Christmas Preparations in Full Swing

Nikon F6, AF Nikkor 50mm f/1.8, Fuji Velvia 100F

Here is another shot from that first roll I put through my F6.  I liked the creamy tones on this classic car, and at full magnification you can see a lot of detail in the reflections on the bumper… even I am in there if you look closely.

I have been busy with our family’s Christmas preparations the last week or two.  But we have moved from buying gifts to starting to wrap and ship them, so I feel like we have turned the corner.

A few things I have been reading online:

I have been following Amanda Gilligan’s Mocking Bird blog lately and dig her style of photography.  I empathize with her motivations to continue shooting film which she describes in an article on Daniella Marie’s A Lifestyle Blog.

My house is overflowing with Legos and I have wondered if I could put some to use for a photo test pattern.  My DSW pointed me to Cary Norton’s Legotron Mark I 4×5 camera which was a much more ambitious project.

Dan Domme is experimenting with some alternative printing processes (ex. carbon printing via UV light) and has a very brief primer post about how he is going about getting into it all.

And in terms of what I have been up to lately photographically, mostly just pumping a few rolls of Ilford XP2 Super and Kodak Portra 400 though my Rollei B 35.  I do have a new toy (I often do!) to go with it which is a Nikon SB-30 flash.

The SB-30 was released in 2002 and is I believe Nikon’s smallest Speedlight ever.  It has a non-TTL automatic mode where the flash measures the reflected light itself to match your desired exposure level for your current aperture.

It is probably the only flash with that feature that is still (barely) smaller than the Rollei itself.

Back to the Christmas prep work… Can’t wait for the holiday to actually get here!

Down the Slide

Rollei B 35, Ilford XP2 Super

I have now put a few rolls of 35mm film through my latest two new cameras.  My initial impressions shooting with them are 100% positive.

The Nikon F6 is an absolute dream to use.  In theory it is just an evolutionary step up from my F100 (mixed heartily with plenty of DNA from the F5), but it is noticeably nicer to shoot with in almost every single way.

However, I don’t have much film from it developed just yet so impressions on its metering, autofocus, etc. will have to wait.

The Rollei B 35 is an entirely different kind of camera, but has thrilled me just the same.  I have found myself carrying it around with my nearly all the time at night and on the weekends when I am sporting my off-work cargo shorts.

I thoroughly enjoy setting the aperture, shutter speed, and focus distance completely manually.  The Rollei doesn’t even have a rangefinder so I am honing my jedi mind tricks by thinking “Is that four or five feet away from me?” all the time.

The above shot is one of many that I like (most of which are in focus!) that came out of a roll of Ilford XP2 Super film.  This is a 400 speed B&W film which is developed in color print film chemistry, so you can take it into your corner drug store to get it processed.

New King Of The Hill

Nikon D300, AF Nikkor 50mm f/1.8

My birthday came and went recently (still 30-something, though not for too much longer…) and both my father and my Dear Sweet Wife gave me new cameras.

My dad gave me a Polaroid Automatic 100 pack film camera, which is an earlier but nicer model than the 320 I have been using to date.  This isn’t exactly a “new” camera, but along with it he gave me the matching leather case, flash bulb attachment, portrait kit, and some other accessories all in excellent condition.

Thanks Dad!  I have put a bit of film through it and should have some pictures online soon.

My DSW originally gave me my Nikon F100 nearly a decade ago when she decided I had outgrown my first modern SLR, an N80.  Now she has taken it up a level by introducing our first “true” F into the family by giving me an F6!

This is the ultimate (last and most advanced) 35mm film SLR.  Everyone was surprised when Nikon introduced it back in 2004 as the market had already shifted entirely over to digital.  It is still in their lineup today, but judging from the trouble my DSW went through trying to find a new one it may not be for long.

I wouldn’t have splurged on an F6 for myself, but thank you honey for this gift!  Rest assured I will make good use of it and there is nothing that will ever displace it as my primary serious 35mm camera.