Mamiya RZ67 Portraits / Model Photography Budapest
Matthew Osborne Photography / Mr Leica
December 2017 (from February 2017)
Mamiya RZ67 Pro II Portraits
Mamiya RZ67 Portraits – Here are a series of film scan images I shot on my Mamiya RZ67 Pro II 6×7 medium format film camera. I used the Mamiya 110mm f2.8 lens (as pictured above), the amazingly big and bright Mamiya RZ waist level viewfinder and a Mamiya RZ 6×6 film back rather than a standard RZ 6×7 film back. After using my Hasselblad 501C / 500CM cameras a lot I prefer composing as a square than 6×7. I used a mixture of film stocks for the shoot but many of the colour photos were shot on expired 120 Kodak Portra 160 film.
All the photos were shot on a model photography trip to Budapest in February 2017 when I finally decided to take the big Mamiya RZ67 overseas (for the first time I think). Since then I have gone back to travelling with a Hasselblad camera or if I need to travel light only Leica M cameras. Hasselblad cameras are nice but the Mamiya RZ67 viewfinder is still the best (biggest, brightest, easiest to focus) and I enjoy the Mamiya RZ bellows system where I can focus as close as I wish with any lens. (Like the even more amazing Rolleiflex SL66E camera which also uses bellows but is always breaking / jammed).
I have blogged my thoughts on the Hasselblad vs. Mamiya RZ67 comparison before. 12 months (or so) on and with me now using more Hasselblad equipment I think the Mamiya RZ photos here render smoother than my Hasselblad photos (that I can think of) and using the above mentioned Mamiya Sekor 110mm f2.8 lens the sharpness is fantastic. Both the Mamiya RZ67 Pro II and the Hasselblad 500CM /501C are very good cameras.
A big thanks to the Budapest models Petra, Patricia and Nora. I was using multiple cameras so the other girls may have been shot on a 35mm Leica film camera or digital Leica M240.
*(I don’t normally say this but I would strongly recommend you to click any image that catches your eye to view larger on Flickr as small size here really doesn’t do the camera / lens / model justice!).
After enjoying my model photography in Budapest at the end of 2016 I booked a return trip within a few days of being back in the UK for January. Unfortunately I then found a really cool apartment I wanted to stay in but it was full on those dates so I booked a second trip to Budapest in February 2017. January was fun (see my recent blog post) but like every trip I wanted to do it bigger and better which brings me nicely to February!
The low cost airline I use basic travel limit is one carry-on bag and no additional items. I bought a new Lowepro airline camera bag (to follow in later blog review) but it was too big for this airline limits. While researching bags I found the idea of wearing a gilet with multiple pockets to carry additional items on the flight. I ordered a cheap gilet online and managed to fit the entire content of my Billingham Hadley Digital camera bag into my clothing. (The beauty of the small form Leica cameras and lenses!) That gave me the equivalent Leica bag space in my carry-on luggage bag for more cameras.
I spent what felt like days thinking of different camera and lens combinations to take in additional to my Leica gear. The first choice was the Hasselblad 501C but it still needs repairing. I wanted to take a bigger form camera to use the opportunity so this excluded the more compact Mamiya 6, Fuji GF670 and Fuji GA645. All 3 cameras are rangefinders so produce results not so different my Leica cameras. I was then split between the smaller lighter Mamiya 645 Super or the big and heavy Mamiya RZ67 Pro II. I find the RZ67 the most fun to use, best viewfinder (biggest and brightest) and with bellows focusing every lens can do close up photos. The Mamiya Sekor 110mm f2.8 lens is pretty compact for this camera system and a nice focal length for portraits. I therefore picked the Mamiya RZ to take with me and this would be the first time I have taken the RZ67 overseas. The photos the RZ67 creates (like the Hasselblad) are very different to Leica camera images so I enjoy creating a different look even with the same model using different cameras. A problem I find when using a digital Leica camera next to a film Leica camera is both photos look extremely similar other than the effect of the film.
Final camera list – to take
Leica M 240 camera (digital body)
Leica M4-P film camera X1
Leica Summarit-M 50mm f2.5 lens
Leica Summilux ASPH 50mm f1.4 lens
Voigtlander Nokton Classic 35mm f1.4 lens
Leica Elmarit-M ASPH 28mm f2.8 lens
Mamiya RZ67 Pro II camera body
Mamiya Sekor 110mm f2.8 lens
Mamiya RZ 6×6 film back
Olympus Pen-F film camera
Olympus 38mm f1.8 kit lens
Film – 35mm and 120
For medium format 120 film I packed a mixture of Ilford Pan F 50, Ilford FP4 Plus, Fomapan 100 black and white film and some expired Kodak Portra 160 film for colour.
