First Photo from New Zone VI Camera

Discussion in 'Landscape' started by Colorado CJ, Jul 22, 2014.

  1. Colorado CJ

    Colorado CJ Member

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    Hello everyone. I couldn't leave well enough alone and keep shooting medium format, so after months looking, I found my dream camera, a Zone VI by Wista.

    KEH listed it in EX + condition and I snagged it so fast, my credit card is still smoking :laugh:. Best of all was the price, $525.00.

    Anyway, I headed up into the high country yesterday to test it out.

    This was shot on Foma 200 using a #25 red gel, exposed at 160 using the zone system. It was developed in Rodinal at 50:1 for 8 minutes.


    Please ignore the streaking in the sky, that is an artifact of digitizing and stitching the image (I really need to pick up a negative scanner).


    It was near noon with the sun overhead and not nearly as clear as normal, a decent amount of haze was in the air. Not a very good time to get the best out of photos, but it was still fun.


    The other photos will have to wait until tomorrow. Now that I have a process worked out to digitize, they should be much faster to finish.


    [​IMG]
     
  2. Ken Nadvornick

    Ken Nadvornick Member

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    Looks like your red filter cleared the atmospheric haze nicely. Crisp horizon. What was the elevation? I might have expected a bit darker skies, even with haze.

    I have the same camera. Purchased it new in the 80s. A pre-Wisner Zone VI model, the DXII has no back slide. Still works like a charm, though. Enjoy yours...

    :smile:

    Ken
     
  3. dasBlute

    dasBlute Subscriber

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    looks a lot better than my first LF images... :smile:

    careful, soon you're going to start noticing ads for 4x5 enlargers...
    beseler, durst, lpl, and omega are going to become more familiar
    to your keen eye.... :smile: jobo 3010s, 16x20 easels, 110XLs, type55,
    commercial ektars, leveling tripod heads, 10stop ND filters,
    *graduated* ND filters, lith developers, pyro developers,
    then whoops 5x7!, 8x10!

    well, that's what happened to me... it's been a great 10 years :smile:
    and it all started with a crown graphic and 135mm xenar...

    keep it up, you're doing great!

    -Tim

    ps: and yes, I still use the rollei... a lot!
     
  4. Colorado CJ

    Colorado CJ Member

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    Thanks guys. Yeah, I can see me using this camera for a long time to come. It is the perfect "small" size large format camera for taking on my bike. Fits right in my backpack or in a saddle bag and travels extremely well. I can already imagine taking this camera on all my road trips through these mountains and the desert southwest.


    Tim, too late for that :D I already have an Omega D5XL with Super Chromega Color head (bought the whole thing for $100.00!) and a Leitz Focomat 1 (bought it for $10.00!).

    I have a darkroom setup in the bathroom at my shop.

    I still have plenty of toys I really want though.
     
  5. Colorado CJ

    Colorado CJ Member

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    Here is the second photo I took on Sunday with the new camera.


    I am finding better ways to digitize. This one shows no artifacts in the sky from stitching (I have to stitch 9 images together, making for a roughly 150 megapixel image).


    It was still high noon though, so the photo doesn't have the character it would have if shot in the morning or evening.


    Mummy Mountain is in the distance.


    [​IMG]
     
  6. Terry Christian

    Terry Christian Subscriber

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    Very nice! I have the Zone VI rebranded Tachihara. Very compact.
    Great work and look forward to seeing more!
     
  7. ROL

    ROL Member

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    I don't see any evidence of that. If the location is the Colorado Rockies, and above timberline as the image shows, there is no reason to believe that any significant amount of "haze" was present at those elevations. Neither do I see evidence of smoke from fires or residual water vapor from recent convective activity. IMO, the picture, as scanned is, dull, heavy, with lifeless shadows, and little highlight separation, likely the result of time of day and use of a red filter. The second pic is somewhat better in that regard, but still has the appearance of over-filtration.

    The OP may what to try a greater dilution if sticking with Rodinal, say 1:100, longer development time accordingly. That may help to ameliorate some of the heaviness and expand tonal range in the pic.
     
  8. Ken Nadvornick

    Ken Nadvornick Member

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    "It was near noon with the sun overhead and not nearly as clear as normal, a decent amount of haze was in the air."

    I was simply taking the OP's above first-person observation at face value. He was there. I was not. There is greater value in eyewitness descriptions than in armchair analysis. Given his actual presence at the location at the moment of exposure, I am not prepared to tell him he was wrong.

    A red (or orange, or yellow) filter can reduce the prominence of bluish scattered-light haze. It will therefore also reduce shadows illuminated by bluish skylight. It's a trade-off. Less haze also usually means darker shadows (and skies). Processing changes may indeed help. Certainly other more advanced choices are available.

    But then, the OP did also state that this was his first photo from a new-to-him camera (and new-to-him format). I remember my own first time efforts with my 8x10. Both in the field and in the darkroom.

    So within that context I thought it was a pretty good effort.

    :smile:

    Ken
     
  9. Colorado CJ

    Colorado CJ Member

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    Thanks for the comments guys. Yes I have a lot to learn. Some of the poor quality had to do with the way I was digitizing though.

    My v750 pro scanner arrived a couple of days ago and my digitized 4x5 negatives are heads and shoulders better.

    Here are my first two scans of 4x5 shots I took while camping over the weekend

    This first shot was taken during a light drizzle in the evening (low light). I used my spot meter and added a few seconds for resipocity failure, so the exposure was 8 seconds long. Shot on foma 200 and developed in rodinal 100:1 semi-stand.

    [​IMG]
    Rushing-Mountain-Stream-26-July-2014 by Colorado CJ, on Flickr

    The second shot was taken the next morning at 6:30 am. The sun just rising over the mountain. Same film and development.

