The summer bag

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So here are summer holidays and it is time to pack the camera bag. Where to start ? Minimal or not minimal? When will I finally go in the field with one body one lens? Ok, let me cut it short: not today. But to keep of suspense, let me start with the bag. I have been carrying around the Crumpler 5 Mio dollar home since 2010, and it was a wonderful bag, it can carry one M body with an extra lend or two or you can cramped two M bodies with lens attached or even and M and the Hassie. But you cannot add much more: wallet, sunglasses, specs, flying documents cannot really fit. And after all these years, the hip side has a nice hole, and after 3 trips in the washing machine it is a bit shabby. Kudo’s to Crumpler, but they no longer do these inconspicuous bags nor the bit bigger 6Mio dollar home.

The web is a hell when you look for camera bag, I have been there man times. So this time I picked up a Scout Shoulder bag from Wotancraft at the nice Rice Ball photo shop. (https://www.wotancraft.com/product/scout-charcoal-black) made in Taiwan. More expensive than Crumpler, fits both for town and country. Can fit the ideal combination of two Leica M bodies with lens attached and an extra lens or two. Papers, wallet, specs and sunglasses fit as well.

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So I think I betrayed myself, the travel will consist of the Leica M262 and the M6 with my new 50mm Summicron, the 28mm Summicron and the 90mm Elmarit. Some various rolls of films are waiting for me in France for the M6.

BW I’m going to the south of France, both to the sea and the mountain, also to Venice, so I’ll have plenty to shoot. Let me make a guess, the 90mm will get less than 10% usage, the 28mm 40% max, the 50mm will get the rest.

So what is happening to the D700 Kit? I had the pleasure to shoot a couple of events this year and if performed perfectly as usual (of course the high ISO is lacking behind now compared to more modern cameras), and the M262 will not allow me to do this. But frankly I think I am done with it: I no longer carry it for casual street shooting, I did not brought it on holidays for two years now. It is big, bulky, the whole set with my zooms and fixed lenses weight a ton, and frankly nobody will miss the shots that the Leica does not allow me to do. So I think we’ll part our ways, so long my friend, I like your well-worn look and the colors of your sensor, but it is time to move. We traveled Asia together the last 7 years and had a lot of fun.

D700 was introduced in 2008 and the M240 (on which the M262 is built) in 2012; Leica being a bit lagging behind in term of bodies I think they are quite probably comparable; I missed the M10 by a year.

(To be continued)

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The summer bag

The year of shooting with Leica(s) – Part 1

 

I bought my first Leica in 2009; it was a very nice M4 paired with a Summilux 50mm version2; both from 1967 as close as I could to by date of birth (I was a bit worried at the time about getting involved in the double stroke or single stroke on the M3).  In 2009 I was already back into film for 2 years, I was lusting for a Leica. After much considerations I splurged the equivalent of 2500 USD on the above combo.

M4

If was not love at first sight with the Leica. First I was back to the shop (actually another) to invest in a light meter (Sekonic 380s). Then I brought it in  couple of trips, but with mixed feelings.

Japan 2010

I enjoyed using the little fellow, but really the results were no all great and also I have a trouble bringing the Leica on travel : I though the 35mm was redundant with my DSLR; at least in term of format.

The following years I bought a few other film cameras and got distracted, so indeed the love story with the M4 was not going the right way.

In 2013 I invested in a small LeicaIIIc and a Summitar 50mmF2; this fellow had a couple of problems, but I quite liked it for shooting around.
The Leica IIIc

I got a couple on third party lens in various stage of in-usability to pair him with (a back focusing Jupiter 35mm, a non-focusing Canon 135F4, not mentioning  the Industar of the Zorki 1) , but all in all we had good fun. Around this time I also invested in a 21mmF4 Color Skopar, that I always found difficult to use. And I made my first Leica trip only to Taiwan.

LeicaIIIc Taiwan 2013

Leica M4 Taiwan 2013

Last year finally when Lee Kwan Yew passed away I shot a lot of the funerals with the M4 and my interest was aroused again by the Leica M, so finally for a similar amount of the M4 kit, I bought a minty M6 Classic (Back) and a Summaron 35mmF2 (The version with the goggles).

And so started the year of shooting with Leica(s) (to be followed)

The year of shooting with Leica(s) – Part 1

2015 a year of film

Agfa Isolette III in Easter Island

Here is the new year; so first happy new year to all the readers of this blog, and happy shooting. This is the time for a bit of retrospective, and I won’t miss the opportunity. 2015 was another good (in term of fun) year of film shooting. I managed to break the psychological barrier of one film a week, actually getting to 55 films (this is a roughly total of 1500 pics)

Leica M6 + Summaron : A Compression by artist Cesar

I have been shooting both travels and city (or street) , black and white, slides and color print films, both in 120 and 35mm formats, with a total of 12 different cameras.

