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Mamiya 7ii First Impressions


First Impressions

Again with any first Impressions post, HOLY SHIT. This camera blew my mind. Having a 6x7 negative in such a small package is incredible. Picking up the camera for the first time just blew me away. The shutter is so smooth, being a leaf shutter it really sounds great with no mirror slap. Nothing on this camera feels out of place, it has no extra "useless" features, it is so straightforward and works like a charm. 


Things I Liked

There was nothing on this camera I hated, so I love everything about the camera even the things I wish were different I can see why they happen and there really is not a choice. I do love having a leaf shutter and having the sync speeds throughout, the lenses were sharp and fluid.


Things I Didn't Like

Again, not much to not like. But, not a huge fan of having to take the curtain down before changing lenses but I can't see another way of fixing that if the shutter is in the lens itself. Also focusing while shooting portraits is a bit tough, the rangefinder windows are right in front of the lens so your hand wants to be there. But that's it I still love this camera regardless of any “faults”.


Youtube!

Sample Images

Hp5 shot at 400  

B&W Presets Pack


Presets!

Although I don’t shoot digital for any fashion or personal work I still see the need to have presets handy to create the look I love in film. I’ve made sure and even done step by step walkthrough on how to use these presets using the mobile Lightroom app! A walkthrough will be included in the final purchase.


K100

Kentmere 100 is my favorite film stock. The contrast and casual blown out highlights are some of my favorite characteristics of any black and white photo. The grain. I also love this film stock for being such a slow film but it keeps its grain. As far as the highlights go sometimes they seem to burn right off the film and leave this beautiful glowing effect that I’ve tried quite hard to emulate.




T800


Ahh my second most used film stock, TriX 400 pushed to 800. TriX at box speed is a great flat film, however if you’ve seen my work you know how that doesn’t tend to slide with me. I’m all about high contrast and high grain, TriX 800 is the closest film to Kentmere 100 as far as characteristics, but TriX being a more professional (and expensive compared to Kentmere) it also has more extensive dynamic range which I actually am not a HUGE fan of, I love the burned off highlights. So I even emulated that when designing this preset. This preset is a high contrast with even and still apparent mid tones and highlights with slightly more grain than the K100.
 



H1600


Ah last but not least. I tend to use this film for only personal things such as hanging with my family or friends since it is so versatile. HP5+ pushed to 1600 (where it belongs). This is a high contrast, really only highlights being exposed where you lose most shadow details and mid tones tend to fall out as well. The grain though is huge and noticeable one of my favorite reasons I even shoot this film stock. I’ve worked very hard to recreate this film stock since it is so important to me. Expect everything that isn’t your highlights to almost be a muddy gray or black since pushing film really only affects your highlights which is what I’ve tried to emulate with this film stock. Also expect grain this is a very high grain film stock which I have seemed to replicate beautifully.


Blown and Plus a bit


These are based off of the K100 but exaggerated a bit more and leaving most the grain out. These are for an incredibly high contrast look. Blown has blown out highlights almost a little exaggerated with the shadows being dropped down low as well. Plus a bit is the same preset just with slightly less blown out highlights. These have been in my preset basket for a while now and I have used these quite often.
 

Blown

Plus a bit


Flat


This is a preset I’ve actually always had but I’ve never actually used it in the final product. Flat is what I use to see the image in black and white but see every single thing. Highlights are dropped, shadows are raised created an incredible flat or neutral look. Again I don’t normally process photos with this but I use it every time to see the tonal range of a photographic. Consider this a tool!
 



A bit digital


Ah, this preset is based off of me before I shot mostly black and white film. It shares little to no qualities with film. This is surprising one of my favorite presets. I love this look and always have. It seems to have more of a hype beast look to it with its open ended blacks and keeping a high contrast with still a neutral tone. One of my favorites! This preset darkens the photo quite a bit so I recommend upping your exposure when using!
 

Purchase your preset here!

Special thanks to Ethan and Ricky for some of the sample images!

Leica M4-P Review


First Impressions

The Leica M4-P is my first professional grade rangefinder I have ever owned (but not used). And really the only acceptable first impression is HOLY SHIT. When I first took all the packaging off and held it for the first time I immediately fell in love. This camera feels so good. The weight, the viewfinder, the way the shutter quietly clicks, everything. The camera itself looks incredible. I wanted black over a silver because I wanted a more discreet look but to be fair I get more looks with my black camera than I ever did with something like my Canonet. 