For 35mm film I decided to take mostly colour film rather than my usual bias for black and white. For colour I chose mostly ECN-2 Kodak Motion Picture bulk film that I have rolled at home; Kodak Vision3 50D, Vision3 200T and Vision3 500T. I also packed a roll of Ilford Pan-F 50 for the Olympus Pen-F and my last roll of expired Kodak Plus-X 125. I packed film more that I needed but it’s better to be safe! I just hope I get to shoot more film than I did in January. Fingers crossed!
I booked myself up with 12 models to fill my 2.5 days in Budapest. The plan was some inside photos and some outside photos and to try to use and/ or create more interesting light than my recent images. I find it easy to get stuck in a rut where I place every model in perfect beauty style lighting before taking a picture but this can result in quite boring photos.
After all the planning the trip proved one of my most eventful..
For the first day two of the five models changed or cancelled their shoots so I had three girls left to work with. I got up early to start the first shoot at 7:30 after only 2.5hrs sleep. I had a late one not because of partying but from trying various lighting setups in the apartment. With that done and some ideas up my sleeve as soon as we started the shoot the sun came up and flooded the room with daylight overpowering any room lights. It totally threw all my planned lighting ideas and I just went with the flow instead. The first model was a girl I met on a business trip perhaps 5yrs ago or more. Not a model but naturally very beautiful and in my eyes could certainly be a successful model. Next I had a new model recommended to me from the model agency and lastly a local freelance model I met on Instagram. I used the Mamiya RZ Pro II all day alongside my Leica M240 and shot 5 rolls of film I think, both colour and black and white film. I also used the Leica M4-P and Olympus PEN-F shooting colour film in both cameras. A great start to my Budapest trip and some of the most beautiful girls I think I have photographed. I slept with a big smile.
I woke to the sound of rain outside and also realized I had not seen my Leica M 240 battery charger since arriving. I have two Leica M 240 batteries but I knew they would not last through the second day with five models lined up. I searched online for a Leica camera store in Budapest and found a camera shop that sold Leica equipment as my only option. The online website was difficult to navigate in Hungarian and I was not sure if they would stock what I needed. I then remember leaving my Leica M9 / M8 battery charger at a wedding once and seeing the high cost of a replacement battery charger. (I thought I remembered the charger being a similar cost to a modern compact camera but I checked online once home and a Leica M240 battery charger costs around £90 in the UK). My mind then started to wander away from Leica cameras and onto other alternative camera options. I thought aha I could buy a small but capable camera to finish my model photography in Budapest and then use it as a vlog camera or camera to use for making Instagram videos / photos and also as a digital backup camera for travel. I wanted a camera with full manual controls, a hoteshoe and 4K video in a compact package. I will write a separate full review but I looked at a Leica D-Lux (Typ 109) camera and that lead me to buying a Panasonic Lumix LX100 camera with an equivalent 24-75mm f1.7-f2.8 fixed zoom lens. I then found a local camera shop and ran there as soon as it opened to make the purchase prior to the model shoot. Mission complete and thank you to Digitcam, Budapest for the excellent customer service!
The models in the morning were completely different to yesterday and so too was the weather resulting in very different photos (probably completely unrecognizable as being the same location and photographer). I used strobes as the light levels were too low and I also noticed a pattern developing where in good natural light I shoot a lot of film and in bad (low) light I shoot almost no film. I like to see what I am shooting with film and with flash you can’t see until afterwards. In the studio it is a little different at I use larger light modifiers so light hits everything every time so is predictable.
I got to try my new Panasonic Lumix LX100 camera for part of the shoot with the second model and quite enjoyed it. Like with any new gadget I then wanted to keep using the LX100 so continued to use it for the rest of the day other than when I had to recharge the battery. I was shooting digitally at up to ISO 1600 and mixing flash and continuous light so didn’t shoot film. I accidently mentioned my excitement to one of the afternoon models that I had a new camera that shoots 4K video. She had featured in music videos before and is the face for many brands so replied with similar excitement to try out the Lumix LX100 in video mode. When a model has great vision and can do the job of a stylist, a model and an MUA single handed plus trusts the photographer’s ability with a camera and lighting the magic really starts. We started with our planned photos and then it just turned into a video production!
