Helmut Newtonīs decision after his: from this moment on, I only do what I WANT to do. Photographically speaking.

The F3 is still around, the 24mm having to share its box with a 50mm and 135mm. Oh, as well as a D200 which has come to replace the F3 as the thing that gets the use. Anybody coming to Mallorca is free to purchase, at a good price, out-of-date film still filling a freezer. Never throw away what you might someday be able to sell!

Would I buy back any of those old cameras?

No, not even the īblads. The memories of the jobs, the locations, the good times as well as the not so hot are in the head, not in the cameras. Would I even be a professional photographer again? I donīt really know: nothing I have done with digital has ever replaced the purely tactile experience of the old days and the old ways. I can fully understand why some younger photographers are turning to film and all it represents. But not only has the photographic world that I joined all those years ago changed beyond recognition, so have the tools. Somehow, it all lacks soul now.

Neither did I ever get to own one of those Leicas that had stirred my mind in the beginning.

Rob C

Edit: Hey Soos! - where did my morning go?
« Last Edit: June 25, 2008, 07:51:44 AM by Rob C » Logged

Petrjay
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« Reply #3 on: June 25, 2008, 09:55:35 AM »
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The first camera I remember using was a folding Agfa that my father liberated from the Nazis. It took 120 film as I recall. The first camera I had clear title to was a Kodak Roy Rogers 620 box camera that jolly old Saint Nick brought me in the late 1950s. They were both stolen a while back, though God knows why. (I suspect a heroin-addicted relative) My first 35mm camera was a Yashica Lynx rangefinder that I bought in 1969. I wound up selling it a couple of years later to help pay for my first SLR, a Minolta SRT-101, which in turn was sold to help pay for a Pentax 6X7. I rarely form attachments to objects, but I've often regretted parting with the Yashica; it was a great walking-around camera and I made some nice images with it, especially considering my skill level at the time. The only dinosaurs we still have kicking around the house are a Nikkormat SLR (circa 1974) and my trusty old 6X7. (26 years of solid service) I doubt that either would be considered collectible, but they do look nice on the shelf, which is where they're probably destined to remain. I hadn't really thought much about it before, but I haven't owned a lot of cameras, considering the number of years I've been shooting. I just never had a reason to replace the 6X7 until I saw what the 5D could do.

Peter J
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Rob C
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« Reply #4 on: June 25, 2008, 11:21:19 AM »
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Peter

Glad you had luck with your Pentax 6x7. The first tentative shots I did with one were at a camera fair in Scotland when the local dealer who was a Leica, Nikon and Hass outlet (but thatīs another tale) allowed me to try one out on the balcony of the building where the show was being held. A strange, shaky tripod and no previous experience with the camera led to no conclusive proof in any direction other than the futility of such "tests" and I kept my money in the bank. In fact, I have seen published shots from well-respected fashion pros such as Sante DīOrazio and even Mario Testino where crispness is missing because of movement that I donīt see as intentional in any way. (Both, of course, used Pentax 6x7.)

However, being a strange beast, I found that to be no stopper on my own ultimate purchase of one of the last models. My problem was, that huge Gitzo notwithstanding, even using MU, the shutter bounce was enough to kill fine detail along the edges. I understand perfectly well about lens performance falling off as you quit the sweet centre, but this was different: on shots of boats in harbour, for example, the masts at the extreme right of the frame - never the left - would usually show up as blurred or even look like double exposure. I think that this can only be due to shutter bounce when the curtain closes (or is it when it opens?). It might even have been opening up a little again to allow further exposure of that edge, or, on the other hand, stuttering before opening properly. That said, it was one of the few cameras that felt just right from the first time I held it. Pity it didnīt work out like that. For me, I hasten to add - many people use them with success.

Hasselblad also felt beautiful and I liked the way there was no need to turn the thing sideways for anything. However, there were incidents with the 500C locking up and also repeated problems with the delayed action shutter device on the 50mm failng to work, resulting in expensive repairs back at the ranch somewhere.

