Thursday, 28 June 2018

Streets of Surfers Paradise

How remiss of me!  I'd had a great afternoon of street photography in the Cavill Mall at Surfers Paradise when we visited there last, and hadn't posted it yet!

We had been staying in a really nice AirBNB down at Tugun and had gone to Surfers Paradise for a river cruise up the Nerang River for lunch.  A very nice lunch and couple of wines whilst cruising the river and catching the sights.  After the cruise we walked up Cavill Avenue toward the beach; there was an afternoon market on, and we always love to browse at a market.  Of course, I had my camera and this area is a great place for street photography!

The Mall, and the Main Beach area was fairly buzzing.  It was the week before the Commonwealth Games and so there were last minute preparations going on as well as many international visitors who had arrived early to catch the Games.

I shot with my Canon 600D and 50mm f1.8 lens.  There were lots of different people in the Mall and those coming off the beach.  The 'theme' for Cavill Mall is the beach; everyone walks up to and back from the beach via Cavill Mall.  It has changed physically over the years with the addition of high rise buildings etc but the mood is still the same; sand and surf, sunlovers, some carrying surfboards, walking around in just swimwear; it's a very casual and laid back atmosphere and the feel of it hasn't changed since I used to visit from my home town of Beaudesert (about a 40 minute drive away) over 40 years ago!

Photos copyright ©Life with Jordy Photography
All Rights Reserved

Friday, 1 June 2018

The Collection Grows!

Well, what an exciting few weeks it has been!

My wife (Kim) and daughters went on a weekend trip north to Macksville.  One of my daughters was going to a wedding there and the girls decided to make a weekend of it.

Imagine my surprise when I get a photo from Kim of a film camera! They had been browsing in a bric-a-brac shop and she spied a Praktica LTL3 (35mm)!  It was priced at AU$39.  I zoomed in on the photo and it appeared in very good condition.  Kim must have been watching me and paying attention whenever I checked out vintage cameras in other stores; she wound the film winder, cocked the shutter and pushed the button to see if it would work ok.  She then opened the back and checked inside for any corrosion or damage and looked into the lens to see if it was clear.

She haggled with the store keeper and bought it home for me for AU$35!

It came with a Carl Zeiss Jena DDR Tessar 50mm f2.8 lens.  I had to replace the light seals and it has come up very nicely after a clean.  

I have loaded it with a Cinestill 50D film (crossing my fingers on that one considering the hassles with the last roll) and can't wait to get out and about on a sunny winters day!

A very spoiled husband!

I am always keeping an eye on (of all places!) Facebook Marketplace for film cameras.  Often people have a clean out and it seems most people aren't interested in a film camera anymore.

About a week and a half ago, a Zenza Bronica ETRSi (medium format) camera popped up in my feed.  It was very reasonably priced AU$300 and, appeared from the photos posted, to be in very good condition.  The seller had purchased it in the UK for a project that never quite got off the ground and she had never used it.  

Included in the deal was a Zenzanon EII 75mm f2.8 lens, a 120mm film back, waist finder and a 35mm film back also!

I was pretty excited to see the 35mm film back which, from all reports I read on line, was a panorama back.  That would be a lovely addition to the package.

I messaged her but the reply was that she was waiting on payment from an overseas buyer who was transferring monies the next day.  She did say that she would message me if that did not eventuate.  Well, true to her word, she messaged me the next day; she had not heard from her overseas buyer, would I be interested to have a look?

The next day, I went and checked it out.  Not a scratch on it!  Lovely clear lens and, the sweet sound of that shutter gave me goosebumps!  She did admit that she was not sure if the 35mm film back worked at all, hence the very reasonable price for the whole kit; she was throwing it in because it went with the camera.  It turned out that it was not the pano film back but just a normal 35mm sized back anyway.  I was not perturbed if the 35mm film back didn't work; I have quite a few 35mm film cameras!  If I can get it to work though, it will be a different way of shooting 35mm film.

So, done deal!  For AU$280 I bought home something I had been looking for for ages; a 2nd medium format camera!

The medium format camera I already have is a Voigtlander Bessa 1.  It shoots in 6x9 format and although I love the giant negatives, I only get 8 exposures from that camera.  This camera shoots in 6x4.5 format and will give me 15 exposures from the roll!

Tonight I have loaded it (that was an experience!) with a Fomapan Classic 100 black & white.  

It may take me a couple of weeks to get through both of these films but watch this space!

Photos copyright ©Life with Jordy Photography
All Rights Reserved

Wednesday, 23 May 2018

Variable ND Filter - Vario ND2-400 MMX

Recently, I purchased a couple of 'new' second hand lenses.  (see my earlier post, if you haven't already done so!)   

I was happy to see that included in that deal were 2 variable ND filters.  This was good because it meant that I didn't have to stack ND filters as I had been doing and also, I could focus through the variable filter at it's lightest setting and then adjust it to go darker without having to remove separate filters and then re-install them when I was ready to take the photo.

I went down to Rathmines where I knew there were some old piers of a wharf that had served the RAAF Base there when it was a Flying Boat Base.  It was my intention to use the variable filter to get some long exposure shots using the variable ND filter.

The filter I was using is a ND2-400.  ND2 being equivalent to 1 stop of exposure and ND400 being equivalent to 9 stops of exposure (according to Google!).  The filter cuts out the light coming into the camera.  This means that to get a properly exposed photo, the shutter speed slows right down and we are left with a long exposure photo.  You can see some examples of long exposure here in a previous blog post.

I took a few photos, chimping as I went along.  Now there's an interesting word; Chimping.  It is a virtual new word and simply means 'immediately looking at the result of a photo on a digital camera after each shot'.  Anyway, I wasn't entirely happy with the result.  Considering that the top level of the variable ND is equivalent to 9 stops (allegedly!) I was only getting a 2 second shutter speed from ISO100 at f22;  I had thought that I would get longer.

One thing about using the filter that I had not considered was the vignetting in each corner caused by using a filter on a wide angle lens.  This happened all the time when opened up wide to 10mm.

Another problem also showed up and this is a common problem found when using a circular polariser on a wide angle lens; it makes one part of the photo go darker.  Now, a variable ND filter is simply 2 pieces of polarising glass; one circular and the other linear.  One filter is turned to offset the polarisation, making the filter darker or lighter.  I did end up with this problem and a darker area appeared up the top of some photos, right in the middle!

I wasn't too impressed with my first use of a variable ND filter.

I think my next step is to purchase a 77mm filter holder and separate ND filters for this lens.  It may be a little more fiddly but I think it would give better results.  Once I have the holder to fit the lens, I can then purchase more filters for that as time goes on.

Photos Copyright ©Life with Jordy Photography
All Rights Reserved

The RAW file.  You can see the filter in the corners of the photo (at the widest of 10mm) and
the dark blotch in the middle at the top caused by the polarisation on a wide angle lens.
Shutter speed at  2.5 second.
It was always my intention to edit in B&W.  Photo edited in Nik Collection, Silver EFEX Pro.

Vignetting applied in Silver EFEX Pro helps to hide that dark blotch.