Leica M240 – A rented friend for a lonely week end (Day one, Friday)

This is it, I finally found a way to get my hands on a Leica M240 without breaking the piggy bank : I have rented it for a week-end. I never really thought of renting camera gear, but actually that makes a lot of sense. I managed to have 3 days to play around with this expensive toy for a fraction of the cost. I rented a M240 black and an Elmarit 28mmF22.8 here in Singapore at Camera Rental on new bridge road for less than 400 SGD where the combo costs something around 13K. Quite effective, oh did I mention this is my birthday present (the rental).

So this is it, it is nearly 4pm on Friday and on the way to work I collect the beast. As I said in my last post I borrowed a M9 and Summicron 28mmf2 a few weeks back so I am not overly surprised by the first contact. There are however a few immediate differences:

  • the screen in larger
  • the shutter is a loss less noisy (I could not figure out why the M9 had to make so much noise)
  • the Elmarit is so small, the idea of its price makes me laugh, nobody would ever believe it

I have brought my old Summilux 50mmF1.4 and tries it in the shop, it looks to be working well and frankly it will hardly leave the body.

On the way to the office I stopped at the Yueh Hai Ching Temple  and take a few shots, the weather is overcast and sun quickly going down anyway, so nothing exceptional.

I tried a few portraits while in the office with the available light. Wide open the results are a bit soft and probably suffers from some little camera shake due to the slow speed set by the camera. Yes I made the mistake to set the speed to Auto, I did not realize until later that instead of cranking up the ISO the camera lowers the speed until it reaches 1/focal length. But as the Summilux is not recognized by the camera the lower speed is not calculated (I think) so some shots were done at 1/12th and 200 ISO: ridiculous.

Later I go outside for a walk and take some handheld shots of Marina Bay with the 28mm with manual settings, clearly that fares a little bit better.

I have big plans for the Saturday, so I go straight to bed after work.

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Leica M240 – A rented friend for a lonely week end (Day one, Friday)

Almost as good as new – Singapore Kite Festival

A couple of weeks back, we had a lovely weather for the week-end and by complete chance this was the Singapore Kite Festival. NTUC, which is a kind of local “Union”, organized this day out on the Marina Bay, right in front of my office, and their own nice office building.

So a lot of people, kids running around, kites, sun, colors, but also acrobats, jugglers, and much more. A perfect opportunity for a photo walk, and by the number of cameras around I was not the only one to have the idea.

In my current line of thinking that nobody cares if I miss or succeed in an individual shot, let’s try to make things a bit more fun and bring along a manual lens. Namely the very nice, 70-210F3.5 Angenieux zoom lens. This is a very nice piece of kit, made in France and still goes our second hand for a bi of money. I bough it second hand in Belgium back in 93 or 94 for the equivalent of then 500 EURO. It has a constant aperture of 3.5 which is fast enough with the auto-iso option of the D700. Using a manual lens with the D700 is very easy as you can either rely on our eyes or use the internal rangefinder. Using a digital body, if you miss a shot no bid deal, you can try again at no costs.

Just a couple of negative remarks:
– the Angenieux focuses the opposite was to the Nikon lens

– the infinite focusing does not seem to work well

– it looks to me that with manual lenses the D700 has a tendency to underexpose the shots…

  

Above: The waterdrops stilt walkers

Above: I like very much the colors and the “dark side”, pity the woman on the right is not totally in the frame.

 

Above: the wind garden, close, wide open
  

above: one of the pro kite flyers 

 

above: all ages gathering at Marina Bay this day

Above: one of the artists, a mime

 

Above: there was even a band playing

 

Above: A very funny juggler, unfortunately I have no outstanding shot of him.
 

The lens is now mounted on the Nikon F… (to be followed)

Almost as good as new – Singapore Kite Festival

Le Dragon de Porcelaine – The china dragon

Le Dragon de Porcelaine - The china dragon
Le Dragon de Porcelaine - The china dragon

Each Camera takes it turn, a quick look in the film box in the fridge, 6 AA batteries to fill the F4s Grip and here we are, ready for a walk. Oh and let’s take a lens, might be useful. Today the manual focus 50mm F1.4 AIS, fast lens may come useful with a 100 ISO film. That Sunday, before the Chinese New Year, dragons were on display along Marina Bay; this one made of china bowls, plates and spoons, was the nicest to my taste.

Camera: Nikon F4s
Lens: Nikkor 50mm F1.4 AIS
Film: Fuji Sensia 100
Scanner: Epson v500

Le Dragon de Porcelaine – The china dragon

Marina Bay at Night – Singapore

Marina Bay at Night - Singapore
Marina Bay at Night - Singapore

So let’s stick a third film in the Hassie and go around town with it. First stop, one Fullerton for dinner, opposite Marina Bay Sands.
For going out the Hassie and a Tripod are a bit bulky but that’a all right.

The light is measured with the Sekotic 380, 1/15 second, F2.8, I pressed the pre-release to avoid camera shake and here you go! My first night capture!

Camera: Hasselblad 500 CM
Lens: Planar 80mm CF T*
Film: Kodal Ektar 100
Scanner: Epson V500
Processing: LR3+PS Elements 4.0

Marina Bay at Night – Singapore

What’s in a walkaround camera?

Marina Bay Sands with flowers
Marina Bay Sands with flowers

So as promised, after the first, here is the scond film of the year. Sunday, the sky was a bit overcast but the weather overall nice. I was a bit ashamed of my low level of film photography since the beginning of the year, so I took advantage of the kind weather and go for a walk with a film camera.

I start by a look in the fridge to see which film there is, outdoor bit of sun let’s go for color, and the winner is a roll of Fuji Sensia 100 slides. Now let’s pick a camera; well I haven’t tried the 17-35mmF2.8 AFS on any film camera, so let’s try first with the Nikon F4s. It is not a light weight set-up as the combo weight about 3KG.

First problem, I haven’t used the F4 for so long (6 to 8 month maybe) that the batteries (6 x Duracell Alkaline AA) are flat and one had a small leak.) Lesson to remember: take the batteries off the camera before storing it back into the big Tupperware where it belongs. Fresh batteries in, turn the engine on: no luck. Remove the batteries clean the contact; iterate the operation 2 or 3 time and the beast finally turns on.

Now try to remember how to open the back and once done insert the film.

All set, ok not quite, I removed the Crumpler camo strap from the F4 to put it on the D700, so I have to grab the other plain Crumpler strap and put it on, carefully because I don’t want the damn thing to drop. I love the Crumpler straps, they feels good for a heavy combo, but it’s a pain to wrap around your wrists like we like to do from time to time.

First film of the year here we go 30 odd frames around the marina and a couple in Toa Payoh HDB.

What’s in a walkaround camera?