I have been part of a wedding video team in the past as a cinematographer, shooting short cinematic looking video clips with fast lenses and shallow depth of field on sliders and tripods using my Nikon D800 (and to a lesser degree a Nikon D90 when overseas for personal work). I was fortunate to work alongside some very talented fellow cinematographers who taught me the basics. Cinematography is a different world to photography despite often using the same cameras and lenses. What killed it for me was the time taken to edit video footage in the early years of DSLR video so it all stopped and I started shooting film instead. Since the early years of DSLR video smart phones have gained the video capability, vlogging has become a popular and Instagram now has a story feature (which often includes videos). As someone who teaches photography and runs 1-2-1 photography workshops I enjoy the opportunity to share some of my behind the scenes work when developing film and using analogue cameras. I would have shared much more ‘footage’ already but the iPhone video potential is not great for me and I have always shot any clips handheld. This may now change with the coming of the Lumix LX100!
I hadn’t expected to buy a camera in Budapest but it actually seems to ticks a lot of my to-do boxes and may well prove a very valuable and worthy purchase in my journey as an experimental photographer. My mind never stops when it comes to cameras and photography so I think I will also class myself as ‘experimental’. As you might imagine I slept with a smile again!
I had two models lined up before I needed to check out the apartment and go to the airport. The first model arrived, I tried to open the apartment door and the lock was jammed. It was an old central Budapest apartment and an old door and I kept trying but the key would not turn. The poor model could see me through the glass panes in the door but was stuck out in the cold. I passed a blanket through the window so she could keep warm and shared the Wi-Fi details so she could use the internet while I kept trying to unlock the door. After an hour the model left and went to sit in a local café to wait. I looked at every option to get out but the windows had metal security bars across so I couldn’t climb out that way. As time passed the first model was still waiting, I was still stuck at the apartment and then the second model then messaged me to say she was outside and hadn’t seen my message saying not to come. The apartment management called a locksmith but he arrived 2.5hrs later and both models eventually went home without photos. I missed out on two great photo shoots and wasted a fifth of my time in the city so a disappointing final day after such a great start.
I’m glad I used the Mamiya RZ Pro II on the first day as it got little use after that. I lost some photos where the cable release I was using stuck down so when I was working quickly I advanced the film and the camera automatically fired off another shot. I used the Olympus Pen-F camera and Leica M4-P roughly equally and again mostly on day 1. Day 2 saw me using the new Panasonic Lumix LX100 camera. I was learning on the shoot so there were more blurry photos than when I use a Leica due to the auto focus and lag. That said the photos will look different to the Leica M 240 so I am excited to see and hope the photo quality is up to my needs. As I am used to Leica lenses and Leica sensors and also the 36MP Nikon D800 and my digital Hasselblad I guess my expectations and ‘needs’ are quite high in terms of image quality, resolution, sharpness and clarity. The little Panasonic Lumix LX100 has a lot to compete with. One fact that gives me some confidence is that the Lumix LX100 is pretty much identical to the Leica D-Lux Typ 109 (inside) and I know Leica will not put their name on a bad camera. That said the Lumix LX100 has a smaller 13MP micro four thirds CMOS sensor so it would be unfair to compare directly to my full frame digital camera sensors. I used the LX100 in manual mode for shutter, ISO and aperture but I didn’t discover how to manually focus until after the day’s photo shoots so the auto focus caused for a few miss shots. I also noticed my composition was much worse using the LX100 verses a Leica (so far).
A big thanks to the models I worked with; Nora, Petra, Patricia, Lili, Luca, Flora, Viki and Kata and my apologies to Lili and Noemi that I was not able to photograph on day 3. Thanks also to NumberOne Model Group for recommending some of their models to me again. A real pleasure.
When packing to come home I found the missing Leica M 240 battery charger in my bag so I didn’t need to buy a new camera after all. As strange as it may sound, I’m quite glad misplacing the battery charger lead me buying a new camera. I think the LX100 will fill a void in my current camera line up perfectly!
