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My very first camera

  
 
Peter Figen
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · My very first camera


I've been wanting to memorialize the camera that started it all for me. Found some vintage (expired 1961) Kodacolor on eBay for a not too horrific price and made the very first image with the new Fuji GF30mm shiftorama lens. Sorta architectural I guess. Very simple lighting setup - main light a Balcar 7" reflector with the flat disc and tightest grid and an another Balcar 7" reflector close to a sheet of rusted sheet metal. Simple.





Sears Tower Snappy circa 1961

  GFX100 II    Fujifilm Fujinon GF30mm F5.6 TS lens    30mm    f/11.0    1/2s    100 ISO    0.0 EV  




Jan 26, 2024 at 08:03 PM
Danpbphoto
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · My very first camera


Wonderful memorabilia here Peter!
Can't remember my 1st Kodak camera...
Do remember the film boxes also.
Dam



Jan 27, 2024 at 10:38 AM
Peter Figen
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · My very first camera


Danpbphoto wrote:
Wonderful memorabilia here Peter!
Can't remember my 1st Kodak camera...
Do remember the film boxes also.
Dam


Dan - I was somewhat surprised at how much really old, "new" in box expired film is for sale on eBay. You can get pretty much whatever you're looking for and it ain't exactly cheap. I felt like I wanted a period correct prop here and I found it. The shutter still works most of the time so maybe I'll try and find a roll of usable film and shoot that to remind me how this old piece of plastic worked in the day, remembering that pretty much all we ever saw from these were machine made 4"x4" prints. The really weird thing about this camera is that is has a curved film plane. Maybe that's on purpose to take advantage of the optical properties of a cheap plastic lens, or maybe it was just to help the film move more easily to the takeup spool.




Jan 27, 2024 at 02:21 PM
RustyBug
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · My very first camera


Peter Figen wrote:
Dan - I was somewhat surprised at how much really old, "new" in box expired film is for sale on eBay. You can get pretty much whatever you're looking for and it ain't exactly cheap. I felt like I wanted a period correct prop here and I found it. The shutter still works most of the time so maybe I'll try and find a roll of usable film and shoot that to remind me how this old piece of plastic worked in the day, remembering that pretty much all we ever saw from these were machine made 4"x4" prints.
...Show more

Good to see you with your new 30 shift.

Interesting to hear about the curved film plane. I've often wondered about such a thing to retain an "equidistant" to the image projection. Not sure, if yours is curved for that reason ... but, it seems like a physical way to get the most out of a cheap lens. Of course, if it curves the "other" way ... that could be rather creative in rendering, too.



Jan 27, 2024 at 10:44 PM
Peter Figen
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · My very first camera


RustyBug wrote:
Good to see you with your new 30 shift.

Interesting to hear about the curved film plane. I've often wondered about such a thing to retain an "equidistant" to the image projection. Not sure, if yours is curved for that reason ... but, it seems like a physical way to get the most out of a cheap lens. Of course, if it curves the "other" way ... that could be rather creative in rendering, too.


It's weird that I actually got that lens a couple of days before Christmas but haven't had a chance to actually use it until now, not counting some preliminary tests in the studio just to make sure that it all works as expected. I have a portrait next Friday where there's at least on shot I'm going to try with this lens and then some architectural jobs coming up next month. It's a big beast of a lens, very large and heavy but amazing optical performance.

Who knows what the idea was with the curved film plane. Could be something as simple as they liked how the camera looked with a curved back. There are certainly no adjustments anywhere.




Jan 28, 2024 at 01:26 AM
newyork
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · My very first camera


Thatís wonderful! Both the camera and the capture of it.


Jan 28, 2024 at 05:35 AM
Peter Figen
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · My very first camera


newyork wrote:
Thatís wonderful! Both the camera and the capture of it.


Thanks Rich. Once I found the film as a prop the whole thing just fell together and was done quite quickly, but it was also in the simplicity of the whole thing and only having two non diffused light sources. Very little fiddling with the light.




Jan 28, 2024 at 08:58 AM
keepclicking
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · My very first camera


Peter, fantastic lighting, capture, and PP. just curious as to why not BW. Great work 👍🏻


Jan 30, 2024 at 09:02 PM
Peter Figen
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · My very first camera


keepclicking wrote:
Peter, fantastic lighting, capture, and PP. just curious as to why not BW. Great work 👍🏻


Why not black and white? Good question Parul. Don't have a real answer only that for this image, for me, it felt like warm memories so it stayed in color and quite a bit warmer than reality.




Jan 31, 2024 at 12:08 AM
Sax45
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · My very first camera


IMO you are 100% right, and the lovely warmth of the photo is a perfect match for the subject.


Feb 06, 2024 at 10:02 AM
 


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gdanmitchell
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · My very first camera


Nice, nostalgic shot.

My first camera was also a plastic Brownie, given to me by my Dad when I was quite young. Not the one in your photo, but likely of similar vintage.

