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Scale Focus 35's Though not rangefinders, scale focus 35's are 1st cousins. This forum includes such popular gems as the Rollei 35's, Petri 35's, and the Olympus XA-4.

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Old 09-17-2010   #41
oftheherd
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Nice photos on your blog. There was a time when I lusted for a Rollei 35. I never found one at a price I was willing to pay considering what other equipment I have.

However, I always marvel at people on RFF who decide to do a 1 camera or 1 camera/1 lens for a year project. I would feel stiffled without more choice. Especially since I have worked so diligently to increase my stable. However, recently I have realized I need to be more simple in my gear use. I enjoy carrying my Olympus XA. It often goes on trips where I want a camera, but not a lot of gear. But there are times when I want to carry a folder MF or 9x12 LF. I just don't have the whatever it takes to commit to a project like that.

Still, I applaud you and look forward to seeing more of your results.
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Old 09-17-2010   #42
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Really enjoying the fruits of your year long project thus far. While I don't visit your blog, I have been a subscriber to your feed, and look forward to seeing your posts.

I have a Rollei 35T, and it really is a great little shooter. I'm not comfortable shooting it wider than f8 though, and suspect some prolonged exposure would do wonders for my scale focussing skills.

It is good to challenge ourselves, and I feel the same about scale focussing now as I did about meterless cameras previously, yet oddly the Rollei 35 is the only one of my remaining 4/ 5 cameras that has a meter now.
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Old 09-17-2010   #43
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At the end of your shooting year, Zeno, I hope you put together a 12-shot album with one photo from each month. That will require some tough editing based on what I have seen so far ...
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Old 09-17-2010   #44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oftheherd View Post
Nice photos on your blog. There was a time when I lusted for a Rollei 35. I never found one at a price I was willing to pay considering what other equipment I have.

However, I always marvel at people on RFF who decide to do a 1 camera or 1 camera/1 lens for a year project. I would feel stiffled without more choice. Especially since I have worked so diligently to increase my stable. However, recently I have realized I need to be more simple in my gear use. I enjoy carrying my Olympus XA. It often goes on trips where I want a camera, but not a lot of gear. But there are times when I want to carry a folder MF or 9x12 LF. I just don't have the whatever it takes to commit to a project like that.

Still, I applaud you and look forward to seeing more of your results.
The crazy thing is that I bought the Rollei only because of GAS! I saw it in the window of the only photoshop in my hometown who has still used cameras. Then I wanted to know more about it and bought a book about Heinz Waaske, the man who constructed the Rollei, a real genius in mechanics!

The XA/XA4 or the Minox 35 GT were other cameras I thought of for this project, but then I decided to do this without meter or batteries. (A dream camera for such a project would be the original PEN, but to get one here in Germany is nearly impossible)
I had shot digital for some weeks before starting and was so bored of the process (or the not-existing-process) that B&W/self developing was the only choice.
The risk to have nothing after one year? Well, I´m an amateur; I can do whatever I want (photographically).
The limitation in gear forces me to think and the shutter/aperture/distance ritual has something of a martial art (cum grano salis!).

Damien, for the coming dark months I plan to increase my skills in focusing the Rollei wide open!

Paul, editing after one year of shooting is cruel!
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Old 09-17-2010   #45
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Since we are talking about Polypan-F has anyone come to any conclusions about the origins of this film?
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Old 09-17-2010   #46
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I buy mine at www.lumiere-shop.de. I have sent them a mail about the producer and will post informations if I get some.
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Old 09-17-2010   #47
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Fantastic idea this. And I love the signature quote in barnwulf's post on page 1:"Basically, I no longer work for anything but the sensation I have while working." Giacometti. So choosing a sexy camera is indeed an important part of this. This also is reflected in your reference to the non-existent process with digital, which while easily debatable nevertheless holds a worthwhile truth as well. Are poets often photographers? We might not know. Bruce Chatwin's refined photographic output was a surprise to many of his friends apparently. I love the history and the manuals you've included on your blog site.
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Old 09-18-2010   #48
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Thank you Richard.
In an interview Ralph Gibson said that he imagines the process of the reaction between the exposed parts on the film and the developer. Diane Arbus thought that a easy to use camera would make her pictures worse. Sally Mann uses wet plates.
Many say film is dead, but the net is full of advices for complicated, expensive ancient photographic processes.
It seems as if man has as much joy in doing a process (of whatever kind) as in the final result. Digital has a process too, but if that process fits your needs is completely dependant of your personality. So using different processes can only be stated as a fact, never used to make statements of quality, technically or personally.

