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Thread: Remember something called film ???

  1. #1

    Remember something called film ???

    I do....

    I just picked up a medium format camera that uses 120 or 220 roll film and yeah its still sold and processing is still available (though I plan on doing my own B&W).

    I got a Mamiya RB67 for a song from a friend along with a 180 MM lens, autowind back and waist level finder.
    Just ordered a used 65mm lens and got a manual wind film back and a hand held light meter that uses an old
    style photocell (no batteries required!)

    So far I've taken 2 rolls of color and one B&W, though I indend to use it mostly for B&W field work. Kool camera,
    all manual, very slow, methodical, take your time, no rush, think about it carefully cause you only got 10 shots per roll
    ..better make 'em count...

    Images from my first roll of B&W film back, 400 ASA Kodak Professional, which is a fine grain moderately fast film
    with high tolerance zone for both over and under exposure and processing.

    Note that I had no light meter with me as the one I had bought on flee-bay had not yet arrived so I was shooting
    pretty much from memory of the days when I was shooting film back in the 70’s and 80’s. While I am generally
    pleased with the results, and the level of detail in the negatives just blows me away (having never shot in
    medium format before) I see I still have a lot to (re)learn about shooting film.

    A bit about the processes I used...
    The negatives were all scanned at 3200 dpi on the V700 flat bed and which can go up as high as 9600 dpi
    (actually it can go as high as 120,000, but I think that is done in software) but that makes for huge image
    file so I stuck with 3200 dpi for now, though I will probably try some selected detail higher res scans as well
    once I get the process down better. I also played around a bit with other options of the scanner (there are
    too many to try all of them as yet) but found some basic settings that I am happy with for the moment.
    When I get my 2 rolls of color back, no doubt there will a bunch more options I’ll have to try.
    I also experimented with using ZightZones ZoneMapper tool, which allows you to all select areas of
    similar luminosity or tonal valve thru the use of a graduated slide bar and graphical preview window
    that highlights them for ease of selection and can also do a reversal mask leaving those areas alone
    while manipulating all other areas. It is a very handy tool and the one I use most often in that program.

    In choosing to shoot B&W film my intent was to look at and try to capture textures and patterns, the play
    of light and shadow and with a view to be “interpretive” or more artistic in nature rather than trying to
    capture an exact representation of the scene. I choose camera settings and did the post processing and
    scanning of the negatives with this intent in mind. For me this is where B&W really shines, by removing
    the colors and reducing the scene to a mere 256 shades of gray from some 16 million possible colors
    what you are left with is the detail and patterns of light and dark, surface texture and form. As such,
    I did quite a bit of post processing, just as I would have/did back in the days of shooting film before
    digital came out. The combination of the two has certainly opened up the possibilities for B&W as being
    even more interpretive than before and gives me the ability to do much more than I could before with
    much better (and certainly much more immediate) feed back. Some purist might say that using digital
    at all is a cheat in shooting film, but for the method(s) chosen are all equally valid artistic choices, just
    as one could not say that an impressionistic painting was done using the wrong technique and really
    should have been done with some other style of painting.

    So accepting the idea that these are all shoot with that intent in mind here they are…

    First shots were processed in LightZone (ignore the white lines, those should not have been included,
    somehow I accidentally saved the images with the grid on in a few shots, will have to correct tonight.)
    I also note that these appear darker on my monitor at work than at home, one of the problems with
    web images along with the fact that I have to reduce image resolution for web display which really
    does not do justice to the sharpness of the negatives. These were all shot with the 180mm lens,
    so some close ups have pretty narrow depth of field, even given I was using the smallest aperture
    possible and all were taken with the camera on a very sturdy tripod.

    and a detail of the same

    the same scene processed with Photoshop

    the same scene processed with LightZone

    the next two are of the same scene using 2 different processing methods

    the first is with Gimp and is intentionally brighter both as shot and as processed, the white areas
    are purposely blown out since the sky was a dull overcast gray and I wanted to bring out the
    detail in the shadows and blowing out the sky helped the framing using the overhanging tree
    that forms an arch over the whole

    The second was shot with a smaller aperture to emphasize the contrast between the light
    and dark areas and details in surface of the water

    the next is a close-up of an old log protruding from the water, scanned and processed to
    make to the shadows of the overhanging trees on the water indistinct while keeping the
    detail in the surface and shadow of the log. I used mammal depth of field to try to soften
    the water’s surface as much as possible

    The next two are shots are attempts to capture the detail of the tree rings in the end of
    the cut log as well as some of the detail in the bark on the facing edge using LightZone
    for one image and Gimp for the other, note that the first again was shot with faster speed
    than the second

    and the one using LightZone with less contrast and more detail or really comparing the two
    different details seems to come forth.

    And finally a pano consisting of two images. These were both shot and processed to purposely
    blow out the overcast sky and place the emphasis on the patterns of the leaves the shadows
    in the lower part of the tree line and esp. the reflections on the water that seem almost to
    have been painted with a soft-broad brush


    Last edited by rocketman; 05-23-2011 at 10:27 PM.

  2. #2
    Thick As A Brick r184's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    So Cal
    Very nice. Always enjoyed B&W images.

  3. #3
    I have used that camera back in the day, a great camera. Good luck with it.

  4. #4
    This guy used to do ok with slow manual film cameras -

  5. #5
    Registered User toooldtocare's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    DeLand Florida
    Love your shots. I am also a film user (Leica M6 and Mamiya C330F). I do not have a V700, but I hear great things about them (Leica Forum). I use a Plustek scanner for 35mm and a Canon 8800F scanner for 2 1/4. I am not happy with the Canon and will replace it with a V series soon.

    Keep posting images, I love looking at film shots.


  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by robsmoto View Post
    This guy used to do ok with slow manual film cameras -
    Well, Yah!

    I should ever even come close to approaching work like that! Not likely! Still a great source of inspiration. These large images really do lend themselves to eye-popping detail.
    I'm pleased they came out at all considering how long its been since I shot manual, using film.


  7. #7

    More B&W medium format shots

    These were taken in and around Cass Wv during the recent rally down there....

    some more B&W, these from the Cass rally and area around Cass WV.
    mostly all taken with the 65mm lens....
    Had to do some pretty intense contrast work on some due to either being a bit over-exposured (which I seem prone to do with the B&W) and/or the lighting during most of the shooting which was overcast and gray for the most part. Still a lot to (re)learn about how film handles light and I want to try some slower B&W film but this 400 has pretty good sharpness, I;m leaning toward the Kodak Pro films over the Ilford but still early and not knowing how its processed and what chemicals the lab uses...
    the shot of the car was hand held, I should have used the 180mm lens instead of the 65mm....

    On the links provided to the larger images click on them once they come up when the pointer shows a + sign to expand them to full size

    link to larger file Love the level of detail in these larger format negatives

    link to larger file

    link to larger file

    this image of the Shay Engine really came out well, the level of detail of the gear driven drive train is awesome in the linked image when blown up to full size. Note the pistons in the center of the drive train and the size of the u-joints to either side.

    link to larger file

    these are two taken of the same valley right by where I camp the first was taken using light meter setting the second taken one f-stop smaller

    link to larger file

    link to larger file


  8. #8
    Registered User toooldtocare's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    DeLand Florida
    Nice shots.

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