It’s Fall Foliage Time!

It’s that time of the year again. Especially for those of us in the Northeastern part of the country, the autumn leaves are at or approaching their peak. In some parts, they may even be past their peak.

While I haven’t gotten my foliage pics yet this year, I hope to soon. Maybe this weekend or next.

Anyway, I thought this would be a good time to post some fall foliage from years past. Many with gear I no longer have, but how I miss them!

This is a great time to photograph and use some of those Camera Legends in your closet. Don’t miss it!

Update 10/17/15: I did get some shots today, but only have one to post so far. It is the top photo using the EOS-M I reviewed HERE.

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“AutM Leaves” 2015. Canon EOS-M, 22mm f/2 STM.

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“Change” 2007. Canon EOS 5D, 70-200mm f/2.8L IS.

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“Fall Fashion” 2014. Nokia Lumia 1020.




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“Red, Green, and Gold” 2008. Nikon D700, Hasselblad 110mm f/2 Planar via adapter.

AutumnRollei

“Fall Back” 2007. Rolleiflex 2.8F, 80mm f/2.8 Planar, Kodak Portra 400 UC.

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“Crown Of Thorns” 2012. Sony NEX-C3, 25mm f/1.4 CCTV lens.

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“It’s Raining Leaves” 2008. Contax 645, 80mm f/2.8 Planar, Kodak Portra 400 film.

Flashback Friday: The Linhof 220

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From 2009, with a Linhof 220 and Tri-X 400 film. This one definitely flew over the cuckoo’s nest! ūüôā

Originally written in 2009…

Note: I done told anyone who would listen that my film cameras¬†are far more interesting than my digital gear, and this camera might well be the ‘oddest’ in my collection. It is¬†a Linhof 220, a medium format camera that shoots 6×7, and¬†comes with a fixed 90mm f/3.5 Linhof-Technikar lens.

It’s ‘weird’¬†not only in its looks, but for a few reasons. For one thing, it’s set¬†up for use mainly for vertical photos, hence it’s more of a portrait¬†camera than it is a landscape camera. I believe it was meant to be¬†a press camera. Of course, you can shoot horizontal if you’d like,¬†but it’s quite cumbersome. It’s also ‘weird’ in the fact that the¬†shutter is a trigger on the pistol grip.

It’s quite a rare bird, but I got her very cheaply (as in less than $100) because¬†she’s got “issues” so to speak. The rangefinder is a bit touch¬†and go, and the camera has a real problem with film spacing,¬†both of which I am trying to repair in my spare time. The times¬†when I can get a good shot out of it, I’m impressed with the¬†sharpness and contrast from the lens, it’s tack sharp.




Update 2015:

Prices for these in good working condition are usually around $400-500 USD. I was able to fix the spacing problem, but the rangefinder is still touch and go. It’s not the most fun camera to use which is why you haven’t seen me post a lot with it, but in my film camera collection it is a standout.

Your best bet to find one of these is on eBay. However, you may also find them through private sellers on Amazon while searching for Medium Format cameras.

The Rolleiflex Black Baby 4×4 Camera

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“Black & Quack” 2015. With the “Black Baby” Rolleiflex ūüôā

The Rolleiflex “Baby” models¬†are twin lens reflex cameras made by Rollei. This particular model is the post war “Black Baby” and was made in 1963.¬†The Rolleiflex “Baby”¬†lineage goes all the way back to 1931 and ended around 1968.

The camera takes 127 film or otherwise known as 4×4 (cm) which is considered an obsolete or “dead” format because 127 film is no longer made, at least not in bulk or by major manufacturers.

You can find 127 film quite easily on eBay, but most of these are outdated and overpriced, and usually sold by Eastern European sellers. However, hang around and I’ll tell you where you can buy some fresh 127 film.

I have not used this camera extensively so this is by no means an official “review.” I initially got this as a collector’s piece knowing that I would not be doing much shooting with it.

THE CAMERA

The camera as is stated is pretty much a “baby” Rolleiflex TLR. You focus through the waist level finder using the knob on the left hand side and wind the film with the right hand knob. It’s basically a miniature Rolleiflex TLR.

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“Size Matters” 2015. The Black Baby Rolleiflex on the left, and the Rolleiflex 2.8C Xenotar for size comparison.

The shooting lens is a 60mm f/3.5 Schneider Kreuznach Xenar which is basically a Tessar type lens that should be quite sharp and contrasty.

In my experience, you can’t go wrong with either Zeiss or Schneider lenses and on these Rollei cameras, they are top notch.

