While I was planning my photography packing for my family's seaside holiday in Whitby last year (I love this bit - deciding on cameras and lenses, sorting through the accessories and the film stash, narrowing it down to a lean 30KG of totally essential gear in no more than four formats including instant) it occurred to me, since nothing says BLACK AND WHITE quite like a Holga, or indeed quite like infrared film, that I should really put the two together.
For most of us, whenever we touch a computer to process an image, however much it was produced using film (or glass or metal) as the support medium and processed in a chemical darkroom to deliver a negative or even positive “inter-image” as they were called, if the image as displayed or viewed in its final form is via some type of electronic medium (not media, medium – there is a huge difference) it becomes a hybrid.
My theory about the renaissance of instant photography (and film photography in general) is rooted in the physical singularity of the images. We are able to more deeply treasure something that is rare, unique, and unrepeatable; it mirrors our own humanity.
Last September I finally pulled the trigger on a camera that I'd been eyeing for a while - an Intrepid 5x4. I already have a Crown Graphic, but I wanted something that would give me more flexibility with regard to movements. With the Crown Graphic I don't really use movements, so all you're gaining is the additional film size, and since my Hasselblad is no slouch in the optics department, there didn't seem to be much advantage in using the Crown Graphic over the Hasselblad, despite its smaller film size. The Intrepid would, hopefully, give me more flexibility with movements, as well as being lighter and more compact.
The combo of a Contax G1 and the 28mm lens came into my life about 24 months ago. This particular cam was not at all on my radar, but after reading a number of glowing internet reviews, I was hooked and knew I wanted one.
Konica’s Autoreflex T3 descended from their original Autoreflex single lens reflex which had the novel (and probably unique) feature of being able to switch from the full 35mm format to half frame at will mid-roll. Although the T3 does not share this ability, it’s still a solid, well made 35mm SLR that’s worth considering if an example presents itself to you at a keen price.
Anyone who studies art knows that questions about the meanings of genres are nearly impossible to answer convincingly, or satisfyingly. To ask the question, “What is a portrait?”, is to invite disagreement.
My display case at home contains too many 35mm SLR cameras. Beautiful, elegant examples from some of the big names in film camera manufacturing; Nikon, Canon, Pentax, Minolta, Konica, stare wistfully through the glass. The cameras are from my brief yet intense period of searching for my perfect 35mm SLR camera.
I grew up in the 70’s and 80’s, so I know what film is. I held negatives and prints in my hands and even held the negatives up to the light as a kid to see what they were. I grew up looking at the hotrod and fashion magazines that were all shot on film. Of course back then I had no idea of what cameras or film were being used. I knew I just liked it.