During a recent visit of Henry and Wendy in SF, I invited them to have their portraits done in large format. Setup of the day was my 91-year-old Kodak 2D 8×10 camera with Fujinon A 240mm f9 lens and Kodak Ektascan x-ray film. The strobes, I used two light sources, one direct light above the camera and a reflective light from the left of the subject. The dark background is a big piece of black cloth that is about 2.5 feet behind the subject.
Here is a collage of photo of me in action, courtesy of Henry and Wendy.
The film is developed with Kodak D76 1+1 for 10-12 minutes at 19C with rollers and scanned with Epson Perfection V700. Scanning this time I was faced with a lot of Newton ring issues. I have an AN glass but that only prevented newton rings from one side of the light. I have to scan the negatives with emulsion down on the scanner glass, then I put the AN glass on top of the negative. This way I was able to get rid of most of the newton rings. I guess I probably need another piece of AN glass and hopefully this issue will go away.
The first photo is that of Henry. It was shot at f11, 1/30 sec and turned out quite nicely.
Wendy here featured in the second photo, also shot at f11, 1/30sec. I have asked her to look into the left (her right) reflective light.
The final shot is of them together, shot at f16 1/4 sec. I had cranked up the strobes to be the highest level. The init negative is dark and about a click off. I need to double up on the flash to get more light next time. I have focused on Wendy’s eyes and even at f16, the depth of field is so narrow that Henry’s eyes were very slightly off focus. I need to add more light sources and try at f22 or even f32 next time for group portraits.
Overall another fun shoot that yield some fantastic portraits.
Finally took my umbrellas out of their boxes and setup some lights at home. Rick was visiting and took the chance for a portrait sitting. I tried several setups and ended up with two lights. One from the left back with diffuser at 45deg and one in the front with diffuser at about 45deg from the left. A reflector is also placed around waist level. Here is one from the shoot.
Shot with Burke & James Grover 8×10, Fujinon 400mm f8 lens, Kodak Ektascan B/RA film. Developed in Kodak d76. Scanned with Epson Perfection V700. Even though the Fujinon 400mm lens was meant to be used with 5×7, as seen here, at f8, the image circle is big enough for use with 8×10. The lights used are a pair of Yongnuo YN565EXII and a pair of YN622 and YN622TX triggers.
Six months ago, I did some test shots with my Burke & James Grover 8×10. I finally got them developed and scanned recently. With a couple of flashes and remote (without any diffusion), I shot a few portraits when my friends Norris and Fiona were visiting. Here is the result.
I used Kodak Ektascan B/RA x-ray film metered at ISO50. Burke & James Grover 8×10 with Fujinon 250mm f6.3 lens. Lighting setup with two Yongnuo YN560II flashes on two YN622C and a YN622C-TX. Developed with Kodak D76 1+1 20C for 10 minutes. Scanned with Epson Perfection V700.
Lighting is harsh, this is due to the lack of deflectors (they were still being shipped from Asia at the time). The harsh lighting reminded me a bit of a prom shoot would of looked like in the 1960-70s. Nevertheless a decent shot for first trials.
The last test of 12x was slightly over-exposed so the new test was a 10x compensation for one minute exposure. It looks like a working combination. I was also testing out my Kodak 8×10 2d with a Goerz 12″ f6.3 lens. It’s amazing that a 91-year-old camera is still holding up and taking great photos just like it did when it was out of the factory. Film developed in Kodak d76 1+1 22C for 10 mins, scanned with Epson Perfection V700.
I had some doubts with the Goerz lens as it was over 90 years old. Initial inspection showed a perfect lens (with only two tiny tiny air bubbles in the front element that won’t affect the photo). The shutter is snappy (seemed accurate) and both B and T modes work. The middle of the photo is pin sharp. The left side however, was slightly off focus. At first I thought it was corner sharpness of the lens but then I was shooting at f8, so this is not likely the issue. I inspect the camera again and found that the rear tilt adjustment was off. The left and right gear was somehow off by at least three clicks. I think it had been in this position for a very long time and I had to spend sometime forcing it back to right position (without breaking it). Now both left and right gears are matched, this focus issues should be fixed on the next shoot.