The camera feels well built, but may be a little awkward to hold and use especially if you are used to “normal” sized TLR’s.

BOTTOM LINE

The Rollei “Baby” models are quite popular with collectors, with the “Baby Grey” being the most popular and abundant. These can go anywhere from $50 to $250 if priced fairly.

The Black Baby goes for a bit more. I personally find this one to be the most desirable model because it is the one that looks closest to a modern Rollei TLR.

I got mine for a little over $300, but I’ve seen sellers asking over $1000 for them. However, those over $1000 usually do not sell. Why? Because people aren’t stupid! They know that 127 film is virtually gone and you can get a 6×6 Rollei for that price. A fair price I would say would be from $300-450 for this particular model.

Even though 127 film is basically obsolete, you can now get 127 film, fresh, from…B&H! Yes, that’s right, good old B&H. The film is only available in ISO 100 speed and is called “Rerapan 100” and it is a little pricey at $11.99 for each roll. If you go in there, tell ’em Sam sent you ūüôā

Although I would greatly prefer the added versatility of ISO 400 film and a lower price, I’m happy to have at least one source of fresh 127 film.

Some folks have taken the widely available 120 medium format film, cut it down and re-spooled it into 127 film. I have not had the time, the skills, nor the inclination to do that however, not that it seems that hard.

Needless to say, at $11.99 a roll, this camera will not be a daily shooter for me. As I said in the beginning, I basically bought it for my collection, and to be able to actually shoot it is an added pleasure.

I still have my first roll of 127 film in this camera. When I get the results, and if they’re good enough, I will¬†update you on another posting.

While most of these “Baby” Rollei cameras are sought for collections, they are also great shooters, and they are an interesting part of the Camera Legend that is Rollei.

The Koni-Omega System

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Koni-Omega Rapid 100 and 90mm f/3.5 Super-Omegon

Awesome and affordable brute of a camera.

This was my first medium format camera back in the 90s. The system itself dates back to the 50s, although the Rapid 100 was a later production model, maybe 70s or early 80s. There are numerous bodies including the Konica Press, Rapid, Rapid M, and maybe a couple older bodies. The Rapid 100 and 200 seem to be the later models and probably better buys than the older models.

In the 90s, I became interested in medium format photography after reading a book by the late Leif Ericksenn called “Medium Format Photography.”

He had some photos from the Koni-Omega that he used on a tv production and I began to seek one out.

The Koni-Omega is a rangefinder camera system that consisted of several bodies and interchangeable lenses. The lenses are sharp. They make for excellent images on 6×7 negatives or slide¬†film.

They are not expensive, but big, bulky and a bit fussy to use, which is probably why I sold it. However, the Koni-Omega system is capable of excellent results at a bargain price. The lenses have built-in leaf shutters and the cameras do not need batteries to operate. But again, they are BULKY and I suspect that is the reason they end up getting sold by owners who sell them.

Prices are trending anywhere from $50-200, depending on body, lens, and other accessories.

If you want to get your feet wet in medium format photography without breaking the bank, this is it.

Note: Sorry I do not have any photos from the Koni-Omega to share with you. As mentioned, I got it in the 90’s and at that time, there was no such thing as a great economical home photo scanner, at least not one that could do medium format on a budget. However, I do remember having prints that were done for me by a photo lab, and if I can find them, I’ll be sure to scan them in and update this article. Thanks for stopping by.




The Hasselblad 500C and 80mm f/2.8 Planar

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I took this shot in 2005 to sell this outfit when I was broke and desperate for money. Needless to say, it worked and off she went to a better home.

However, I have fond memories of the Hasselblad 500c and 80mm Zeiss lens.¬†It’s a modular system and a little bit fiddly to play with, especially if you’re new to medium format film cameras, but the results were superb.

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“Hassy Baby” 2005. Hasselblad 500c, 80mm f/2.8 Planar. Do not remember the film unfortunately. I used a Softar filter to give the “glow” to this photograph.

Prices are trending at $550-800 for this outfit, and $1000 or more for the 500cm with the 80mm Planar. Find the best one you can afford because if you love film, this will be a keeper…Unless you go broke like I did ūüôā

This is a tribute to the days when Hasselblad were the pinnacle of medium format cameras and not the company that today sells rebadged Sony cameras as “lunar” or “anniversary” editions for ridiculously high prices.

Hasselblad is a Camera Legend with a rich legacy that I absolutely respect, so let’s forgive the Sony rebadges ūüôā