So, after the hipster nonsense overload on the last post, I have decided to go a completely different direction this time. The bag shot.
Well, not exactly a bag shot. I don’t have a macro lens at the moment so that would be hard.
Actually, I received a couple of emails after the last post asking to see my “current setup.” The quotation marks are supposed to signify a mix of sarcasm and irony. Longtime followers will understand.
I am happy to report this is one of the cameras I have kept for long. I’ll glaze over the fact it spent the last three months sitting on a shelf in my friend’s shop in Seoul waiting for me to pick it up. I talked a little bit about this in my last post so I won’t go into too great detail again.
Without further ado, the camera is a Leica M3 single stroke from 1961. I specifically wanted one from the 60s when I got it. The story of the camera is a similar one to a lot of Leica cameras I reckon. Sat in some old Japanese guy’s closet for 30 years. Brought it to Leica for a check up and probable CLA but after exercising the shutter for a bit was told by the (well-known) tech that the camera was in perfect working order. After 50 or so rolls (this is quite a lot for me – I normally shoot around 900-1000 photos a year including digital) I can report it works a treat. I am so happy to have it back. It certainly feels like “my” camera.
The lens is a similar sort of thing. It is a 35mm Summaron LTM 2.8 (with a great serial number, ha ;)). It used to be a cheap lens although not so much lately. I know, a 35mm on an M3 is like blasphemy. I could give a fuck. I love the way this lens looks with Tmax. The photos are soft but controlled. I used it alongside a 35mm Summilux V3 for a while and in my opinion the Summaron is a much better lens. Similar vibe without the ridiculous frame-ruining aspects of the Lux.
This is an example from the Summaron. I don’t need anymore than this. I use a Leitz 35mm viewfinder to quickly check the frame lines if I really need to. Mostly, I just put it there so Leica nerds don’t try and remind me that I shouldn’t be using a 35mm lens on an M3. This sort of backfired as now they remind me about how there is a goggled version that is around the same price. I know where I feel like telling them to stick those goggles.
The dude above is one of my best friends Jemal. He’s pictured here with his wife, Yogita. I love this kind of photo. Photos of my friends. I talked about it in the last post and it is something I am going to continue to do. Street photography to me is like playing Pokemon Go. You go out in search of a rare Pokemon, but being honest, is it really going to matter to you? Nah. I always find it ironic how people will take photos of their family, friends, and even kids with their iPhones yet dare not use a single frame of film on them. Instead, they will go “waste” that money on photos of strangers walking down their local high street thinking they look cool when really they are just one or two small bits of separation from the kid playing Pokemon Go in the park. For those of you offended, don’t be. I have spent many an hour doing the same thing. I’ve only recently started to realize that is what digital is for. At least, for me.
Stuff that doesn’t really matter.
Ah, speaking of film.
I use basically one kind of film and that is Kodak Tmax400. I hate TriX (sorry to disappoint). To me, TriX is too harsh. I much prefer the softer grain and nicer tones of Tmax. I develop at home with Tmax developer. I have tried others, just think Tmax in Tmax works best for me. I push all my film to 1600 and generally develop for around 6-7 minutes at around 25-27 degrees. Yep, ‘around.’ I drive people nuts when they watch me because I don’t use a thermometer or measuring cups or anything. I kinda just go with the flow. I sort of develop for how I remember the photo I think is best from the roll was shot and go with that. At least, that is what I tell myself. The science of it doesn’t interest me. I never did like chemistry or math very much. More hipster nonsense perhaps. I wish it were actually that. In fact it is more like laziness mixed with stubbornness. When Nicholas Dominic Talvola was staying with me he watched me once and I could see him twitching because of the way I did everything without much rhyme or reason. Ironically, he wanted me to do his next roll. He said somehow my negatives looked more like prints. I guess someone will comment about why this is a horrible thing. Just to let you know before hand, I don’t actually care. They all turned out fine. Black and white has lots of room for idiots like me to fuck it up I guess.
The other odds and ends in the picture are a film case that was once a glasses case, my iPhone 7, and the case for the viewfinder. The strap is a beautiful strap from Lucida.
Some people have asked me in the past about the computer I use for scanning. Well, sorry to disappoint the Mac fanboys but I actually use an Alienware 15r3 from this year. I like to game once in a while and the GTX1070 in this works great for both gaming and any editing/scanning I need to do. Plus it looks badass, ha. No class here. No hipster nonsense. Straight up computer nerdery. It is a little big to carry around but I manage to if I need to. I have an iPad Pro 12.9 I carry around most of the time for work related stuff. Everything else gets left to Geralt here. Geralt is its name. Geralt is actually the main character of one of my favourite games. The name comes from my girlfriend at the time who heard me listening to a video about the game and thought I was watching a review about the computer. She thought the computer was called a Geralt. She kept calling the computer Geralt. Geralt is as badass as the computer so I suppose it makes sense.
Anyway, I guess that is the end of my “What’s in the Bag?” post. There isn’t a whole lot else to say. I didn’t add a bag to the post because I use so many that I could never fit them all in one photo. I wish there was a perfect bag. I am a bit of a bag-o-holic so I am constantly in search of the perfect one for a mixture of photography and general nerdery.
Suggestions are welcome.
For now, I will probably come back with a post in a week or so. I am going to try and be better about posting in the months to come. I am slightly annoyed with the notion that my blog isn’t updated often enough. I shall strive to be better!
You’ve probably heard that before 😉
Iksan, August, 2017.