I never shot Kodak Ektascan B/RA xray film at night. There were also no information online regarding the reciprocity of this film. This film is normally used for health x-ray applications and there is no need to worry about long exposure. I decided to do a test shot. Shanghai and TriX has terrible reciprocity characteristics. For 1 minute exposure, I generally compensate it by 8x and it worked well. I know Ektascan is probably equivalent if not worse, so I decided to try a 12x compensation for 1 minute metered exposure.
Here is the result. Burke & James Grover 8×10, Fujinon 250mm f6.3 lens, developed in Kodak D76 1+1 10 mins and scanned with Epson Perfection V700.
It looks like a working combination. I think it might be slightly over-exposed, perhaps I need to try one with 10x compensation.
Hardly shot anything in the past six months, I finally got my dark room setup last week. Rolls of 120s and tens of 8×10 sheets were waiting to be developed in the past nine months. Honestly I don’t even remember what I took in the medium format rolls. I mixed some d76 last weekend, got the development tanks, measurement cups all cleaned up. Timer, thermometer all in place. Dry hanging rack and enclosure all in tact. After studying past notes on development, in the past weekend, I finally developed my first roll of film in nine months.
Opening the jobo tank, I see images, images that I didn’t recognize and had no recollection. I didn’t think too much of it and let it hang dry. I scanned some of the photos today and saw this photo.
I looked at this and I was like wow. The Zeiss Ikonta is one of those under-rated cameras. It folds nicely, has a Zeiss Tessar at f2.8. The rangerfinder is also easy to use and you can focus really quickly. Looking at this photo, instantly, I wanted to go out and shoot more. Jaded from all the moving and change in the past year, I guess this was a catalyst for me to get back into what I love doing.
Day 4 of 5 of black and white photo challenge. Each day I am trying to post a photo that is taken from a different camera and a different medium. Today I am back on large format but with a different lens and film from day 1. This was shot at the Bund in Shanghai, China. Photo taken with Graflex Speed Graphic + Fujinon 65mm f5.6 lens + Shanghai GP3 film. Developed with Guan long d76 + Guan long F5 Fix, scanned with Epson Perfection V700. Today i nominate Pouya Ash for the BW photo challenge, in which to post one BW photo per day for 5 days and also nominate someone each day because it’s fun.
Day 2 of 5 of black and white photo challenge. Each day I am trying to post a photo that is taken from a different camera and a different medium. Today I picked a 135mm shot I did in Kyoto, Japan last year. Amy and my mom were walking in front of me and the shadow was perfect when I took this shot. Photo taken with Canon QL17 on Kodak TriX. Film developed in Kodak D76 1+1 and Kodak Rapid Fix, scanned with Epson Perfection V700. Today I nominate Michael Ho to accept my black and white photo challenge.
Thanks for Cheung Billy Ka Ming, I accepted the BW photo challenge. I will be posting one BW photo a day for five days and will nominate someone each day just for fun. Here is a photo I have taken from a maternity shoot I did not long ago. The lovely couple is Catherine Wong and Denis Ng. This photo was taken in Hong Kong with Graflex Speed Graphic + Fujinon A 240mm f9 lens + Fuji Acros. Film developed in Kodak d76 1+1, Kodak Rapid Fix and scanned with Epson Perfection V700. This is one of the first photos I took with the newly acquired A 240mm f9 lens and I have to say it’s absolutely the sharpest lens I own. The lens is extremely light and what’s amazing is that it can even cover 8×10! Today I would like to nominate Kirk Lau to accept my BW photo challenge.
One of the best LF portraits I have taken recently is this one of my mom. Taken with Graflex Speed Graphic + Buhl 9″ f3.6 lens + Fuji Acros. Developed in Kodak d76, 20C 11 minutes, first minute agitation, 4 flips every minute. Fixed with Kodak RapidFix and scanned Epson Perfection V700.