Getting ready for Costa Rica

This Monday I will catch a flight to San José, Costa Rica, for a two week holiday in which I’ll go around and explore the place. Clearly, I won’t go without a film camera, so here’s a bit of though about the equipment I will take with me.

  • Camera: Olympus XA. My initial choice was the OM-1, but its bulkier and I will probably prefer to have a more compact camera. Also, I care about my OM a lot and don’t want for anything to happen to it. I was also considering the LC-A with the Blik… Hmmm…
  • Films: i will bring a selection of Kodak films. Despite liking also other producers including Fujifilm, I like how Kodak emulsions tend to emphatise the warm colours. I have a couple of Portra 400s and I ordered a Ektar 100 and two Gold 200. In the eventuality that I will run out of film I’ll try and source something locally although seems like it will be hard to find anything good. If they sell something it will probably be the ColorPlus (mediocre) or the AgfaPhoto Color (which will do nicely).
  • Meter: my phone and the integrated TTL meter of the XA.

I still have plenty of pictures to upload, but eventually I will also upload the ones from this holiday!

See ya, folks! ✈️

Photokina 2018

Finally I find the time to sit down, armed with a cup of mint tea, and write about this year’s Photokina.

For those who don’t know, Photokina is the world’s most important and biggest photographic trade show, held in wonderful Köln (Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany). Photokina has been taking place from the fifities, every two years, and has always featured the big names of photography (and also some smaller ones). Where the focus of the old editions was, of course, analogue photography, with the advent of digital photography most of the exhibition is dedicated to this thriving world, although a few surprises still lie here and there. Mainly, the Lomographic Society sand, which is also the main reason I went to Photokina.

Rumors are that starting from his year, the trade show will become annual.

I must admit that if you, like me, are new to this sort of things, the whole experience of a trade show can be a bit… overwhelming, to say the least. There are loads of people in every corner, everyone trying to catch a glimpse of the products from their favourite companies or play with some new cameras, lenses or accessories.

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The Leica M-A. Picture taken from Leica’s website. Be kind to me, I’m advertising a product I can’t even afford for free guys. Let me keep this picture posted.

First of all, let’s take a look to a big name. This year, Leica has introduced a new film rangefinder, the Leica M-A. It’s a full metal body camera, which comes in either silver or black finish. It has interchangeable lenses (M-Bayonet) and quite interesting technical features: 1s to 1/1000s (and bulb) speeds, support for film from ISO 6 to 6400, hotshoe and a bright wievfinder. The aperture is, of course, dependant on the lens you want to use with the camera. It weighs less than half a kilo, and it’s build quality is, of course, among the best (it’s Leica, after all). The base price is £3800, but the package includes a complimentary roll of Kodak Tri-X 400. Head over to Leica’s website to find out more and shop. Good for you if you can afford it, because I certainly can’t (I’m still a nurse, after all).

Let’s continue our journey through the show with Lomography. Their stand was full of cameras, trinkets, t-shirts, bags, leaflets and posters and postcards and happy lomographers. Three the major products they featured at the show (albeit nothing breakthrough).

  • LOMO’Instant Automat Glass Elbrus (baptised by yours truly LIAGE, because the name is quite long and I can’t keep typing it over and over). It’s a LOMO’Instant Automat with a brown leatherette and multi coated lenses. Being an Automat, it’s fully automatic. Aperture is either f/4.5 or f/22 (not that you can say your opinion on the matter). Shutter speed is standard 1/250 or bulb up to 30s. Film ejection is motorized and there is a built-in flash. Works on standard Fujifilm Instax Mini film. (leaflet)
  • LOMO’Instant Explorer (the design is new, the camera itself… not). It’s a LOMO’Instant with a new design, basically. (leaflet)
  • Sprocket Rocket SUPERPOP! Teal 2.0 (argh, another mouthful… cannot call it SRSPT either because that’s quite unpronounceable). Again, it’s a Sprocket Rocket. The SUPERPOP! version just adds a new colour and few extra aesthetic details. (leaflet)

All in all, Photokina has been an interesting event. My lack of actual interest in digital photography at the moment plus the not-so-steep price of the ticket and the amount of goodies I managed to get back home made me feel not guilty of leaving after a couple of hours of exploration. As much as I am interested in photography, I could not resist the calling of Köln waiting for me.

[QnD] ISSF’s Guides to film rolls

This post is the first one in a series I call QnD or Quick and Dirty, because of their unpolished presentation.

I want to talk briefly about the IStillShootFilm.org’s guides to commercially available film. They come in two flavours, colour and black and white. The guides are not free, unfortunately, they cost US$ 6.99 each or US$9.99 if you buy them both.

Films are divided by manufacturer and there is a description for each kind of film. All different formats are covered in quite detail. The reviews don’t stop to major brands like Fuji and Kodak but also cover some less famous and more eclectic ones.

Good guides, can be useful to discover new films and learn a couple things about the films you already know (for instance, the quality level of the Agfa Vista Color).

More information and online store on ISSF.org.

From Köln with Liebe

What am I doing in the German Bundesland of Nordrhein-Westfalen?

Hint: it has to do with this blog.

Okay, I’m here for the Photokina! Tomorrow I am going to visit the trade show held at the KoelnMesse, in this wonderful city.

In the meanwhile I am doing also some sightseeing, picture snapping and relaxing with a local beer (Kölsch) along the Rhine.

More to come in the following days!

Tschö!

How I started with a Mamiya C330s and some Ektar 100, then ended up with lomo pictures

Okay, so my intentions were good. Armed with my trusty Mamiya C330s and a roll of Kodak Ektar 100 film, I wanted to try and dome some realistic photography for once (realistic as in non-lomographic).

What I ended up with was… well, quite the opposite. You can find the pictures here on the project page.