Lockdown limitations mean I can’t go out to all the places I’d like and, while I intend to make the most of my closer surroundings, it also means I’m going to fall back on making pictures around the house as well sometimes. Old cameras, such as my Zeiss folder, make good subjects though.
A lens through a lens Vintage rangefinder of old Still working just fine
After yesterday’s Chevy photos, I’ll continue a mini-theme of classic American vehicles, this time an International Harvester pick-up truck. Which I think is an L-Series, but which I am again willing to be corrected on. I believe the tow-truck, Mater, in the Cars movies was based in part on an International Harvester.
Like yesterday’s Chevy, this was photographed on my trip to Mablethorpe. While the Chevy is a permanent feature at the garage where I made the photo, this truck was just parked on the verge on a bend in the road not too far from my destination, so I pulled over and took a few quick shots.
I took this shot while using up the final frames on this roll of Shanghai GP3. The walk along the towpath beside the Chesterfield Canal is known as The Cuckoo Way and can be followed from Chesterfield all the way to the point where the canal enters the River Trent, approx 50 miles away.
Although it was a very hot and bright day, the place where this canal-boat was moored was in shadow from the trees beside the canal towpath and I had to open the Zeiss to it’s widest aperture to get a decent shutter speed on the 100asa film.
I don’t normally shoot the camera wide open as it performs better when stopped down, plus the uncoupled rangefinder design can make it a bit of a best guess for fine focusing.
In this case though, the boat was far enough away for the focusing to not be too much of a concern and I quite like the way the lens has rendered the scene. It’s hardly some kind of “bokeh monster”, but has given a nice hint of seperation in the focus.
After mentioning yesterday that I seem to photograph a lot of churches, here’s another one. I didn’t realise that this was a church until just now, when I looked up the location on Google maps. On the day the photo was made, I just noticed an impressive looking building. I didn’t actually go around the front of the structure, where the purpose of the building would have been revealed, instead turning right and heading towards the town centre after taking the shot.
Another place of worship. I make quite a lot of photographs of churches and similar, despite rarely visiting them for their intended purposes. Despite this, I find them to be interesting locations, visually, cultually and historically, and they are often strikingly beautiful.
This chapel is in a village that I have driven past countless times in my life, but never before this occasion actually ventured within. The village (actually North AND South Wheatley as they’re pretty much joined together now) is skirted by the A620 Gainsborough Road, the route that I always take when visiting Mablethorpe on the east coast – a place I’ve been visiting since I was a young child. While it’s obvious that the village is there, it’s not a place that I, or my grandparents when they drove us as children, ever sought to stop off at.
While this was the first time I’ve ever visited the village, it was still a last minute decision while driving home from North Leverton windmill, and I didn’t really explore the place properly. There is a church, but I didn’t look there, instead taking a few photos down near the methodist chapel, which stands beside a small brook. Maybe I’ll visit again one day, or maybe this will have been a once-in-a-lifetime thing and I’ll simply go back to bypassing the place en-route to other destinations.
I mentioned my photos of North Leverton windmill a couple of days ago, so here are a few of them
The mill was built in 1813 by a collective of local farmers to grind their corn. It was also agreed that the mill would grind corn from other farmers and “industrious poor persons” for an agreed fee.
The windmill is completely without electrical power, relying on the wind to operate – although there are a set of engine stones for use when the wind is too low to turn the sails.
The windmill still sources locally grown grain to produce flour and animal feed, using traditional millstones to grind it.
I had a couple of cameras with me on the day – my Zeiss Mess-Ikonta 524/16 & my Canon Sure Shot Supreme (plus my phone). Because of the hedges and fences that surround the mill, it was sometimes difficult to frame shots with the fixed focal length lenses of both cameras. Ironically in the next shot, I could have used a longer lens perhaps.
The final shot is of the cottage beside the mill, which had a group of chickens roaming about the place – presumably the source of the eggs in the photo I posted the other day.
A few further shots from the roll of expired Ektachrome I posted about yesterday.
This first shot has had the most tweaking of the ones presented here today and it still has more residual purple tones than the others. I had to take care to not reduce the colour of the foxgloves while removing the tint.
