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CineStill is currently winding down the gears on their Kickstarter, but that has not stopped them from launching a new product, the 50Daylight Fine Grain film. This makes the third film to come from CineStill. They also have a tungsten and black & white cinema films in their portfolio. CineStill started a few years ago when two brothers started removing the remjet from cinema film stock, cutting and spooling into 35mm canisters for other photographers to shoot. The remjet is a special coating on the back of cinema films that can allow it to pass through cameras at high speed without the friction damaging the film.

Similar to their current offering, this film is made from motion picture film with the remjet removed. This means that it can be safely processed in C-41 instead of the traditional ECN-2. This new offering is daylight balanced and can be shot at ISO 50. The film is made from Kodak 50D an incredibly durable film with real world flexibility and incredibly archival abilities.

Cinema films have been incredibly popular lately with film photographers, both with offerings from both CineStill and Lomography introducing cinema product lines

According to CineStill, this film features an accurate color rendition and boasts a high resolution. The film will come in Non-DX coded 35 mm canisters, with 36 frames to a roll. The film is said to be great for portraits and landscape shots.

CineStills website states that it is currently out of inventory, production is scheduled to begin in November with a ship date of November 14th.

Features

  • Color Balanced Daylight (5500K) color negative motion picture film stock for use as still photography film
  • ISO 50/18° in C-41 or ECN-2 Process
  • Factory spooled in 36 exposures high quality 135 Non Dx-Coded Cartridges
  • Remjet backing free, resulting in a unique halation effect
  • Unrivaled highlight latitude
  • Dynamic accurate color rendition
  • High resolution with maximum sharpness
  • Enhanced Scanning Performance
  • Great for portraits and landscapes
  • Recommended to process C-41 or you can process in ECN-2 chemistry by hand without worrying about rem-jet

What do you think of the new film? Will you be buying it?

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Obligatory “It’s not a cooler” comment, we’re getting that out of the way fast. One other thing to mention, I love bags. Backpacks, shoulder bags, messenger bags, and most importantly: camera bags. I can say with the clearest certainty that if I were of the opposite gender I would have closet upon closet of purses. Because I love bags I tend to have quite a few, to give a quick idea of the backpacks no more than 10 feet away from me they are

  • Hiking/light camping backpack (also by Poler)
  • Backpacking backpack
  • Generic backpack
  • Camera backpack
  • Cycling backpack

Yet interestingly enough, despite my affinity for bags I don’t have many camera bags. Sure I’ll lust over the occasional leather ONA at the local camera store but I really only have one bag. My old Billingham 225 series. I purchased it from an estate sale, as a matter of fact the first estate sale I went to was fortuitous. The gentleman who had passed was a photographer and there were hundreds of cameras on sale with deals abound. I saw the bag and liked it so I offered a scant $20 which was quickly accepted. It wasn’t until later on that I found out the deal I got.

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I love my Billingham. It’s durable, stylish and after the years of use by its prior owner combined with my use has the perfect amount of wear and story built into every compartment. But there was one problem, it’s large. And because it is so big it lead to other problems, overpacking.

Often times I would find myself heading out for an adventure or photoshoot only intending to bring 1 camera, an extra lens and a few rolls of film. But upon packing up I would see all this extra space just begging to be used. Suddenly  1 camera becomes 3 and a few packs of film becomes 20. So I set out to find something smaller to use on occasion to tame my wild packing. Enter the Poler Stuff Camera Cooler.

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Poler is a Portland Based company that has been around for quite some time. But in recent years have skyrocketed to popularity with over 220,000 followers on Instagram alone. And let’s be real here, they make cool stuff and have cool down to a science. While it wasn’t until recently that they started to offer a dedicated camera bag, they have made the camera cooler for a while and it was just what I was looking for.

At $65 new it is on the lower end of the camera bag spectrum. In looking at comparable Billingham models I would be paying 3x as much, alternatively I could have gotten a standard Tamrac bag and saved only $20. For the price I was happy to get something a bit cooler (puns) and useful.

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It is an over the shoulder bag which has the option for a modified strap. This additional strap goes under your arm to prevent the bag from swinging around your torso. Great for cycling, horrible for camera usage. So many times I want to swing it around to reach in and grab a new roll of film or lens. With the factory strap this simply isn’t possible. I swapped it out within a matter of minutes from getting the bag to an old camera strap I had lying in my closet. Not only does it look cooler and work better, but it also has elastic straps designed to hold film canisters. Clear out my bag and work better? Sign me up.

