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Late Developer

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Changing Film Usage
« on: December 03, 2017, 08:34:38 PM »
Like most of us on Filmwasters, I love using film and I can't see that changing.  However, there are times when I have to re-evaluate whether I'm getting out of it what I want and 2017 has been one of those years. 

I've sort of fallen out of love with 35mm in many ways - I can't really explain why, I just have.  I won't be stopping using it altogether but I can see me shooting it a lot less from now on.  I also had plans to get into 5x4 a couple of years ago - plans that have come to precisely nothing.  I just don't have the time or, if I'm totally honest, the enthusiasm to commit to it.  Consequently, I'm getting out of that format altogether.  That leaves me with 120 which I really enjoy.

Is anyone else feeling that they're at a bit of a watershed when it comes to how (and how much) they're using film?
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Francois

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Re: Changing Film Usage
« Reply #1 on: December 03, 2017, 09:30:28 PM »
What pains me the most is the cost and availability of color processing. I bought a C41 kit last spring and have yet to mix it.
I must admit that 35mm has both advantages and disadvantages for me. On the down side, the 24x36 format can get a bit boring. But on the up side, it's cheap and plentiful on every front. That's mainly what kept me attached to it. But I do enjoy 120 a whole lot more.
Surprisingly, I find 35mm quite interesting when using my Sprocket Rocket, Spinner or my newly gifted half-frame camera!
The sprocket rocket gives me that hard to use panoramic format. Harder but more fun as it's definitely challenging in many ways. The spinner is just mind blowing. Too bad they made it look like a grenade with the pull ring. When I go out in public with it I'm always afraid people will think it's some strange explosive device when in reality it's just a harmless camera. And to my surprise, the half frame turned out to be quite fun; but I put all the chances on my side. Short roll with under 10 regular frames (don't put a 36 exp roll in it or you'll regret it until the next year!) and don't try and get fine grain out of it (use 400 ISO minimum).

But I must admit that I too feel some fatigue at this point. But I don't think it's directly photo related. I think it's everything else that comes down on my photography. Artist are sensitive people and are essentially "environmental sponges". We feed off everything that goes on around our world and filter it to some extent. The world has been a "toxic" place for quite some time now. There are so few good news that it's depressing. Nothing really fun gets invented. Nothing really useful gets put on the market. Our buck is worth less than it used to. While the price of many commodities has dropped, this doesn't affect the essentials.
I need to get me a DeLorean equipped with a Flux Capacitor and get back to the 80's...
Or maybe I can build my environment to be more fun? We'll see when I get that USB neon cactus light I just ordered on eBay  ;D
Francois

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02Pilot

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Re: Changing Film Usage
« Reply #2 on: December 03, 2017, 09:51:15 PM »
I've noticed some tendencies, but they're fluid: I get on a 120 kick, then go back to 35mm, then stop taking photos altogether for a while, then who knows. I've virtually stopped acquiring new equipment (I received one lens as a gift this year, bought one, and sold one, and picked up and disposed of a couple cameras over that time - quite a slow down from years past), which probably contributes as well - new equipment can temporarily renew interest. I don't worry about it too much. I've got the equipment I need to shoot any format I'm interested in, and I'd still rather shoot film than digital. When I want to shoot, I grab whatever camera strikes my fancy and go.

The closing of our local camera store (and the loss of its convenient 35mm C-41 processing) did slow down my color film usage, but I tend to shoot more B&W anyway. Now I just save up rolls until I have half a dozen or so and send them off.
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and a man who thinks his equipment is going to see for him is not going to get much of anything.


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Francois

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Re: Changing Film Usage
« Reply #3 on: December 03, 2017, 10:39:19 PM »
I don't know if it's just me but I take out a camera, load it up, process, scan, have lots of fun doing so, but somehow can't find the steam to keep on repeating the whole cycle even though it was quite enjoyable?
Francois

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charles binns

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Re: Changing Film Usage
« Reply #4 on: December 03, 2017, 11:54:21 PM »
Paul,

120 is the way to go.  Burn your Hasselblad, get your holga out and you'll never look back.   Holgas and the Tomiyama Art 617, that's what makes me happy.  As well as my Arax 60 and occasionally my Mamiya 6.

