“What is this mysterious object in the sky? Why does it burn my eyes? What is this feeling on my skin? Whatever it is, it can’t be good.”
Minutes pass and a memory begins creeping to the front of my mind, “Ah yes, I remember..it’s called heat. And that glowing ball…s-s-s-sun!”
I wish I was joking, it feels like an eternity since I last saw the sun hanging in a cloudless sky. The past few months have been dull and gray to say the least; and the rain has been pouring for so long that I no longer remember what it feels like to wake up and not hear the pitter-patter of raindrops on my roof.
Well, the sun is finally out, the Sakura is blossoming and this man is feeling good!
Anyway, welcome to my 52 Rolls update for weeks 10-13 2016. For all you normal people out there, that’s pretty much all of March.
Let’s get stuck in!
Week 10 2016 – Rollei CR200 – (120) EI 200 / XPRO’d / 2x teleconverter
I recently picked up a teleconverter for my Hasselblad. It’s an accessory I’ve um’ed and ah’ed over for months. I’m generally not a fan of long lenses on SLRs, as they make me feel too closed-in and restricted. That said, my first generation Ivanichek Petzvar has been getting some action recently, so when I stumbled on a new-in-box 2x teleconverter on eBay at an outrageously low price, I took a punt. Worst case, I’d flip it and get my investment back.
After having had it in my camera bag for coming on two months now, I think I can safely say that it would need to be prized from my cold, dead hands before I parted with it.
I plan on talking about it in detail in future post but let me give you some highlights:
- The Teleconverter sits between the camera body and lens. It multiplies the lens’ focal distance 2x. My 80mm becomes 160mm.
- This particular version also robs two stops of light, so my 80/2.8 becomes a 160/5.6 (it’s still a cheaper and more portable option than Hasselblad’s own 160/4.8).
- It can be combined with extension tubes for macro work. the tubes can sit in front of, or behind the TC depending on the effect desired.
- Unlike extension tubes, infinity focus and original close up distance are maintained (the latter being an advantage over longer lenses, which don’t focus very close at all).
Whilst the effective aperture of the lens is reduced, subject separation appears to stay the same. And for my 80/2.8 at least, wide open bokeh takes on a pleasing soap-bubble effect similar to but not as pronounced as the Meyer Trioplan et al.
On to the roll. I decided to cross process a roll of fresh Rollei CR200 slide film in 120 format. This is a relatively new stock for me and until recently I’d only shot and processed it at box speed and in E6 chemistry.
My feeling is that when processed in E6, it could probably do with being over exposed 1/3 of a stop but processed in C41 chemistry is a different story. Reds, pinks and blues appear bright and over saturated. Contrast is bumped and the resulting images don’t suffer from color shifts too far from the norm.
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You’ll probably also notice the soap-bubble bokeh I mentioned earlier. It’s not over powering and in my opinion lends a pleasing quality to the cherry blossom images. The entire roll was shot wide open at an effective f/5.6.
Week 11 2016 – Shanghai GP3 100 (120) EI 200
Week 11 saw me take a walk through an area full to bursting with traditional Japanese bars and restaurants. It was early in the day, so they were all closed in preparation for the evening’s crowd. But there was still an atmosphere of potentiality, as well as a lingering whiff of the previous night’s festivities.
There’s something about the way that (almost exclusively) Japanese restaurants hang their menu items on board outside the premises. It can be confusing at first but once you understand what you’re looking at, it begins to make sense.
Traditionally, much of a restaurant, or bar’s menu would have been seasonal – even the sake and other beverages. Whilst today, these signs are mostly used for decorative purposes, they still serve a purpose to lure hungry patrons toward the dim lights within.
Moving on from the Japanese strip, I headed into a somewhat youth-oriented part of the city and snapped some street art and graffiti on my way in.
Week 12 2016 – Kodak Portra 400 (120) EI 400
I dropped my lens. Crap. Thankfully it was indoors but the hard stone surface of my living room gave me cause for concern. On the surface there was nothing wrong with the lens and it remains in relatively mint condition but I shot a quite test roll on some fresh Kodak Portra 400 to see if there were any issues with close focus and infinity (the two best indicators of lens element alignment issues, or a busted helicoid).
Looking at the images I got back, I’m pleased to say nothing seems different and it’s business as usual.
Week 13 2016 – Ilford FP4+ (35) EI 800
Ugh..the sun went away. Another dull, gray week, so before SAD set back in, I headed out with a roll of 35mm Ilford FP4+ at EI 800. It was the only choice.
I paired the film with my Tele-Elmarit 90/2.8. It’s a wonderful lens and always delivers.
And that’s it. As I’ve been falling behind on my 52 Rolls reportage, you can expect to see an update for Weeks 14-17 in relatively short order.
There’s not much more to say other than thanks for reading, and that this post can also be found over at 52rolls.net, home of the project. You can also check out my previous updates for Week 01-05 and Week 06-09.
Thanks again and keep shooting, folks!