I think, in retrospect, that for my own later style of shooting, I would have been  better off with one of the focal plane shutter models, but when I bought into the line, it was at a time when studio flash was very important to me.

The Nikon F also felt instinctively nice, but I was already familiar with it from my last employment before going solo, something which played heavily on my mind as I still had to use the Exakta when I left, but which made ultimate purchase one without doubts!

Will anyone ever love a digital camera in quite the same way, I wonder?

Rob C
« Last Edit: June 25, 2008, 11:25:05 AM by Rob C » Logged

Petrjay
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« Reply #5 on: June 25, 2008, 02:03:38 PM »
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Rob, one positive thing about the 6X7 was that it forced me to learn how to hold a heavy camera steady. I recently read an "expert's" declaration that the 6X7 is impossible to use hand-held. Good thing the "expert" wasn't around back in 1981 or I might have paid attention. On the negative side, hauling that six-pound monstrosity around most of North America and half of Europe for all those years has left me with a bit of a permanent slouch, or at least that's my side of the story. I found it to be a fine street camera, at least with Tri-X or Tmax 400, though once the shutter goes off, the element of surprise is gone. If I hadn't lost my darkroom in a flood, I'd probably still be using it. Gotta admit though that the results I'm getting with the 5D are at least as good as what I got with the 6X7, and it's a relief not to have every living creature within a half-mile flee for its life every time the shutter goes off.

Peter J
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Rob C
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« Reply #6 on: June 25, 2008, 02:22:08 PM »
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Rob, one positive thing about the 6X7 was that it forced me to learn how to hold a heavy camera steady. I recently read an "expert's" declaration that the 6X7 is impossible to use hand-held. Good thing the "expert" wasn't around back in 1981 or I might have paid attention. On the negative side, hauling that six-pound monstrosity around most of North America and half of Europe for all those years has left me with a bit of a permanent slouch, or at least that's my side of the story. I found it to be a fine street camera, at least with Tri-X or Tmax 400, though once the shutter goes off, the element of surprise is gone. If I hadn't lost my darkroom in a flood, I'd probably still be using it. Gotta admit though that the results I'm getting with the 5D are at least as good as what I got with the 6X7, and it's a relief not to have every living creature within a half-mile flee for its life every time the shutter goes off.

Peter J
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Funny thing, photographerīs slouch: I think it is a very real phenomenon and comes not just from carrying camera cases for long walks but also from the uncomfortable heights at which tripods seem to get set. For fashion, it was either almost sitting on the floor with camera at knee-height, or head-shots with the thing at about five feet up. Neither of these positions comes narturally to man and I honestly believe that it has an effect on people. Today, the computer is just as bad.

Rob C
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juicy
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« Reply #7 on: June 25, 2008, 03:03:07 PM »
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Funny thing, photographerīs slouch: I think it is a very real phenomenon and comes not just from carrying camera cases for long walks but also from the uncomfortable heights at which tripods seem to get set. For fashion, it was either almost sitting on the floor with camera at knee-height, or head-shots with the thing at about five feet up. Neither of these positions comes narturally to man and I honestly believe that it has an effect on people. Today, the computer is just as bad.

Rob C
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Hi!
I guess the laptop computer is the worst ergonomic invention since the invention of word "ergonomic".

Anyway, my list of nostalgia is very short:
- Canonet rangefinder ca 1981
- Canon A-1 ca 1984
- Canon Ftb (second hand) years later when I got fed up of being dependent on batteries when hiking in winter.

All of the above cameras still see occasional use, maybe 2 rolls a year/body. 28mm and 135mm lenses have done probably 85% of my film SLR images, 200 and 300 shared the rest.

