Wednesday, 6 July 2016

A Break and a Return

New Reeds
Mamiya 645 Super, 150/3.5 C, Portra 160VC,

That's the second last colour image in my 645 processing queue (not counting unprocessed E-6 that I still need to find a processor for). Yes, over 3 years after selling my 645 Super, I still have some new work from it to post. Really need to sort that out. I will say that selling my 645 Super kit was one of the most foolish decisions I ever made. I ended up with a Nikon setup that I disliked and quickly dumped (the D600 debacle) at the cost of two of my favourite film setups (the 645 Super and my Minolta Maxxum 7's) It made sense at the time, but in hindsight selling both kits was a terrible idea. I hadn't shot much with either kit in a while, but that was more an issue with my ongoing motivation struggles than the kit itself. I shot more with the 645 Super than anything else I've ever owned (and the Maxxum 7's were #2 for 35mm kit for me) and quite frankly my best work was produced with the 645 Super.

As to actually shooting, the challenges did not work out so far. I just barely made the March Challenge, but then didn't touch a camera until late June. I've been shooting a bit lately, mostly film though (I've shot 4 rolls in the last week and a half) after spending a rather small sum on a couple film bodies (Minolta X-700, Nikon N6000) and a couple lenses (Minolta 28/2.8, 45/2, Nikon 50/1.8 E). I'm enjoying film again, although I still haven't sorted the whole scanning issue.

On the gear side, aside from the film kit I dumped my E-M1 and the 17/1.8 for a GX7 and the Oly 25/1.8. The E-M1 remains a great camera, but it really was a little too much for my actual needs right now and it kept getting in my way (too many buttons), the GX7 has all the features I actually used on the E-M1 and all I give up is the viewfinder (and the GX7's finder is entirely acceptable). The 17 never quite impressed, while the 25 certainly does impress. I like it rather a lot. Still could see dumping the high-end body and just keeping the G3 though, but I'd keep the lenses. I'm thinking for medium term I'll just find a 14/2.5 and shoot with the resulting 3-lens kit (14, 25, 60). I don't really need anything more, although an ultra-wide would be nice. Plan is for a similar kit in film, I'm on the lookout for a Minolta 105 or 135 for the X-700, and will be rebuilding my old Nikkor kit (much slower since it will require actual investment). The X-700 will be my beater camera for now, while the Nikon kit is tentatively my long-term standard. I like the X-700, but am unsure about it as a long-term system while the Nikon stuff always satisfies.

In the meantime, the real challenge is to get out and shoot. Gear is nice, but the image is what photography is about.

Oh, and I'm seriously thinking about dabbling in wet printing again. May take a course on it.

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