Thursday, June 30, 2011


I thought it might be a good idea in order to spice up the holiday memories to start a small experiment. As I recently described, my actual addiction (yes, you can definitely call it like this) to medium format film brought me to some tryouts with expired films. The last examples at least didn't turn out to be that bad:


İstanbul expired

So I thought, when we were packing up for our trip to Paris: Why not taking 2 rolls of expired (since 1997) Kodak Ektacolor 100 roll films 120 with me?

Note to myself: Stupid idea if you want to keep some memories. Today I picked up the developed photos and films and they turned out to be too dark, the results - with some interesting exceptions - are not worth the sacrifice of beautiful photos. Besides, black & white is much cooler anyways :)

I am now waiting for next week, when I can pick up the two Kodak Tri-X 400 rolls I gave to the photo shop. I am so excited. Many people mentioned a good grain and contrast level in these films and now I am curious if it is going to be my next big film (together with the Ilford Delta 3200 that I am going to try one day) after I actually got some good result from the Ilford HP5 125 and the Ilford Delta 4 400, too...

Monday, June 27, 2011

a long way to run...

For some time already I tried to get in touch with the idea of creating my own "photo lab" at home. Until now I always delivered my films to a small lab in Sirkeci/İstanbul which was kind of affordable and definitely less soiling. But since I last week wanted to see the photos from our Paris trip as soon as possible, I saw myself confronted with the fact that film development in Germany - especially in classic black and white - kills a student's budget very easily.

I delivered the films to the photo shop anyway. I wanted to have good results in a short time, even though there is one week I gotta wait (instead of the three hours in İstanbul). Whatever, after I came back from the shop I immediately started gathering all the information I could get about film development and film itself. I found out that there are three different film types. Orthochromatic, panchromatic and orthopanchromatic. All of them have different specifications in presenting the several colors. You can find a good web page in German about development here. In addition to that I had to find out that it is easy to find the equipment on ebay but very hard to win the auctions. I never used ebay before and it was quite painful for me to find out how the system works. While I am writing this I still try to get some JOBO film drums for an affordable and appropriate price but it seems that I can't find one under 20 €.

So what else do you need? First there is the very dark room (a bathroom without windows + tape on the door should be fine - and make sure that your flatmate doesn't need to pee for some time). To check if the room is really dark you should sit inside the closed room for 15 minutes and check if you can't see anything. If you still can see a little bit, you should either fix it or get a changing bag. I chose the second option and I am still waiting for it to arrive.

Then you need the equipment. That is the film drum, three plastic bottles for the different chemical steps, two measuring cups à 500 ml, a thermometer, clips to hang up the watered film, a stop watch, a bin to temperate the liquids and the chemicals themselves. I hope I can arrange it to get the equipment soon and start practicing. But whenever I might be ready (hopefully in about 2 weeks, when the changing bag arrives), I will definitely document my first try on developing film myself.

Sunday, June 26, 2011


After so many months without blogging I decided that it might be about time to write some new articles about what I like and what concerned me lately. Since I am not used to write so much at a time anymore (it should change soon, if I'd like to finish my papers, essays and start writing my thesis - 120 pages don't get filled by themselves) I think I start slowly.

Well, I had to return my dad's beautiful Hasselblad some time ago already but since then got sticked to medium format: I now almost exclusively shoot in medium format. Back then though, after returning the Hasselblad, there was a lack of medium format cameras in my possession and I had to help myself. I tried to find a good but not expensive one.

After doing some research I realized that a lot of people recommended the Yashica MAT 124(G). It is a copy of the Rolleiflex, where the G - as they stated in the forums and websites about medium format - must stand for glass lenses. The relation of price and quality was the best. So I took my decision: A Yashica it will be. But where to find? After doing some search via ebay and Google I found that very camera for 190€ - which in this condition is a very good price. Since the day I met with the seller and bought the camera I started using my lovely Nikon FM less and less frequently. Just as an example: The last time I brought 6 roll films and only on 135mm film to the development.

Even though the quality of the lenses in the Yashica are dimensions away from what you could see in the Hasselblad-photos it still has, besides the "woah, cool-effect" on people around you, some advantages: It is lightweight, compact and silent: Because it is a twin lense reflex camera it has no big mirror inside. That means for long time exposures that they still deliver convenient photos for a 1/30 second. It also means that it is perfect for street photography and you can carry around the camera in almost any situation. Plus: it has a built-in light meter that is connected to exposure and time value. The disadvantage of the camera - besides the lower quality of the lenses, of course -, is the quite dark matt screen (like in the Rolleiflex), the non-changeable lenses (oh, I would love to use some wide-angle) and some minor things like more plastic inside.

I am pretty sure that the Yashica won't be the last medium format camera I'll own in my life (my aim  will always be the Hasselblad 501C or 503C - but first finding a well-paid job, right?). I definitely would hardly sell it again. It is just too perfect to take a quick shot in medium format.

The picture is taken from the internet. I simply have been too lazy to take a photo myself.

Here are some examples: