From a recent walk through the University of Toronto campus
Rolleiflex 3.5E3 (Xenotar lens)
Ilford HP5+ film, developed in TMax Developer 1+4
Today’s image was created on Kodak Portra 400 colour negative film using my Rolleicord IIIa camera, which is a Twin Lens Reflex camera. Normally the term twin lens reflex refers to the fact that the camera has two lens — a viewing lens, and a “taking” lens directly below the viewing lens. With this camera though, twin lens for me could refer to the large difference in image sharpness when shot with the taking lens wide open (at f3.5) compared to stopped down to a smaller aperture, say f8 or f11. Stopped down, the lens (a Schneider Kreuznach Xenar) is reasonably sharp. Wide open though, I get a softness that I just love. It is great for portraits, such as this one of Emily.
The payphone is an example of a technology that is becoming less and less relevant, as personal cell phones become ubiquitous, and so I believe a picture of a dilapidated payphone was a perfect subject for the camera used to take the picture. I shot this with a Yashica 44LM 127 format twin lens reflex camera. 127 format film (with negatives typically 4 cm x 4 cm) is effectively obsolete and thus rather uncommon these days, and quite expensive, so what I do is roll it from a 100 foot roll of 46mm wide film I bought on eBay. I am still working on scanning; getting this film to lie flat is a real trick. Nevertheless, it is a fun little camera, and I plan to shoot it as long as I can!
Looking down to focus, on a ground glass with a laterally reversed image will take some getting used to, but that’s what I like; different types of cameras inform the photographic process in a different way.
The lens has interesting characteristics; quite sharp (at least in the centre), but in some of the images the out-of-focus backgrounds have a very vintage look. Quite distinctive, and another step away from the sameness I find that one can get using DSLR’s.