Then print your own - Kallitypes and four colour Gum Bichromate -  photographic bliss.

I can sell you more holgas at a reasonable price if you need inspiration.

Late Developer

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Re: Changing Film Usage
« Reply #5 on: December 04, 2017, 06:34:09 AM »
Paul,

120 is the way to go.  Burn your Hasselblad, get your holga out and you'll never look back.   Holgas and the Tomiyama Art 617, that's what makes me happy.  As well as my Arax 60 and occasionally my Mamiya 6.

Then print your own - Kallitypes and four colour Gum Bichromate -  photographic bliss.

I can sell you more holgas at a reasonable price if you need inspiration.

LOL

Hasselblads are a fixture, for me, for now - and having more than one Holga would just be being greedy..... :o
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charles binns

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Re: Changing Film Usage
« Reply #6 on: December 04, 2017, 07:59:30 AM »


Hasselblads are a fixture, for me, for now - and having more than one Holga would just be being greedy..... :o

There's no helping some people... ;)

zapsnaps

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Re: Changing Film Usage
« Reply #7 on: December 04, 2017, 11:14:49 AM »
I sortof had a change of use yesterday, as it happens.

The model was booked for 2 hours and we had a hard stop as we then had to go to a recording session - she is a multi-talented model - and I was producing the recording.
I shot 3 rolls of 120 (on the Blad) but had also loaded the R8 with the same film - Bergger 400 - and wanted to use it on the same shoot to release the 8 for other duties during the week. So I used the roll 135 as a 'digital' camera - check light, levels and blasted through 36 frames in 2-3 minutes. Heresy to many, I'm sure. BUT - we only had 2-3 minutes, I have worked with the model twice before and we were at a point in the shoot where she knew exactly what I wanted, so I just told her to 'go for it'. I stood behind the tripod mounted camera and looked at her, rather than through the view-finder so I could modify poses slightly and blasted away.

I can't wait to see the results. I've done it once before and ended up with a sequence of events, rather than 36 discrete pictures and I found that both different & engaging. Will I be successful twice? I'll have to wait a week for the postal lab to process the results...
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John Robison

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Re: Changing Film Usage
« Reply #8 on: December 04, 2017, 02:22:26 PM »
Francois said that "Artist are sensitive people and....."
Fortunately (or unfortunately, depending on ones point of view) I'm no artist, and about as sensitive as your standard house brick. My interest in cameras go's directly to their mechanical nature. The MMM (Metal-Mechanical-Manual) 35mm SLR of the 60's and 70's is the apex, in my opinion, of this sort of thing. Lovely to hold and operate, and oh so versatile. Yes, the negative is a postage stamp....so don't print larger than 6X9 inches on 8X10 paper, sheesh, what do you expect, a poster size print?

Now don't get me wrong, 6X9 on 120 is a lovely size negative, and, makes beautiful contact prints too. But my OM for 24X36 and Pen F for 18X24 are such gems, just holding them still sends tingles through my finger tips.

PS; Francois, I shoot B&W in my Pen and don't worry about loading a 36exp roll. If I want to look at the results after 10~20 shots I just go into the dark, open the back, snip off the exposed film and put it directly onto a plastic reel and into the tank. Then it's trim and reload the remaining film in room light. A little wasteful, but not too bad.
« Last Edit: December 04, 2017, 02:56:17 PM by John Robison »

Jeff Warden

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Re: Changing Film Usage
« Reply #9 on: December 04, 2017, 09:47:45 PM »
I hear you, LD.  My most active was '08 - '12 while learning a new city, new photographic equipment, and the ins and outs of wet printing in my basement.  Now I'm much busier with other projects so photography has taken something of a back seat. And when I do photograph, the 35mm mostly stays at home in favor of medium format.  It's just so much more fun in the darkroom for me.

