One of the great things about film photography is just how much information there is on the internet about various esoterica related to cameras, accessories, film development, and more. But it’s sometimes surprising just how much information is not actually available, and the Rolleinar close-up attachment system for Rolleiflex cameras is a prime example of that.Continue reading…
Lenses and Accessories
When I was first into film photography and shooting a lot of black and white (which was about 35 years ago), I never explored the use of color filters for image enhancement — in part because I didn’t know anything about it, in part because we weren’t taught anything about it in high school photography class, and finally in part because I couldn’t have afforded the filters anyway. With my renewed interest in film, and in shooting a ton of black and white, I’ve become interested in ways to achieve better, more interesting photos — especially in situations where things seem washed out, or when subjects fail to “pop” in the image. That’s where color (and other) filters come-in.
After searching high and low, I couldn’t find a digital manual for my new-to-me Hasseblad extension tubes. I was fortunate enough to get a printed version with the tubes, so I’m pleased to offer one to the Hasselblad community, along with some insights about the tubes that were not really clear in the beginning.
Let’s say that 45 days ago you asked me the question, “What’s an extension tube, and what’s it used for?” I would have been forced to reply, “I have absolutely no idea.” Truth; but no longer. Let’s just say I know the answers to those questions — and I’m now an enthusiastic convert to something I wish I’d known about years ago.
It’s been nearly 20 years now that film photography started its downward trajectory, and while the vinyl-record-like resurgence of film is encouraging, and all signs suggest that film has stabilized,* it’s not been helped by a general decline in photography over the past 10 years or so — essentially the point at which smartphones came onto the scene, and became everyone’s default camera.
You can argue the timing, and you can argue the facts, but one thing is tough to refute: Camera shops have basically died off, helped by the rise of e-commerce, and we’re left with scant choices when it comes to photography gear in general, and film photography gear specifically. So what’s a photographer to do?
I’ve known about light (technically, exposure) meters for a very long time. They seemed — and still seem — like some old-skool relic from a bygone age. And yet companies like Sekonic and Gossen still make them, which sort of implies that someone still uses and buys them. Count me now among those people. Why on Earth would I choose to buy a light meter? Well, it’s complicated.
If sifting through Google search results is any indication, I’m wading into fraught territory here. But in looking to acquire more lenses for my Pentax 645, I had to get some basic understanding of focal length equivalency, because my familiarity with what you get, picture-wise, with a lens of x millimeters in focal length is rooted primarily in the 35mm world — and to a lesser degree in Canon’s version of the APS-C world.
I’ve never been much for eBay. Even in its early years, I never trusted the site — or more accurately, I never trusted the people selling stuff there — to accurately represent anything. Rollei repair guy Mark Hensen has a page on his site where he says he’s bought over 500 cameras on eBay over the years, and not a single one has been as promised. My main issue is I never trusted that I was even going to receive what I bought, never mind if it matched the promise. But I was willing to put less than $20 on the line recently for a Pentax flash, and I have to say, it exceeded my expectations.