As the title says, a very good morning indeed.

We had a solar eclipse last friday here in Belgium, and we left our make up assistant when the eclipse was at its maximum. Only a small smiley poked trough the otherwise gray and fully covered sky. Off to Ronse, for another ‘at house Adelaide’ series.

A first series, in color, from this splendid session with Jenn. Not used to posing, but she did very well. Natural, spontaneous, beautifully …

Not very much else to be said, except that I enjoy my focusing screen ‘engraving’ as seen in last post. – don’t try at home ;)

All images on Canon 5D mark II with Sigma 50 mm f1.4 DG Art. Does it need to be said, I love this lens ;)

Happy viewing.

come back again soon, to see the B/W images from this series.

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hope to see you soon :)

Ludwig

Since photographing with the Rolleiflex camera, I have enjoyed it so much that I wanted a square crop compositing aid on my Canon 5D mark II.

I have been using a special focusing screen replacement for a while (Eg-S, also called super precision focusing screen), that has a better visual reference for the actual depth of field.

This has left me with two no longer used focusing screens (the original ones for my two camera’s), so I thought I’d give it a go.

I had read about Katzeye optics on the internet, mailed them, but they were unable to make me a replacement focusing screen for the 5D II.

After searching the internet, an alternative option seemed to be unavailable.

Brute force and an ‘I don’t care’ mind is the only thing left :D  so I decided to ‘scratch’ my focusing screen with square crop lines.

What you’ll need:

A focusing screen that is of no importance to you (one you can do absolutely without)

A needle

An iron ruler

A loupe

A fine marker pen

fine motor skills

some nerve.

 

Some pictures of the process (I’m not responsible for any camera abuse that might result from this blog post)

focusing screen square crop

 

the following steps will be needed :  (FS=Focusing screen)

1. With the help of the focusing screen replacement tool (delivered with the Canon focusing screen replacements) you will remove the FS.

2. With a fine marker put a small reference dot at 6mm from the edge of the ground surface of the FS, this is not the edge of the FS.

3. With a metal ruler and a sharp needle (any kind of sewing needle will do) just slightly scratch the ground surface of the FS parallel to the edge of the FS.

4. Do this on two sides (left and right)

5. Put back the FS in the camera, with the help of the provided tool.

Tadaaaah, two vertical lines in the ocular view.

Or better said. Flanders culture.

Strictly catholic, the smell of manure, admirers of small chapels, and of the ‘Tour de Flandres’ cycling race of course. Soon on your tv station everywhere around the world.  Schorisse, Belgium.

at the left side: a bas-relief of some great bicycle racer, in the center, the Lord Himself, at the right side, the winners of the great ‘Tour de Flandres’ from 1913 to 2010 I suppose the list on the right doesn’t get updated every year. Too expensive probably. To be continued …

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I told you before I would talk a bit more about the Rolleiflex I use for shooting on film.
The camera is a Twin Lens Reflex, built in the late 50’s, so the camera is about 60 years old.
The construction with the two lenses, of which the upper lens is for viewing only (viewing lens) and the lower lens is for taking the image (taking lens) has advantages and disadvantages. In comparison to the older camera’s that used flat film sheets, where one had to remove the matte focusing screen before putting in the film holder for taking the image, this camera allows to shoot multiple images without moving anything. There is a 45° tilted mirror behind the viewing lens, projecting a mirrored image on the horizontal focusing screen.
Of course viewfinder camera’s existed as well, but they had no visual reference of the focusing plane, or the sharpness of the subject when changing focus. A photographer using a viewfinder camera had to use the distance scale on the lens, and the not so trusty guesswork for camera to subject distance.
Both lenses of the this TLR move forward and backward while focussing, and so provide an identical image on the ground glass as the image to be expected on the film. Still, the smallest amount of inaccuracy of the lens focusing mechanism leads to bad focusing, and I believe this camera suffers at least some looseness in the forward-backward movement.
Dealing with this complex mechanism of focusing, meant also that these camera’s are mostly fixed focal length. Some camera’s came in different focal length versions, but camera’s with interchangeable lenses where very rare. (Except for the Mamiya C)
This camera comes with a 75 mm f3.5 lens, it also existed in a f2.8 version, usually much more expensive on the secondhand market. 75 mm on 6×6 film format has an equal viewing angle to a 38 mm lens on Full frame DSLR, or a 24 mm lens on a 1.6 crop camera, so a rather ‘wide-standard’ viewing angle.
The lens is certainly not paramount, and suffers heavily from flare, as can be seen in the images below (does somebody have a lens hood for this camera for me?). An aperture of 3.5 gives a good amount of image unsharpness on medium format. 2.8 would be nicer of course. The images lack a bit of contrast and sharpness.
Composing with the mirrored image on the focusing plane is a bit of a habit.
Shutter speed range is limited, from 2 seconds to 1/500th of a second, thus mostly limiting the wide open apertures in bright light. The mirror does not move, since it is not obstructing the film plane, so there are not vibrations from this side. Activating the shutter however demands some finger movement (unlike today’s DSLR’s where pushing the shutter entirely only takes some tenth of a millimeter) causing some hand stress and maybe movement unsharpness. Shutter speeds as long as 1/15th. of a second seem not possible to me without image shake. Maybe with some more experience.
The camera has a built in exposure meter, but it no longer works, so exposer should be metered with another camera, or with a hand held meter, I use the latter.
Film for this camera is widely available here in Belgium, both black and white and color film. Not sure about slides. Development is still available too, although it can take a while (1-2 weeks) before getting the negatives back. Scanning the negatives, as well as retouching them (from dust) is a tedious process.

