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  1. #1
    Two23's Avatar
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    Classic Film for Classic Camera

    I haven't owned a 35mm camera since 2005, but last week I lost my mind and bought a Leica IIIc made in 1942, with Elmar 5cm f3.5 and Jupiter 35mm f2.8. Will likely get an Elmar 90mm f4 as well. The 5cm f3.5 is uncoated, and the 90mm probably will be too. I like the look. SO, I'm looking for some film that will give me a classic 1940s look. I already use HP5 in my Rolleiflex and Chamonix 045n and really like its smoothness. I shoot Efke 25 in my Chamonix when using pre-Civil War lenses, but I think this is too slow for the Leica. What's out there in the ISO 100 range that would be a nice complement for a 1940s Leica? I'm after "vintage" more than TMax/Delta sharpness.


    Kent in SD

  2. #2
    Chris Lange's Avatar
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    Efke or Foma 100? I've also found that Delta 3200 can look really beautiful if shot in daylight at ASA 800 but then pulled down in Rodinal. really grainy, but a very certain aesthetic.
    See my work at my website CHRISTOPHER LANGE PHOTOGRAPHY

    or my snaps at my blog MINIMUM DENSITY
    --
    If you don't have it, then you don't have it.

  3. #3

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    May I suggest that since Oskar Barnack's original Leica prototype, the Ur-Leica, was intended to test the film speed of movie film that you shoot a movie film. Eastman Double-X 5222 will approximate the look and grain of the early motion picture films. Develop it in HC-110 or Rodinal.
    A rock pile ceases to be a rock pile the moment a single man contemplates it, bearing within him the image of a cathedral.

    ~Antoine de Saint-Exupery

  4. #4
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    +1 for Fomapan, Efke and Double-X. I use them all and together with those lenses and Rodinal you should get the look that you are looking for.

    On my deviantart gallery I always put which film and developer I used - you can search for those combination if you like

  5. #5

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    Personally I would go with Fomapan, with these old lenses it gives a look that suits the whole idea of classic, a look of the time when the cameras were made and the normal cameras of the time, which is why I use fomapan, plus I like the film a lot.

  6. #6
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    Congratulations on your choice and I envy you the experience to come when you put a film through it, process and print. It is almost like making an archaeological find, which you have not yet completely unwrapped. When you handle it you may wonder who has used it before. What classic images have been flashed on its focal plane? What characteristics and image nuances will these lenses reveal? I’m sure whatever film you use; it will not spoil the fun. Why not post a result from your first film on the gallery?

    “The contemplation of things as they are, without error or confusion, without substitution or imposture, is in itself a nobler thing than a whole harvest of invention”

    Francis Bacon

  7. #7
    markbarendt's Avatar
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    Mark Barendt, Ignacio, CO

    "We do not see things the way they are. We see things the way we are." Anaïs Nin

  8. #8
    Aron's Avatar
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    Kent, you might find the following thread interesting:

    http://www.apug.org/forums/forum37/3...930s-look.html

    I don't wish to demystify the subject, but I find the "vintage" look depends on many more components of the system, not just vintage lens plus well selected film. In my book an uncoated (5 cm) Elmar is vintage looking only when really pushed outside its comfort zone: when used wide open in flare-prone situations. Stopped down a little or a bit more, with a deep shade attached to a clean example and it will look just like other excellent lenses, it's a Tessar after all, a lens type I have enormous respect for.

    Much of the vintage look in my opinion comes from the paper, the enlarging lens and the fact that exposure was often off a little. Today's excellent six-element EL lenses haven't hit the market yet by that time and not everyone had the money to buy a special (four-element) lens just for enlarging, so they used their Elmar also for that. If you'd like to mimic the look of the vintage enlargements from 35 mm negs that were slightly unsharp corner to corner, you need to take a step or two backwards in your EL setup.

    Paper was different and this is apparent when there are vintage and contemporary enlargements next to each other. Today's MG IV's base is noticably brighter than vintage (bright base) papers and I didn't even mention those that had whites not unlike on tea-toned cyanotypes, out of the box.

    Quite a lot of photographers liked to tweak the published developer formulas and a lot of film was processed in deep tanks, using replenished developers. MQ formulae were very popular, but so were the fine-grain ones based on PPD, glycin. You might find the books of e.g. Hans Windisch will have a lot on 35 mm technique of the day. And films were much slower. During the war, most photographers were not allowed to be picky, they used whatever was available.

    On the other hand, well-made contact prints or moderate enlargements can and often do look modern, this is also why I'm a little confused what "vintage" actually means.

    Although a lot depends on the materials, I think it's more rewarding to bend your usual materials to get a "vintage" look out of them.

  9. #9
    Two23's Avatar
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    Aron--

    While I do own a Nikon pro DSLR system, about two years ago I just got tired of all the shots looking the same same same. High color saturation, extreme sharpness, and a sort of "digital" look to them. At the same time, I have been collecting vintage photos, mostly from between 1890 and 1930. I'm aware there are paper differences, and the film has changed also. I have pretty much stayed with uncoated lenses and have picked up several lenses made pre-1860, several made 1900-1925, and also have a 1951 Rollei and 1937 Bessa 6x9. The lenses alone are giving me a great look. I'm not trying to exactly duplicate a photo from 1930s etc., but I'm more trying to catch the feel. So far, I've been fairly happy with what I get from HP5 in medium and large format. I love the history of these cameras & lenses, love the mystery of who owned them before, and enjoy the challenge of using them today. Thanks for all the suggestions, guys!


    Kent in SD

  10. #10
    PDH
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    For 35mm from that time I would use Forma 400 developed in D 75 or 777, printed on Salvich glassy number 2 or 3, think W H Smith or Henri Cartier Bresson.

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