I know that guy!

I love seeing locals in the news!  My friend Jeff Cloutier is featured on Japan Camera Hunter, it was a pretty cool treat to run across that (and evidently it’s not the first time he’s been featured).  I met Jeff my first semester at UCCS when he taught the intro to sound recording class (he’s also a sound engineer, a man of many talents), and then ran into him one day when I stopped by Godec’s Photo.  He later bought the business and changed the name to Cloutier Photographic, one of the three camera stores in Colorado Springs.

 

wsghfds

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Check out the Reflex, a new 35mm camera

This is everything I love: manual focus lenses, solid metal body, and some impressive new features like interchangeable film backs (like a medium format SLR) and interchangeable lens boards: M42, Pentax K, Canon FD, Nikon F, Olympus OM.  I suppose that these are all in the public domain now and this idea really intrigues me.  I do run across Zuiko glass from time to time and it might be time for me to start investing in some.  Also, it will have a 1/4000sec top shutter speed, plus aperture priority (though how they’ll do that on the M42 mount I don’t know yet).

Check out the Kickstarter campaign here.

So the downsides?  Price, for one.  I think if it were $400 I would be more interested, but £375 shipped is about $100 past that.  I don’t like that the electronic system would be powered by an internal rechargeable battery (same problem I have with the Kodak super 8 camera), it seems to me that if you’re doing a lot of shooting it should be possible to drop in new batteries as needed instead of having to find a USB charging slot.  Besides those two things I’m pretty excited about this camera.  The extra features it would give over every other SLR I own is extremely tempting and I’m trying to justify the expense…

edit: they were funded by the beginning of the third day.  Unfortunately I don’t think I can justify the expense right now, but I’ll be following their progress closely and definitely want to grab one of their cameras later on down the road!

Bad news and good news

So the bad news first: according to Japan Camera Hunter, Fuji is discontinuing 5-packs of all their 35mm slide films, plus Natura 1600 and large format Acros 100.  http://www.japancamerahunter.com/2017/10/film-news-fujifilm-end-nigh

Considering that a single roll of Velvia 100 costs $15 and a 5-pack costs $55, it will be costing $4 more per roll.  I’ll be stocking up as much as I can now because I certainly can’t afford a 25% increase and I’m sure neither can everyone else. Now this is only the 35mm, it seems medium (and large) format is safe for the moment.  It might be the beginning of the end, but we probably have a few years left.  Still, I’d say that by 2020 Fujifilm will be making film no more.

While I love Fuji slide film and will shoot it as long as I can, I hope that Ektachrome will be a tremendous success for Kodak and that it will have been reworked for increased longevity.  While Fuji slide film is supposed to be stable for 300 years, Ektachrome has a reputation for fading rather quickly, and this problem had better be addressed in the new formulation.

Also, I learned today that Cloutier Fotographic, local camera store #3 (and run by a friend of mine) will no longer be carrying film and darkroom supplies, due mostly to the bankruptcy of their distributor of Ilford products, but also because of Fuji’s announcement.  I try to support my local camera stores as much as possible, but honestly things like film, etc I’ve been getting from Freestyle Photo for quite a while.  I do hate that so much stuff is going online (especially as Cloutier just started carrying JCH Streetpan recently), but I’d rather that my dollar went further, and I’m really more interested in supporting the film manufacturers than I am brick and mortar stores that mark up the prices.

Now on to the good news: there’s a new black & white film company from Russia called Silberra, and they’re holding an Indiegogo campaign right now.  Please contribute if you can! https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/silberra-b-w-photographic-films#/

Also, don’t forget that the Reflex 35mm camera will be going onto Kickstarter November 7th (originally they said it would be yesterday but they pushed it back). For all the bad news, there are plenty of exciting things happening in the film world.

People at the airshow

The Axis Trio strikes back hard!  Seeing all the Allied warbirds was too much for them.  Although it was a perfect day to try out the Ferrania P30 Alpha film for the first time, I underexposed the film by at least a stop (and did in my Spotmatic too, shooting Tri-X).  Thankfully, it wasn’t a big deal:

Even though underexposed, there was plenty of detail, which I am extremely happy about!  The shots were completely usable, though like I said in my previous post, bumping up the contrast so much did start revealing lots of dust and scratches, water spots, etc, and I didn’t have the same problem with the Tri-X (see below). I will say that my local camera store isn’t one of the labs that Ferrania recommends.

Here is all that shooting info again:
Scanned myself with the Pakon F335, edited in Photoshop
D-76 stock at 8min (I think, or it could have been 9min…it was developed by my local camera store)
Canon 7 with the Leitz 35mm f/3.5 Summaron
Very overcast day
Shutter speeds were nominally around 1/125 at f/8 (I was shooting at around ASA100)

Tri-X definitely has a different look to it, slightly more consistent when underexposed I’d say (the middle shot was overexposed by a stop I think).

Alright, here’s the thing with the P30: It’s so fine-grained that I expected it to be much sharper than this, and it looks soft as butter.  I’m not completely convinced it wasn’t my lens, but comparing it to other shots on Double-X those look much sharper.  Here’s a 100% crop from my scan:

So the other possibility is that P30 is sufficiently thicker (or thinner?) than regular film to be out of focus in my Pakon, so I will have to rescan both negatives making sure I refocus using some P30 film.  Then I will have to refocus again with something like Tri-X, for everything else I scan.  It’s on the agenda, but I haven’t quite found time yet.

This is one of the best exposed shots I had.  And here’s the other one from the last post:

And one last one, this is an extreme example of burning in the sky, just to see what was possible:

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A new manual film camera?

Well here’s some more good news: a company called Reflex is making an all-new manual SLR, which would make it the first since Cosina-Voigtlander made the Bessaflex (which was what, 13-14 years ago?  Not quite as long as the article is claiming but whatever).  Their Kickstarter campaign will be going live in about two weeks, the original story is here: http://www.film-traveler.com/reflex-1st-new-manual-slr-25-years/

Like the article mentions already, the shots on their Instagram are taken with a Super-Takumar lens, so I do really hope that like the Bessaflex this is an M42 mount camera!  Of course, whether or not I can buy one, that will depend on the price.  I did just get a full CLA for the Spotmatic which cost me $120, meaning that the entire amount of money I paid for that camera body (including the battery) is somewhere around $137.  I doubt that a new manual camera would be less than $400, and also doubt that it will have the same build quality as a Spotmatic.  Hope I’m wrong though!