Leica M4 + Summilux 50mm F1.4 : Lee Kuan Yew Funerals
Camera Films
Leica M6 15
Leica M4 10
Hassie 8
Agfa isolette III 4
EOS 1N 4
Leica iiiC 4
Kiev IV 3
Heineken Toy Camera 2
Nikon F3 2
Dacora 1
Fuji disposable 1
Nikon F 1
waex99-003
Haselblad 500Cm +80mmF2.8 : Artist Mlle Maurice

I had been quite good GAS wise this year, my collection increased “only” by two additions:

  • the EOS 1N, with 50mm 1.8MKII, the body was given by a friend and I purchased a 80$ lens, so hardly any GAS here
  • finally I made the acquisition of a Leica M6 classic, and a 35mmF2.8 Summaron to accompany it. This is a long awaited purchase and the table above shows how much I am happy with it
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Canon EOS 1N + 50mm 1.8 MKII : my friend Herman

The Leicas are on top of the list as I have now more lenses to pay with. Pity the Nikon F did not get out of the cupboard more I’ll try to do better this year. Some cameras did not get a chance: the F4, the Kodak Autographic, the Canonet, the Minolta Himatic, the Zorki but frankly this last one is not worth using. The Nikon F3, is definitely showing some focusing issue.

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Leica IIIC + Summitar 50mmF2 : Young fisherman

Plans for the year: do as well next year, maybe some film only trips. Gear wise I promise to be a good boy: maybe upgrade my scanner or do some processing at home.

Kiev IV + Jupiter 35mmF2.8 : Happy Birthday Singapore

Next article I will try to do a small overview of the films  I tried this year.

Dacora Digna : Cannes French Riviera
2015 a year of film

The Leica IIIC

The Leica IIIC and Summitar 50mmF2

So this is my latest acquisition, a vintage Leica IIIC, built soon after World Word III (1949 if you believe the literature) and the associated 50mm, a Summitar F2, which himself was probably made during  war (1940 if you believe …).

Hold of your horses, I did not break the piggy bank to get this little fellow, the body was around 200 USD and the lens on the top 300, all postage included.  So I could respond to my Leica envy without getting into any argument at home (nearly no argument).

This is a very nice piece of kit to handle, and since May I already did a few film with it.

The only annoying thing I would say are the separate windows for focusing and framing; but I’m getting used to it. The other specifics, like cutting the film trailer for loading or the rewind knob are easy to get used to. There is also a little lever on the top left of the body that acts like a dioptric adjustment and which I welcome very much.

The LeicaIII was part of the film only trip to Taiwan, and came with me in France, but that’s another story.

Sharp Dressed Man : From the first film with the Industar 50mm F3.5

Ice Man: This time with the Voigtländer Color Skopar 21mmF4

Keong Saik Road: With the Summitar 50mmF2.0

The Leica IIIC

The first Zorki Film

If you missed the last episode, I bought a Zorki S for 40EUR in an antique shop and it turned out there are some quite obvious problems with it. Two days later, I tempted my luck with a 6 years expired Kodak Gold film. I shot the film on the way to work, using hyper-focal focusing because the range finder does not work, and I missed one shot out of 5 as the curtains of the shutter stay stuck most of the time. Meanwhile the mini-lab broke down so I had to wait two extra days to be able to have a look at this masterpiece.

As expected, one picture in 5 to 6 turned out ok in term of exposure and the 4 below are the best of the lot. It’s very difficult to guess for the rest because of the very bad quality of the film (or because of it’s high artistic quality). Well that will need another try.

In between I have lubricated the shutter by dropping some silicon lubricant on the shutter button and it seems that by firing 20 shots a day the shutter no longer get stuck: good news. Also a gentle fellow user gave me some information on the rangefinder issue so I may run a second roll very soon. Probably an unexpired B&W film.

Graph at the sate park

Appart from trying the Zorki out, I liked this mural very much down in the Summerset skate park; it changes from the usual things we see there. Hope I can shot it with a proper camera before its gone.

Graph at the sate park
Ice cream stall
Signs

Camera:Zorki-S
Lens:Industar 22 50mm F3.5
Film:Kodak Gold 100ASA expired 2006
DigiFilm:Epsonv500, LightroomV3.6

The first Zorki Film

Old Kallang Airport – Singapore

Old Kallang Airport - Singapore
Old Kallang Airport - Singapore

Camera: Nikon F Photomnic (Prism in working order)
Lens: Nikkor 50mmF1.4 AIS
Film: Hilford Delta 100
ScannerEpson ,V500
Processing: LR3+PS Elements 4.0

Ok, this week a small break from the Nepal pictures; the Kallang Airport (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kallang_Airport), which was Singapore airport from 1937 to 1995, was opened to the public this year as part on the Singapore Biennale. Just got the film back from the shop and here are some pictures.

For these picture I brought my Manfrotto tripod; the F mirror shake is generally so bad that I feel these pictures really got a benetif from using a tripod for once.

Instead of the original 50mmF1.4 S I used my “new” 50mmF1.4AIS.

Also during this time I have been de-stocking some stuff: my Lowepro Slingshot bag is gone, it was too small , my gear too heavy (and the strap does not feel comfortable with my beerbelly ;)), the excellent Nikkor 24mm F2.8 is gone today as well, I don’t really use it any more since I bought the 17-35F2.8, fair-well my friends. Don’t worry, I am not just making void; mostly making room for a new acquisition very soon.

Old Kallang Airport – Singapore