I've never taken so many photos. Never processed so much. I'm not sure, but I've always felt that doing a lot of 'something' would make me better at it. At least show me improvement up to the limit of my own capability. Kinda like riding a bike. You train and normally you get better.
Over the last few months I've been more and more enamored with b&w film photography and the quality of images produced this way. It's actually just going back to my university days. Back then it was 35mm film photography with a Mamiya DSX 1000 and a 50mm lens. I had classes where I was taught how to develop film and print photos in a darkroom. I must share that I was slowly and surely influenced by Matt and his beautiful images here on aminus3, many taken with a Hasselblad medium format film camera.
Lately, I've had this desire to slow things down a bit. And so, I've decided to work in a bit of film photography along side my digital work. And because I've really taken a liking to the square format in recent months I thought I'd try this via medium format film photography.
I searched a bit and thought about buying a Holga medium format toy camera. I thought I'd prefer the large negative this gave, as well as the funky results via the plastic lens and the less than perfect camera build. I also thought the larger negative would allow me to crop a bit without losing too much image quality.
I then stumbled upon the 'twin lens reflex' world of film photography while looking at the rangefinderforum.com. Via ebay I found TLR's from Rollei, Yashica, Minolta, and Mamiya. All these would give me a nice big square negative and a way of working I've never tried before.
Finally, I found this Walzflex tlr camera in ok condition for about the price of a new Holga on ebay. It was made in the 1950's by a Japanese company called Walz. From what I've read it was meant to be a knockoff of the much more expensive Rollei tlr. Everything seems to work fine except for the self-timer, but I don't really need that. The shutter blades are clean and don't get stuck except below 1/10th of a second. Focus knob is good and I get a good clear image via the waist level finder. I wonder if any of my digital cameras will still function sixty years from now?
I need to run a few rolls of film through it and see if it works. I thought this would be a relatively inexpensive way to test the waters. Also, I need to try and find someone here in Montpellier to develop my film, at least at first. I may take a stab at doing that myself, but first I'll bring my rolls of film to someone who knows this stuff and see if my camera has any obvious defects.
It was a thrill to go into my camera store this past Friday and buy film. I bought two rolls of tri-x 400 and one roll of ektar color film. Planning a park visit this week to test this camera. If I can get some decent images/negatives to scan I'll then post them here. This could be the beginning of a beautiful friendship.
American Suburb X. Off the beaten path photography and interviews of some famous and not so famous photographers. Some I love, some I hate, but the content is nearly always provocative. A great mix of different styles, subject matter, and perspective on what photography can be. Enjoy.
All photos on Morris Taub Exposed © 2007-2013 Morris Taub. All Rights Reserved. Thank you.
20 mm (35mm equiv.)