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vdonovan
05-30-2008, 11:57 PM
Bronica SQA medium format camera
150mm Bronica PS lens
My office/studio with afternoon north light, using the mirrored closet doors as sliding reflectors
A $5.00 scrap of upholstry liner material as backdrop
TRI-X exposed at E.I. 200
XTOL 1:2
http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2236/2096732808_b1c40f5ce2.jpg

jnanian
05-31-2008, 06:40 AM
There never were any secrets here. I have no secrets and harbor little respect for photographers who keep them. They are usually harbingers of cheap gimmicks.

The only secret involved in my photography is the formula for Harvey's 777, which nobody seems to be able to dislodge from Bluegrass.

c6h6o3

sometimes a secret is just knowing what you are doing,
when others don't.

unless it is a secret forumla ( like the metal in zildjian cymbals )
if there is a patent number on the packaging
you might be able to look up the formula .... ;)

john

mabman
05-31-2008, 12:05 PM
Since I can't edit my original post, just wanted to add my experiments with flash - since none of my cameras support TTL-flash, I'm just using the cheapest flash I could find that supports tilt and swivel - an Adorama Ultiblitz (I don't think it's a rebranded brand-name - it's Vivitar 283-ish, but has a 2nd front-only facing smaller flash unit, which I rarely use, and just says "made in China" on it, which isn't terribly helpful).

As it has a non-standard-size head, none of the pre-made diffuser caps fit properly. I experimented with one of the Lumiquest 45-degree velcro-attached bounce units, but as the flash has a fairly high guide number and with bouncing it never triggers the thyristor settings, it seems to completely overpower average-sized rooms, even when stopped down (the BW400CN seems to handle all the light with detail retained, it just...looks funny...hard to describe).

Instead, I've been using a Lumiquest Mini-Softbox, which velcros to the front of the flash head. Now, with the flash head pointing forward at the subject, the thyristor function does kick in, and with the Mini-Softbox the light is softened as well. With 35mm, the flash is high enough that I can use it on-camera without much issue, but I frequently use a folding Stroboframe flip bracket so I can get the same flash orientation if I change the camera orientation.

With this setup, and if I'm close enough to the subject, I end up with a higher-key portrait than I would otherwise, but it usually works pretty well, especially for females and children.

I'd post an example, but as I mentioned earlier I'm not quite happy with my focussing results yet...


And, yes, I do prefer natural light, but I find myself taking a lot of these informal shots inside when it's already dark outside, so if I want to do this at all I have to figure out how to do it with flash :)

benjiboy
06-04-2008, 06:27 AM
M/F Mamiya C330 F mostly with 135mm lens, or 180mm for tight head shots and either Fuji Pro 160S or 160C depending if it's a male or female portrait,For slides I use Fuji Astia or Provia, although I love Velvia for a lot of my outdoor landscape or street work I find it too strong in colour saturation for portraiture.
35 MM 85mm 1.8 Canon FD ( I love this lens so much I recently bought a second one in case the existing one breaks down) I also use the the FD 100mm 2.8 and the FD70-150 4.5 zoom. My film choice is the same as for M/F.

alex_cave
06-15-2008, 03:28 PM
New features and top of the line cameras are great and all but the best results have consistlently came from a Yashica A, with Kodak Tri-X developed in d76. Rodenal was rad, but it is no more. The Yashica has a 80mm lens, at f/3.5. I love the simplicity of it, shutter speeds of only 25, 50, 100, and 300. If you cant get a good photo with this camera, its clearly the user, nothing can be blammed on the camera.

TheFlyingCamera
06-15-2008, 04:20 PM
Alex_cave- Rodinal is too still available!

alex_cave
06-29-2008, 03:38 PM
where at?

vdonovan
06-29-2008, 09:04 PM
Freestyle

raucousimages
08-11-2008, 04:16 PM
Camera, any 4X5.
Lens, 250mm Imagon or 300mm normal lens of almost any brand.
Film, Plus-X (I stocked up on 4X5)
Developer, Ansco Hyfinol. Hasen't been made since the 1950s but I have enough to do the last of my Plus-X.
Lighting. Window light with a white reflector.

nsouto
08-11-2008, 09:07 PM
equal time between a
nikkor 85/1.8 and 105/2.5 on a F2AS or F4
and a
Minolta-M 90/4 on a ZM Zeiss r/f

all on b&w, of course.

Still haven't made up my mind which is my final choice.
Each has its own thing going:

the Minolta is ultra-sharp (careful!) and the r/f is just sooo portable,
the 105 is to die for in close crop face shots,
the 85 is just purrfect for half-body shots.

aw, stuff it: I'll just keep using them all!
:D

nsouto
08-11-2008, 09:12 PM
85mm Jupiter-9 M42

A lovely, lovely lens.

got one of those for my r/f. I get a big glare centre spot when using it outdoors, otherwise a very good portrait lens. any tips how to avoid the glare other than with a monster lens hood?

2F/2F
08-11-2008, 09:19 PM
Favorite recipe is to start with a sound concept. If you have that, all else falls into place nicely.

Technically speaking, I like a 250mm lens on 645 or 6x6, 135 on small format, or 360 on 4x5 for a tight shot. If doing a tight head shot on 8x10, I would really want an 800mm lens. A fast film is usually my film of choice, but if shooting small format, I will try to go as slow as the light will allow. I have used down to ISO 16 (Pan F), but usually I will use FP4.

For a not-so-tight shot, or a slightly environmental portrait, I like a 50mm to 85mm on small format, 150mm, 180mm, or 210mm on 4x5, 100mm to 150mm on medium format.

For an environmental portrait, anything from 90mm to 127mm on large format, 20-35mm on small format, and 45-65mm on medium format.

In short, pretty much every common lens imaginable. In the end, a successful portrait really comes down to what the picture is about, not the literal picture.

Thomas Bertilsson
08-13-2008, 10:47 AM
Very interesting how you use different lenses for different environments. Food for thought for sure.

- Thomas


Favorite recipe is to start with a sound concept. If you have that, all else falls into place nicely.

Technically speaking, I like a 250mm lens on 645 or 6x6, 135 on small format, or 360 on 4x5 for a tight shot. If doing a tight head shot on 8x10, I would really want an 800mm lens. A fast film is usually my film of choice, but if shooting small format, I will try to go as slow as the light will allow. I have used down to ISO 16 (Pan F), but usually I will use FP4.

For a not-so-tight shot, or a slightly environmental portrait, I like a 50mm to 85mm on small format, 150mm, 180mm, or 210mm on 4x5, 100mm to 150mm on medium format.

For an environmental portrait, anything from 90mm to 127mm on large format, 20-35mm on small format, and 45-65mm on medium format.

In short, pretty much every common lens imaginable. In the end, a successful portrait really comes down to what the picture is about, not the literal picture.

mabman
08-13-2008, 11:12 AM
got one of those for my r/f. I get a big glare centre spot when using it outdoors, otherwise a very good portrait lens. any tips how to avoid the glare other than with a monster lens hood?

Bad sample, maybe? I haven't experienced what you're talking about on my M42 version, so I can't think of anything off-hand...

Keith Tapscott.
08-13-2008, 11:37 AM
Mamiya RZ67 Pro II with 110mm and 180mm lenses with UV filters. Ilford HP5 Plus exposed at box speed and developed in D-76/ID11 diluted 1+1 for 13 minutes at 20C. The negatives enlarge easily with a full tonal range onto normal paper grades, usually Multigrade IV or Kentona.