The biggest advantages for me is that I spend more time composing, and checking out if everything is well in place before taking the image. It learns me to concentrate more on details, on exposure, on posing etc. … One roll of film equals 12 exposures, after that the fun is over. :D The fact that you see the image mirrored gives you a fresh view on your scene, revealing flaws in your image/composing remaining unnoticed as you set it up. (But I still have a lot to learn)
A second big advantage is that the images are square format. This gives me a more relaxed feeling when composing, and I believe that the images are more harmonious too. I kind of like this square format more and more. (This made me thinking about modifying a matte screen for my 5D mark II to indicate ‘square’ cropping).

changes I have had:

I had the original focusing screen replaced with a focusing screen with split prism and microprism focusing aids, and that adds to the accuracy of focussing with the camera.  I also had the shutter speeds checked out by the same specialist repair shop that also changed the focusing screen.

To be continued. Enjoy this small portrait series I made with Pauline lately – Rolleiflex 3.5E – Tmax 400 film.

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thank you for reading, see you soon,

Ludwig

When I met Pauline at a hotel room in Ghent, the sun was shining brightly. This led to a difficult light situation, with very high contrasts in the room. (Contrast ratio 10/1 sunlit: 1/500s f2.0 ISO100 – shadow: 1/50s f2.0 ISO100) You either have to stay out of direct sunlight, or be very careful working into it. The key here is to make sure that your exposures are good for the sunlit areas, and certainly not overexposed. This can be done by spot metering the lit area’s and fixing your exposure to that metering. This gives you dramatic contrasts, and a perfect light situation for the ‘hide and reveal’ kind of images. The situation became even more tricky later on, as thick clouds began to block the light more often than not. All images with Canon 5D II and Sigma 50 mm f1.4 Art.

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I loved working with Pauline, she’s full of character, she has confidence in me as a photographer, and she’s willing to play with the camera. Of course her drama lessons add a lot to that.

see you soon for some analog images from this same shoot. I shot two rolls of T-Max 400 film that same afternoon.

Ludwig

if you are into fashion design, shoe design or if you have any kind of shoe fetish, you absolutely need to see this museum collection. Without spending too much words about it, it contains the largest ethnographic collection of shoes in the world, next to a vast collection of designers’ shoes and artists’ shoes. More info on the opening times and location: www.shoesornoshoes.com

I visited the place several times now, and I’m especially fond of the architectural qualities of the building. The building is constructed as a combination of hexagon shaped rooms. The main floor exhibition rooms have special north faced windows that assure a neutral light in any kind of weather. Credits for the architecture: original building (1973) : Emile Veranneman and Arch. Christiaan Vander Plaetse. Redesign (2008): Lode Uytterschaut, Johan Ketele and Rutger Davidts.

Last visit was with my architectural photography class from KISP. I never can deny the urge to take some photographs myself, in between tuition and guidance. The main purpose of this excursion was to emphasize on the link between the building and the surrounding area. My personal selection:

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Images taken with Canon TS-E 24 mm f3.5 L II, except third image, taken with Canon EF 17-40 mm f 4.0 L. All on Canon 5D mark II.

Some images are HDR composites, some are stitched panoramic. (although they all are square :) )

Thank you for watching, and don’t forget to visit the place!

see you soon,

Ludwig

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