    [​IMG]
    Old-Camp-26-July-2014 by Colorado CJ, on Flickr


    Both of these were straight scans. Slight contrast was added in Photoshop, then they were resized for the web.

    This large format photography is going to be FUN!
     
  10. dasBlute

    dasBlute Subscriber

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    Marvelous texture in the water; that's a bit of contrast :smile:

    Keep having fun, you've got a lot of great country to play in!
    -Tim
     
  11. naeroscatu

    naeroscatu Subscriber

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    Your post inspires me, great results. I'm also at the beginning of my LF journey and will post something soon. I hope my images will be at least as good. Cheers
     
  12. Colorado CJ

    Colorado CJ Member

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    Thanks. Yeah, I probably overdone the contrast a little, although it is very close to the straight scan.

    I do have a lot of great country to play in. I'm taking my Zone VI everywhere I go now, just on the chance of getting that perfect photo.
     
  13. Colorado CJ

    Colorado CJ Member

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    Thank you. I am just starting out in large format (shot film in general for about a year now). It is a whole lot of fun and I have a huge amount to learn.


    I just received some expired (2 years old) TMAX 400 film today, so I loaded up a couple of film holders and went out after work today to see if the film was any good. I developed in HC-110(h) and rated the film at 250 ISO. The film works, but it is much more grainy than I thought it would be. Maybe it is the developer. I need to mix up another batch of Xtol to see if that does better.

    Anyway, here are two I shot and developed today, both shot with a red filter with an oncoming storm.

    [​IMG]Storms-Coming by Colorado CJ, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Loveland-Feed-and-Grain-1891 by Colorado CJ, on Flickr
     
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  15. Dr Croubie

    Dr Croubie Member

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    Yep, you'll get a lot less grain with Xtol than HC. But that's the beauty of LF, grain doesn't matter as much, just use what looks good, and those two look very good, great tones all round.
     
  16. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    Is the grain visible on the negative with a loupe, or does it only show when you scan the negative?
     
  17. Colorado CJ

    Colorado CJ Member

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    Thanks. I need to order up some Xtol then. I really like HC-110 and Rodinal with Fomapan 200, but I guess it doesn't work as well with TMAX 400 (grain wise anyway).
     
  18. Colorado CJ

    Colorado CJ Member

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    I don't have a loupe yet, I am using an old 28mm lens :blink:. I can see grain with that and it does show up in scans.

    It is comparable with the grain of Fomapan 200 developed in Rodinal. I am not sure if it is the developer used with the TMAX 400 or if it is because it is expired film. I bought two unopened packs of 50 sheets off ebay for $60.00 each. One expired in 3/11 (the one these photos were from, and the other in 7/12.

    I don't think that they are THAT old for grain to develop, so it must be the HC-110.
     
  19. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    HC-110 dil H should give reasonable grain, if you use it at normal times and with moderate agitation.

    I wonder how your film was stored.
     
  20. Dr Croubie

    Dr Croubie Member

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    That's probably the last thing on my list that I'll bother buying, I'm actually using a Lensbaby Double Glass Optic as a loupe (and it's got damn fine magnification, yesterday I diagnosed myself as having a spider-bite on my finger, when I hauled myself to the doctor he could barely see the holes with his head-mounted illuminated binocular thingies).
     
  21. Colorado CJ

    Colorado CJ Member

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    It was from a closed camera store, so probably not in the ideal conditions.

    I'm okay with it though. I really like the "look" of it with a wide tonal scale, especially considering the very flat lighting I had for the test shots (very dark stormclouds obscuring the sun).

    I'll pick up some more Xtol and try deving it in that.
     
  22. Colorado CJ

    Colorado CJ Member

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    Yeah, I'm a real cheapskate myself.

    For my 4x5 loupe, I use an old Auto-Takumar 55mm F2 lens on a macro extension tube with some foam rubber glued to the end to protect the ground glass :laugh:.

    It works great, although a little heavy. I even have a lanyard on it to hang around my neck.
     
  23. PKM-25

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  24. Colorado CJ

    Colorado CJ Member

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    Thought I'd post this since I just scanned the negative for the first time.

    This was the first photo taken with my new (to me) Zone VI 4x5 camera. I rushed out to a local lake after unpacking it, anxious to try it out "in the field".

    This is somewhat of a hybrid photo as it was scanned into the computer and worked on in photoshop a little. I think, with some practice, and a little luck I could achieve something similar in the darkroom, using toners and some burning/dodging and contrast papers.

    Shot using a Nikkor SW 180mm F5.6 lens on Fomapan 200 at ISO 160 through a red filter. Processed in Rodinal at 50:1 for 8 minutes.


    [​IMG]An-Evening-by-the-Lake by Colorado CJ, on Flickr
     
  25. BradS

    BradS Member

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    Well done !
     
  26. Colorado CJ

    Colorado CJ Member

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    Life on the Edge

    Just a photo I took this morning with my 4x5 large format camera. This one was taken about 10 minutes from home, in "The Narrows" area of the Big Thompson Canyon.

    The rock walls are full of crystalline structures, so they really shine when the light hits them right.

    I'm starting to get the hang of the large format camera. It is VERY different than shooting with a digital camera and even much different than other film cameras. I used front tilt and rise on this shot since I had to shoot upwards and needed to change the perspective to get the rock walls upright again instead of looking like they were "falling away". This image would be impossible to get to look this way without using a camera that has movements. The perspective would just be too off.

    Anyway. this was taken with a Zone VI 4x5 large format camera on Fomapan 200 film. Shot using a Nikkor SW 180mm F5.6 lens through a red 25A filter. Processed in HC-110 (dilution H) for 9 minutes.

    [​IMG]Life on the Edge by Colorado CJ, on Flickr