6×6 Medium Format Film Photography
Ilford XP2 Super Film, a photo by MatthewOsbornePhotography_ on Flickr.
Here are a few samples using my ARAX-CM Hasselblad clone, the Kiev 88 or Hasselbladski made in the Arsenal factory in Ukraine. My particular model is an overhauled and rebadged ‘ARAX’ camera. Kiev 88s are 6×6 medium format film cameras that take 120 film.
Me in action in Poland with model Agnieszka –
You get 10 photos per roll of 120 film so it makes you think about each shot before taking. The camera has no batteries/ electrics so it is back to basics ‘proper’ photography – a light box, a lens and a film back. By using a light meter the required cameras settings can then be dialed in (lens aperture and shutter speed) to obtain the necessary exposure (while taking the film speed into account). I had C41 colour film and this C41 black and white film lab developed. I then scan the film negative using an Epson v600 scanner before cleaning up the image in PP.
Samples using the ARAX-CM + Ilford XP2 Super
Other ARAX-CM samples with different film types
And lastly.. perhaps my favourite photo I have ever taken – Yulya, Ukriane on Kodak T-Max
More ARAX-CM photos from India
Truck filling up with water outside our hotel – Four Points Sheraton.
ARAX-CM (Kiev 88), Mir-38v (65mm/f3.5) @f3.5. 77mm orange filter
My first stop was Pune railway station as there is always lots to see.
ARAX-CM (Kiev 88), Mir-38v (65mm/f3.5) @f3.5. 77mm orange filter
Next, onto MG Road. One of the main shopping areas.
ARAX-CM (Kiev 88), Mir-38v (65mm/f3.5) @f3.5
All India photos shot on Kodak TMAX 100 120 B&W film pushed to 800 in developing. Developed using Rodinal 1:100 stand developing for 1hr10 at 20 degrees.
15 thoughts on “ARAX-CM Photos”
Beautiful moments, Matt, the greatest benefit of the basic film camera is no digital learning curve.
Thanks Frank. Yes a great little camera ..and I love 6×6 format. (I literally just now bought a 6×6 film back for my Mamiya RZ so film is not dead yet). I prefer the format and size of the ARAX but the viewfinder of the big RZ is to die for so I bought 2 new format film backs for it to give it a new lease of life. 6×6 and 645 (for weddings)(16 photos instead of 8 on a roll!). I realise I will not get the full use from the 6×7 sensor with cropped backs but I still have the 6×7 backs to use too, and the RZ can then do the work of 3 of my film cameras using each format.
Coming soon! 🙂
Looking forward to it, Matt!!
These photos are stunning! And I absolutely agree that film is unbelievably rewarding!
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Amazing photos, especially the portraits! I have the same Arax too and a small collections of lenses that get far too little use. Your photos inspire me to take it out more often. 🙂
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Great images! I am thinking about buying an Arax as well… Would you recommend it? I would mainly use it with natural light, no studio, basically… Please let me know what you make of it. Have you used it with an Arax lens? Do you think its worth buying a Carl Zeiss one? Thank you! Victor
Hi Victor, yes I have 2. My most used film camera by a big margin.. and vs the likes of Contax 645, Mamiya RZ and Leica M2 so some serious bits of kit. I love the size and shot 99% with available light. Yes I have the ARAX 80/2.8. Great lens but mostlu used Mir lenses. If you potentially want to buy cameras or lenses let me know and I can probably help. Cheers Matt
Amazing pictures! And I mean it.
I was wondering whether it’s even worth trying those old film cameras and after searching the web for medium format films I came across this blog and it put a spell on me. Almost immediately I bought Pentacon Six TL which needed CLA and after receiving it back I put my DSLR on a shelf.
Thank you! I am utterly happy with my new toy. It’s a pleasure to shoot and develop film at home.
Just one question: would you be so kind to tell if you were using something to make the light so uniform in those portraits with no shadows on faces? Was it a reflector solely or maybe some lights and a reflector or a softbox? Our cameras have a fixed flash sync speed- 1/30s, so using a flash isn’t an option.
Eagerly waiting for your reply and many thanks in advance.
It is my pleasure!! I am glad you can have the same film with film cameras as me! I wish I made more time to do this!
I’m not 100% sure which photos you are looking at but using the ARAX and Pentacon Six I was using daylight 99% of photo. If you want even light turn model to diffused light (such as north facing window or under a tree). I didn’t even use a reflector I do not think!
I will have some new film photos coming soon using 35mm Leica M2 and Mamiya RZ67.. I have 4 rolls of film to develop!! 🙂
Hope that helps you a little
The pleasure is all mine. I am shooting Kodak Tri-X 400 now, although I liked Ilford Xp2 Super. It’s just that I can develop Kodak on my own and I was itchy to try that. Medium format is my first film experience and I’m having a great time with it. Though I’m far from what you have achieved. 🙂
I have time and few ideas although lack of confidence and experience in conjunction with very tight budget is driving me crazy. I would love to shoot some model pictures but I imagine pretty girls don’t do that for free and I’m not intended to hire them. 🙁 Since I’m not that confident to ask somebody on the street to do little posing for me I shoot those streets and buildings instead…
I am looking at those which were taken with ARAX indoors and outdoors (on this page). And I always find myself coming back again. They are something. Light is amazing, it really looks so diffused, uniform and soft. Thank you very much for those advises.
Looking forward to seeing those from RZ67. Good look with development. 😉 I have developed only 2 rolls yet but managed to screw up the second one. Many exposures were lost on that film because I poured a fixer instead of a developer first but quickly realized that. I’ve learnt a lesson that day: don’t let anything/anybody to distract you during that process (was talking to someone then).
Vitalis from Lithuania 🙂
Thanks Vitalis. Yes I have had to learn the hard way for a few rolls too. It’s tough but you will not make the same mistae twice!
For models practise with a digital camera then swap over to film once happy.
Thanks for the kind words. Enjoy!
Film is not dead.