Full Panasonic Lumix LX100 review to follow together with sample photos
I want to fly back to Budapest tomorrow to continue the fun I had but next I will fly to Paris where I will shoot with IMG Paris model agency. After that it is back to see all the models in Poland and then it is onto Ukraine for my first visit of 2017. Even though I was in Budapest last month I think these photos will hopefully be a little different. I hope. The new Lumix LX100 images will help create a different feel at least. More images coming soon
Matthew Osborne Photography / Mr Leica
I have owned my Mamiya RZ67 medium format film camera since summer 2013 but have only recently bought my Hasselblad 501C. Here is a post to compare the Hasselblad vs Mamiya RZ67 giving information on each camera system and then a few example images.
Mamiya RZ67 6×7 – Camera gear
Over the last two years I have done Mamiya RZ67 fashion photography, Mamiya RZ67 wedding photography and Mamiya RZ67 Polaroid photos. I have a selection of Mamiya Sekor lenses for the RZ; 65mm f4, 90mm f3.5, 110mm f2.8 (my favourite lens on the RZ) and the 180mm f4.5. I also bought different film backs for the Mamiya; RZ 645 film back, RZ 6×6 film back, standard 6×7 film backs and lastly a Polaroid film back. To focus the RZ67 I use the big and bright waist level viewfinder and until this experiment I have only shot the RZ handheld.
Hasselblad 501C 6×6 – Camera gear
If you have read my recent blog posts you will be aware of my Hasselblad v-system camera equipment but to recap I use the following Hasselblad lenses; Zeiss Distagon 50mm f4 CF, Zeiss Planar 80mm f2.8 CF, Zeiss Makro-Planar 120mm f4 CF, Zeiss Sonnar 150mm f4 CF and I use two 6×6 Hasselblad A12 film back. To focus I use a Hasselblad 45 degree prism finder and try to use the Hasselblad on a monopod for the sharpest possible photos. I have a waist level viewfinder but found it very difficult to focus with the acute matte screen (without split prism). In the last few months since purchase I have already done a Hasselblad wedding and Hasselblad fashion photography. I absolutely love the Hasselblad portraits with the 6×6 crop factor and can honestly say that I think the Hasselblad has had more beneficial impact on my photography than any other camera.
Mamiya RZ67 6×7 – User experience
I have always loved the big bright RZ viewfinder and 6×7 rotating film back. The 110mm f2.8 lens give both sharpness and a shallow depth of field. The size and weight of the Mamiya RZ has not deterred me but that said I have not used it a huge amount and it has never been overseas on model photography trips. I have always been happy with image sharpness and camera handling. One of the features I like the most on the RZ is the bellows focusing system as I can get as close as I want to my subject without the need of additional extension tubes. Perhaps my only complaint is the fact that the Mamiya RZ requires a battery. I found I used the RZ more without a battery and at the 1/400 fixed shutter speed. The Mamiya RZ is great for 6×6 Polaroid photos and I like how the image is captured in the centre of the film rather than being offset. I have used the Mamiya RZ with Polaroid back for events and the Polaroid photos produced are great. I always used the RZ handheld and never really thought to do any different despite the weight.
Hasselblad 501C 6×6 – User experience
From my recent blog posts and the rave reviews you may have noticed that I am a huge fan of the Hasselblad camera. I really struggled to focus with the original waist level viewfinder but now I am happy using the 45 degree prism finder. My favourite lens is the super sharp Zeiss Makro-Planar 120mm f4 CF lens as it lets me focus closer than the 80mm Planar kit lens and is incredibly sharp. As such I have hardly used the 80mm kit lens that most people seem to keep on their Hasselblad 500 series cameras. The Hasselblad is smaller (lighter and more compact) than the Mamiya RZ and as such it has already been overseas with me to Poland for model photography location shoots. The Hasselblad is 100% mechanical so requires no batteries which I love and the build quality is on a par with my Leica M3 film cameras (I think). It is a very rewarding camera to use!
Hasselblad vs Mamiya RZ67 Shoot Out
As I own both cameras I was interested to compare the Hasselblad vs Mamiya RZ67 Pro II. Here are a few images from each camera from my shoot with Julie in the studio. All photos werer shot on expired 120 Ilford Delta 100 film and developed in Kodak Xtol developer. Film negatives were scanned with a Epson v800 scanner and finished in Photoshop. Both cameras were used on monopods to make it a fair test. I fitted the Mamiya RZ with a 6×6 film back so both cameras were 6×6 format. Click on any photo to see the lens used and additional information.
Mamiya RZ67 Portraits
Conclusion – Clear Winner?
