Picture | Joie de vivre

Simply enjoying life. Wildpark Edersee, May 1st, 2012.

Leica M8 + Planar 50/2 ZM @ f/2, 1/2000 sec, ISO 160

Ghost in the machine

My Contax T recently decided to act up, exposing only every other frame properly. The rest of the time the shutter would either not open or not close, yielding overexposed shots or frame not exposed at all. (It needs to be sent in for repair, and I found a small company in Germany who will be able to fix it.)

When I put in a roll of that rather expensive Kodak Ektachrome E100G, sometime late October, I wasn’t yet aware of the problem. Only while shooting it I noticed that the sound the shutter made sometimes wasn’t what I was used to hear — only a single “click” instead of two distinct ones. As it turned out — as with the roll of equally expensive Velvia 100 I shot before –, approximately 15 frames were exposed properly, the remaining pictures were either plain transparent or showed a blurred scene due to overexposure.

Magically, though, the ghost that had possessed the camera seems to have been aware of the scenes I was shooting — I can’t explain otherwise why exactly these two pictures turned out so nicely, whereas most other “keepers” are of mostly irrelevant content.

Contax T + Kodak Ektachrome E100G

Contax T + Kodak Ektachrome E100G

I like the first one especially, because the light was simply magical, and the wide open aperture of f/2.8 caused a very pleasing blurring of the background. In the second one, I like the light-hearted and natural expression of both my wife and son.

Two family moments to remember, captured in two pictures that had a less-than-50% chance of coming into being. As if the camera had known what it was doing.

Out and about with the E-P1 + Cosmicar 25/1.4

As I already mentioned, I’ve slapped the little Cosmicar/Pentax 25mm f/1.4 C-mount lens onto my E-P1 again — and what can I say, I’m as thrilled again by this lens as I was the first, the second, the third and all consecutive times I used it. On the E-P1, it’s simply magical!

There’s something about the colours the way theĀ  lens renders them combined with the way the E-P1 reproduces them that make this special combination so unique. From all the lenses I’ve used on the E-P1, this is the one I enjoy the most — and yes, its optical imperfections have a good deal to do with that!

But before I lose myself in ongoing ravings about this little, inexpensive gem, let pictures speak! :-)

Olympus E-P1 + Cosmicar/Pentax 25/1.4 @ f/1.4, 1/100 sec, ISO 250

Continue reading Out and about with the E-P1 + Cosmicar 25/1.4

The Film Chronicles | Ilford HP5+ & Provia 100

Hello everyone, sorry for the slow news recently, but I’m rather occupied at the moment and rarely find the time to work on my blog. Anyways, it’s time to resurrect a long-neglected column, The Film Chronicles!

Yes, I’ve finally acquired a film scanner (Epson Perfection V330, to be precise) and spent the last three evenings scanning two rolls of film I shot in the past months: one roll of Ilford HP5+, a very popular and reputable 400 ISO black-and-white film (which I started to shoot last summer and finished only this spring …), and a roll of Fujichrome Provia 100 that I shot during the past few weeks. For your enjoyment, here’s a sample of the scanned results! (Mostly family snaps, so if you don’t care for these, please skip this post :-))

Yashica Electro 35 GT + Ilford HP5+ 400

Continue reading The Film Chronicles | Ilford HP5+ & Provia 100

A quick test of Nik Color Efex 3

Recently, I’ve been searching for a way to give my pictures a Kodachrome 64 look, without much success. I tried different Lightroom presets, but they didn’t bring me the results I had hoped for. So I decided to give Nik Color Efex a try … and so far — apart from running awfully slow for no obvious reason — the results look promising. Here’s just a quick conversion of a picture I took during our winter holidays, just to demonstrate what Color Efex can do.

Leica M8 + Nokton 50/1.5 @ f/2, 1/750 sec, ISO 160

P.S.: I had also tried DxO Film Pack, with equally good results. Both softwares have the limit that they cannot work with DNG files, so you have to do some preliminary processing any way. If I can’t fix the speed issue with Color Efex, I may give DxO another shot …