The journey is the reward, so play on your way!
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Old 09-19-2010   #49
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nice pix! roll 38 since august ? that's like a roll a day ?
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Old 09-20-2010   #50
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pschauss View Post
Since we are talking about Polypan-F has anyone come to any conclusions about the origins of this film?
Today I received a email from lumiere-shop:

„Der Hersteller ist Ilford Emulsion Pan F. Polypan ist ein Kopierfilm für Kinofilme. Deshalb ein klarer reißfester Träger und in 3 Minuten fixiert.“
Translated:
The manufacturer is Ilford emulsion Pan F. Polypan is a copying film for motion picture films. Therefore a clear tearproof base and a 3 minute fixer-time.

So it seems as if the PanF rumour is true, only the base is clear polyester.
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Old 09-20-2010   #51
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Quote:
Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post
nice pix! roll 38 since august ? that's like a roll a day ?
Thank you!
Some days no pictures, some days three rolls; I normally shoot 350 - 400 rolls a year. Not only gear can be an obsession!
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Old 09-30-2010   #52
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I happened upon this thread by chance (luck?) and looked at the photos on your blog. I must say it was inspiring to see such wonderful results!

As for scale focus - I was never any good at it. For a while I used the Olympus XA2/3 cameras. Many rolls passed through the cameras. A lot of less than stellar results came out of the experiment but also a few that actually made it into an exhibition. The limitations of the camera helped me see new things. But then again I had a meter and used HP5.
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Old 09-30-2010   #53
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I just looked at the website you linked, lumiere shop. It seems that 90m of bulk film are sold for 22€… is this for real?
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Old 09-30-2010   #54
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It is. When you order 5 or more rolls it´s even cheaper.
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Old 10-01-2010   #55
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This is great news. I'm going to Australia for some time in a few months, and this might be just the right film for summer.
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Old 10-01-2010   #56
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Astonishing, interesting and surprising shots you took. Where do you see the advantages of your stand developing method? I think I wouldn't have the patience to wait so long.
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Old 10-01-2010   #57
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Requin, thank you!
I am a very messy lab worker. The stand developing has (for me) the following advantages:
•spare time
•no need to tilt the tank in regular intervals
•no chance to agitate the film too often, too few, too hard, too quick, ...
•high dilution, lower cost
•one developing method for all films I use
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Old 10-13-2010   #58
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Hi Petronius,

somewhere in your posts I read you tried using polypan with 50 - 800 ISO. What were the developing times according to this different ISO/ASA? What about the quality, if you're not using 50 ISO? Want to tell you I'm checking your blog often - the pix are really stunning, you must spend a lot of time taking so much pictures every day. Hats off! Thanks in advance.
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Old 10-13-2010   #59
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The experiments with higher ISO were not done by stand developing. The normal process for this was Rodinal 1+50, agitated three times every minute, developing time up to 35 minutes. I must confess that I gave up the experiments. The quality was not great at all. I simply expose by guess and trust in the latitude of the Polypan.
I don´t spend much time in shooting, mostly it´s done on and from my way to work or on a walk with my son on a Sunday afternoon. The dates in my blog show the day when the roll was finished/developed, the shots are normally taken over a longer period. Thanks for your interest in my project!
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Old 10-13-2010   #60
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petronius,

i got possession of a SE and I am having a hard time with scale focus, as compared to the XA. Do you have any pointers on estimating distances ?
eg. Do you use "number of foot steps" to estimate distance ?
or shoot only at 5.6f + fast film ?

thanks
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Old 10-13-2010   #61
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I measured the distance from my nose to my fingertips with extended arm that is a little less than 0.9m. So I can use the arm for near distances. Minor differences from this distance can be estimated, which needs some experience at f3.5. For other distances between 2 and 4m I usually visualize a two-meter folding rule. Being a stonemason I have some experience in estimating distances and sizes.
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Old 10-16-2010   #62
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An idea I have used when shooting a scale-focus camera (not anywhere near as effectively as Petronius I hasten to add) is to simply measure the distance of some things in the longest room in your home. That is likely to be several metres (I hope) and you can then compare distances to five metres with decent accuracy. Further than that things become less critical, for normal lenses.
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Old 10-16-2010   #63
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I use the " + 5.6 and fast film" method. Rollei 35 is a good camera to use 1/30s or even 1/15s shutter speeds. With 400 speed film and 1/30s you can use f/5.6 inside in window light.
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Old 10-16-2010   #64
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Carlos, I have the camera in my hand wherever I walk, even on the way over the parking lot to the supermarket. Be prepared!
Martin, measuring rooms/spaces you know well and transfer the distances to new situations is exactly the same as I do. It doesn´t work always!
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Old 10-16-2010   #65
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I have really enjoyed and been inspired by the photos on your Rollei blog. I'm following it regularly. Great stuff!
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Old 10-16-2010   #66
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Thanks to you and all the other RFFers, who constantly encourage me to go on with the sometimes not so easy work. There are days I want a SLR with a 1,4/50 so badly!
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Old 11-01-2010   #67
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Yesterday I visited a camera fair and bought a Watameter rangefinder for the accessory shoe of my Rollei. Looks cool down there! I´m planning to use it as a control tool for my estimating skills and for wide open shots in the coming dark season.