Inside you will find a fairly standard sized compartment for holding goodies. The insert is evenly divided into thirds but can be swapped around as you wish to accommodate your setup. I actually found myself ditching the insert all together after a few weeks of use.

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The outside is kept simple and straight forward, one buttoned pocket on the front for an iPhone sized accessory, and a larger open pocket on the back for an iPad. As neither of these exterior pockets have any depth to them you may find yourself throwing some lens cleaner in one and a notebook in the other while the rest of your equipment goes inside. While these pockets could have been modified for more room it would have taken away from the overall shape of the bag and deteriorating from the slender profile.

Design wise it is distinctly Poler. Thick canvas makes up most of the exterior with seatbelt style straps attached to leather create a carrying handle. Opening and closing is done by two very beefy zippers with leather pulls. It’s retro without slapping you in the face with nostalgia and rugged without asking you to start riding a Harley.

At this point you may be asking yourself, “Ok Nate, it’s been 800 words. Why is it the Camera Cooler?” and the answer is rather straightforward. Poler says it best:

When you feel like partying, take the padded insert out and it’s a perfect soft sided cooler sized to hold a six pack or your lunch along with some blue icy packs you can get at any grocery store.

You read that right. Inside the camera bag is a lining designed to help keep drinks and food cold. The immediate thing that comes to mind is “how is that practical?”. Simply put, for most people it’s not.

But for others, it can be greatly useful. I go camping a lot, as I did in the photo below

And when I go camping I typically pack everything up (cameras into their bag, beer in the big cooler) and head on down the road. Once I am there however the cameras rarely get put away yet I still need a way to get my beer down the road to the fishing spot. Enter the Camera Cooler. Now I will be the first to admit that is a rare scenario in which most people would find themselves wondering if they will ever use the cooler function.

Up until this point I’ll admit I have been fairly in favor of this bag. And there’s a reason for that, the above text was written approximately 4 months ago and is basically a summary of my first impressions. Unfortunately that’s where things started to go south.

Poler describes themselves as the makers of the highest quality of stuff, and the quality of their product seems to end as quickly as that statement.

That isn’t to say it is a poorly built bag, because it’s not. It has held up reasonably well and taken the abuse I had thrown its way. But it’s the little things, like how the leather on the carry handles is coming un-stitched. And how the zippers don’t always work quite right.  And this standard (or lack there of) of quality isn’t just exclusive to this one product as I own multiple items from Poler. Their backpacks experience the same issues with fraying of the seams and more zipper issues. In fact when I was purchasing this bag I overheard another customer returning a backpack they had purchased because it was starting to detiorate.

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These are things I expect from Chinese bags purchased on eBay, but for $65 and a company that prides itself on quality is it crazy to ask for a little bit more?

In short I enjoy the bag, despite the issues I have outline above it does still get regular use from its intended purpose – a small go-anywhere bag that I don’t have to worry about what I pack and I can just get on with shooting. But at the end of the day, if  I constantly have to worry about something breaking no matter how much it costs, is it worth it?

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The LC-A 120 ($429) is the newest offering from Lomography and is a medium format version of their classic LC-A, a camera that the company was built on.  Using the same programatic auto exposure that the original has, the 38mm (21mm equivalent) lens f4.5 lens produces 12 6×6 shots per a roll of film.

I am a fan of the original LC-A, and have often kept one in my bag for when I am on outings because it is perfectly compact, and is a quick camera to grab while out. I was eager to get my hands on the LC-A 120 to see how it stacks up against the original

 

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To the right of the lens is a small switch that allows you to adjust the ISO to correspond to the film you have loaded into the camera at the time. The light-meter is viewable through the viewfinder via 2 small red LED lights. As long as both lights illuminate, there is adequate light for an exposure and the batteries are fully charged and reading correctly. I have always hated this light-meter/battery because one of the lights actually represents the current energy level of the batteries. If it is low, one of the LED lights will not turn on.

Unfortunately, the LC-A 120 uses three 1.5V button batteries, designated as LR44 or A76 which can be a pain to find as they are not sold in every shop.

