Autumn shoots with the Yashica (Part 2)

The second half of the Fuji Superia 400 in the Yashica had been shot during a wonderful family trip at the south of Austria. We have picked an easy trail close to Arnfels this time but one packed with nice scenery and experiences. We have passed by beautifully taken care of wine yards and a forest filled with life and with the colors of the autumn. We have picked some chestnuts, had a closer look of a variety of strange mushrooms and met with all sorts of wild and domestic animals including a little deer.

I was equipped with the Yashica TL Super with the Pancolar 80 attached to it plus I had my old Weimar Lux Cds light-meter with me. Eszter was shooting with her Nex 6, and of course we shared the duty of carrying the little one (who did not get lighter), but at least he could also run around a bit on his own due to the easy terrain.

Autumn hike

The lights were initially quite harsh but inside the woods we were rewarded with some nice beams of light filtered through the branches of the trees. I find it very difficult to capture the delicate atmosphere created by such light conditions on any medium, but this small format film has done a decent job.

Pancolar Bokeh

As we moved out from the forest, I started to look for details. This pole of an electronic fence seemed to be a good idea to take a picture of. Now, I find it quite boring unless I use it to evaluate the creamy background blur of the mighty Pancolar even slightly stopped down to around f/2.2. Notice the orange blob at the top left quarter of the frame. It is obviously my 2 years old running around.

Sheep

Portraits of feeding animals are essential for any family photo book.

Cabbage

Not sure what happened with the top part of the cabbage photo. I think I must have overexposed so much that the film decided to make some color shift. In any case, I was indeed pushing the boundaries of the film because I tried to shoot as wide open as possible despite the abundance of light.

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All in all it was a great trip with a handful of shoots we like both analog and digital. The Yashica served well once again, but I cannot deny that this camera especially with a bigger lens is not easy to carry all day. The weight can become a real problem if the camera is not the only extra weight one needs to take care of. Would I take it once again for a hike now that the much lighter Leica came back from service?  I think will still take it occasionally, but more because of the lens not so much for the sake of camera.

Autumn shoots with the Yashica (Part 1)

To follow up the previous post where the focus was on the retro stylish look of the Yashica TL Super, here are some of the shoots out the roll which was in the very same camera. All of these photos have been taken during our last visit to Hungary in the middle of October. The film is Fuji Superia 400, which is lately my choice of color negative film due to it’s versatility and because I had quite a few rolls of it left from my Irish trip from last year. This film works great for me in almost all circumstances from low light situations (when combined with fast glass) to sunny daylight. This time I had mostly enough though not plenty of light as the weather was generally overcast. But the colors of the autumn are well retained and the scattered light helped with the portraits.

Leafs

I used a single lens, my big favorite the Pancolar 80mm for the entire roll. I try to force myself to carry only one lens at the time. This helps me learn the quirks of the given setup by focusing on it for a longer period. Also if I have only one lens available I need to solve every situation with it which could help me leave my comfort zone and thus contribute to my creative development.

This lens has it’s caveats and sweet spots to learn as well. Others may observe these differently as many aspects of the character of a lens can be judged subjectively. I find myself shooting with the Pancolar most of the time wide open or close to it. This is where the character is mostly evident in the form of beautiful smooth bokeh when the background is right. The lens is plenty sharp in the center at least for my eyes and subjects. Stopping down to medium apertures where the depth of field is still small enough to have some background blur makes it evident that the iris is very far from circular. This case the background can be very busy which is not always desirable. In addition contrast can be too high to my taste especially for portraits.

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Of course the photos from this post were not the only ones from this roll. The Yashica was with me on a family hike in the south of Austria where both the light and my subjects were different. I will publish a selection from those shoots in the next post with the hope that I can show the versatility of this film and my single lens approach.

The Kodak Ektar adventure

Finally, I have convinced myself to try out the famous Kodak Ektar film, so I loaded a roll into my beloved Olympus OM 4 Ti. Unfortunately, the camera had other plans and the electronic circuits gave up at the middle of the roll.

In the end, I ended up rewinding the film and I loaded into the good old mechanical workhorse Yashica TL super. This process, however, leads to 2 consequences. Unsurprisingly I have got some nice double exposures, but most importantly I bought a bit worn Leica M2. At least I won’t have problems with the electronic parts of that camera.

I still haven’t given up the hope that the Olympus can be repaired at some point, but I generally lost my trust in these old electronic cameras.

The Ektar, on the other hand, is truly a gorgeous film which delivers everything that is written on its box. It is smooth, high resolution with fine grain and with rich deep colors and high contrast. My scanner is absolutely unable to extract all the possibilities of this film. I am very impressed by this film indeed, however, I find it not the best suited for portraits as it is too vivid. But it is only my impression based on less than a complete 36 frames roll so I might change my mind.

I am definitely going to experiment with the Ektar, but from now most likely with my “new” M2 and with a ZM Sonnar.


Joanneumsviertel , Olympus OM 4 Ti, Zuiko 50mm f/1.4, Kodak Ektar 100. Canoscan 9900F
Olympus OM 4 Ti, Zuiko 50mm f/1.4, Kodak Ektar 100. Canoscan 9900F
Olympus OM 4 Ti, Zuiko 50mm f/1.4, Kodak Ektar 100. Canoscan 9900F
Olympus OM 4 Ti, Zuiko 50mm f/1.4, Kodak Ektar 100. Canoscan 9900F
Facsemete-2 Facsemete-2 Olympus OM 4 Ti, Zuiko 50mm f/1.4, Kodak Ektar 100. Canoscan 9900F
Yashica TL Super, Carl Zeiss Jena Pancolar 80mm f/ 1.8, Kodak Ektar 100. Canoscan 9900F
Yashica TL Super, Carl Zeiss Jena 50mm f/ 1.8, Kodak Ektar 100. Canoscan 9900F
Yashica TL Super, Yashinon 50mm f/1.7, Kodak Ektar 100. Canoscan 9900F
Yashica TL Super, Carl Zeiss Jena Pancolar 80mm f/ 1.8, Kodak Ektar 100. Canoscan 9900F

Portraits at Limoncello

Limoncello Delicatessen is a small Italian shop downtown Szentendre (Hungary) named after a lemon-flavored liqueur for some reason. They sell really good coffee, ice-cream and a wide sort of premium Italian grocery.

I visit the place quite frequently because of the truly remarkable coffee they make which is quite unusual in Hungary unfortunately.

I have quickly realized that this place is a really good spot for portrait photography as many nice and interesting people used to come together here. On top of it, a huge white wall on the opposite side of this narrow street acts as the perfect reflector many times during sunny days. As I almost exclusively shoot using available light, this is a really nice feature to have.

I shoot people only who I know enough as I don’t want to ruin the business by acting as a paparazzi. Still, I have managed to put together a small pile of portraits already I shoot there. I think the shoots can reflect a bit of the atmosphere of the place as well as the emotions and personality of these lovely people I asked being model back.

This time all images are digital, but as usual, you can find the names of some manual lenses among the descriptions of the images.

Eszter (Limoncello, Szentendre, Hungary) Canon EOS 450D, CZJ Pancolar 80mm f/1.8  @ f/1.8

The following collage is published here in color for the reason that colors really contribute to the overall look and sensation of these images which I missed so much when I tried to make good a B&W version. The matching colors of her eyes and the scarf, as well as the warm tone of the hair light on the left image, were obliviously last at every attempt of B&W conversion.


Eszter (Limoncello, Szentendre, Hungary) Canon EOS 450D, Hansa 135mm f/2.8 @ f/4