And Francois is of course on to something - the global news is considerably shittier today than in years past and that can be a drag on creative energy. But if you're the creative sort then you have to create.  Sometimes forcing yourself to get out there helps.
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PeterR

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Re: Changing Film Usage
« Reply #10 on: December 04, 2017, 09:55:26 PM »
Is anyone else feeling that they're at a bit of a watershed when it comes to how (and how much) they're using film?

I think the watershed happened a couple of years ago for me. At the risk of turning this into a F-v-D discussion, it's a fact that, for me, my film usage has changed each time I've changed my digital camera. Each time I've changed it, the digi has taken over a different part of my film use. Initially it replaced holiday snapshots, then it replaced nearly all my 35mm usage but I still used medium format and now it's replaced most of my medium format usage but I've gone back to shooting more 35mm.

I don't think about itikjjhkjhjhjhjkls  hgds.;lkm876y098765896543267uresdfghljhgxvn/.

]=-09876sdf

Sorry, just spilt something on my keyboard. :P

As I was saying...

I don't think about it too much. I just go with whatever I feel like using and if something doesn't get used for a while it tends to get moved on for something else - which is what's happened to all my Mamiya 645 kit. But I bought it all again after getting rid of it once before and it might happen again if I feel like a change.

I would just use whatever you feel like using Paul and not try to analyse it too much.
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Re: Changing Film Usage
« Reply #11 on: December 04, 2017, 09:57:37 PM »
PS; Francois, I shoot B&W in my Pen and don't worry about loading a 36exp roll. If I want to look at the results after 10~20 shots I just go into the dark, open the back, snip off the exposed film and put it directly onto a plastic reel and into the tank. Then it's trim and reload the remaining film in room light. A little wasteful, but not too bad.

And I thought it was just me who did that. It's less wasteful than developing a half used film I always think.
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Francois

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Re: Changing Film Usage
« Reply #12 on: December 04, 2017, 10:20:49 PM »
That's one way of doing things. I'm lucky since I have what has turned into a bulk loader collection, so short rolls are not a problem  ;D
(I know, I have a thing for buying bulk loaders with film still in them at garage sales... nothing beats desert fresh film when it's cheap  ;D Last time I got something like 8 rolls of HP5 for less than 2$)

But yeah, the news doesn't help. I've stopped watching TV news a few years back and found that it helps a lot in keeping my brain in good shape, but sadly there's still some stuff that trickles down even if you don't watch it. What I find to be the biggest problem is that everybody else watches and without noticing they get affected by it. It's a bit like the theory of viral thought. If some opinion gets hammered into your head for long enough, want it or not you still end-up adopting the position they want you to.
« Last Edit: December 04, 2017, 10:26:30 PM by Francois »
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Bryan

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Re: Changing Film Usage
« Reply #13 on: December 04, 2017, 11:25:55 PM »
A few things keep me motivated to shoot film.  I travel a lot for work so it gives me something to do on my time off.  It motivates me to go out and explore the local sights and take photos.  Anything is better than hanging out in a hotel room.

I enjoy shooting family events and holiday stuff on film because that is what we have traditionally done as long as I can remember (except for that short digital dark period).  Part of that tradition is re-visiting old View-Master reels and 8mm home movies.  This time of year I take out the old 8mm projector more than any other time.

I find interesting cameras and get excited about trying them out.  I'm like a kid in a candy store, all those cameras I couldn't afford in the past I can now get for cheap.  I have way more cameras than I need but I'm ok with that.  When I get a new camera I still get almost as excited about it as I did when I got my first Instamatic over 40 years ago.  Plus I don't have to beg my parents for film and flash bulbs anymore. 

The magic of developing my own film never ceases to amaze me.  The anticipation of waiting to see how they came out is something I lost with digital which caused me to go into a photographic slump.  Going back to film got me out of that slump. 

