I've just uploaded a print to the gallery called "The old pier at Point Pelee". I took this on a chilly January day this past winter.
One of my favorite darkroom processes is to develop my prints in Caffenol, (instant coffee and washing soda) I've heard countless times that it can't be done, even after I've shown my prints to someone. My oldest print is about a year and a half old, so I can't vouch for the longevity of the process, but I really like the effect.
Tom I've developed quite a bit of film in Coffee, can't see why paper won't work, and your photo certainly proves it does. Does it give the paper an ivory base like Agfa Portriga ? :-)
Meanwhile I've been using and playing with the Rolleinars that many here recommended thank you all for you help (especially Dennis)
I've made a blog entry:
Rolleinar Close up lenses
If anyone can see if I've missed anything obvious, or should add anything their advice will be welcome.
Depending on the paper, the blend of coffee, (and the wind direction, it seems ) a Caffenol print can have anywhere from light to heavy staining, even tones to wild, surreal splotches. The effect is quite unpredictable. I will have some nights where nothing seems to work, and others where it feels like magic. I've got an article on the process here: http://tomoverton.images.googlepages.com/caffenol. Most of the pictures were taken with my Rollei, but a few were with my N80.
Note: many people will say that coffee is not a proper developer, or that it is a staining developer, rather than a toning developer. It does, however convert the silver in the latent image, so in my opinion it is a viable alternative process.
Mark, your Rolleinar blog is spot on. They really did it right when they manufactured these lenses. I use the Hoya close up kit on my SLRs and they are really limited in what they can do. The Rolleinars are sharp, sharp, sharp.
Nice article Mark and obviously your T is no slouch. That eye close up is very impressive. Good photography all round and I really like that picture of your daughter.
I am glad I alreay own all the Rolleinars I need because if your article gets around the prices are only going to go up more on ebay. I have often thought I might be getting sharper images with the Rolleinars than without.. but I think it is just because you are closer to the smaller details like eyelashes.
Mark, interesting article I think I will definitely try and get some, may I ask where you bought yours from please?
With regards to the developing, its something I haven't done yet but from the shots I've seen here, especially the coffee (I'm a huge fan of coffee - my only real vice) I think I will get into this very soon.
Picking up Dennis's point about meters, my first serious camera was a Zenit E, the built on Selenium meter was fine once you realised how to use it. I also use an M3 Leica with Leicameter.
So when I use the meter on my Yashica I'm fully aware of bright open skies etc, you learn to tilt down, swivel around, or meter off your hand, but it's instinctive and accurate.
I bought it from a local camera shop he has a few mainly 1&2. You can get them on evil bay £10-20 or so like this:
Roleinar on evilbay
Thanks for your comments Dennis, the shot of my daughter was just a snap really a test. I have a set of #2 coming this week-end so I look forward to trying that out too.
I would like to know about 'stacking Rolleinars' I know Sanders does it a fair bit; does a #1&2 together equal a 3? how does the parallax work?
So many questions....
Also I'm not sure my little blog has enough power to push up the price of Rolleinars, but i think every TLR owner should have one set at least.
Thanks Mark, I'll have a look.
p.s. had a good look at your blog, really interesting, especially the B&W scanning and developing articles.
I agree with you, Mark. I find the Rolleinars (or other companies' equivalents) eliminate one of the main drawbacks to using TLRs, namely the lack of close focus. Optical quality is great. Now if I could find a Rolleinar 1 for Bay III....
Now for the other (more expensive) problem.
With my GS-1, I always have the option of changing lenses for situations where my feet simply will not get me where I need for the composition I have in mind. With my Nikon 35mm, I have a couple of fairly reasonable zooms that greatly increase the flexibility of my composition.
Barring the prohibitively expensive Mutar, there is virtually no way of changing the focal length of my Rollei's lens. I say "virtually" because I have actually seen an adapter to connect a Rollei to a set of binoculars... Kind of fitting for the TLR concept.
Apart from this, the only way to "zoom" with a Rollei is to take advantage of the outstanding resolving power of its lens and to shoot with the intent to crop... or to accept that there are some things this most wonderful of cameras cannot do.
