Am I here yet?

M6TTL, 50 Hex, TriX, Xtol

The post-trip film processing continues. I’m down to four rolls to develop. Lots of scanning remains, but I’ve got enough of it done to resume more regular posting. With the bulk of the processing done, I’m just now starting to feel like I’m back from vacation even though I’ve been back at work for a couple of weeks. The post travel readjustment always takes me a bit of time, but this one is taking longer than usual. More on that later, perhaps.

M6TTL, 50 Hex, TriX, Xtol

Everything from this trip was shot on TriX with the M6 and the 50 Hex, processed in Xtol 1+1 for 9 minutes @ 68F (or the equivalent time/temp depending on how cold the water was) and scanned on the trusty Scan Dual IV. No major equipment troubles, but it looks like I had a shutter problem for half a dozen frames on one roll, with vertical streaks marring the frames. A cla might be in order. I suspect that my M6 spent most of its former life on a shelf, so the shutter may need some attention.

I was mostly happy with just the one lens. I could have gone wider at times, but for every wide shot that I wanted, there were plenty of opportunities for a tighter view. A second lens probably wouldn’t have killed me, but we spent a lot of time on our feet, so I was glad to have little to carry. Maybe next time I’ll just take the 35 for the sake of variety.

I’m Kreativ

M6TTL, 50 Hex, TriX, Xtol

In other news, I’ve been presented with a Kreativ Blogger award by Amy Sakurai. Many thanks Amy. Per the rules of the game:

Six things that make me happy:

  • Kate
  • the three major food groups: beer, coffee, pizza
  • econtalk let’s just leave that at the complexity of the world and the appreciation thereof
  • the Sunday paper and 3 hours to kill
  • seeing eye dogs
  • waking up at four a.m. to develop film – really

Six other bloggers who are Kreativ:

Well, that was fun 😉

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Notions Unsought and Other M6 Miscellania

M6TTL, 50 Hex, XP2 @ 200, Rodinal Stand

“These things give you notions unsought.”

Nothing organized here, just some wandering observations:

  • The RF patch on the M6TTL is slighter bigger and sharper edged than that of the Hexar RF. If it’s easier to focus, it seems mostly down to the higher magnification.
  • Because of the higher magnification, for a left eye dominant glasses wearer the 35mm framelines on the M6TTL are not as comfortable to use as those on the Hexar. I’m not sure what this implies long term, but at the moment, I’m finding that I use the 50 a lot more than previously.
  • The ease of using the 50 on the M6TTL has me thinking that this might be a one lens camera for me, which makes me wonder what I should do with the 28, the two 35s and the 90.
  • While I’d hoped that the higher magnification would make using the 90 easier, it doesn’t. Focusing is easier, but those vestigial corner-less framelines are just as hopeless as ever. Oh well.

M6TTL, 50 Hex, XP2 @ 200, Rodinal Stand

  • The M6TTL is a calmer camera than the Hexar. It’s slower in use and fussier in loading, but I suspect the source of that serenity is that big, bright rangefinder, which is just a tad warmer in tone than the Hexars. You just keep wanting to look through it.
  • That slower pace has got me thinking about what I want to do with my photography. As that’s an incredibly difficult question to answer, I’m deferring it by thinking about gear. Maybe a medium or large format camera is in the works for me. An old Linhoff or a press camera might be a good place to start.
  • Can such a tiny camera lead to a 4×5 behemoth? Or does the Leica just mark the high water for 35mm, the point at which all other emendations are just the polishing of turds? The next logical step can only be a bigger negative.

M6TTL, 50 Hex, XP2 @ 200, Rodinal Stand

  • If you ask Leica customer service nicely, they will send you a black dot to replace the M6TTL’s standard red dot. The black dot is ever so much more discrete . . . and it just looks cooler.

1pt4 Photography Goes to a Wedding

M6TTL, CV 35 1.4 SC, TMY, Tmax Dev
M6TTL, CV 35 1.4 SC, TMY, Tmax Dev
M6TTL, CV 35 1.4 SC, TMY, Tmax Dev
M6TTL, CV 35 1.4 SC, TMY, Tmax Dev
M6TTL, CV 35 1.4 SC, TMY, Tmax Dev
M6TTL, CV 35 1.4 SC, TMY, Tmax Dev
M6TTL, CV 35 1.4 SC, TMY, Tmax Dev
M6TTL, CV 35 1.4 SC, TMY, Tmax Dev
M6TTL, CV 35 1.4 SC, TMY, Tmax Dev
M6TTL, CV 35 1.4 SC, TMY, Tmax Dev
Of course, my mom has her eyes closed . . .
M6TTL, CV 35 1.4 SC, TMY, Tmax Dev
M6TTL, CV 35 1.4 SC, TMY, Tmax Dev
M6TTL, CV 35 1.4 SC, TMY, Tmax Dev
M6TTL, CV 35 1.4 SC, TMY, Tmax Dev
M6TTL, CV 35 1.4 SC, TMY (New TMax 400), TMax Dev

On the 4th of July, my cousin Brian got married on a veranda over looking Lake Michigan. The M6TTL, CV 35 1.4 SC and a couple of rolls of the new TMax 400 (TMY) performed admirably. Tents over looking lakes on bright sunny days make a lovely setting for a wedding, but all that backlighting can bedevil the flashless photographer. The new TMY seemed to handle the wide luminance range well, though. I’ve always liked TMY despite its reputation as a difficult film. It was the first film I developed on my own, so I’ve been using it off and on for 15 years. The new TMY seems to be just as forgiving as the old. Just give it generous exposure to keep the shadows healthy. It probably would have done even better pulled to 200, but these were my first rolls with the new film, so I didn’t want to experiment too much. For those who care, I shot the TMY at 400, developed in TMax Developer and followed Kodak’s new developing times. This worked out to 5.5 minutes at 75 degrees with a dilution of 1+4.

Apart from the disposable cameras on the tables, I was the only person shooting film. A couple of people commented on this with a mix of bewilderment and awe. The pro was shooting a D3 and a D300, but I was more interested in his foot gear, a pair of black reverse heel shoes. I’ve got to try those out.

Rodinal

I’ve been playing with Rodinal again lately. This TriX @ 200 in Rodinal 1+150 for something like 30 minutes.

M6TTL, CV 35 1.4 SC, TriX @ 200, Rodinal
M6TTL, CV 35 1.4 SC, TriX @ 200, Rodinal

I’ve also tried it rated TriX @ 400 in Rodinal 1+50 for whatever time the box said.

Hexar RF, ZM Biogon 35 F2 , TriX @ 400, Rodinal

I can handle the grain, but shadow detail doesn’t seem great. Contrast seems really high in general. Somewhere on the web I found a formula for a split a Rodinal/Xtol. You get Rodinal’s acutance and Xtol’s smoother tonality. That sounds interesting, but I need to mix up some more Xtol first. And finish the rolls of Adox 50 that I shot @ 125 for Diafine. And try out FP4 at 250 in Diafine. Did you know you can soup XP2 in Diafine too? So many films, so many developers. Who needs digital?

Astute blog readers will notice from the properties of the images above that the first two were shot with an M6TTL. Yes, I bought one. It turned out that I did want a Leica, just not an M8. More on the M6 later . . .