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  1. #1

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    First Photo from New Zone VI Camera

    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 . 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.



  2. #2
    Ken Nadvornick's Avatar
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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...



    Ken
    "They are the proof that something was there and no longer is. Like a stain. And the stillness of them is boggling. You can turn away but when you come back they’ll still be there looking at you."

    — Diane Arbus, March 15, 1971, in response to a request for a brief statement about photographs

  3. #3
    dasBlute's Avatar
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    looks a lot better than my first LF images...

    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.... 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
    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. #4

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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 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. #5

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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.



  6. #6
    Terry Christian's Avatar
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    Very nice! I have the Zone VI rebranded Tachihara. Very compact.
    Great work and look forward to seeing more!

  7. #7
    ROL
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Nadvornick View Post
    Looks like your red filter cleared the atmospheric haze nicely.
    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. #8
    Ken Nadvornick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ROL View Post
    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.
    "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.



    Ken
    "They are the proof that something was there and no longer is. Like a stain. And the stillness of them is boggling. You can turn away but when you come back they’ll still be there looking at you."

    — Diane Arbus, March 15, 1971, in response to a request for a brief statement about photographs

  9. #9

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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.


    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.


    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. #10
    dasBlute's Avatar
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    Marvelous texture in the water; that's a bit of contrast

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

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