I managed to scan the whole bunch of my seven developed Velvia rolls during the weekend. A long process (scanning medium format film at 4000dpi) but always rewarding. One very important thing when shooting lots of slide film rolls, is the quality you get from the lab. During the past year, I have been very fortunate to have my slides developed at a great lab with consistent high quality.
The slides arrive crystal clear, no dust or scratches, and that’s very important when scanning, since it can take a vast amount of time to mess with cleaning marks. I know it very well, because when I develop my black and white films, there many times when I have to deal with scratches and spots (I don’t always have the time or patience to make a perfect developing and I pay the price of it when scanning !!). In the case of medium format this even more time consuming, since you are dealing with a huge file and you have to inspect very carefully each part of the image.
Today’s images were shot with the Plaubel Makina 67 camera. You can search through my previous articles to find out details about this camera, since I have repeatedly written about the great Makina and why I consider it to be the top travel medium format camera.
I almost always use the Plaubel handheld, although there a few times when I have put it on a tripod. Although it has a kind of stiff shutter button (when you compare it to a Leica M or the Mamiya 7), it’s easy to shoot it at low speeds and still get a good image. Of course when mounted on a tripod, you will get the best out of it, especially at f8 and f11 apertures.
As I have written before, I have a very small tripod which fits in any camera bag, and when extended it reaches about 60cm height. Mounting the Makina on it can improve the image quality (as long as I hold the tripod, since on its own cannot support this camera). Add a cable release to this setup and you can even shoot at Bulb mode.
I have also noticed lately that when I shoot with the UV filter on the lens, I get better images (especially at tricky light conditions). Now, that’s not a mind blowing discovery, even a top quality filter like the B+W I use, is just another piece of glass between the film and the light. The point here is that since this is a fixed lens camera, you don’t want to risk a damaged lens. For example, when I did some images on a beach yesterday, the UV stayed on the whole time for obvious reasons.
My next tasks with the Plaubel, will be night long exposures and experimenting with flash. I have already tried a Nikon SB800 flash with a PC sync cord and it worked great (since its a leaf shutter camera, I can use the flash with all shutter speeds). For long expsures shots, I will probably test the recently introduced Kodak Portra 160 and 400 films, and see how they are doing with reciprocity failure.
For now, enjoy the rest of the images, all taken with the Makina 67 and Velvia.
(c)2012 Konstantinos Besios. All Rights Reserved.