Hasselblad vs Mamiya RZ67? Both camera systems are capable of producing very sharp images and I cannot call a clear winner here. As such I think it comes down to what camera I enjoy using more. The Hasselblad is smaller, lighter, arguably better built but also more expensive than the RZ. If you are on a tight budget I would say you can capture equally good photos with a Mamiya RZ but if you want a camera system for life I would get a Hasselblad everytime. The Hasselblad 501C will still be with me together with the Leica M3s for years to come where as I think the Mamiyas will come and go. That is my rose tinted 2 cents worth anyway.
Matthew Osborne Photography / MrLeica
My Hasselblad journey so far..
After getting my first Hasselblad camera a few weeks ago it has been a bit of roller coaster ride. I had the usual pre-arrival excitment and research phase, then the eagerly awaited arrival and just sheer appreciation of the form, feel and build quality. What followed was real disappointment. I tried to take some test photos using the Hasselblad 501C kit WLF (waist level viewfinder) and found that I really struggled to see to focus using the nice and bright acute-matte cross hair focus screen. I thought perhaps I was going mad so compared to my Mamiya RZ67 WLF and I could focus fine on the RZ. Hmm perhaps my Hasselblad love affair was going to be short lived.
With a wedding fast approaching and where the client wanted me to photograph some images with a Hasselblad I was already starting to consider alternative film camera options for the day. I thought perhaps my Fuji GF670 rangefinder camera to capture equally sharp 6×6 images on film. I then started researching the various Hasselblad focus screens options and reached out to forums for help. I looked at the focus screens with the central split image spot but that is as far as I got before wedding day.
I took both the Fui GF670 and the Hasselblad 501C to the wedding as the groom said I could try his 45 degree PM prism viewfinder. I tried the prism finder and hey presto, I could see! So happy and relieved all mixed into one! Since then I have never looked back and am loving my Hasselblad. It has quckly become one of my favourite cameras (together with my all time favourite, the Leica M3 (s))
What do I like about the Hasselblad V series cameras?
Build quality seems up there with Leica. Everything just feels exact and precise. The Hasselblad really is a joy to use and at the opposite end of the spectrum from the equally sharp Fuji GF670 which to me lacks the fun factor and emotion that makes you want to use a camera.
Loving the 6×6 square format. I think Leica should make an M3 square crop camera! I have tried to like square format in the past and struggled but this time I have Instagram instilled in me so square format composition seems to come easier.
I like the almost 3D pop from the out of focus background yet sharp subject. Without doubt the Mamiya 645 Super can create dreamier images more akin to the famous Contax 645 look but with dreamy comes softer focus. The Hasselblad images are less dreamy (even ar wide open apertures) but appear much sharper.
The Zeiss lenses for the Hasselblad V series do indeed all seem super sharp. The Zeiss Planar 80mm f2.8 and Zeiss Sonnar 150mm f4 that I have used so far are both among some of the sharpest lenses I have used. That said the Mamiya RZ67 can create perhaps equally sharp yet more dreamy images from the results I have obtained so far with the backdrop melting away behind the subject. I would compare the Hasselblad to the Leica Summilux ASPh 50mm f1.4 lens. They are clinically sharp. The Mamiya 645 Super can look more like the Leica Noctilux lens with a softer dreamy look. I think the Mamiya RZ sits mid way between. **Please note this is only based on the very few photos taken so far to date so I will update my conclusion if and when I see different.
Interchangeable film backs on the Hasselblad as also found on my Mamiya RZ67, Mamiya 645 Super and Rolleiflex SL66E are great for weddings where I can pre load 2+ film backs or if I want to shoot a mix of colour and black and white film side by side. For 35mm film cameras I need two bodies to cover this approach hence I use two Leica M3s for weddings.
The size of the Hasselblad “rig” with lens, lens hood, prism viewfinder and on a monopod is no discrete Leica M3 camera yet somehow it is purposeful and also get only positive remarks when out on the street. It is a real head turner (and conversastion starter!). I think people really appreciate seeing the older film cameras in action.
Hasselblad negative scans (all with Ilford HP5 plus film)
Here are some sample images from the first roll of film testing the Hasselblad
Here is a photo taken at the wedding
Lastly here are a few images from a model photography workshop the day after the wedding
My wishes before the Hasselblad arrived were, I quote (my previous post)..
“The Hasselblad 501CM is by no means the perfect system but I want to try it as part of my quest for the ‘perfect’ camera. I hope I can love it as much as my Leicas. My biggest wish is reliability and sharp images and that alone will make me use the camera more than some of my existing ones.”
