kodak 400 tmax



this is a detail of a sculpture in berlin tiergarten. it was part of the internationale bauaustellung 1957 and has no name. the artist on the other hand does have a name: hans uhlmann

this was shot with my pentacon six on kodak 400 tmax at most probably f4 with the carl zeiss jena biometar 80mm lens.

kugeln is balls in english.

mosaique urbaine

mosaique urbainewhile i’m at it… another blog i’d like to recommend here is urban mosaic by evan zelermyer. he’s based in new york city and  creates beautiful urban landscapes.**

this picture was taken with my new old pentacon six. another medium format camera. made in the gdr and built like a tank. not a twin lens but an slr design with a fine carl zeiss jena 80mm f2.8 lens. one can even get a prism viewfinder for that thing so it looks like a giant 35mm film slr. this is from my first roll of kodak 400 tmax. i like the results and some more pictures will surely follow. the handling of the pentacon is somewhat easier for me than the seagull tlr. i’m not sure yet why but i’ll figure it out (maybe it has to do with the lack of parallax error due to the single lens design).

if you are interested in a bit more information on this camera (and a lot of others and very cool pictures) i can heartily suggest visiting yet another blog: camerajunky

the picture was taken in the hansaviertel which was rebuilt in the late 1950s (and early 60s) for the Internationale Bauaustellung (IBA 57) with concepts by architects like oscar niemeyer and alvar aalto. the house in the picture is a project by the dutch architects j.h. van den broek and jacob bakema. it has a very interesting floorplan (because i doesn’t really have standard floors)

**it is a real coincidence by the way that evan posted pictures with trees and buildings again just on wednesday. i took this picture on tuesday with evan’s blog in mind and had the negative scanned on wednesday and maybe you can imagine my surprise when i checked urbanmosaicnyc…

thirty ghosts

endlich30another shot from my second roll in medium format. made with my seagull tlr in berlin neukölln.

one seagull does not make a summer

but a nice winter weekend…*  [this post contains a few more pictures than one]

i took out the seagull tlr last weekend for my second roll of middle-format film and this time i was more prepared than the first time.

i used a tripod for example.

my poor tripod wasn’t really up to the task carrying the quite heavy seagull but it did an amazingly good job eventually. so i now can confirm, i can get sharp pictures from this camera and i’m just incapable of doing this handheld obviously.

i try to meter with my trusty olympus e-pl1 and use it for the making-of pictures of course.

jeff barnes

jeff barnes (still a bit underexposed)

jeff barnes (making of)

jeff barnes (making of)

i have also improved on my digitizing process, but there is still a bit of headroom left in the complete workflow i guess. i got an acrylic plate, put the negatives on them and fired a flash from behind the plate. the result looked a lot like this:


i then inverted these shots, cropped the individual negatives and converted them to (filtered) black and white in lightroom.

here are some more pictures from my second roll.

pyramide von unten

the poor manfred...

the poor manfred…

seagull under pyramid

as you can see i’m still unsure regarding the relation of what i see in the viewfinder and where it turns out on the negative. i’d say i put the pyramid right into the middle of it but the negative says otherwise.

chrysler classic

chrysler classic

cc (making of)

cc (making of)

and finally a shot of the climbing frame that i did not manage to get focussed properly the first time.

sharp playgroundand now i have a kodak portra 400 film in my pocket and i’ll see what i can do with it…

and as you can see, there are still eight pictures left of this roll to be shown, e.g. a lovely (but accidental) multiexposure.

*for the ornithologists and idiomaticists: i can tell a seagull from a swallow… ;)

preview and review

before (at least i thought so)


expectations were high…

i got a chinese seagull 4B-1 twin lens reflex camera as a birthday present! yay! i have to admit this is really quite a tough thing to handle. about 1 kg in weight, quite clunky in my hands but it looks really cool and feels quite well built. the shutter is almost silent (i wasn’t really sure that it worked correctly).

i haven’t been able to get one sharp shot from that camera yet, though. here are two pictures from my first roll of medium film. as you can see, i forgot to remove the frame from inside the camera that allows to take pictures in 6×4,5 format (instead of the more common (and actually intended) 6×6 square format).

moreover you can see there is quite a lot of headroom in at least:

  1.  choice of subject
  2.  focusing skills
  3.  understanding the framing of the viewfinder
  4.  my digitizing skills…

in (4) i opted for handheld macro shots in front of a white computer monitor… (see the picture below) i think i could do much better e.g. by more closely following paulo ricca’s great tutorial. regarding (3) i’m quite clueless now, because i thought the first picture of the viewfinder showed the preview of the respective shot below… and this does not really make sense to me now. (2) is somewhat tricky. i was quite sure i nailed focus at least in say 5 of the 14 shots i got from the roll. but that does not seem to be the case. probably i should have used a tripod… maybe i shouldn’t have shot wide open. i have to try this out again obviously. and finally (1) we had so bad weather conditions here for at least three weeks after i got the film for the camera that one day i was tired of waiting and went out in light drizzle to the playground 50 metres away, finished the roll and went back home. there will be more and better opportunities throughout this year, i’m sure. i have two rolls b&w film left and then i think i’ll go and try colour.

quick and dirty digitizing