The camera is priced quite high currently, however it does not contain the flaws of other Lomography products. It is extremely portable for a medium format camera, able to be dropped into any day bag the photographer might want to choose and weighs about the same as the original LC-A. The new LC-A 120 feels less rigid than its predecessor, the original feels more like a solid brick. That is not to say that it feels flimsy, but that it was essentially the same parts, just it a larger case, making the middle feel more flexible.

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It uses a scale focusing system, which can be a bit of a chore and slow you down when you are trying to grab a quick snapshot, and it forces you to look at the front of the camera to make certain you are on the right measurement. Equally frustrating is loading film into the camera because you have to turn a tiny spring till it is diagonal to you and then force the roll of film in, however since the camera I had was only a prototype, I am not certain if this is something that has been fixed on the final version.

As an additional bonus, the LC-A 120 does not make use of the red window most medium format point and shoots come with and instead uses an actual frame counter. Unfortunately, the frame counter maxes out at 12, which means you can not load it with 220 film. That may have been intentional because fewer brands are making 220 anymore, but it would be nice to have for the few that still do.

Unfortunately, like the original LC-A slow shutter and nighttime photography is a bit of a pain. The afore mentioned light meter will turn on and tell you that there is enough light to accurately capture the scene, but not when the exposure is done. This can often times leave you standing in the dark with your finger on the shutter release cable wondering when the exposure is complete. For the one usable nighttime exposure in the gallery below, I metered beforehand and then counted down to get close to what my external meter was telling me the cameras was going to capture.

All images in the below gallery are straight scans from the negatives. No modifications beyond cropping have been done to them. Some stated the belief that companies heavily modify images taken by their products, so as a matter of honesty, none of these have been altered in any way.

Lomography really has done a good job on engineering this camera to be similar in quality to that of the original, however I feel that the price may be a deterrent for some. The original LC-A is a very capable camera and one of my favorites in the Lomography line-up.

The camera is incredibly worthwhile and is really capable. If you really enjoy shooting medium format and want a quick and dirty point and shoot, this is the perfect camera to add to your arsenal. Knowing Lomography’s product cycle, I fully expect this camera to have a slew of accessories being introduced in the next few months, including an instant back and hopefully an underwater case similar to what is produced for the 35mm LC-A.

Pdexposures is back with a whole new argument amongst the team: what lens do you bolt on the front of your (insert camera system that we can’t agree on here)? Zoom or prime? Super wide or nifty fifty? Do you bother with telephoto lenses or not? Are modern super-sharp multi-coated lenses really that much better than pre-war uncoated glass? And how do you define “better”?

Buried somewhere inside this hate-filled-argument-posing-as-discussion are perhaps a few salient points that can help you decide which lenses to pick up for your favourite system, along with a bit of advice on hidden gems for the Leica shooters out there.

What, you thought we’d discuss lenses without dropping our favourite L word? We might even drop the other one, too… If you’re lucky.

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According to one source the answer is a very straightforward yes. According to the appropriately named Reddit user LeicaM6Guy, Lomography is currently in the testing phases of a new lens for M39/M-Mount cameras. While not too much information was provided he was able to provide some information.

It is a reworked version of an older lens.

Based on our experience with the Lomography Russar+ this means a new construction, new multicoating, but with the same optical formula as the original lens. The lens is also reported to have been built on the Russian M39 standard. For those unaware even though the USSR did make lenses in Leica screw mount, they were slightly different in how they focused. This means if you have a wide lens like the 50mm 1.5 Jupiter 3 it is very easy to miss focus.

Unfortunately not much more information was given. LeicaM6Guy did though give a quick rundown of some of the pros and cons:

  • Very well built
  • Will work better on a digital camera than the M3 that was being used
  • Great for low light
  • Neat bokeh under the right conditions
  • Sharpness is probably on par with the Leica 50mm 1.5

What does all this mean? Well I reached out to Tony for a quick discussion and to bounce some ideas back and forth. Our guess? There will be a new version of the Jupiter 3 coming soon.

The best part of it all? If you want to see a photo from this sample, click here!

 

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This Saturday, October 18, is World Toy Camera Day! Let the lovers of the plastic lens rejoice!

Load up your Holgas, Dianas, Brownies and more, grab your friends, work your best hipshot, get out there and shoot.
Be sure to share your shots on twitter and instagram with #WTCD2014.
You can also join the facebook and flickr groups and share your images.
Optionally, if you have something a bit funky, why not pull it out of the closet and take it for a stroll.
What will you be shooting with this weekend?

