I have a hard time taking vacation and always have. It always leaves me with a sense of coming up short on my responsibilities, and this led me to accumulate over 70 days and countless hours in my vacation bank. This year I’m trying to change that, and what I’m starting to notice is that sense of coming up short, is replaced by a sense of satisfaction as soon as I update the calendar with a holiday.
This is all direct towards introducing some of the pictures in this post, which came about when I decided to take Monday off a few weeks ago, to coincide with a relatively heavy snow that fell upon Rome the night before.
I woke up to something that was only witnessed here 6 years ago and maybe in the 40s. I went to my balcony and everything was white. What a day to not be at work! And probably something thousands of other people thought when I realised how crowded the park next to where I live was.
I opted (of course) for a roll of Rollei Retro 80s which went without any second thought straight into the Yashica 124G. Have I already bragged about how cool it is…?Yeah I think I did.
And that was most of my morning, trying not to fall over (a miracle for me) and damage the Yashica or the F3 I had in my backpack.
I found my surrounding so unusual to be fascinating and I could not help myself but stay in awe at how the trees looked. I think I shot a couple of rolls there, but these are all from the same roll. And even though they are not that great, I am really proud of them.
And even what would have otherwise been a boring shot, the snow made it kind of dreamy.
Notes: As stated above, all shot on Yashica 124G and Rollei 80s in February 2018. Developed in Rodinal 1+25.
Never would I thought moving up to Rome I would title a post “Day at the beach”… But last week I woke up Saturday morning, took the car for a spin and 50 minutes later I landed in Ostia.
The cool part about this was that it really woke up all the feelings I had on my usual weekends down in Puglia.
I brought both my F3 and the Yashica 124G. Ended up leaving the F3 in my bag the whole time. All these shots were made using the external light meter I got in Germany last month at a thrift store for 2 euros. Best bargain ever as all these shots turned out fine.
These were 3 of only 6 shots I took from a roll I was finishing off, and then shot 2 more color rolls. We’ll see how those turn out in a few days.
Ok so this post (2 days in a row?!) is to officially introduce to this blog my wonderful Yashica Mat124G. I fucking love this camera and it has single handedly reignited my passion for film. It’s crazy because as soon as I came back from Vietnam I got a Nikon F3 with a Nikkor 35mm F2 lens, and THIS is the camera I never do a photowalk without. Luckily my Ona Bag fits both perfectly.
I found this camera at a Naples old-used-shit festival (otherwise known as Bidonville) which stops there 2 times a year and I have the weird feeling I tried to purchase the same exact camera off of the same damn guy at least twice before. These market people go to the same places, and I like to think he never was able to get rid of it. Every time it was the same damn price in different places, 150euros. So I tell him “I can’t go more than a hundred” to which he just told me to get lost. I pointed out it was the closing day and shop was about to close. He said not under 120. At that very moment the Napoli game was on the radio and we got a penalty kick. So the whole place just stalls. Napoli kicks, Napoli scores! We’re both happy and I tell him “c’mon, we’re done here for the day. One hundred”. To which he goes “Alright 100! But just because Napoli scored!”
And that was it!! (Not to mention that same day I bought two Olympus Mju for 5 and 7 euros. But that’s another story…)
The lens on this is way sharper than I would have ever thought. These shots are not really reflective of an everyday situation as they are all long exposures, 20 seconds up to 52 at F8. But nonetheless there is really nothing to say in terms of sharpness and detail rendition. Shutter button is a little groggy and has got stuck at under 0 degrees condition, but the shutter cable has been able to fix that.
The view finder is a joy to use and the magnifying lens that flips up does help a lot to get the focus just right.
It’s a little on the heavy side, more than you would like, but it’s such an enjoyable camera that you really don’t notice it at all.
Heads turn when you walk with this thing around your neck. A lot based on what my girlfriend told me. If you’re into that. I didn’t notice it but I think it’s funny.
I’m a really bad reviewer. I’m not able to be objective at all and not let my love for this camera get in the way. I can understand how one can see it as a display camera, but I can’t help bringing it along since I started using it. And the detail you get on a 6×6 negative is astonishing if all you ever shot was 35 mm.
So here are some more shots in daylight. The next one is at F3.5 and you can appreciate the depth of field you are able to get. Not a lot, but noticeable.
I shot these in the park near my house (I think it was my first roll). I initially thought the light meter was broken, but later discovered that it only opens when you flip the viewfinder (smart) and it worked wonderfully still.
I looked at the prices for this thing and for the condition, worn but perfectly working aside from the groggy shutter button which actually does his job just fine, it was a real bargain.