It is very very early days but I think the Hasselblad ticks all my boxes and is a keeper! 🙂
More new Hasselblad images coming to Flickr (and here) soon. I was shooting in London today with a male model in the morning and with an array of exciting (and new) Hasselblad lenses in the afternoon. 🙂
I was recently gifted a mixed batch of unrefrigerated expired camera film and some of the rolls were medium format 120 Ilford Delta 400 film dating back to 2006. I thought I would try a shooting a few rolls to see how I got on. I decided to expose the first film at 400@200 and developed in Rodinal. Some of the photos were a little dark so for the next roll I exposed at 400@100. Here are the results from recent model photography shoots in my Coventry studio. Cameras including my Mamiya 645 Super, Mamiya RZ 67 and 4×5 large format Pacemaker Speed Graphic with a 120 roll film back.
Mamiya 645 Super + Vega 28 MC 120mm f2.8 (Freelensing)
Model – Tegan (400@200)
Mamiya RZ 67 Pro II + Mamiya Sekor 110mm f2.8 + RZ 6×6 Film Back
Model – Charlotte (400@100)
4×5 Pacemaker Speed Graphic + Kodak Aero Ektar 178mm f2.5 + Horseman 120 6×7 Roll Film Back
Model – Harriet (400@100)
The next expired film I tried was 2006 C41 black and white film 35mm Kodak BW400CN in Rodinal.. coming next.
Big thanks again to Richard who gifted the film to me.
I finally got around to using my Mamiya RZ 67 Pro II medium format film camera more and that gave me chance to try the RZ 6×6 film back I had bought a while ago. I do like the 6×6 format and that was partly the reason why I bought my Rolleiflex SL66E. As the shutter is jammed on the Rollieflex SL66 I thought I would dig out the Mamiya RZ to use instead. As much as I like 35mm film photography using my trusty Leica M3 (and Leica M2) film cameras, medium format film takes it to the next level.
Here are some sample images. When taking all off my many cameras into consideration I can’t think of many that can match the image resolution achieved with the Mamiya Sekor 110mm f2.8 lens (and also Mamiya Sekor 65mm f4 lens). All photos here with the 110/2.8 lens which I tend to leave on the Mamiya RZ.
More recent RZ 6×6 samples to follow when I share the “Ilford Delta 400 film” post
Size wise the Mamiya RZ67 is not a convenient as my small Leica cameras but it does let me focus much closer for my portraits. Now that I use the Pacemaker Speed Graphic and Sinar F2 4×5 large format film cameras the Mamiya RZ suddenly seems so much more portable. I always use the RZ handheld but I know others prefer to use a tripod / monopod.
Wedding Photography – I have my highest number of Wedding Photography bookings in the diary to date. Really looking forward to getting out there and starting shooting now. I have been booked for Leica Wedding Photography in Barbados but I have to wait for 2015 for that one!
Leica Photography – The Leica M9 camera is ready to go with a fantastic line up of lenses to use for both Leica Wedding Photography and Fashion and Beauty Portrait Photography. Newer lenses include Leica Summilux ASPH 50 f1.4, Leica Summicron 50 f2 and Leica Elmar 135mm f4, Zeiss ZM Sonnar 50mm f1.5, Voigtlander Nokton 35mm f1.2 ASPH ii and Voigtlander Super Wide Heliar 15mm f4.5. I now feel the Leica M9 camera can cover most simtuations I come across during a wedding day. It really is a fantastic tool for documentary style wedding photography. I may even look to get a second Leica body so I do not need to change lenses as often. 35mm is great for most occasions but sometimes you need a 50mm (or longer) and sometimes 28mm (or wider). I felt my most focused during my last Leica wedding when I shot almost the entire wedding day with just the CV 35/1.2 ASPH ii lens. In the past with my Nikon D800 I changed lenses too frequently so was less focused on what was happening around me. The Leica camera bag is also much smaller and lighter so I am much more mobile to get my shots.
Studio Photography – My Coventry photography studio has a new backdrop and new lights and can make use of the new Leica camera equipment in addition to the Nikon D800 and film cameras.
Location Fashion Photography – I am now more available to travel within the UK and overseas so I am looking forward to shooting in some fantastic new locations and collaborating with new models, designers and makeup artists.
