Recently there was a film photowalk on a rather wintery day in Toronto. I was out with my nearly sixty year old Zenit 3M SLR with my 44 Helios lens. The viewfinder quickly got wet/ obscured in the snow, and it was very hard to focus. Not much was sharp that day!
Most portraits are vertically oriented (hence the term “portrait orientation”). But it is fun to mix things up now and then. Here is another image of my photographer friend Suzanne. To show as much of the Helios 44/2 lens’s optical character (namely the swirl with the lens wide open) I felt the portrait needed to be horizontal.
Zenit 3M 35mm SLR with Helios 44/2 58mm/2 lens
Ilford FP4+ developed in Xtol 1+1 for 9 minutes @ 20 C
Diffusion and toning added in post
Today, more images of Naima, created with one of the film cameras I used at the shoot: an early 60’s ere Zenit 3M, with the Helios 44/2 58mm f2 lens that is becoming my new best friend as far as portraiture is concerned. As for Naima, she has a look in these images that to me has an Old World sensibility that I like. Both images were shot on Tri-X, developed in Diafine. Lighting was done with a late 50’s movie light, through a lighting umbrella
I love photo gear that imparts character to images, and this is one area where vintage film gear beats digital. This image was taken with an old Soviet-era Zenit 3M SLR, and a 58mm f2 Helios 44/2 lens. A Russian copy of the Zeiss Biotar lens, when stopped down to a small aperture it is quite sharp, but when used wide open (as it was in this image of my friend and fellow film fanatic Ori) you can get an amazing “Swirl” in the out of focus areas, especially away from the centre of the frame.
Zenit 3M SLR, Helios 44/2 58mm/f2 lens
Tri-X developed in Pyrocat HD 1+1+100,16 minutes