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07-17-2013, 01:39 PM   #1
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Joining the medium club

The last couple of months I have spend quite some time on this forum reading about medium format and the 'public' here convinced me this is the way to go.

I had a 24x36 in the past century and I am going back to 'school' in January for 1 year 'photo trainings' (1 Saturday every 2 weeks).
They ask the students to get a film camera as well as a digital one and as I sold my film camera a long time ago I thought it was the good opportunity to go medium format.

So I ordered my Pentax 645NII at KEH and ordered 2 lenses on eBay (FA75 and FA150).
(When i'll have some money will by the A35 of FA35 for the landscape shots).

Well to be fair I'm pretty excited to use again film and looking forward to get my new toy.
Looking on different forums there seem to be quite a few (as well younger as older) people that buy 'old film' cameras as they have something different.

I mainly photograph portraits as well as architecture/landscapes so with 3 lenses I should be able to cover this.
(And the nice 645 lenses made me take the decision although I already have for my K5 15, 21,43, 77,100 and 300 lenses so 24x36 would have been very cheap but medium format I find is something different).

Must admit I would have liked the 645D but maybe oneday but right now unable to convince my wife this is a great camera .

So just wanted to present myself and maybe good to have a thread where new 'medium format' users can present themselves .

07-17-2013, 02:55 PM   #2
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Congrats on the new gear.
07-17-2013, 03:02 PM   #3
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There are indeed some mf experts here and I continue to learn about it, from the posts in this section.
08-25-2013, 01:21 PM   #4
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Hi,

Got my Pentax 645NII a week or 2 ago and shot my first films:

Here a some in black & white taken with Kodak 400Tmax.
Development was done in lab in Paris (and they scanned as well).

Picture 1:


Picture 2:

I know you people like cats with 645 :-)

Picture 3:

(Not lucky with this one as did not get the exposure correct).

Picture 4:

(For me the skintones are to dark).

Picture 5:


Pictures were taken with the FA150 for portraits and FA75 for the 'landscapes'.
No postprocessing done for those pictures.

As said film used was Kodak 400TMAX and I find the 'contrasts' a little bit too much and some of the pictures look underexposed to my 'eye'.
Any idea if maybe I need to expose it a little bit more ?

Would you use the 400TMAX for portraits or more landscapes ?
I have bought several films of different manufacturers just to get a better feeling.

Anyway great camera and I'm enjoying medium format film.

08-25-2013, 01:45 PM   #5
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Original Poster
Some colour pictures

Also took some pictures in coulour and used Kodak porta 160.
Used Pentax 645NII with as lenses for landscapes the FA75 and for the portraits the FA150.

Picture 1:


Picture 2:


Picture 3:


Picture 4:


Picture 5:


Picture 6:


To be fair with the Porta 160 I'm not very happy with the colours.
I find the one with the landscapes missing contrast while the skintones are (I find) not very pleasing.
(As said no post precessing done on those and scan performed at the lab. I'll need to buy a scanner and hope to get better results but wanted to share this with you as I'm going on holiday to the Indian Ocean later this week so every advice would be welcome to make sure my pictures get better.

I'll take with me different films of different brands (colour as well as B&W).

Right now I love the camera (such a beautifull piece of equipment) and the lenses are great.
Just need to learn to master it .

Thanks for your advice and remarks.

Last edited by spotreunion; 08-25-2013 at 01:46 PM. Reason: picture was missing
08-26-2013, 04:12 PM   #6
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For landscapes you might want to try a transparency film like Velvia 100f, 100 or 50.
08-26-2013, 11:22 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by spotreunion Quote
Hi,

Got my Pentax 645NII a week or 2 ago and shot my first films:

Here a some in black & white taken with Kodak 400Tmax.
Development was done in lab in Paris (and they scanned as well).

Picture 1:


Picture 2:

I know you people like cats with 645 :-)

Picture 3:

(Not lucky with this one as did not get the exposure correct).

Picture 4:

(For me the skintones are to dark).

