My Graflex Speed Graphic and Dallmeyer Pentac 8in f2.9 aerial lens are finally an item! and, I’m delighted to say that I’m pretty happy with the results. Following on from my post here, I purchased a custom made lens board from Jo Lommen to mount the huge aerial lens on to the camera. It’s fair to say that the resulting combination of camera and lens is perhaps a bit on the cumbersome side and the possibility of hand holding has diminished somewhat but mounted on a solid tripod it’s real nice to use!
Set phasers to ‘moderately excited!’ I’ve just shot my first test (below) with a recently acquired Graflex Speed Graphic 5x4 press camera. Subject matter aside, I’m pretty chuffed! I’m basically looking to photograph some shots at weddings this year on 5x4 film in a bid to produce some imagery that is quite different to what I’m shooting now on 645. However, nice as the lens on my Graflex is, I’m looking to achieve a bit of a different look which requires a bit more exotic glass. Now it would be nice to go out and buy a Kodak Aero Ektar f2.5 lens and mount it on the Graflex but courtesy of David Burnett and his amazing results with the same combo, they are in demand and prices are crazy at the moment (as I write this there’s one selling on ebay for £750 still with an hour to go.) So, I’ve bought the closest British equivalent in the form of a Dallmeyer Pentac 8” f2.9 lens for a fraction of the price. Let me explain…
I recently said goodbye to my Contax 645AF camera and invested in a Hasselblad H1 to photograph weddings on beautiful medium format film. I’m in no way a reviewer of cameras, I just take pictures, so I’ll keep things very simple. I loved shooting with the Contax - a lot! It is a very refined camera and a pleasure to shoot with. Why then did I change to the Blad? I didn’t have 100% faith in the Contax following a series of small blips. The camera would freeze up for no reason. Reset the battery or the prism and it would go again, no sweat. The battery life wasn’t great and it produced heart in mouth moments when it went mid roll on a shoot. OK so I could have got the AA battery grip but it adds a bit more bulk and I’m not really all that big a bloke! I could have lived with these quirks but I was also having an issue with film flatness which I couldn’t quite pinpoint and that was what bothered me most about the Contax.
Choices abound when it comes to photographing weddings on film; camera, film stock, lab and even film scanner. It can be a bit daunting at first and takes a while to settle on a combination that suits you and the look your trying to achieve. Below are a couple of photographs I captured at a recent styled shoot at Fingask Castle in Perthshire, Scotland. They were scanned by the awfully talented people at Richard Photo Lab in Hollywood, USA. One is scanned on a Noritsu film scanner and the other on a Fuji Frontier scanner. Both images are displayed exactly as they came from the lab.
Meet Heather & Mike from British Columbia in Canada. They flew in to Edinburgh and spent a couple of days sight-seeing before heading over to Glasgow, the base for their wedding in Dunoon a few days later. They were blessed with the most amazing weather for their wedding day and the drive from their gorgeous flat in Claremont Gardens following the river down to the ferry at Gourock was an absolute joy. They were married in glorious sunshine atop Castle Hill overlooking Hunters Quay and the Firth of Clyde with Heather’s bridesmaid and two the two respective fathers. The majority of the photographs were captured on Kodak Portra film with a Contax 645 camera using available light. Once they were married they left for Paris, then Bilbao before heading home to Canada. View on my website here