Film Photography Podcast – Episode 135 – November 15th, 2015
Show Notes By: Alex Luyckx
And we’re back! Joining Michael Raso in the studio today is Mark O’Brien, Leslie Lazenby, and Mat Marash! Topics on the show today include APS Photography, Used Cameras: What’s Hot and What’s Not, a whole lot of books, darkroom tips and so much more!
The Donation Program in Action.
We’ve got a couple letters back from two of the school who have received cameras through our donation program. First off is the Pascack High School who received a pile of Pentax K1000 and Minolta X-Series cameras which stand up much better than modern plastic Vivitar models to the rigors of a High School Photography Program. Second is the Gulf Coast Academy who got the point and shoot cameras but are now seeing the students advance onto SLRs also through the donation program. If you want to participate in this great part of the FPP check out our donation page on how to send in your working but unused gear that will be tested and donated to schools and students!
Back to APS
It may seem funny that Michael is a big fan of APS and loves shooting the format. APS or Advanced Photo System was a new format introduced in the late 90s, and actually had some pretty good SLR cameras offered up by Canon, Nikon, and Minolta. And it’s these cameras that Michael stresses are the ones you want to shoot with if you do decide to dive into APS. Probably the best one to go with is the Canon EOS IX as it takes the regular EOS EF lenses that you use on your 35mm SLRs! Nikon and Minolta both used proprietary lenses which makes them a little more difficult to use. The format didn’t really catch on, coming in so close to the introduction of consumer digital cameras and the fact that many labs didn’t want to have to convert over to all new processing equipment. But the one place you do still find the APS format is with digital cameras as the crop sensor size is that of the Classic format for APS films. If you’re looking to try it out, the FPP has a pile of these cameras so shoot us a line: email@example.com and we’ll send you a camera, and if you need film you can pick that up in our store!
Used Camera Market Update
Mat has a unique position in being an employee of Mid-West Photo Exchange in Columbus, Ohio he has a good line on what’s hot and what’s not in the world of used photography gear. These days it seems that the Pentax 6×7 and Fuji medium format rangefinders are at an all time low price wise and just aren’t being used that much these days. But the one thing that is hot on the market is the high end 35mm point and shoot cameras like the Nikon 35Ti or Contax T series of cameras. And of course there’s always Hasselblad and Leica gear which continues to hold steady price-wise.
Into the Library – Books of the Month
The gang has a huge number of books to present today on the show. First up Mark has picked three books out of his rather extensive library to share with the gang all on how to improve your craft as a photographer. First up is David Vestal’s Craft of Photography (Updated Edition) while an older book this one is still an excellent one for any photographer to have covering a tonne of topics such as composition, exposure, cropping, even darkroom topics. Next on the table is Beyond Basic Photography: The Technical Manual by Henry Horensten. This book is all about the nuts and bolts and perfect for a new and seasoned photographer who is looking to improve their skills or just needs a refresher on how to do something. And Mark’s final pick is Creative Camera Control by Peter Laytin. This book covers how to make the camera work for you, it dives pretty deep into exposure and the zone system and how to evaluate a scene and get an exposure quickly.
Not to be outdone, but FPP Super Smooth friend Nasir writes in to let the gang know that you can access back issues of American Photo (the People Magazine for photographers) for free through Google Books! They have issues from the 1980s, 1990s, and 2000s available for online reading. Or if you want to have some of the magazines to hold, Michael and Leslie both frequent EBay to get their fix!
Leslie’s book pick is LoFi Photo Fun and while she isn’t too impressed with the title she is impressed with this photo cook book as she describes it. The book covers pretty much everything to do with getting started with photograph, cameras, instant film, film types and storage, and home developing. And to add to the fun Leslie even brought in a couple of toy 110 cameras to show off such as the Delmonte Chipmunk Camera and the Reese Pieces Spy camera.
Vision3: Still going Strong
The whole gang loves Kodak Vision3 film, the colours are accurate and dead on says Leslie. And while this film is usually designed for motion picture work, the FPP has been spooling the film into 35mm cartridges for your still cameras! The trouble comes is how to process it! While it is an ECN-2 process you can soup the film at home in one of the Unicolor C-41 kits from the store, then between the blix and stabilizer stage you can use either your thumb or microfiber cloth clean off the remjet in warm water. Just don’t send the film off to your usual lab because the remjet will clog up the machines and ruin the chemistry. If you do want to send it off there are a couple labs in the USA that do the ECN-2 process, they are the Little Film Lab in California and The Camera Shop in Minnesota. If you want to give this awesome film a try you can pick up the three flavours (50D, 200D, and 500T) in the FPP store today!
Darkroom Tips: Chemical Exhaustion.
Mat takes on a question from listener Joseph Cruise regarding the exhaustion of the C-41 chemistry kit you can buy and the use of them in a Jobo processor. Joseph has noted that the chemicals seem to exhaust a lot quicker in the jobo than he was expecting. The simple fact is that yes, with colour chemistry you do have to worry about exhaustion and depending the on the type of film you’re developing and how you develop the film it will exhaust at different rates. When talking sheet film a single sheet of 8×10 counts the same as one roll of 35mm film in 36 exposures. Also with the Jobo as it uses less chemistry than say a Patterson tank, there’s a lot more oxygen which also will shorten the life of the chemistry. Mat’s recommendation is that you shoot a whole bunch of film (say the recommended 10-12 roll worth or equivalent number of sheets) then mix up the chemicals and have a developing party and do them all at once (if possible). Another neat trick to keep the chemicals as fresh as possible is spritz a bit of canned air into the mouth of the bottle. As canned air has more nitrogen than oxygen the oxygen will be displaced.