Thursday, April 30, 2009

Test Roll

Tree Blossoms

Test roll from my Super Baldax, medium format folding camera.

Short review of the camera:
So far there are no light leaks in camera, something that is always a concern with these 50 year old or so folding cameras. The Radionar lens is a little soft at wide apertures but is better at smaller f11 or so. The shot of the tree blossoms and portraits were done at f5.6, it's slight softness, I think, is pleasing enough for the subjects. The chairs were shot wide open at f2.9 and 1/100 shutter speed. It came out not bad at all.

My first film roll, a Fuji Neopan 400 came out not very contrasty. I had to tweak my scans a little bit with levels and curves adjustments to get the contrast I preferred. It could be because of my film developing technique. The film was developed with Kodak HC-110, dilution B at five minutes. I have to evaluate my next set of negatives before I make a conclusion.

Ergonomics: I find that there is hardly any room for me to hold the side of the camera. The lens door swings horizontally and is too close to the side. I had to cradle the camera at the bottom. I would have preferred the lens door to swing up and down. The rangefinder/ viewfinder is bright and contrasty enough, comparable with my other rangefinder cameras.

The auto frame counting system of the winder didn't work precisely. The top frame counter did not match the red counter window at the back of the camera. I hear a lot of complains from other owners with the same problem. Some say that the backing paper of old film rolls made during the time of this camera was a little bit thicker than today's film. The auto frame counter was not calibrated for modern film. To remedy this, I rachet-turn the winder clockwise a little more until the correct frame number appeared on the red window. The negative frames would have overlapped otherwise.

Time will tell if the Super Baldax will become my favorite carry around medium format camera, but I like it's great potential.

Empty Chairs

Lunch Break

Monday, April 27, 2009

Balda Super Baldax

My Super Baldax arrived today from Jurgen Kreckel.
It's a German made folding medium format camera with a coupled rangefinder. It has a Schneider-Kreuznach Radionar 80mm f2.9 lens and Prontor-SVS shutter. Uses 120 roll film to produce 12 6x6 cm shots per roll. It was made in the 1950's by Balda Kamera Werk.

I like the compact design of folding cameras. I can carry it around in my coat pocket and yet produces large medium format negatives.
This particular model is slightly heftier than my Zeiss Ikon Nettar because of the rangefinder and the bigger & faster lens. It is still, however, more compact than my Rolleicord or Yashica TLR cameras. The viewfinder is also used at eye level so it's easier to focus and compose the image.

Can't wait to test it with film. I will be posting images from it soon.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Hell Gate Bridge

I went back to Astoria Park in Queens, NY two weeks ago and made a few more shots of the base of the Hell Gate Bridge. It was a very windy day and I was having a hard time keeping my hands warm. I love the arched column of the base of the bridge.
Zeiss Ikon Nettar, Neopan 400 developed with HC-110, dilution B.

Spring Light & Shadows

West Ave

Inner Courtyard

The quality of light in winter and spring always fascinates me. I like the pattern of long shadows the trees make. A few more shots with my Zeiss Ikon Nettar and Neopan 4oo film.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Filipino American World War II Veterans

Mr. F. Simpao

Mr. G. Deyro

Mr. L. Velasco

Filipino-American World War II veterans, the forgotten heroes.
These series of portraits will be included in group photo exhibition at the Philippine Center Gallery in New York City on June 7-19, 2009.
Camera: Canon P rangefinder, Canon 50mm f1.8 lens. Film: Kodak BW 400CN.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Zeiss Ikon Nettar

St. Peters Ave. Bronx, NY

Non Commuters, Bronx, NY

Foot of Hellgate Bridge, Queens, NY

Rear of a Theatre, Bronx, NY

I recently picked up a Zeiss Ikon Nettar with a Novar 75mm f6.3 lens to supplement my Rolleicord IV. The camera is an inexpensive medium format folder that takes 120 film. It is a scale focusing camera, done by guess estimating the distance of the subject. The Novar lens is not the high end type for this camera, nevertheless, I'm happy with the sharpness and contrast of my images.

Film: Fuji Neopan 400, developed with HC-110, dilution B.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Going In Full Circle

The first camera I've ever used was my dad's Rolleiflex. I borrowed it whenever I get a chance. I always wanted one of my own.

Recently, I acquired this good user Rolleicord IV, a simpler camera than the Rolleiflex but it produces the same quality image. The viewing screen is a little dim so it was hard to focus. I trimmed a discarded fresnel viewing screen from my old Hasselblad 500C and placed it on top of the Rollei's viewing screen. It made the viewfinder about one stop brighter.
It has a superb Xenar 75mm f3.5 lens.

Some shots from the Rolleicord IV's first rolls. Film: Ilford Delta 400 Pro and Fuji Neopan 400

Empty Cup

Chinese Teapot


Manhole Cover

Gate Shadows


Folded Hands

Welcome to my photography blog.

I've been posting an informal photographic journal on Flickr for some time now so I thought I might as welll start my own blog.
This is my first post so please pardon the rough start. I'm not a very good writer so this blog would be more visual than verbal. I will post mostly personal photos that I shoot regularly, add brief descriptions about them, a few comments about technique, equipment and materials that I use and hopefully you will find them interesting.

Although I shoot with digital cameras exclusively in my job, I rediscovered film again for my personal work last year. Recently, I have been using vintage rangefinder and twin lens reflex cameras for fun. This blog will feature mostly my personal work because I think they are more artistic and I enjoy them more.