The only thing that keeps me from shooting medium and large format more often is the lack of portability.  It's just so much easier to pack a 35mm camera.  I do want to shoot more medium format though.  Maybe having a good folder like my new Zeiss Ikon will help with that. 

cs1

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Re: Changing Film Usage
« Reply #14 on: December 05, 2017, 05:21:54 AM »
I've read about a study that a very high percentage of marriages that were unhappy at some point get happy again after some time. Now, I don't want to suggest that a relationship to film photography is the same as a marriage. ;) However, I'm pretty sure that they share similarities (both can be very emotional relationships, some people will never understand why the relationships exists, you're happy to spend money in this relationship that you wouldn't spend otherwise etc.). And if that's the case, I'd try to think "oh well, we're in a rough spot now but hey, a scientific study says that things will very likely eventually get better again" if I were you. :)

Don't take what I'm saying too seriously, and I definitely don't intend to make fun of your situation. I hope to be able to cheer you up by pointing out that we human beings aren't constant in almost all aspects that make us human including our emotions regarding things that we are passionate about. Just keep your gear and at some point I'm quite sure you'll be happy to pick up a 35mm again. :)

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Re: Changing Film Usage
« Reply #15 on: December 05, 2017, 06:33:03 AM »
I've read about a study that a very high percentage of marriages that were unhappy at some point get happy again after some time. Now, I don't want to suggest that a relationship to film photography is the same as a marriage. ;) However, I'm pretty sure that they share similarities (both can be very emotional relationships, some people will never understand why the relationships exists, you're happy to spend money in this relationship that you wouldn't spend otherwise etc.). And if that's the case, I'd try to think "oh well, we're in a rough spot now but hey, a scientific study says that things will very likely eventually get better again" if I were you. :)

Don't take what I'm saying too seriously, and I definitely don't intend to make fun of your situation. I hope to be able to cheer you up by pointing out that we human beings aren't constant in almost all aspects that make us human including our emotions regarding things that we are passionate about. Just keep your gear and at some point I'm quite sure you'll be happy to pick up a 35mm again. :)

All valid points and, as I said in the original post, it's not that I'm intending to stop using it altogether.  However, for 35mm (which, for me tends to be the quick and convenient mode of getting "snaps" of where I've been) I have a d*g*tal camera that give me what I want with little to no waiting time.  Going to 120 as my main medium for film will allow me to concentrate more on what I'm trying to achieve.  Please don't take this as some artistic statement of intent, I just feel like I'm spreading myself too thinly by using multiple formats at a time when I have a reducing amount of time to spend on a hobby I've enjoyed since the early 70's - and that's becoming a downward spiral.

If, for whatever reason, I start to find more time and rediscover my enthusiasm for 35mm, then great. I hope that happens but, right now I'm fed up of having no time to use gear that's sitting on a shelf and just gathering dust.  I'd think I'd rather re-boot and see where that takes me.
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Francois

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Re: Changing Film Usage
« Reply #16 on: December 05, 2017, 03:05:27 PM »
That relationship theory does make a certain sense.
I know I really love looking after my litter of cameras. Sometimes when I'm bored at night I take some out, put them through their paces, smell the machine oil...
I guess that's what happens when you're single without kids :o
Francois

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astrobeck

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Re: Changing Film Usage
« Reply #17 on: December 05, 2017, 05:00:54 PM »
I always wonder if having shorter days spurs these thoughts....just recently I have been jaded with photography...
I don't know if it's the lack of abundant sunny days or just being uninspired lately by world events.

At any rate, I'm keeping most of my cameras in all formats as they each have given me a lot of happiness over the years and are like old friends.

cs1

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Re: Changing Film Usage
« Reply #18 on: December 05, 2017, 05:17:39 PM »
If, for whatever reason, I start to find more time and rediscover my enthusiasm for 35mm, then great. I hope that happens but, right now I'm fed up of having no time to use gear that's sitting on a shelf and just gathering dust.  I'd think I'd rather re-boot and see where that takes me.
That's also quite a healthy approach, I think. It's sort of a "counter GAS" attitude with the optional "room for GAs when flame of passion for 35mm is lit again" with a strong "at least I've sold all the old stuff that was sitting around to raise money for gear" excuse. ;)

On the serious side: I've concentrated on my favourite system (Canon F-1) for quite some time now (with the occasional exception) and I feel that the more I get to know the camera and its lenses the better the results are and the more fun the whole shooting process is. So your approach to concentrate on 120 which is most fun for you makes perfect sense. Concentrating on a certain format and even on a certain camera is neither depressing nor unreasonable.