Picture 5:


Pictures were taken with the FA150 for portraits and FA75 for the 'landscapes'.
No postprocessing done for those pictures.

As said film used was Kodak 400TMAX and I find the 'contrasts' a little bit too much and some of the pictures look underexposed to my 'eye'.
Any idea if maybe I need to expose it a little bit more ?

Would you use the 400TMAX for portraits or more landscapes ?
I have bought several films of different manufacturers just to get a better feeling.

Anyway great camera and I'm enjoying medium format film.
Hi, I am not too sure if the film available are the same for different sizes but from what i know from shooting 135, your pictures showcase the characteristics of the Kodak TMAX: smooth and almost grainless, contrasty and sharp.

Similarly, Tri-X also but it has more grain compared to TMAX.


Whereas i'm loving the iLford HP 500 Plus (not sure if it is available in 120) as it is lower in contrast, therefore against a contrasty scene, it renders very beautifully as compared to using TMAX.

The fun of shooting film is getting to know different film for different scene.

A guide that was taught to me by a friend and what i kind of observe in film characteristics:

Colors:

Velvia - Landscape
Portra - Portrait (be it indoor or outdoor, for skin tone)

B&W:

Contrasty Scene -
HP iLford HP5 Plus (it's less contrasty, smooth and sharp)

Low in contrast scene -
Kodak TMAX (it's contrasty, smooth and sharp, almost digital-like)
Kodak Tri-X (for more 'grit' and a photo journalistic approach)

Last edited by SyncGuy; 08-26-2013 at 11:30 PM.
08-27-2013, 01:09 AM   #8
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Original Poster
Thanks for your advice.

From what I remember when I was shooting film in the last ... century.

100asa film for outdoors.
400asa film for indoors due to lower light conditions.

Looking more in the threads a lot of people shoot outdoor with 400asa film.
Also quite a few people take 400asa film and setup 200asa (or less) on the camera.

Is there any reason for this ?

Thanks.

08-27-2013, 02:17 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by spotreunion Quote
Thanks for your advice.

From what I remember when I was shooting film in the last ... century.

100asa film for outdoors.
400asa film for indoors due to lower light conditions.

Looking more in the threads a lot of people shoot outdoor with 400asa film.
Also quite a few people take 400asa film and setup 200asa (or less) on the camera.

Is there any reason for this ?

Thanks.
Ah... Pushing and pulling of a film ASA speed... I'm confused on this aspect too! I hope to learn more... Haha!
08-27-2013, 12:17 PM   #10
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Location: Seattle
Posts: 7,017
QuoteOriginally posted by spotreunion Quote
...
To be fair with the Porta 160 I'm not very happy with the colours.
The Porta 160 can have a more pastel look in the blues. Don't be too quick on judge the film only after a first experience. And I've seen beautiful flesh tones from them in portraiture work by others. They use to make a NC and VC version but with today's color control in the image editor, I believe the NC/VC option is more a moot point today.

Here are some Portra 160 shots I've taken for what it is worth.







08-27-2013, 12:32 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by SyncGuy Quote
...
Low in contrast scene -
Kodak TMAX (it's contrasty, smooth and sharp, almost digital-like)
Hand waving guidelines. I shoot 400TMY in some of the most high contrast scenes you could imagine.
08-27-2013, 09:01 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by tuco Quote
Hand waving guidelines. I shoot 400TMY in some of the most high contrast scenes you could imagine.
Yea... Sort of a general guideline.. At the end of the day, other factors do play a part in the final exposure; over/under-exposure..

Oh btw, crazily great shots you have there! Always been a fan.. Haha!
08-27-2013, 09:27 PM   #13
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Overexposing the film by 1 or 2 stops is about achiving certain look. Especially the more you overexpose c41 film (not ektar) the more pastel like colours will become.
Here are 2 example, Portra 400 shot at 100:



Fuji Pro 400H shot at 200:



If you want to experiment with it. Take a normal metered shot, than another shot open up 2 stops for 2x over exposure and the next one open up another 2 stops for even more exposure. You will be surprised how different the photos look. All the details will be there by the tones will change.
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