[EDIT] I just did an ebay search on Mutars:
Current price US $1,026.00
Current price US $1,026.00
Are they NUTS?
Tom the Mutars are interesting but I too am put off them by price.
Why not buy a Tele and wide Rollei? I've seen them for less than $1k
All in all the way I see it for subjects that need zooms I'm not taking my Rollei, although some here probably use C300 coupled with 55mm 80mm and 135mm.
Actually I realised I don't have a zoom for any of my film cameras...
Mark, if you can find a Rolleiwide for under $1,000, grab it.
I own two Tele Rolleiflexes as well as a wide-angle Mutar.
Nearly all the squares in my flickr stream were shot with
a Tele Rolleiflex. The Mutar gets a lot less work, but I have
a photo taken with it in my APUG portfolio. (Links below.)
I rarely see a Tele trade for under $1,000, and have never
seen a Wide that cheap. A Mutar, on the other hand, can
go for a lot less if you keep your eyes open. They are a
quality piece of equipment, and Zeiss made only 1,000
of each Mutar, so they are both rare and desirable.
Here's a link to my Flickr stream.
The Mutar photo is here.
Mark, I should have read your blog before posting my note.
I had not seen that you were addressing the image quality of
a photograph taken with a Rolleinar. A Tele Rolleiflex will not
focus more closely than 8-9 feet without the aid of Rolleinars,
and special Bay III Tele Rolleinars are available to permit
focusing down to about four feet. I use my Teles to shoot
close portraits. To do that, I stack a regular Rolleinar 1 on
top of the Tele Rolleinar and shoot through both Rolleinars,
wide-open at f/4. You can see results here and here. Apart
from some vignetting, the Rolleinars do not seem to degrade
the image, at least in any way I find objectionable.
Sanders, if you are stacking the Rolleinars, how do you focus? Do you focus first with the Rolleinars on the viewing lens and then move them to the taking lens? I have stacked them as well but have a sheet film back for focusing.
Dennis, no, I just mount the Rolleinar 1 pieces,
both of them, on top of the Tele Rolleinar. And
then focus and compose as usual through the
viewfinder. (Given the design, you can't do this
with two ordinary Rolleinars.) Sanders
Stacking Bay 1 Rolleinars. They stack well. I've used #1 and #2 together. Depth of field is very shallow. Very. Parallax: have to guess a bit. I use Rolleipareil #2, can't stack Rolleipariels [no bayonet on fronts]. I fell off my bike on Tuesday, broke my hip. Now have plate and screws in there, at home recovering well. Not supposed to walk for 6 weeks.
Sorry to hear about your hip, Larry. I think you'd better send me all your Rolleinars.
Sanders, I'm still confused about the idea of focusing with stacked Rolleinars. I trust you that it works, I just cannot see how. When I stack close-up filters (are they really diopters?) on my Nikon, each one changes the focal point. Do Rolleinars work differently?
Sanders thanks for the advice I have seen Tele Rolleis for about 1k I'm possibly confusing my $ with £ sterling on the wide...
I'm intrigued by stacking Rolleinars after your post, at the moment I only have a #1 the #2 will be with me any day-then I can play around which is how I learn best.
Sanders I also found one of the images you posted called 'booper' to be truly beautiful -really lovely and wide open really shows not only what the Rolleinars can do but you mastery of technique.
PS get well soon Larry, I hope you have no pain.
From what Sanders says a Tele Rolleinar is a different kind of beast than the regular ones. No way to mount anything to the front of the top half of a regular Rolleinar. Though I did just try an experiment with a #1 and #2; I stacked the taking lenses together on the Xenotar, then put the #1 top piece on top and then just held the #2 top piece in front of the #1 top piece and whatdoyouknow it checked out on the ground glass of the sheet film back so it works.
Larry, sorry to hear of what sounds very seriously painful. I hope it heals quickly.
There used to be a pretty good French TLR in the early fifties called a Semflex Studio with a 150mm Som Berthiot 5.4 lens that was on my wish list at that time, that would have been a good portrait camera,, but I was in the the military at that time and wasn't able to afford it . I wonder if anyone else has heard of them ?