Collaboration – I was luck enough to meet and work with some amazing people in 2013. As a regular model photographer I am only as good as my model. 2013 saw me work with some extremely talented and beautiful girls both in the UK and overseas. I strive to discover literally Britain’s next top model to help me raise my game to the next level. In 2013 I often worked 1 on 1 with models without additional hair and makeup artists. I found I am able to apply eye makeup and can direct models how to apply their makeup for the look I desire. I also found myself enjoying styling the models hair during shoots to get new and creative looks from the basic materials. I will try anything to enhance my photography! Despite me discovering these un-expected talents, in 2014 I want to now start collaborating more with makeup artists, stylists, clothes designers and model agencies to help a team of people create something really special.
For the 2013 weddings I met some really lovely wedding couples and very helpful venue staff, wedding planners and event managers. I also worked as a freelance wedding videographer shooting alongside various talented videographers / cinemaphotographers. I look forward to the wedding photography / videography bookings I have for 2014 and the people I will get to work with at those events.
Event Photography – After photographing a New Year’s Eve fashion show Asian bridal catwalk last night I really got a taste again for event photography. I have covered fashion shows in the past but not as many in 2013. I look forward to getting involved in more fashion shows in 2014.
Studio Photography Workshops – Word is starting to spread that I run photography and lighting tuition workshops from my Coventry studio and the number of bookings continues to increase. I have had interest from as far as Australia as well as clients living in Switzerland and Denmark. I tailor the photography workshops to suit individual needs. Photography courses include: Understanding your new DLSR / digital camera, what is Aperture, Shutter Speed and ISO, how to read a Histogram, RAW or JPEG, how to pose and light a model, flash photography using a speedlight or studiolight, balancing flash light with ambient light and even how to develop black and white film.
Location Photography Workshops – New for 2014, I plan to run some location photography workshops in some of the UK’s larger cities to begin with such as Birmingham and London. I will arrange for a professional model to join us for the day and will teach you how to pose and light a model on location using both ambient light and speedlights. Looking further ahead I may offer trips to Poland and Ukraine for those interesting in travelling to a different country to work with local models and making use of the countries architecture. Poland and Ukraine are amongst my favourite locations for model photography outside the UK. If you are interested in either UK or overseas photography workshops please get in touch to give me an idea of numbers, thanks.
Film Photography – An exciting year ahead for my film photography. I now have a range of Leica M mount lenses that I can use on my 35mm film camera – Voigtlander Bessa R3A. I have new film backs for my medium format Mamiya RZ67 Pro II so can now shoot it in 6×6 and 645 formats. I plan to do some landscape photography with my 6×9 Russian Moskva-5 folding camera. I am also looking forward to using some new film types and comparing them to the Kodak films I most often use.
Polaroid Photography – I now have a RZ polaroid film back for my Mamiya RZ67 pro II that produces 7×7 images. I have stocked up on the black and white Fujiflim FP-3000B that has now been discontinued and also on colour Fuji FP-100C. Looking forward to doing some RZ polaroid portraits!
All in all exciting times ahead! 🙂
What else may 2014 bring?
Leica Summilux ASPH 75mm f1.4 – I am really interested in this lens. I see it as a Leica Lux’ 50 but on steroids doing all that I love about the Summilux 50 but bigger and better. The sweet spot for me on the Lux’ 50 is at f1.4 at 0.7M. If I bought a 75mm lens it would be to use at f1.4 at 0.7M as much as possible. This rules out all other 75mm lenses (Leica Summicron and Summarit and Voigtlander Heliar).
Hasselblad Flexbody – Now this really excites me. It is almost large format photography yet you can use and develop 120 medium format roll film in a Patterson tank (rather than sheet film needing a dark room).
Happy New Year from MatthewOsbornePhotography and thanks for the 1000 or so followers that joined me in 2013!
I started getting into film photography during 2012 and I was using the classic black and white film, Ilford FP4+. For 2013 I tried Kodak T-Max film and liked this modern emulsion using T-grain for finer more grain free results for scanning. I used 35mm T-Max 100 in my Nikon FM and Voigtlander Bessa R3A rangefinder and 120 Kodak T-Max 400 (& 100) in my medium format cameras. I tried different formats – 6×4.5 (Contax 645), 6×6 (ARAX-CM (Kiev 88)), 6×7 (Mamiya RZ 67 Pro II) and 6×9 (Moskva-5 folding camera).
I develop my own black and white film using Xtol and/or Rodinal and often via stand development. It is very easy and allows you to develop the film to get the look you desire. This is not possible if you send film to a lab. You do not need a dark room, just a ‘Paterson tank’.