Cheers,
J
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KeithR
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« Reply #8 on: June 25, 2008, 04:42:13 PM »
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I vaguely remember my mother having a Kodak Hawkeye(remember the cartridges?) that I constantly used when I was in junior high. While in high school, I received a Polaroid Swinger. The interest in that lasted for a couple of packs of film. In my first year of college, I bought a Minolta SRT 101, and the spiral started. After a while I longed for a Nikon but they cost a fortune. I added the Minolta XK because they said a motor drive was forth coming. They didn't, but in the interim, I bought and or traded to try out a variety of lenses, film and accessories. Then one of the salesman at one particular camera store(that I ended up working at for a time) decided to sell his Nikon F2. I bought it and still have it today. I only wish I had kept the lens. A 58mm f1.2 Noct. What a hunk of glass! I have used Nikon ever since(still do), but flirted with a YashicaMat, a Mamiya 645 and a Pentax 6x7 that I got as payment for a graphics project. At the time, I was trying to decide if I should move up to a larger format until I went to an exhibit at the Mpls Institute of Art of Pete Turner's work. He was there and I got to talk with him for a while. After seeing what could be done with 35mm I sold the 6x7 to buy my first motor drive(I shoot in the NFL).
Since then I've upgraded equipment so many times(you have to to keep up shooting sports) that I find it hard to stay to attached to anything in particular. I really enjoy the digital of today and feel invigorated by the technology. But I still have that first F2 and every once in awhile, I take it out every once in a while, cock and trip the shutter just to hear that solid Nikon "click".
« Last Edit: June 25, 2008, 04:43:05 PM by KeithR » Logged

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peteh
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« Reply #9 on: June 25, 2008, 08:53:11 PM »
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I vaguely remember my mother having a Kodak Hawkeye(remember the cartridges?) that I constantly used when I was in junior high. While in high school, I received a Polaroid Swinger. The interest in that lasted for a couple of packs of film. In my first year of college, I bought a Minolta SRT 101, and the spiral started. After a while I longed for a Nikon but they cost a fortune. I added the Minolta XK because they said a motor drive was forth coming. They didn't, but in the interim, I bought and or traded to try out a variety of lenses, film and accessories. Then one of the salesman at one particular camera store(that I ended up working at for a time) decided to sell his Nikon F2. I bought it and still have it today. I only wish I had kept the lens. A 58mm f1.2 Noct. What a hunk of glass! I have used Nikon ever since(still do), but flirted with a YashicaMat, a Mamiya 645 and a Pentax 6x7 that I got as payment for a graphics project. At the time, I was trying to decide if I should move up to a larger format until I went to an exhibit at the Mpls Institute of Art of Pete Turner's work. He was there and I got to talk with him for a while. After seeing what could be done with 35mm I sold the 6x7 to buy my first motor drive(I shoot in the NFL).
Since then I've upgraded equipment so many times(you have to to keep up shooting sports) that I find it hard to stay to attached to anything in particular. I really enjoy the digital of today and feel invigorated by the technology. But I still have that first F2 and every once in awhile, I take it out every once in a while, cock and trip the shutter just to hear that solid Nikon "click".
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=203679\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
1943 Leica 3f with 50 mm F2 sumiccron/I think, and RB-67 Pro-s and Nikon FM.
The Leica was my first camera,only liked Kodak film, the lightmeter that hooked up to the hotshoe, just to hold it was dead way before I got it, from my Father.It taught me to read light by guessing.The Nikon was my first camera with a zoom  lens  a  lightmeter  44-86 3.5 I still have them! I loved that Leica.Might break it out sometime next week.And I still remember the F 16 rule!
F8 and be there!
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Eric Myrvaagnes
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« Reply #10 on: June 25, 2008, 10:18:05 PM »
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Ah, the good ol' days!

1.   A Zeiss Ikon "Baby Ikonta" roll film camera that took 16 shots on a roll of 127 film. My brother bought it in a pawn shop.

2.   My first 35mm: a Kodak Retina 3C..

3.   First "big" camera: a (much-)used Speed Graphic.

4.   My first SLR was an early Pentax. I can't remember themodel names back then. I used at least a half dozen different pentaxes for many years.

5.   My first view camera: A brand new Calumet 4x5 which cost all of $89US new. The 150mm Schneider Symmar lens cost more, at $150.