Things I like

Everything. This camera wants to be used. The way the winding mechanism feels, how fluid the focusing is, the way the shutter is always begging to be pressed. The camera is a damn dream. I actual prefer the the rewinding knob on the M4-M7 better than the traditional ones on the M3, M2 and MP. I also do not mind not having a self timer in fact I appreciate how clean the front of the camera looks without it. All frame lines!!! Pretty cool having the 28,35,50,75,90 and 135mm lines. 

Things I did not like

Shutter speed, I wish I could shoot faster than 1000th of a second but to be fair it doesn't bother me very much. Something that really does grind my gears is there is no ISO dial so I can remind myself what the hell is in the camera. I go back and forth between three films and 3 films only, HP5 always pushed to 1600, TriX always pushed to 800 and Kentmere 100. All 3 films vary greatly in speed and I would love a way to tell what film is in just like almost every other M series camera. Most would complain about no light meter, but truly I do not mind. I never like in camera light meters anyways and was the main reason I decided to go with an M4-P vs an M6.

 

Overall Thoughts

This camera has changed my life and has done nothing except make me want to shoot. I appreciate the hell of this camera. Ever since acquiring this camera I've done nothing but want to shoot with it. Personally I believe this is the best camera I have ever used let alone owned.

Sample images


Leave a comment if you have any questions!

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Bulk Loading How To/Is It Even Worth it?


First Lets Start With a Visual How To

Pre Step: Make sure you have your film, a canister to load it in, a bulk loader ( I am using a Western Loader) painters tape, and scissors! 

Step 1: Move the gate to closed.

Step 2: Grab your tape, I split mine into two thinner pieces.

Step 3: Grab your empty film canister, tape one side just like this.

Step 4: Now pop open the loader and connect your film, always double check the gate is closed before opening your door!

Step 5: Now wrap the tape around just like this, press it down so it is as flat as possible.

Step 6: Stick it into the loader.

Step 7: Set your counter to 0.

Step8.jpg

Step 8: Open the gate!

Step 9: Start winding.

Step 10: I labeled which way to turn the actual loader.

Step 11: Once you are all loaded up (I usually load back to the 5) open up the gate!

Step 12: Pop open the lid.

Step 13: Cut your film!

Step 14: Label it! I use Gaffers Tape so it blocks the DX code. And now you are ready to go! 


WHy Load your own film?

Its saves you money! (sometimes). Check out this spreadsheet I made based on Freestyle's prices!

When I started bulk loading I was shooting mostly Ilford, however after looking into buying some TriX I noticed Kodak film seems to be more expensive to buy 100ft than to just buy individual 36 exposure canisters. It seems the amount you save (when you do save) seems to be quite a significant chunk of change. 

 

Bottom line, do your research, see what is cheaper. I shoot primarily Ilford so it makes sense for me. If you shoot Kodak or mostly color film, maybe this isn't the best option for you! 

 

Personally the feel of loading my own film brings me that much closer to my own photography. Being able to load my film, shoot it, take it home develop and scan my own film just gives me so much more control than I could ever ask for. If you want to feel closer to your photography this is the way to go! 


Leave a comment if you have any questions!

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Creating Art For Yourself


Art Needs To Be For The Artist.

Too often I find artists adjusting their art for clients or for views. Art belongs to artists. Far too often I find myself shooting for the money. I understand we need to pay our bills but some people, including myself, seem to lose theirself in the money aspect of things. Shooting for money seems to make me feel washed out and lose interest in my favorite passion. 

The first camera I ever shot with was an Canon Rebel 2000 and some black and white film. So I decided if that is what made me fall in love with photography I should start from ground zero.

From here on out I will only be shooting black and white, allowing me to focus on what made me fall in love with photography as a whole. The only exception will be my weddings for the remaining year. All client and personal work will be done in black and white.

I hope my decision will encourage others to focus on art that they want to create. I for one am proud of myself for my crazy decision.

So Why Black And White?

Black and white is true photography (to me). Black and white forces me to focus on composition and holds a grittiness to it. Color can easily be a distraction and sometimes overwhelming. I see black and white as a challenge, it forces you to push you're creativity and not rely on color as a tool. Also for me it is more tangible, I bulk load, develop and scan all my own black and white film. Something tangible is more of something I am interested in and seems to keep me excited about shooting.  

 

 

 

That being said, I have a fridge full of color film that now needs a home. Shoot me a message on Instagram or an email over at jacob@colmenerophoto.com


Leave a comment if you have any questions!

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