The next shot is of the Wilkin Hill Outdoor Centre, or rather the former outdoor centre as it appears to have been abandoned for quite some time. It does appear to have a new roof though, so perhaps it’s under development.
The final two images are of Agden Dike, one of the main water sources that feeds Agden reservoir. The expired Ektachrome has performed remarkably well on the first shot, giving a broad range of tones with only a few issues on the brightest sunlit silver birch trunks in the background.
The last photograph here is probably my favourite from this roll. I’m unsure if someone has placed this branch and fern into the river (it looks wedged in by rocks) or if it’s actually a small tree-stump that a fern has colonised. Whatever the case, it looks like a miniature palm tree. I’m pretty happy that I was able to focus accurately with a narrow aperture and up-close with the Zeiss’ uncoupled rangefinder focus. It isn’t a problem on more distant subjects and with the wider apertures I normally choose with this camera, but manually transferring the focus from the rangefinder to the lens in a shot like this takes care, and I’m glad to have gotten it pretty much on the nail.
A few photos today from my hike around Dale Dyke reservoir that I posted about a few weeks ago. I mentioned in that post about taking the Zeiss Mess-Ikonta 524/16 on the hike along with the Yashica Mat 124G. I’d loaded it with a roll of Ektachrome E200S that had expired back in 2003. I can’t remember where exactly I’d gotten the film from now, but I had no idea as to how it had been stored. I shot the first of the rolls with my Holga back in October last year. That roll had a severe purple cast. I was able to remove it to a large extent but it left nasty purple speckles in the shadow areas. While I would be shooting this second roll in a camera with more control over aperture and shutter speed, I was still not holding out high hopes for the film.
I decided to over-expose it a little given it’s age. Normally I follow the 1-stop per 10-years of expiry rule of thumb, but I’ve heard that E6 film works differently to colour negative film in this regard, so I decided to shoot it at 80asa. My mistake here was that I’d forgotten I was shooting a roll of E200S, and not E100, so I was in actual fact over-exposing the roll by more than a full stop. Thankfully, this worked out ok and probably produced better results than my original idea.
When I received the developed transparencies there was still a noticeable purple cast when I scanned them, but colour correction in the scanning software, plus some further work in Lightroom managed to remove the bulk of this. There’s still a hint of purple to the results, and the deep shadow areas have a little purple speckling, but it’s barely noticeable when compared to the first roll I shot through the Holga. On the whole I’m really pleased with the results I got and it’s encouraged me to shoot some more of the E6 film I have in the fridge.
I posted briefly about the Zeiss Mess-Ikonta 524/2 camera I bought recently, and my concerns that the lens might not be correctly aligned. Well it looks like my fears were correct.
I processed the roll of HP5+ yesterday that I’d shot with the camera the previous day and all the photographs show noticeable soft focus on the left side of the frames. It’s perhaps not noticeable here, but it’s quite apparent if you look at them at a larger size. This isn’t nit-picky pixel-peeping type concerns either, unfortunately. While the slightly askew angle of the lens is very minimal (although enough for me to notice straight away) it’s enough to mean that the results are unsatisfactory. Being the owner of another Zeiss Mess-Ikonta (albeit a 6×6 model), I know thet these cameras are capable of very sharp results across the frame, so having one that fails in this regard isn’t any good to me.
Having looked online though, I’ve seen a number of pages detailing the fact that it’s best to wind the film on after opening the camera. Apparently this action can cause a vacuum that lifts the film away from the plane of focus, so it’s better to open the camera and then wind on the film as you can guarantee it will be taut that way. Whether this is a factor in my results or not (I wound on before opening the camera), I’m not sure, but I’ll probably try another roll using this method to see if it makes any difference. Otherwise, I’ll have to return it for a refund.
The shots below are from the initial roll I shot. The photo of the pylons gives the best indication of the problem as the grass at the bottom of the frame, and the legs of the pylon are equally distant from the camera, so should be of a uniform sharpness across the frame. The grass at the left side is clearly softly focused, as are the leftmost legs of the pylon.
Likewise, the mesh sides of the footbridge in the following shot. The right side mesh is sharply defined, the left side much less so.