…a Jeep taillight? Well I suppose I’ve answered that question now.
Was this made by Tomioka? I seem to remember reading that somewhere. I have the 50mm f/4 S-M-C Macro-Takumar which has a 1:2 resolving power (and also the MCM Chinon Macro 55mm f/1.7), this one has a 1:1, so it is a true macro lens. It’s also a preset lens, which is a bit annoying. I had these rolls developed and scanned at $15 a roll by Mike’s Camera, and can’t say I’m happy with the amount of evident dust on their scanner. I’ll certainly rescan on my Pakon once it’s out of storage.
I shot two rolls with this last summer, some Fujicolor 200 and Gold 200, both exposed at ASA100 and that meant keeping the aperture pretty wide occasionally. Wherever possible I was shooting in direct sunlight, but I didn’t use a flash or anything else like that. When I got the lens it seems that every flower around me was a yellow flower, so there’s maybe not as much color variation as I could want, but I enjoyed seeing the bees going about their work.
So I don’t know too much about macro photography, but basically I would preset the focus (usually to maximum, move the lens until the bug was in focus, stop the lens down, and take the picture ASAP. The bees were tricky, they were always going from one flower to another so I’d only have them for a few seconds sometime. I’ve heard that it’s better to have a 100mm lens (or longer) and a flash, to keep the depth of field as wide as possible under the circumstances. These shots were the ones that were most in focus, but since some were not in direct sunlight I had to open up the aperture here and there. I suppose that using something like Portra 400 would have been better, or perhaps a tripod.
The question I’ve been asking myself for a while is, did I really need another macro lens? Probably not, though this one is a true macro and faster than the Takumar. But the last time I used that lens I was taking pictures of my super 8 cameras and I just set the camera on a tripod so the extra stop wasn’t needed. It was an extremely good price and I could make at least four times what I paid by selling it online, so a good investment. But am I going to start taking pictures of bugs all the time because I own this lens now? No, in fact I haven’t even used it in a year.
As an aside, all color scans over the last few posts brought to you by Mike’s Camera Colorado Springs with their Frontier scanner. It’ll give you good scans, but you do have to deal with workers who either don’t know or don’t care.
Shot at ASA50, developed in Sprint at 70F for ~7min (M). I can’t even remember how far back I shot this roll, maybe late 2017? It sat in my freezer because I wanted to be able to give it a little more attention with hand-developing. I still have 2 rolls left over from the Ferrania alpha run a few years ago now (maybe I should have ordered more when they were available but I missed that window).
With more film I’d want to try some of the D-96 Monobath as I have a feeling the film wouldn’t be as contrasty. That said, there’s an incredible amount of detail there if the film is exposed properly. There are several images in here where I burned in the sky quite heavily to get more cloud definition: not that I’m a master at dodging/burning but I have to say that they look relatively believable.
I shot this roll with the Olympus Trip 35, with the incredibly sharp 40mm f/2.8 lens. Go ahead and find some grain in these shots. In fact this was the last roll I shot in the Trip 35, the shutter seems to have seized up and I’m bummed about that. The 1/40 second shutter speed caused some blurry shots on the ASA50 film, I suppose that was to be expected. So does the Pakon have problems focusing for this film? I think it does indeed have a thicker base and the grain is so small. But I calibrated my Pakon when I took it out of storage (as I write this I just put it back in storage while I move) and I think there’s decent sharpness there, my own focusing errors notwithstanding.
In fact for a film that dates back to the late ’50s I couldn’t believe how little grain there is! According to Ferrania they’re all caught up on repairs and making P30 again so I think I’ll buy another 5 rolls of this film when they start selling it. It certainly isn’t going to replace Tri-X in being my everyday use film, but at ASA80 I wasn’t expecting it to, especially with the feeling-out that has been going on with developing. Until then, I have 2 rolls left and I want to shoot those in the Spotmatic with the 50mm f/4 SMC Macro-Takumar. If I ever needed to blow up a 35mm image to 20×24 or larger that’s the combination I’d use.
I honestly didn’t shoot that much, I was so busy just looking around. This was one of the places I’d been wanting to check out since I found out the next Blackburn Reunion would be near Rochester. Just standing in the same rooms that the Great Man stood, walking where he walked, it was special.
Compared to the McMansions that are made today and some of the places I’ve seen Eastman’s house seems modest, even austere in a way. But one thing that I was aware of is that everything is of top quality. There were some very nice grounds with flowers and at least one pond, but I enjoyed the grape vines more, at least they’re something useful. I tasted one too, they’re way too sour. Besides that the only souvenir I took was an acorn that fell from one of the oak trees in his front yard. Everything else has a bit of significance too: a long exposure in the camera obscura, a mirror selfie in Eastman’s study, the nitrate archive, and Eastman’s love of music (wouldn’t let me get close enough to the pipe organ). Probably these pictures aren’t very interesting to anyone but me, that’s ok. If you’re in Rochester and you love shooting on film, go make your own pictures there. Just don’t buy a roll of film in their gift shop, it’s outrageously expensive.
Putting the Weathermatic through its paces once again. So far all our college reunion trips have included water, so it’s in my camera bag on the majority of my trips. Actually the first three shots were Cinestill 800T from the SPII but I thought they kept closely enough to the nautical theme.
When I visited the Eastman House, I bought a roll of T-Max 400 at the gift shop just I could shoot it in New York. It cost me $12 (for a 24 exposure roll), and I won’t be doing that again.