Episode 7 of the Pinhole Podcast is all about books. Pinhole books to be exact. Join us as we spend some time discussing five of our favorites. Along the way we share our tips on how to find price deals, what makes a good photography book, and various other lensless photography goodness. If you have a particular pinhole book you love, we’d love it if you shared it with us.

The books discussed during this episode are:
Shelly – I Am Not This Body by Barbara Ess
Alex – Out of Focus by Peter Olpe
Herschel – Pinhole Photography: From Historical Technique to Digital Application by Eric Renner
Jana – LenZless – by Plates-to-Pixels
Jeff – Obscura – 121 Views by Obscura Book

Pinhole Podcast Contest Details:
Send your best pinhole image to jana@pdexposures.com with subject line ‘Pinhole Podcast Contest Entry’ with your name and website link for a chance to win a ONDU 6×6 pinhole camera, film and other goodies. Entries are due by Sunday, November 30 and the winner will be announced in our December episode. One entry per person. We want to see what you’ve created so show us what you’ve got!

You can send your comments and questions via Facebook or Twitter (@PinholePodcast).

Music/Sound Information:
“Infestacao Pt. 1” by AlienAqtor, Disorder of Rage (DxOxRx), Flanicx, and Rod Brandao is licensed under a Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives (aka Music Sharing) 3.0 International License.

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Using cinema films for still photography seem to be all the rage, and Lomography is at it again offering a new Cine400 Tungsten film which promises to be a nice addition to their already extensive film selection. The Cine400 is sensitized to work better in artificial lighting and still delivers those nice blue tones outside. Grain appears to be fine/medium and based on the sample photos it looks like it may wash out a bit in bright sun, however skin tones seem quite nice. Currently available in 35mm format – no word yet if they’ll be releasing a 120 or 110 version. Like the Cine200 released earlier this year (which sold out incredibly fast!) the Cine400 is processed C-41 and available in a limited run of 4,000 rolls.
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The early price for Cine400 is $10.99.
We’re excited to try out all the cinema films hitting production – have you tried the Cine200, and if so will you try the Cine400? Share your thoughts on this and other cinema films in the comments below.

It’s been a long, long while since we properly covered the instant film industry on Pdexposures. So long ago, in fact, that finding the page for that link was actually slightly difficult. Which link you say? This link. Here. Which goes back all the way to episode 11.

A lot has changed in the instant world in that time – new cameras, new film stocks, new things to love and new things to get angry about. Needless to say, we’re here to explore both sides of that fence – good and bad – so buckle in and enjoy the ride.

The music is from our old friends Bastions – it’s a track called Onset from their Hospital Corners LP. Yes, LP. Go and buy it at your local record store. If there isn’t one in your town, get off your ass and start one sharpish. Thank us later for that brilliant business advice.

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In the most recent episode of the Pdexposures Podcast we talked with Dave about a lot of things including film production, timelines and more. What we didn’t go over on-air was the fact that they would be doing this all via a Kickstarter project. That day has come and at the time of writing they have raised over $35,000 in less than 3 hours.

The “100 More Years of Analog Film” Kickstarter Project by Film Ferrania speaks to exactly what they are trying to accomplish – provide a sustainable resource for film photography far into the future. And the plan to do this is simple, by producing film in smaller batches costs can be kept down and they don’t run the risk of over-producing.

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As with all Kickstarter projects this does come at a cost. Ferrania needs to raise $250,000 in 28 days in order to purchase the machines required to produce the film in these smaller batches. If they are unable to do so the Italian Government cannot promise they won’t be destroyed (if this sounds like the plot to a cheesy thriller you’re right, but that doesn’t make it any less true).

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To start with Ferrania will be making four types of film including: 35mm, 120, Super 8 and 16mm. Though they are clear to state that these are in no way the only formats they will ever produce. Ferrania has the ability to produce 4×5, 8×10, 126, 127 and other formats if the desire is there. So even if you’re exclusively a large format shooter it would be best to back their campaign so they’ll be able to produce other formats moving forward.

Finally, as a disclaimer we would like to mention that the prices are sure to seem expensive for Chrome film. Ferrania has stated in no uncertain words that this will not be the final pricing. The initial run will be more expensive as machines are purchased and brought online but in time the cost will come down.

To show your support you can back their Kickstarter project here. Also be sure to listen to our interview with Dave Bias of Ferrania here!