(Somewhere I actually have one of those even older black Box Brownie cameras lying around ó†I think I inherited it from him much later.)



Feb 06, 2024 at 12:30 PM
Peter Figen
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · My very first camera


gdanmitchell wrote:
Nice, nostalgic shot.

My first camera was also a plastic Brownie, given to me by my Dad when I was quite young. Not the one in your photo, but likely of similar vintage.

(Somewhere I actually have one of those even older black Box Brownie cameras lying around ó†I think I inherited it from him much later.)


I'm just shocked that I still have it sixty years later. Actually it lives on my mantle next to my childhood stuffed monkey that I called Jocko, which is right next to the table lamp we all built in electric shop in the eighth grade, but that's pretty much the extent of my memorabilia from my youth.




Feb 07, 2024 at 12:14 AM
jbush
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · My very first camera


Great idea and beautifully executed. This image caught my eye among the selection of random pictures in the film strip of the FM home page. I love how the colors help to convey the warmth of an old time "found' Kodacolor print (of which, I have a quite a few). Well done!

BTW, did you use a Fujifilm film simulation/profile for this (maybe nostalgic neg)?

Jon



Feb 10, 2024 at 06:16 AM
Peter Figen
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · My very first camera


jbush wrote:
Great idea and beautifully executed. This image caught my eye among the selection of random pictures in the film strip of the FM home page. I love how the colors help to convey the warmth of an old time "found' Kodacolor print (of which, I have a quite a few). Well done!

BTW, did you use a Fujifilm film simulation/profile for this (maybe nostalgic neg)?

Jon


Film simulations? Ha. Nah. I've never used a film simulation ever. I just process the raw file in C1, in this case with the white balance quite a bit warmer than neutral and then refined that in Photoshop where I have more specific control. I don't believe in film sims. What I do believe in is using the tonal and color controls to create the mood you had in mind when you made the image. I'll often (and I don't remember in this case) use a Fill Layer in Ps under Multiply or Overlay blend mode to impart a slight to moderate color wash over the image which is very similar to putting a filter over your lens when you shot film and puts some of your chosen color into the highlights as well, and more proportionally into the highlights (where we're more sensitive) than into the shadows.




Feb 10, 2024 at 06:51 AM
jbush
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · My very first camera


Peter Figen wrote:
Film simulations? Ha. Nah. I've never used a film simulation ever.


Thanks Peter, and I'm sorry if I offended you! I suspected that you probably didn't but I asked anyway. I appreciate the detailed response.

Jon



Feb 10, 2024 at 08:40 AM
gdanmitchell
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · My very first camera


Peter Figen wrote:
What I do believe in is using the tonal and color controls to create the mood you had in mind when you made the image. I'll often (and I don't remember in this case) use a Fill Layer in Ps under Multiply or Overlay blend mode to impart a slight to moderate color wash over the image which is very similar to putting a filter over your lens when you shot film and puts some of your chosen color into the highlights as well, and more proportionally into the highlights (where we're more sensitive) than into the shadows.


Thatís the general approach I prefer, too. To me, ďfilm simsĒ are a pretty meh sort of thing for me. Iín not really interested.

Edited on Feb 10, 2024 at 10:26 AM · View previous versions



Feb 10, 2024 at 08:59 AM
Peter Figen
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · My very first camera


jbush wrote:
Thanks Peter, and I'm sorry if I offended you! I suspected that you probably didn't but I asked anyway. I appreciate the detailed response.

Jon


No offense taken here. Maybe I should have said that I take every image as fresh start and then mold it into whatever I originally wanted it to be, often with detours along the way using the processing tools in C1 and all the tools in Ps. Maybe it's just that I don't want to be told by someone who developed that film simulation that that was how my images should look. Conceivably I might end up at that same point on my own but those would be my decisions and not the simulation's.





Feb 10, 2024 at 09:43 AM
gdanmitchell
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · My very first camera


Peter Figen wrote:
No offense taken here. Maybe I should have said that I take every image as fresh start and then mold it into whatever I originally wanted it to be, often with detours along the way using the processing tools in C1 and all the tools in Ps. Maybe it's just that I don't want to be told by someone who developed that film simulation that that was how my images should look. Conceivably I might end up at that same point on my own but those would be my decisions and not the simulation's.



Iíll add to that: Iím not that interested in making contemporary photographs look like they were made with an older technology. I just want them to look the way I want them to look.

Asking a digital image to look like some particular type of film image is kind of like inventing the saxophone and demanding that it sound like the clarinet. Or inventing cell phones and insisting that they must have rotary dials and a dial tone. ;-)



Feb 10, 2024 at 10:29 AM
notsolikable
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p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · My very first camera


oh god that's wonderful!


Feb 16, 2024 at 02:25 AM
Ditchell
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p.1 #20 · p.1 #20 · My very first camera


I swear to God the colors and rendering of the GFX 100s are gonna cost me a whole lot of money one day. Absolutely stunning photo.


Feb 16, 2024 at 03:28 PM
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