6.   At some point I acquired a nifty 175mm f/2.5 Aero Ektar lens, which I never really made use of.

7.   I got a highly-used 8x10" view camera that had no identifying maker's logo on it. I used it off and on for a number of years, but got few keepers, brecause when the light was right and the scene was worth photographing, I usually had only the latest Pentax in my hand, while the view cameras were in the trunk of the car a couple of miles away.

8.   For a while I had a nice Zone VI 4x5" view camera, which got quite a bit of use.

9.   Once I got tired of lugging heavy stuff around, I sold the view cameras and got a Pentax 67II plus a bunch of lenses. Worked nice, but needed the tripod, so it ended up not much lighter than the 4x5 view camera kit.

10.   Got my first digital, a Canon 10D, in anticipation of a trip to the Canadian Rockies. I didn't want to trust film to the baggage zappers.

11.   Once I found that my 10D delivered as good images as my Pentax 6x7, I sold the Pentax.

12.   Once I got tired of looking down a long tunnel in the 10D's optical finder, I sold it and got me a 5D.

I do wish I still had a few of the early ones, just to bring back memories.

-Eric
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Rob C
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« Reply #11 on: June 26, 2008, 07:16:23 AM »
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At the time, I was trying to decide if I should move up to a larger format until I went to an exhibit at the Mpls Institute of Art of Pete Turner's work. He was there and I got to talk with him for a while. After seeing what could be done with 35mm I sold the 6x7 to buy my first motor drive(I shoot in the NFL).


Keith

And thereby hangs the truth: itīs the man and not the machine. However, itīs a funny coincidence that most of the "men" seem to have adopted the same format, either in rf or slr 35mm.

I have no doubt that you were moved by Turner, just as I was by Art Kane, Sarah Moon, Francis Giacobetti, Ernst Hass, Hans Feurer, HC-B and a zillion others who used the format for a major part of their oeuvre if not exclusively.

I think that all of these people had the options of using anything they wanted to use, but it was the simple fact that a small camera comes closest to being an extension of the eye, to borrow a somewhat hackneyed phrase, that led them to making their reputations in the manner that they did. Of course the format isnīt the answer to everything, but then, nothing is: horses for courses. But, in the sense that the images that excite, that remain in the mind and inspire come from these people, says all there is to say.

It reflects my own situation, except that the added factor of digital has changed the balance of the equation somewhat. As, of course, has retirement, when money becomes something that isnīt as easily replaced or even written off. A D200 isnīt bad, but the cropped format still annoys me because it breaks with my experience of what focal lengths should deliver. Yet, though I still have an F3 and a 35mm film scanner, I have to accept that the D200 handles files better than I can scan film. Also, as with everything, the fewer the intermediate steps the better all round.

Rob C
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« Reply #12 on: June 26, 2008, 09:17:08 PM »
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I bought a Minolta 16 from an Army PX in 1967 for $15 u.s.  Made somewhat like a Minox, but larger film.  Lens quality not good, otherwise could have been a keeper.  I've scanned and enhanced many photos from that camera.  Next was a Rollei 35 (original Japan model) and a Minox IIIs with flash socket.  The Rollei took excellent photos, but the Minox generally did not.  The Minox lens was outstanding, which you would note only if you used 25 ISO line film and developed "soft".  Next was a Leica M4-2, traded later for an R3 Safari (big mistake - I can't stand SLR's).  Gave the R3 away and bought an M6.  The M6 was fairly nice, but the black finish covering looked shoddy after some use.  Between 1985 when I got the M6 and 1998 when I got a digital camera, I shot at most 10 rolls of film.  Doing B&W at home was worthwhile I thought, but color needed digital to become useful for me.  I really like my collection of B&W's on the computer (via scanning), in many cases better than any color equivalents, but I lack the nerve to give up color shooting, even for awhile, to dedicate some time to B&W again.  I have the set of discs from Lenswork, and if there were a community of B&W shooters out there (for moral support), I might just take up B&W exclusively for a period of time, to see whether it still works.
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Peter McLennan
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« Reply #13 on: June 26, 2008, 10:17:38 PM »
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Early sixties Pentax Spotmatic.  The first SLR with through the lens metering.  My first real camera.

