Pentacon Six TL

Pentacon Six TL

Katie trying out Pentacon Six  on me

I started to get into film properly in the autumn of 2012. I decided to buy a Contax 645 medium format 6×4.5 film camera to obtain super shallow DOF using the Carl Zeiss 80mm f2 T lens. The original plan was to purchase a digital back until I saw the cost. I realised that the film look is more to my taste than the sterile digital look and it would save me adding aging textures to my photos to get the looked I desired.  After looking at more and more film photos on Flickr I decided within about 2 weeks of ordering the Contax that I already wanted more.  The Contax had not even arrived I was starting to develop a love for the 6×6 square format of Hasselblads (and other brands).  The long late nights of research commenced once again. Back to the forums, Flickr, youtube and then of course finally…eBay!  I could not get over how cheap Pentacon Six cameras were compared to the Contax I had just bought and the Digital D800/D700 I was custom too.  It was about the same price as a spare film back for the Contax!  I had to get one to try.  I knew enough that there would be a lot of rubbish on eBay with overlap issues and the like so I bought a ‘mint’ condition one in a hope worked OK. 
Pentacon Six TL Arrives!
Arrival! When it arrived it felt and looked like a ‘proper’ film camera and not like the DSLR-like  Contax.  I loved the lack of electronics and the waist level finder.  It is both quite weighty and large but feels solid to hold.  The lens it came with was a standard Carl Zeiss Biometer 80mm/f2.8 which equates to around 50mm on a 35mm sensor.

Test roll!  I had planned to lab develop my film and C41 processing was the cheapest so bought 10 rolls of Ilford XP2 Super C41 B&W film.  I had read many reviews on how to load film correctly so watched a youtube video to remind myself as I did so.  I had also read that you can get 13 exposures from a 120 film so took that into account also and loaded the film with the arrow perhaps 2 inches before the arrow marker.  I’m a Model Photographer so tried the Pentacon Six first on a shoot with Katie near Reading.  Here are some samples:
Katie with the 6x6 Pentacon Six TL + Biotar 80/2.8
Katie with Pentacon Six
Katie also tried using the Pentacon Six to get a photo of me taking a photo of her with my Nikon D800!:
6x6 Me! :)  ..with Pentacon Six TL
I thought I had shot the entire roll so opened the camera film back to see it was not actually finished so closed it back up again.  As a result light got in (as you saw above) but also more so here:
Harriett with Pentacon Six
The overlapping also resulted in a few interesting images!
Harriett with Pentacon Six
I was keen to solve the overlap issue so spoke to an old camera shop in Liverpool that a Flickr friend recommended.  The guy on the phone suggested I tried taping 3-4inches of backing paper to start of each new roll before loading the film so the spool has more film wrapped around to ‘bite’ on.  I did so and had no further overlap problems.

Over the next few months I bought more lenses.  See examples with each:
Carl Zeiss Sonnar 180mm f2.8 for super shallow DOF:
Katie with Pentacon Six TL
Sarah with Pentacon Six TL + CZ Sonnar 180/2.8
Katie with CZ Sonnar 180/2.8 on Pentacon Six TL
Russian Mir 26b, 45mm f3.5 a wider view:
History brushed away..
Katie with Pentacon Six TL
Katie with Mir-26b on Pentacon Six
I kept buying lenses but also cameras and the next chapter in my Film Photography began.  The arrival of the 6×6 ARAX-CM!  (Kiev88 or ‘Hasselbladski’!). 
*ARAX-CM and Contax645  reviews (plus others) coming soon.
**Pentacon Six TL now for sale. It comes with a mint condition leather case and 80mm f2.8 Biometer lens (stuck open at f2.8).  I bought it like this and like to always shoot wide open so was great for my needs.
My Flickr Pentacon Six TL set: Flickr Images – Pentacon Six

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ARAX-CM in India!

I was out in India on a work trip and got some time at the weekend to go exploring with my cameras. I’d managed to fit my Nikon D800, a Nikon FM 35mm film camera and my favourite, a rebadged Russian Kiev88 (“ARAX-CM”) 6×6 medium format film camera into my hand luggage for the flight, with lenses. I soon realised I only wanted to shoot film. This post, “Part 1”, includes B&W 6×6 film photos taken.

It was my fourth visit to India so I was able to get around on my own and see the real street life. I picked up an auto on the side of the highway, agreed my fare then headed into Pune.

Truck filling up with water outside our hotel – Four Points Sheraton.

India on 6x6 Film!
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.

India's Railways (3)
ARAX-CM (Kiev 88), Mir-38v (65mm/f3.5) @f3.5. 77mm orange filter

India's Railways (2)
f5.6

India's Railways (1)

Next, onto MG Road. One of the main shopping areas.

India Street Food (1)
ARAX-CM (Kiev 88), Mir-38v (65mm/f3.5) @f3.5

India Street Food (2)
Afternoon Nap, India
India Street Life
Street shooting, India

All 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.

Part 2: India, March 2013. Part 2 – 6×6 Colour Medium Format Film (not yet developed.. to follow)
Part 3: India, March 2013. Part 3 – 35mm B&W Film (not yet developed.. to follow)

http://www.flickr.com/photos/32681588@N03/
http://www.matthewosbornephotography.co.uk

Film Photography

Film Photography

Why do I offer film photography in the digital era?

In short, film excites me. Everything from the care and attention involved in loading each film into the camera to developing my own film negatives by hand and then scanning the final images at a high resolution to sent to clients in digital format.

I believe film photography is far more involving. It is not just the point-click-next of digital. Shooting film forces me to slow down and in doing so I start to appreciate my surroundings much more. In the past I may have noticed grass blowing in the wind. Now, whether digital or film, I pause and start to appreciate the textures of the leaves and different shades of greens amongst the grasses.

Film Photography - Wedding Photography

Why chose film over digital?
Colour film captures very natural skin tones that is perfect for model portraits and wedding photography. B&W photography eliminates the distractions of colours and is more about the mood and feel of the image. I love the textures and the fine art, timeless look they have. Medium format film photos, whether colour or B&W, have a 3D effect that can be difficult to replicate with digital. You can almost touch the face or object in the photo. Yes film is more expensive but for me I believe it is worth it.

Film Photography - Model Photo Shoot

Benefits of digital?
Despite my love for film photography I am aware of the advantages of digital. You can shoot faster, for longer, in less light for less cost. The latest digital cameras such as the Nikon D800 I use now have image sensors to almost match medium format film cameras. 36mp per image lets me capture crisp fine detail with very little light or fuss. There are no pauses to change film or requirement to decide in advance whether to select colour or B&W film. The LCD display instantly shows me the image taken which I can share with my client. For fast action such as a first dance, digital allows me to take a series of shots rather than just one.

What I offer my clients?
I like to offer the best of both film photography and digital photography, whether models or wedding couples. My preferred packages include a mix of both film and digital formats. Film for set shots and digital to provide a more fluid journalist style reportage photos capturing action without you realising.

Film Photography - B&W Film Photography

Film I use?
> Kodak B&W T-MAX 100 (TMX): World’s finest grained 100-speed B&W film
> Kodak B&W T-MAX 400 (TMY): World’s sharpest & finest grained 400-speed B&W film
> Kodak Portra 160/ 400/ 800 Colour film: Exceptional skin tones/ Finest grain colour 400-speed film/ Superior underexposure latitude for less-than-perfect conditions