Film Photography Podcast 146 – May 15, 2016
Macro / Close-Up Photography, Tips on Building a Darkroom, What’s Hot/What’s Not, Listener Letters and Lots More!
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Film Photography Podcast – Episode 146 – May 15th, 2016
Show Notes By: Alex Luyckx
And we’re back, and joining Michael Raso in studio for today’s big shoe, is Mat Marrash, Leslie Lazenby, Mark Dalzell, and Mark O’Brien! And lots of topics on the table with Macro Photography, What’s Hot and What’s Not, Designing Your Darkroom, the K-147 Camera & Film Special, and Leslie’s One Minute Film Tip! So grab that iced coffee (MR BROWN) and let’s get going!
Think Small, Think Close – Macro Photography
FPP Super Friend and resident Nikon expert comes to us with a request to talk about Macro Photography! It’s something that Michael has not gotten too much involved in, but Leslie and Mark O’Brien have done it. Now there is a difference, Mark explains, between close-up photography and macro photography. Macro photography is when the item you’re photographing appears life-sized on your film, not just a close up on part of an object, like flowers. So there are two routes you can really take to get to Macro photography. The cheap way is to use close-up filters which are basically magnifying filters to get your closer, in-fact these days you can get these diopters for pretty much any camera even your cellphones. The most common out there are 2x, or in a kit that have 1, 2, and 3 times, but there are ones that go up to 10x or larger. Don’t want to go with the diopter route, you can reserve your lens, such as the 50mm lens and using a reversing ring, which allows you to connect the lens by the filter ring to an adapter and then have the adapter mount to the camera mount. Of course you lose any automatic functions so stay away from lens that lack the manual aperture control. These go for around twenty bucks on Ebay these days. Next up on the price scale is extension tubes. Which as the name says increases the distance between you lens and the film plane, of course you then lose light at the same time. Of course if you’re not into extension tubes these is the option to use bellows! Like the name implies you can add a full out bellows to the front of your roll film camera! Some of the top of the line ones allow some movements even, just note all movements are magnified and you are working with a more shallow depth-of-field, and there are even macro lenses that can only with bellows. If you’re looking for more precision then the bellows route is certainly for you. And finally at the top of the line is going with a dedicated macro lens. When you’re looking at the lens if you want full lifesize image when you’re shooting you want one that’s 1:1, and most modern macro lenses will do that. Some like Mark’s 55mm Micro-Nikkor is 1:2 and will go to 1:1 with an extension tube. Mark’s personal favourite is the 90mm Tamron lens, but most will go with the 55mm or 60mm focal lengths. Now one thing to watch out for is zoom lenses that say that they are ‘macro’ but in reality they actually just a close-focusing. And one last tip from Mark is that you need a lot of light for macro work and his suggestion is an LED ring light which can be had cheap from Ebay or Amazon and since it’s a constant source of light your camera’s meter can easily pick it up to help with the exposure. It’s pretty easy to get into Macro work with film gear because for the most part the gear is pretty cheap, especially the older stuff.
Hot Trends in the Used Market
Resident expert on the used camera market, Mat (who works for Midwest Camera Exchange in Columbus, Ohio) lets us know what the trends in the used market is! So what’s not trending right now, and the sad thing is that it’s the Nikon F, which is actually a beautiful professional SLR, it’s actually the FIRST professional Nikon SLR. And it is a fantastic camera! And Midwest is swimming in them right now because people are ditching these bodies for the lenses. So if you’re looking for a solid mechanical Nikon SLR, now is the time to buy it, let Mat know, and he can hook you up! Also not getting the love right now is Minolta gear. So what’s on the hot side of things right now? Well there’s the usual fare of Leica, Hasselblad, and 4×5 field cameras. But surprisingly it’s the Bronica gear that’s flying off the shelves these days, mostly the 6×6 SQ, SQ-A(i), because people are looking for a cheaper alternative to Hasselblad and not wanting to touch the Kiev kits.
What’s in a Darkroom?
With listeners sending in photos of their own darkrooms Michael turns to Mat in what should go into designing a darkroom! And there is a lot to think about when designing one! And the choices are massive, right down to the door! Speaking of doors there are a good number of different entrances. The first is of course the futuristic revolving door to the simple 90 degree baffle entry to prevent light leaks. Of course next up would be plumbing! You have to think on mixing valves, sinks, heaters, and you’re looking at 50-130 degrees F. But when you’re starting out you have to thing layout and think workflow. The first thing you need to look at is making sure where you take out/store, and expose your paper is opposite to your entrance. And then move to the wet chemistry, and the washing/drying area can be closest to where your entrance is. And Leslie brings up a great tip about the wall colour, don’t paint it black, like the Rolling Stones would like, since you’ll be having trouble with your safelights. And when it comes to lighting these days you can get LEDs that have a narrow enough spectrum that means you can crank them up and they won’t affect your paper, and can run on a nine-volt battery. As for storage, Leslie says that cookie sheet shelves/drawers that offer lots of storage. And finally if you’re really serious about it, Mat recommends picking up a copy of The Darkroom Handbook by Denis Curtin and Joe DeMayo, which will walk you through everything you need to build your own darkroom!
Fast Film Tips with Leslie
So what’s the quick tip? Well Leslie has an emergency kit that she keeps with her camera gear. It has an opaque Ziploc bag (that can hold a damaged roll of film), a sharpie for taking notes, painter’s tape to take the notes on and some rubber bands for holding on filters, doors closed ect. And it takes up next to no space!
We have a new special for this week and it’s a really good one! You get not only a K-147 and THREE rolls of fantastic films (Svema Color 125, Retrochrome 320, and FPP EDU 200!) And the camera itself features full focus-free automatic exposure camera with a 50mm f/4 lens! Please note the free camera is limited to the first TEN orders so hop over there now! And that’s it for us today, but we’ll be back soon! But make sure to hop onto the website, flickr site, and of course you can always write up, at firstname.lastname@example.org and you can also send us traditional letter and treats to: Film Photography Podcast PO Box 264, Fair Lawn, NJ, 07410, USA