Scanning negatives with the camera

I just scanned around 110 negatives with the camera, an Olympus OMD EM1 Mark II and the 60mm macro lens. The samples were so-so, because many of the negatives were made on a 35mm film called Bergger** BRF 400+ which does not exist anymore

(**Not to be mixed up with their latter Bergger 400 Panco - which are different film emulsions).

Think of Kodak T-MAX 3200, then you understand that it is a matter of a very coarse grain. I develop this film in a special way: stand-develop with Rodinal 1+50 (!) in 4x30 minutes. In between I swirl the film for 10 seconds like fine wine. That gives you a (real) ISO of around 1250 but also a lot of grain.

 

Bergger BRF 400+ isn't made anymore

The "new" Bergger 400 Panchro is different than the older Bergger BRF 400+. Kind of strange how they advertise traditional film. Almost like "batches" of old master rolls that's been kept for decades. (Like Rollei Retro 80s which is an Afga Aviation film, or the "bandnew" Adox 50 with "booster", actually based on the same Agfa film - but "pre-flashed", so it is less constrasty.

 

 

To get the the graytones right

Anyway. There were other negatives from 1996, and I noticed that it is difficult to "get it right". Because it is one thing to have a digital repro of a film negative - and another thing to actually get it right the way tradition photography and papers worked.

So, that is the part that takes the most time (and of course to take away all dust and stuff). Most people seem to enjoy dust on their negatives and final images - perhaps because it looks so retro. I think it sucks big times, and I always remove them. End of the story.

 

 

Turned out pretty well ;-)

I believe that I got the photo right with Krister above. In fact better than what it would look like on traditional paper, but I am not sure of course... because I have not worked with the images for 22 years. They are that old now... it's just incredible.

 

11 meter Paper backgrounds

Today I installed the two new paper background I had bought a couple weeks ago. It is in fact 23 years ago, I bought the light gray one, and now replaced it, with the same middle light gray, but also one that is darker gray.

 

 

Deadly sharp Sigma 105/1.4 ART

The new Sigma ART 105mm f 1.4 lens works flawless with my analog Canon 1V HS camera. I wasn't sure how the autofocus would work... but it nails it, and the sharpness with a low ISO film like Fuji Acros 100, is really sharp-sharp. And the background bokeh is beautiful. The lens is also sharp as you go closer - so it is really one of a kind !

An Optical Masterpiece.

 

 

The beauty...

Of doing all this, the transfer from analog negatives to final digital images - is a long road, and bumpy at times, too. Because I often get very mixed feelings on many levels. Technically. Emotionally. And all sorts of memories.

 

The Fruits of the long process

It isn't until a photo ends up in my Diary, I can enjoy the fruits - because then it actually does look good. Much better than the feelings I get from what I often perceive as being technically inferior. But nothing is written in stone - it is more of a process to go through every time. Photography is about visualization. There is no "reality", only the one you decide what it is going to be. The way a photo glows,is dark or bright, grainy or sharp, soft or anything else.

That is actually part of the photographers vision, how you want it to be. Sometimes however, I get locked up by what I eye saw and experienced in reality (as I took the photos) - and then later, something in me, "demands" my results to be (almost) perfectly the same. Which is really stupid. It shouldn't be about that.

Especially not with analog photography.

It should be about what you want it to be. How YOU want it to be. (but that can take a long time for you)

 

Getting caught in effects

I know that for many photographers it is often more like playing, and in that process we can get seduced by the effects - so that the effects are leading us, and not the other way around, where we decide what a photo should be. I guess it requires a long period of playing in all kinds of directions, until we later see, what it actually is we want from a photo, how it is going to look like - because we want that in a specific way (i am talking about tonality, and not about turning around an image by manipulation of the contents).

I use digital filter in apps differently from how I use it earlier. Earlier I got seduced by them. Today, I choose what I want, which often means I choose a lot of things... not at all. That the effect trickery isn't really important, but rather seductive and taking you away your true inner creative spirit; your ability to express yourself from your inner self, your thoughts, your goals and dreams.

It is actually wonderful to get older in that regard.

I mean, at one hand it sucks sometimes to have less enthusiasm for projects - but when I finally do something - I do it and know what I feel. What I want photos to look like - and I know to give things time in order to mature to completion. One that is in alignment with what I want my photos to be.

 

I do not need to compete

even if there are incredible many talents ut there. Absolutely mind boggling good talents of all kinds. I Admire them for their enthusiasm, they techniques, their skills and driven way.

I feel less that I have to compete with anyone. I can share a lot of love in what I see other people doing what they do, without I crumble in my own (slower) path or self esteem.

It's nice to be older, and yet not too old, to jump right into both analog photography as well digital photography.

It is perhaps now, it is the best time.