Here’s the first contact sheet from my Fuji GW690III. I used Kodak Tmax 100 film to test out the camera in various settings and lighting. Firstly, I’m quite happy with the results, all of which were metered with my iPhone (Pocket Light Meter app). They are sharp and contrasty as expected. Secondly, I really just can’t wait to put some proper film though (Velvia!). As for the camera, here’s my thoughts. The 90mm is a good focal length though I keep looking at the 65mm option. I wouldn’t shoot below f8 or 1/60s hand held. Yes there’s a lot of plastic but this is forgiven by technical image quality. The ‘T’ mode is not forgiven as you need to touch the camera to close the shutter. This renders anything in the 1-10s range as risky and not worth it. Fortunately most of my sunset shots are 20-30s minimum to blur the water just right. The bubble level is useful. Film loading is very easy. The only saving grace of the built in hood is the ability to fit a 67-77mm step up ring inside (must have a 67mm filter on first though). Shutter sound is not that bad either, especially as you know what your light table will soon look like. That’s about it for now, stay tuned to see what I can do with a roll of Fujifilm Velvia 50 and this beast over the holidays.
“Most worryingly, the societal obsession with recording everything and posting it to some sort of social media has meant that people don’t really experience life anymore; they watch it on their LCDs. (…) And that’s a shame, really, because life isn’t about making a selife out of it—there’s no future value to these images, because they’re not observations so much as narcissistic pleas for help. The last thing the world needs is more low–quality visual diarrhoea.” – Ming Thein
Real estate is king and I have long wanted one of these Fujifilm 6×9 cameras. They are the largest and most portable ‘normal’ format when it comes to 120 film (612/617 is the next step). The 6×9 negative is double what I am used to with the Pentax 645NII and will give 8 beautiful frames per roll. They have no light meter and are thus completely manual. The GW690III is certainly a little plastic in its feel (the lens is not) but this is just the coverings. From this it’s quite easy to see why many second hand ones are not pretty. The lens hood is often a subject of much debate. Personally it’s not a great idea but as a 77mm filter just fits (67-77mm step up required) all is okay. I have a few very specific shots in mind for this camera. Mainly long exposures and star trails that I plan to capture next year out at Lake Eyre and the Flinders Ranges. For now though, it’s time to practice with a rangefinder and without a light meter. Stay tuned!
Made the 1400km round trip to Marree last weekend. Well worth it to see what is at the end of the line. Some amazing images to capture in such a deserted landscape and the night sky was such a treat. I’ll definitely be heading back to explore further.
Now that I’ve had a few months playing with Instagram I’m happy to pass some judgement on it. It’s like facebook but without the rubbish and it provides a great way to get some attention. The layout is simple and the square format is actually pretty good (Hasselblad figured this out a long time ago). There is however far too many pictures of what people had for breakfast, lunch and dinner…
I’ve now got the first underwater roll back and I’m hooked. The images are pretty good, mostly all in focus (hard not to be with the 15mm) and well exposed. There’s a couple of keepers that I’ve placed in the gallery. A great and very different experience taking pictures. Bring on the Adelaide summer and what I suspect will be many a trip to Rapid Bay and Second Valley.
It has been quiet for a while. I’ve been travelling around and just got back from 6 days in Fiji where I ran the first roll through the Nikonos V underwater! A very different experience compared to shooting topside but one I’ll be doing again and again. The roll of film (Velvia 100) is at Atkins for processing and will be ready mid next week. I should also be getting the final Df grip back as well so stay tuned for a big update on that front.
I have just added a page on what I have been working on over the last month. Camera Grips and 3D printing! It started when I received my Df and realised it needed a retro grip. A few sketches later I have made a couple for my Nikonos V which work well. I have now just finished designing a grip for the Df and will be getting it made. My aim is to sell these to anyone who wants them (feel free to drop me an email) and possibly convince Nikon to make a functional one for the Df. The Nikonos V grip will cost around $70 initially with the Df expected to be about $90 (highly dependant on volume etc). Stay tuned, more details to follow.
Strange title, strange post.. Well what is in an image? Often taken for granted in todays information/media hungry world we can see thousands of images a day but few really stick with us. Its been my pursuit in the last few years to capture an image that sticks. I’m not there yet, but that’s the fun of the chase. However the more I look critically at what I’m doing, some interesting observations arise. For example, Google ‘iconic images’. You’ll quickly see that the images that have ‘stuck’ in the world aren’t from the latest and greatest digital camera. They are the results of Leica M3’s and Nikon F3’s loaded with Kodak black and white film (for the most part). Monochrome is certainly king which makes sense, colour is distracting if we really want a powerful image. People and faces are also a common denominator. I’m looking at an unopened roll (120) of Tmax 100 as I type this.. Seascapes/landscapes just won’t cut it. You need emotion, just like a good song really. In fact, music and photography have far more in common that most people realise. Either way, I realise my workflow has to change slightly. Which, for an engineer easily distracted by numbers and specifications is easier said than done as lately I have been designing a few accessories for my Nikon Df and Nikonos-V courtesy of 3D printing (stay tuned). So, with some more time needed looking over old black and white images, the challenge of having a person in every picture seems more and more relevant.
My Nikonos V, after a quick test roll with some paint cards in a plastic box, some fresh O-rings and a new strap, is ready to go under! I’ll be putting Velvia 100 through it in Fiji with a roll of Velvia 50 as back up. Stay tuned! If you’re wondering what the image on the far right is, that’s the view through the DF-11 finder for the 15mm in air (underwater use only).