So all in all, I would really recommend this camera as an entry to medium format. Cheap, easy to use and you may be lucky to find one that still works. I didn’t get any accessories with it (no lens cap and no cover) but still.. I’m so excited to shoot this again, I got some rolls of color (to be developed) and today I got a couple of more FP4, cheaper than HP5 in 120 format, and I think it’s gonna be my go-to film for it. Maybe Rollei 400s but only if I have to shoot daylight as I don’t know any reciprocity information for it. But that subject is going to be for another time.
Notes: First three shots shot with Fuji Acros developed in D-76. Literally NO GRAIN at all. Metered with my Android phone. Last three shot with Rollei 400s developed in Rodinal metered with in camera light meter.
I thought the Vietnam trip would’ve left me a bigger and more lasting good feeling, but it only lasted probably a week. I’m kinda zombieing to work everyday and trying to keep active on my personal things when i get home.
I recently made a commitment to myself that I would not let a day pass without being productive on something, and so far so good. It’s either been scanning, darkroom prints, developing, cleaning the apartment, the dishwasher being fixed and so on..
I have been looking at my recent pictures and among the 7-8 color rolls I shot in Vietnam, I gotta say they all pretty much suck balls. Colors are off, shots are out of focus most of the time and i’m generally unhappy with the choice of snaps. However… when i switch back to my black and white… Now i kinda like those! Even today, browsing through them for the n-th time, i’m finding more pictures i like.
Before posting them here though I want to work on their sequence and on finding one that can actually tell a story. I already posted Saigon, I got Hanoi and Sapa to go as batches.
I think the real winners of the trip were actually the Instax minis. Those we shot roughly 50 and those are all going on the wall.
I feel like I should have more pictures for so many words. Because I also want to talk about discovering the F3, falling in love with the Yashica 124G and medium format. But maybe for another time. But the picture I chose reflects how I feel lately. I’m the guy standing and in front of me are people blindly passing on like robots.
These pictures are in extreme contrast with my current environment.
Outside the temperature is around the -2 deg C. I’ve been in Germany since Friday for work and tried to make the most I could of my time spare here.
I was expecting to work the weekend and for reasons i’m not going to get into ended up having a day and a half all to myself. In light of the chance, i brought my two cameras of choice at this time. My blazing “new” F3 and semi-new Yashica Mat 124G. The first i only took out to test the light meter (i’ll get into that later, maybe), the latter has been my weapon of choice.
From a weather perspective, Saturday was a full blown shitty day. Rain all day, I drove around without a destination around lake Bodensee but didn’t have the slightest chance to take the camera out. Seriously, it never stopped.
So I was left with Sunday – woke up early (as i usually do lately) – and went to the pier. Shot a roll of FP4 around there, loaded a CN200 roll and took the car and drove east along the lake. Almost completed the roll with 2 shots left.
Now I know – it’s not a lot. But still… I’m ok with it. There’s actually one shot still left.
Saturday was however good for one reason. I found an old Gossen Sixtar light meter at a thrift store. Initially 10 euros, but when i asked to see if was working the lady opened the battery compartment to show all kinds of corrosions…. so two euros. DEAL!
During lunch i moved the battery from the yashica to the light meter and lo and behold.. it works!! So that’s been my companion for the rest of the weekend..
Unfortunately i wasn’t able to find the reciprocity failure corrections for the Role film, so i did hesitantly shoot 1 picture at night (cause that’s all that i’m left with after work) and i still got one in the barrel…
I did go running (twice!!) this week which surprises myself considering i haven’t been out in more than a month..
So that’s my week so far. A lot of beer, film and pictures, Hop Along songs, a black Mercedes E200 that parks on its own and with a sucky bluetooth, fucking cold weather, bad food, running and work.
NOTES: Shot during (you guessed it) a business trip in Milan back in June 17. Only an afternoon at my disposal but managed to burn through a roll of Fuji Across (literally NO GRAIN). Spotmatic F – swapping the 35 mil 3.5 with the 50 mil 1.4.
Here in the Netherlands after a morning flight. Walked around Amsterdam in the afternoon, which aside from the canals reminds me a lot about Copenhagen. Came back to Almere in the evening for some work tomorrow and the rest of the week.
Shot some film during the day and resorted for the good ol’X100s for a solitary evening walk for dinner. By all means, these might be some of my crappiest pictures to date, but I really needed this tonight.
Probably without thinking, the intention of this walk was more of a warm up for Friday night, where I’m going to be back in Amsterdam. I didn’t bring any serious film camera with me mostly due to daylight savings and December… but also because I’m a little short on good film, specifically Tri-X. And I know I will be shooting A LOT of that in in a couple more weeks.. 🙂
BTW… I’m so happy with the Yashica 124G I bought, I can’t even express in words how happy I was to discover the exposure meter working!! Can’t believe I shot the first roll without it using my phone as a light meter… 🙂 Can’t wait to shoot more with it, but it’s going to be a while. Oh well…good to be here as usual. Night.