Pentax 6X7.  Twenty years of faithful service on five continents.  Best aerial camera ever. RIP, pal.
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Rob C
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« Reply #14 on: June 27, 2008, 04:30:37 AM »
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I bought a Minolta 16 from an Army PX in 1967 for $15 u.s.  Made somewhat like a Minox, but larger film.  Lens quality not good, otherwise could have been a keeper.  I've scanned and enhanced many photos from that camera.  Next was a Rollei 35 (original Japan model) and a Minox IIIs with flash socket.  The Rollei took excellent photos, but the Minox generally did not.  The Minox lens was outstanding, which you would note only if you used 25 ISO line film and developed "soft".  Next was a Leica M4-2, traded later for an R3 Safari (big mistake - I can't stand SLR's).  Gave the R3 away and bought an M6.  The M6 was fairly nice, but the black finish covering looked shoddy after some use.  Between 1985 when I got the M6 and 1998 when I got a digital camera, I shot at most 10 rolls of film.  Doing B&W at home was worthwhile I thought, but color needed digital to become useful for me.  I really like my collection of B&W's on the computer (via scanning), in many cases better than any color equivalents, but I lack the nerve to give up color shooting, even for awhile, to dedicate some time to B&W again.  I have the set of discs from Lenswork, and if there were a community of B&W shooters out there (for moral support), I might just take up B&W exclusively for a period of time, to see whether it still works.
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Dale, donīt give up b/w but do save yourself the bother of using b/w film; use transparency material.

I say this for two reasons: you would have to scan anyway, should you be using b/w film; editing is almost instant on a lightbox if you are looking at transparencies.

Going from scan to b/w via Channel Mixer has always worked for me (so far) and even pictures shot with a 500 mirror lens on a two-legged tripod (third leg destroyed courtesy BA on a trip to Bahams in ī79) resulted in more information being available via home scanning on a CanonScan FS4000US, all these years later, than I had imagined that less-than-perfect lens could produce. Possibly part of the reason is that the original was on Kodachrome 64 Pro - I have no idea if Kodachrome is still running a very limited processing service in Switzerland or not. The entire film plus processing packages of today are a different matter when viewed from a non-pro situation and you have to foot your own bills, so though still keeping a film camera, itīs the D200 that gets any use...

You donīt need a therapy group to make b/w prints, just the right combination of printer and paper. In fact, the problem is no longer one of chasing quality, it is the far worse one of chasing worthwhile subjects!

Rob C
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« Reply #15 on: June 28, 2008, 04:48:27 AM »
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My dad's Zeiss Ikon Contessa that he had bought to take my baby photos! I still have it.

Nikon F2 Photomic

Canon New F-1 (the '81 model)

Canon T-90

Mamiya RB67 II

Canon 1Ds MkIII
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Rob C
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« Reply #16 on: June 28, 2008, 09:25:29 AM »
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My dad's Zeiss Ikon Contessa that he had bought to take my baby photos! I still have it.

Nikon F2 Photomic

Canon New F-1 (the '81 model)

Canon T-90

Mamiya RB67 II

Canon 1Ds MkIII
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Just curious: asssuming you have listed them in chronological order of ownership, may I ask what turned you from the F2 Photomic to Canon?

I had the same camera alongside an F and the only thing better (to me) about the F2 was the slightly more rounded edges which made long shoots more comfortable.