I always wonder if having shorter days spurs these thoughts....
That definitely makes sense for a hobby that's depending on at least a tiny bit of light. I recently bought a large pack of Fomapan 100, realised how stupid the "ISO 100" part is in dark winter times, found myself looking for reports about the pushability of that film and realised that I was even more stupid to buy a film that can't even be pushed to 400 properly. Lucky enough I still had a CineStill 800 sitting in the fridge, donated by a close filmwasting friend. :)

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Re: Changing Film Usage
« Reply #19 on: December 05, 2017, 05:22:28 PM »
I came close to a purchase of slide film today to get me back out there.  B&H is having a sale on Provia but only 35mm 5-packs.  I want to try developing slides but I'm on a medium format trend right now. Maybe a sale on the expensive medium format version will come soon?   ;D
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Kai-san

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Re: Changing Film Usage
« Reply #20 on: December 05, 2017, 08:59:46 PM »
It is annoying not being able to go out after work with a camera because it's already dark. This year I've tried to compensate by shooting in the rain and shooting in the dark. I've been experimenting with Ilford's Delta 3200, exposing it at 25600 ISO. Not very successful with the processing yet, but I'm getting closer. I could always use stand development, but it feels a bit like cheating. So far I've only wasted 2 films.  :P
And then I have plans to do a bit of repair work, I need to get more adventurous on that front. I'm also selling off a couple of cameras that's collecting dust.
And so time passes, and before we know it we'll all be out shooting again!  :)
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Francois

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Re: Changing Film Usage
« Reply #21 on: December 05, 2017, 09:47:24 PM »
That definitely makes sense for a hobby that's depending on at least a tiny bit of light. I recently bought a large pack of Fomapan 100, realised how stupid the "ISO 100" part is in dark winter times, found myself looking for reports about the pushability of that film and realised that I was even more stupid to buy a film that can't even be pushed to 400 properly.
You definitely need a tripod...
100 ISO film when overexposed and underdeveloped can record incredibly contrasty scenes...
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MiguelCampano

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Re: Changing Film Usage
« Reply #22 on: December 05, 2017, 10:05:01 PM »
I came close to a purchase of slide film today to get me back out there.  B&H is having a sale on Provia but only 35mm 5-packs.  I want to try developing slides but I'm on a medium format trend right now. Maybe a sale on the expensive medium format version will come soon?   ;D

It looks very tempting, indeed.

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Re: Changing Film Usage
« Reply #23 on: December 05, 2017, 11:33:21 PM »
I've sort of fallen out of love with 35mm in many ways - I can't really explain why, I just have. 
....
Is anyone else feeling that they're at a bit of a watershed when it comes to how (and how much) they're using film?
I've told myself I'm giving up 35mm many times and sometimes have even announced it to the world via my blog - and yet I seem to have more 35mm cameras than ever, with three loaded with film at the moment. One thing that stops me from selling them is that almost none of them are in full working order - non-working meters are common - so that limits the resale value and it's hardly worth the effort to sell them.

I have been lacking in motivation to go out and take photos recently - last Sunday I had the day free and the weather wasn't too dull but I actually chose to stay home and clean the house instead of having a photography trip  :'( - perhaps a sign of insanity !

However I'm going to London tomorrow and will have an hour free before and after work so I've packed a Canon FTb with Cinestill 800 and an Olympus 35RC with TMax 100, alongside the laptop for the train ride. If I can finish off the 12 remaining frames of Cinestill I'll be pleased with that.




Jeff Warden

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Re: Changing Film Usage
« Reply #24 on: December 06, 2017, 05:57:09 PM »
B&H is having a sale on ...

It looks very tempting, indeed.