For colour film photography I use mostly Kodak Portra 400 for medium format and Kodak Portra 160 for 35mm. (See blog link below).
Here are some shots from 2013 to show the look obtainable from Kodak T-Max film.
35mm 135 Kodak T-Max 100 Film (Voigtlander Bessa R3A)
Leica M9 CCD Sensor vs. Film
The filmic look of the Leica M9 CCD sensor really threatened my continued use of using 35mm black and white film. I stopped shooting film for over 3 months once the M9 arrived. I then found time to develop some film from the Voigtlander Bessa R3A that I shot before buying the M9. The results have fully restored my faith in film. I like the imperfections and arty feel that true film photography can capture. For 2014 I look forward to using my new Leica lenses on my Bessa R3A alongside my Leica M9. I also bought Mamiya RZ 645 film back, Mamiya RZ 6×6 film back and a Mamiya RZ Polaroid film back so the future for film looks bright for 2014!
Shot with my Mamiya RZ67 Pro II + Mamiya Sekor 180mm f4.5 lens
Taken in the sping but still catching up with scanning film negatives. Kodak Portra 800@400 pulled in devloping by the lab and scanning with Epson v600 then finished with PS Elements 6.
I love the Kodak Portra colour tones and the painterly feel of the OOF fence on the left of the photo. The Leica M9 is a fantastic camera but it can’t do this. I’m almost glad in a way as it means medium format film lives on and I will continue to use it.
Model Gina was freezing cold although in the photo the weather looks quite nice! Instructions for the shoot were – “Gina bring something warm”. Gina brought two summer dresses! 🙂
Ambient light only shot with the sun setting. We stopped the car and jumped out to get this image as the light was perfect.
MatthewOsbornePhotography.co.uk – Film Photography
I just replied to the above thread and I thought you may find the topic of interest and the details below of potential use. Here was my reply:
“As for sharp lenses for portraiture, I specialise in female portraits and have used some of the best and sharpest lenses for Nikon, Leica and medium format Contax 645, Mamiya RZ67 and more.
A point was raised above Can a lens be too sharp for a flattering portrait? Answer Yes I think so. I aim to get my photos correct in camera so rarely airbrush a pimple unless a one off special photo. If you pose and light them well initially you can normally cover most of the imperfections. I also do not have time to remove every wrinkle. I cringe when I see a pore free texture free airbrushed portrait. They can look awful if done badly.
So back on topic.. lenses being too sharp. Yes they can. Even though I work with the majority of models aged 17yrs to 30yrs some of the lenses I have used will make a face unflattering unless the model has porcelain skin when I can then go all out for sharpness.
List of lenses that can be too sharp for portraits:
Samyang 85mm f1.4 @f1.4 (sharper than Nikon 85mm f1.4D BTW at f1.4)(Great lens!) Example standing further back, Ukraine
Tamron 90mm f2.8 macro lens – very very sharp but not fast enough (sold) Early example with my old Nikon D700
Zeiss ZM Planar 50mm f2 T (on Leica M9) Example standing further back. F2
Nikkor 35mm f1.4G – super sharp Example on D800, high key Poland
Rollei Planar 50mm f1.8 (Great little lens)(Same as a Zeiss Planar 50mm with different badge) Example on Nikon D800
Lenses for non-perfect skin:
Nikkor 50mm f1.2 AI-s (fantastic lens that gives a dreamy look shot at f1.2 but still sharp) Example on Nikon D800
Voigtlander Nokton 40mm f1.4 (on Leica M9) Example
Lensbaby Edge 80 Example – Kodak Portra 35mm film / Nikon FM
Lenses that do it all:
Nikkor 200mm f2 AI-s (sharp at f2 yet flattering as shallow DOF) Example on Nikon FM – 35mm Film photography
Zeiss Planar 80mm f2 T (on Contax 645 medium format film camera) (very sharp+shallow) Example – film photography wedding portrait
Mamiya Sekor 110mm f2.8 (on Mamiya RZ67 ProII)(sharp yet shallow DOF) Example – 6×7 medium format Kodak T-Max film
Zeiss Pancolar 80mm f1.8 (M42 mount)(Great for portraits) Example up close on D800
If you want to see more examples see my blog or Flickr. Many examples of each combination and 99% of the photos on there have not been airbrushed so what you see is what the lens provides”.