To stay with one camera for a year becomes really painful when you stumble over gear you were searching for years.
Since I started the Rollei project, I found some of my dream cameras for next to nothing and now they are standing here, looking at me, whispering "Take me ...":
An Agfa Optima 1535 for 5,-Euro, a Nikon AF600 for 10,- Euro, a clean Retina Ia with a Xenar 3,5 for 20,- Euro and yesterday a Pentax Spotmatic SPII with a 1,4/50 mm at a flea market.
I asked the guy for the price and he said "5,- Euro, because the front ring of the lens with the data engraving is missing." I decided not to haggle and paid the five Euro;-)
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Old 11-01-2010   #68
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I have been following the project too - I'm amazed at your discipline in posting so regularly. It also reminded me how much I miss my Rollei 35S - I really must replace that soon.

Keep up the good work
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Old 11-01-2010   #69
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I'm a real admirer of your work - I'm looking at your pix almost each day - gives me a lot of inspiration and I'm trying to have my camera always with me. Great work!
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Old 11-01-2010   #70
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John, Requin, thank you very much for such kind words!
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Old 11-10-2010   #71
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NICE pictures on that blog!.

I got given a Rollei 35 SE a couple of months ago, and hadn't known quite what to do with it, or what to expect of it.

That Has Now Changed.
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Old 11-10-2010   #72
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Really nice results. You are going back a few decades to when most only had 1 camera and tende to shoot 1 film. Life was much easier. Sunny 16 rule ruled though some lucky ones could afford a Weston Master or GE PR series meter. Understanding of DoF and Zone focusing was 2nd nature.

I think the 40mm lens is the near perfect length for 35mm and most of my 35mm cameras have that length mounted on it, even my Bronica ETRS when I use the 35mm back.
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Old 11-10-2010   #73
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I'll be enjoying the RSS feeds on this one, for sure. Just saw the post today.

Since the 220 will be sitting lonely all year, why don't you send it over to me and I'll keep it company.
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Old 11-10-2010   #74
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I'm glad I found this thread. Petronius your work is very inspiring. Looking foward to following the rest of your year with the Rollei.
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Old 11-16-2010   #75
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On November, the 14th I´ve been shooting with the Rollei 35/Polypan for three months.
For those who are interested in numbers (including me;-):

93 rolls shot and developed, 3348 pictures (100%)
I count my bulk loaded rolls with an average number of 36 frames; some had more, some less. Remember, 90m of Polypan can´t be put into a bulk loader, so I have to guess the number of frames when rolling the film onto the spool.
1372 frames scanned (40,97%)
401 pictures uploaded to my blog (11,98%)
74 pictures in my Best-of-folder (2,2%)
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Old 11-16-2010   #76
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Petronius,

You have ruined me - I have a Rollei in the mail from Germany and can't wait.

It must be 5 years since I had my last 35s and I won't be parting with this one
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Old 11-17-2010   #77
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Good choice John - have fun, the Rollei has all a photographer needs;-)
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Old 11-17-2010   #78
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What a challenge!
You must be good at organizing stuff, while messing with that much rolls and files
I really like the photo with the white pigeon and black road, it's like a traditional printing technique.
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Old 11-17-2010   #79
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BTW - I think photo 2 of roll #93 is outstanding - it sort of fans out on my monitor when I scroll - groovy
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Old 11-17-2010   #80
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Naumoski View Post
What a challenge!
You must be good at organizing stuff, while messing with that much rolls and files
I really like the photo with the white pigeon and black road, it's like a traditional printing technique.
Thank you Naumoski and John;
organizing on my Mac is easy. I use the organizing tools of Graphicconverter, a application I highly recommend!
The real challenge is to develop and scan asap! Thanks to my family I have the time to do this!

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