And just like that the price has returned to normal.   :o
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cs1

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Re: Changing Film Usage
« Reply #25 on: December 06, 2017, 07:57:58 PM »
You definitely need a tripod...
100 ISO film when overexposed and underdeveloped can record incredibly contrasty scenes...
I've got one and I really should do what you're suggesting. I've never thought of pulling Fomapan 100. It could be quite interesting. I just realised that you must've suggested it before in some other thread but I never got around to trying it.

However I'm going to London tomorrow and will have an hour free before and after work so I've packed a Canon FTb with Cinestill 800 and an Olympus 35RC with TMax 100, alongside the laptop for the train ride. If I can finish off the 12 remaining frames of Cinestill I'll be pleased with that.
I really like the Olympus 35RC. It has such a lovely lens in such a compact package. It was really hard though to find the lens hood for my copy. I ended up buying one from a dutch dealer because I couldn't find one in Germany.
I recently had the pleasure to do some work on a Canon FTb QL (replacing light seals etc.) and I really like it. It's so well built. I'm sure you had a lovely time with both cameras. Are the light meters on both cameras still working?

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Re: Changing Film Usage
« Reply #26 on: December 07, 2017, 12:19:24 AM »
Are the light meters on both cameras still working?

No, neither camera has a working meter. I've given up expecting working light meters on cameras of that age. At least it means I don't have to put batteries in.

I carried a little Sekonic L208 to use with either camera.

(Actually I have a second Oly 35RC which does have a meter that works reasonably well ,with some adjustment to the ISO rating, but the rangefinder isn't right on that one)
« Last Edit: December 07, 2017, 12:21:12 AM by KevinAllan »

cs1

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Re: Changing Film Usage
« Reply #27 on: December 07, 2017, 11:41:59 AM »
(Actually I have a second Oly 35RC which does have a meter that works reasonably well ,with some adjustment to the ISO rating, but the rangefinder isn't right on that one)

Adjusting the rangefinder wasn't too difficult, if I remember correctly. I managed to do it on my 35RC and I'm not particularly experienced with repairing cameras. If your spare 35RC is just sitting around, it might be worth giving it a try. Rick Oleson has a nice page showing how to disassemble the 35RC. I haven't tried adjusting the meter yet (mine is accurate). However, that also looks feasible.

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Re: Changing Film Usage
« Reply #28 on: December 07, 2017, 01:13:50 PM »
@CS1's comment about finding a lens hood for the RC's 43.5mm filter thread.
Here is what I did for my RC. I ordered a 43.5mm to 43mm step down filter adapter ring from China. Works fine, doesn't block the meter window, and 43mm lens caps, hoods, filters and close up lenses are much easier to find than 43.5mm size. Also I already have a Pen F set up with 4 primes that all use 43mm filter thread and a Pen D that uses 43mm so I already had a bunch of 43mm accessories.

About the dark winter months, well I'm at 47 north, not as far north as some of you folks, but winter is still plenty dark and rainy. So it's my time to 'build camera stuff'. Mostly dinking around with 4X5 holders and using photo paper as a negative. You think ISO 100 is slow, ha, try ISO 6......with pinhole!
More recently I've been experimenting with using simple, single element plus diopter lenses on 4X5, stopped down to f16 to focus and then f64 for the picture.
a +10 is 100mm FL, a +4 is 250mm and a +2 is 500mm.
At f64 you get gobs of DOF but you need f16 for initial focus, then slip in the f64 card for the exposure.
ISO 6 @ f64, yeah, I'll check back on that camera tomorrow.

cs1

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Re: Changing Film Usage
« Reply #29 on: December 07, 2017, 03:57:11 PM »
Here is what I did for my RC. I ordered a 43.5mm to 43mm step down filter adapter ring from China. Works fine, doesn't block the meter window, and 43mm lens caps, hoods, filters and close up lenses are much easier to find than 43.5mm size. Also I already have a Pen F set up with 4 primes that all use 43mm filter thread and a Pen D that uses 43mm so I already had a bunch of 43mm accessories.
Never thought of this possibility. Good idea!

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Re: Changing Film Usage
« Reply #30 on: December 07, 2017, 09:20:58 PM »
And ½mm is so little that it can't be noticed.
Francois

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