5 Frames - Neuschwanstein

  • Where: Las Vegas, Death Valley
  • Camera: Rollei SL 35 E
  • Lens: unknown
  • Film: unknown

This was one of my first trips to Neuschwanstein and one of my first trips with the Rollei SL 35 E. The camera has the somewhat annoying problem that once in a while when it gets cold, the mirror gets stuck. A hearty slap will get it unstuck, but that triggers the shutter and the camera takes a picture right at that moment. Most of the pictures from this roll from my chaos archives are at weird angles, often upside down with a horizon along the diagonal. The frames I chose for this post are a selection of the few images that at least somewhat make sense.

5 Frames - Soft Kitty

  • Where: Las Vegas, Death Valley
  • Camera: Nikon F5
  • Lens: Nikkor 50mm f/1.2
  • Film: unknown

“If you have a hammer, everything looks like a nail.”, or in this case “If you can open up to f/1.2, everything NEEDS to be shot at f/1.2.”. A photographer’s folly, no doubt. One that I seem to have fallen for with this roll of black and white film from my chaos archives. I shot the Nikkor 50mm f/1.2 mostly wide open during my trip to Las Vegas and Death Valley. Unbeknownst to me, the lens is soft as a ball of fur when fully open. Thus, I ended up with mostly the cuddly end of the image stick. Initially, looking at the set of photos, I thought I would not even be able to find more than one frame for this post. Only 2 frames were actually sharp on the whole roll. Everything else is so soft, it would not leave a dent in a piece of molten butter. But in the end, I decided to embrace the artsy side and chose what you see here.

10 Frames - Bad Apple

I took the Leica M4-P on a trip to New York a few years ago. The images are from my chaos archive and had a strong red color cast removed. I filled two rolls of Fuji Superia (probably 200 or 400) and thus decided to go for a 10 frames post.

  • Where: New York
  • Camera:  Leica M4-P
  • Lens: Voigtländer 35mm Color-Skopar f/2.5
  • Film: Fuji Superia

Edit: I just noticed that I already did the “5 Frames - New York With A Leica M4-P” story. This time it is 10 frames, though.

7 Frames - Monkey Island 1

The first part of a trip to Ibiza. This was one of my first excursions with the Leica M4-P, packing the Voigtländer 35mm Color-Skopar f/2.5 and some rolls of Fuji Superia 200 and 400. The images are from my chaos archive, which means that I had to do some color corrections. As I was putting the rolls into the checked-in luggage, I assume that the weirdness in the images is from x-ray radiation.

  • Where: Ibiza
  • Camera:  Leica M4-P
  • Lens: Voigtländer 35mm Color-Skopar f/2.5
  • Film: Fuji Superia

Edit: I just noticed that I already did the “5 Frames - Ibiza With A Leica M4-P And Voigtländer Color Skopar 35mm f/2.5 VM II Pancake” before. This time it is 14 frames in total.

10 Frames - Valley Of The Damned

  • Where: Las Vegas, Death Valley, Lake Tahoe
  • Camera:  Nikon F5
  • Lens: Nikkor 50mm f/1.2
  • Film: unknown

I had the pleasure to go to a conference in Las Vegas followed by a road trip with a colleague up to San Francisco through Death Valley, past Lake Tahoe, and through Sacramento. On that trip, I brought along my trusty Nikon F5 with the rock-solid but soft (wide open) Nikkor 50mm f/1.2. It has been a while, and I dug the images up from my messy archives, so I am not sure what film stock was used. Probably something like Fuji Superia, which I liked to use around that time. The images had a strong red color cast, which I tried to correct in post. I filled multiple rolls during that trip, so I thought it would be appropriate to extend the usual 5 frames to double the amount.

5 Frames - Rock And Roll

Some winter-time images from the archive. This time it is from a trip to Boulder in Colorado. It was warm enough for autumn clothing and no snow in sight anywhere. All vegetation had turned it a homogenous, brown mass that effectively hid all the beauty of Colorado’s flora from my sight. A bit disappointing, but still a nice change from the coldness of home. The colors on these images are a bit wonky, probably because I did not yet know what I know nowadays about scanning (which is: I have no clue what I am doing). I tried to remove the excessive red color cast from them, only to be left with a green color cast. So what you see here now, is what I am capable (and patient enough) of doing in post.

  • Where: Boulder, Colorado
  • Camera:  Leica M4-P
  • Lens: Voigtländer Color-Skopar 35mm f/2.5
  • Film: Fuji Superia 200

Edit: I just noticed that I already did the “5 Frames - Boulder With A Leica M4-P” and selected the same 5 images for that one. Well, whaddya know? At least this is a new interpretation. 

5 Frames - Grainfully Old

  • Where: At a lake in Bavaria.
  • Camera:  Yashica Mat 124G
  • Lens: Yashinon 80mm f/3.5
  • Film: Kodak Portra 400 VC

I got myself a box of Kodak Portra 400 VC that expired in 2007. To see what is what, I got out with the Yashica Mat 124G on an overcast day after some snowfall. Sticking with the one stop per decade roll, I added two stops of exposure (it is the end of 2021 and 1.5 stops should have been appropriate) to compensate for the age of the film. After development, the negatives looked okay-ish. I still have a hard time telling if something is correctly exposed or not (especially for color negatives) just by looking at the film strip. After scanning and initial inversion of colors, the film looked like a mess: The colors were all completely off and the grain was excessive. I did my best to get everything lined up in the histogram and to deal with the color cast. I even added some noise reduction. Something I usually avoid. I had mixed feelings about the results: The grain was bothering me. The colors were not what I expected from Portra at all. But if you looked from far enough away, the results weren’t actually bad, either. So I did the only logical thing and ordered four more boxes from the seller.

5 Frames - Fresh From The Press

  • Where: A castle garden near a church and a lake.
  • Camera:  Mamiya Press Super 23
  • Lens: Mamiya Sekor 100mm f/3.5
  • Film: Ilford Pan F+

It was an overcast day, right between two rain showers. I was yearning to take the new member of the club, the Mamiya Press Super 23, out into the wild and let her run free. For not very practical, but inherently strategic reasons, I decided to go with a roll of Ilford Pan F+. The 50 ISO film speed made it tricky to get reasonable shutter speeds with the given weather, even with the lens wide open. Thus, I ended up with some camera shake in my shots. And I have no clue as to how sharp the lens actually can be. In addition, I needed to learn how to operate the camera. It is not difficult, but fumbling with the controls while the camera is up to your eye, led to me tripping the shutter accidentally.

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