Rob C
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dalethorn
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« Reply #17 on: June 29, 2008, 09:17:34 AM »
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Dale, donīt give up b/w but do save yourself the bother of using b/w film; use transparency material...............You donīt need a therapy group to make b/w prints, just the right combination of printer and paper...............Rob C
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I remember my first scans - mid 1980's - very crude then.  Well, when I get around to a B&W project, I'll just do 'em digitally from the get-go.  In any case, my ponderings have made me re-think the B&W days (for me anyway) and how I was already addressing so many issues like background, perspective, DOF, contrast (film and paper), enlarger diffusion, ....the list goes on and on.  And these issues are getting crowded into a corner with digital color, given all of its issues (where to begin?)  I don't know if I could get a page in Lenswork, but then, if the work is unique enough, that's a possibility.  I always wondered what were the key elements of "artistic" achievement that people have described in their B&W work, setting it apart from color imagery, aside from the obvious differences in tonality - I think I'm seeing one major difference, and it's not so much what B&W adds - it's getting all those other non-artistic issues out of the way of the creative process.  If this sounds like rubbish, I'd suggest to folks to take a deep breath or two and keep reading....
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Rob C
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« Reply #18 on: June 29, 2008, 03:09:26 PM »
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I remember my first scans - mid 1980's - very crude then.  Well, when I get around to a B&W project, I'll just do 'em digitally from the get-go.  In any case, my ponderings have made me re-think the B&W days (for me anyway) and how I was already addressing so many issues like background, perspective, DOF, contrast (film and paper), enlarger diffusion, ....the list goes on and on.  And these issues are getting crowded into a corner with digital color, given all of its issues (where to begin?)  I don't know if I could get a page in Lenswork, but then, if the work is unique enough, that's a possibility.  I always wondered what were the key elements of "artistic" achievement that people have described in their B&W work, setting it apart from color imagery, aside from the obvious differences in tonality - I think I'm seeing one major difference, and it's not so much what B&W adds - it's getting all those other non-artistic issues out of the way of the creative process.  If this sounds like rubbish, I'd suggest to folks to take a deep breath or two and keep reading....
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Itīs not an easy thing to define the artistic achievements that people claim for their work in b/w. Partly, I think it has to do with age: folks of a certain age - say those photographically active at least in the late 50s - treated b/w as the normal way things were done on paper. Colour printing came into the world of the amateur a little later on, generally, because in Europe, at least, it was prohibitively expensive and thus beyond the reach of most not doing it commercially. Even then, things were far from rosy - I was doing it commercially in the early 60s in the sense that I colour printed in the photo unit of a large industrial company. It was not an easy thing to do - the main problem being temperature control and maintaining chemical balances just so.

As a result, us old-timers took b/w very much for granted and being a great printer wasnīt such a big deal; rather, if you didnīt print well, you might easily find yourself out in the street. Therefore, by contrast with later photographers who might have joined the game when colour printing was already the norm, b/w perhaps held - still holds - a sense of mystery. So getting something right might be thought of as a fantastic achievement, part of the artistic idea that the genre now carries. It certainly didnīt carry much clout those years ago - you just took it for granted, as I said.

So, after a hell of a long asociation with black/white prints out of a dish, and now some experience of the things via a computer, what do I think constitutes artistic black and white?

There are two main sites where I find an answer:

[a href=\"http://www.waclawwantuch.com]http://www.waclawwantuch.com[/url]

and

http://www.chipforelli.com

The former for figure work and the latter for landscape and industrial.

In the case of Mr Wantuch, itīs very much a matter of what he does not reveal; in the case of Mr Forelli, itīs in the way he makes everything look so deceptively simple, straighforward and normal. But the balance in design and tonality just makes me want to bang my head against the wall, perhaps why I spend so much time doing just that... no offence, anyone, really.

I canīt even say itīs got a lot to do with new genres - there probably are none left to discover, other than the perverse which I shall sidestep; I think what these two have is an ability to do a common genre but mainly do it better than almost anybody else can do it. Thatīs the secret, I think, that lifts them from the mundane to the artistic.

As far as landscapes go, there are other photographers doing great b/w too, but I have a feeling that their differences boil down to heavy PS work and not really to vision, the vision you need just before you trip the shutter. Remember the context here - b/w photography, not colour.

And no, not rubbish at all, but the underlying reason why some pics work and others just donīt.

Rob C
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blansky
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« Reply #19 on: June 30, 2008, 10:44:52 AM »
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Hasselblad CM and ELM bought new in 1976.

Used them professionally for 32 years and retired them a few months ago.

Unbelievably great cameras in every respect.

Now use 5D and 1DSMK3.



Michael
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