always support your bros

As always, if you have questions, objections, worries or praise, and especially if you found your picture and want it removed, feel free to contact me. I will get back to you as soon as possible. You can also read my full disclaimer, if you are interested.

 

These pictures were on the first roll shot with my new Olympus XA in Berlin. The XA really is a great little camera and I was hugely lucky to get a really great deal at a local second hand camera store here in Berlin. After having been burned several times buying second hand cameras on ebay, I think I will stick to actual shops from now on.

All apart from the last two taken with: Olympus XA, Olympus F.Zuiko 35mm f/2.8.
Kentmere 400 stand developed in Rodinal 1:100, 65min.

© Lilly Schwartz 2014

© Lilly Schwartz 2014

It took me a while to figure out what the t-shirt says: always support your bros.

© Lilly Schwartz 2014

© Lilly Schwartz 2014

Rangefinder test. It’s spot on as far as I can tell. It was way too hot for this poor dog.

© Lilly Schwartz 2014

© Lilly Schwartz 2014

A café at Hackescher Markt

© Lilly Schwartz 2014

© Lilly Schwartz 2014

I wish I had noticed the sign earlier … it said “If you develop feelings stroke here”.

© Lilly Schwartz 2014

© Lilly Schwartz 2014

Hackesche Höfe.

© Lilly Schwartz 2014

© Lilly Schwartz 2014

I love the motion of the ball! Usually I shoot in shutter priority mode and don’t get this kind of motion blur.

© Lilly Schwartz 2014

© Lilly Schwartz 2014

Zone focussed at f/5.6.

© Lilly Schwartz 2014

© Lilly Schwartz 2014

© Lilly Schwartz 2014

© Lilly Schwartz 2014

A girl with a taste for unknown pleasures. I love her shades as well.

© Lilly Schwartz 2014

© Lilly Schwartz 2014

The dog seemed to be suffering a lot in the heat as well and kept pulling the guy to get a move on.

© Lilly Schwartz 2014

© Lilly Schwartz 2014

30°C in a black burka must be a nightmare.

© Lilly Schwartz 2014

© Lilly Schwartz 2014

Cowboy furniture delivery?

 

The last two taken with: Olympus Pen E-PL3 and Panasonic Lumix 20mm f/1.7 ASPH.

© Lilly Schwartz 2014

Olympus XA | © Lilly Schwartz 2014

This is the little Olympus XA that I used to shoot these pictures. Surprisingly it’s actually a bit smaller, lighter and even quieter than my digital Olympus Pen E-PL3. It’s smaller and lighter because the lens is integrated and small, and the leaf shutter makes it produce even less sound than the already very quiet Pen. It is actually so unobtrusive that hardly anyone seemed to notice that I was taking pictures. Apart from the unobtrusiveness it also has some other great features: It has a rangefinder operated with the tab at the bottom, backlight compensation via a lever at the bottom of the camera, as well as a battery check function and a self-timer. In the picture of the camera you can’t see the very useful focussing scale that is visible from the top. It’s rather small only showing 0.85, 1, 1.5, 3m and infinity, but zone focussing for the 3m point specifically marked red gives good results down to f/5.6. Other than that the camera is automatic in aperture priority mode from ISO 25 to 800, which really frees the mind to give the wildlife your full attention.

When I tested my XA I was hoping for the best. It was such a delight to shoot that I just couldn’t stop after the first roll and just loaded another one. I was actually being hugely optimistic and even loaded some rather expensive Acros 100. I’m glad to say that I have no regrets, since the XA is in perfect shape. The only problem is that occasionally the shutter won’t release for no apparent reason, but it happens so rarely that it isn’t a real problem at all. Usually closing the the sliding door and opening it again solves the problem. I noticed a bit of flare at f/5.6 with the square aperture clearly visible, but stopped down to f/8 I had no problems whatsoever. In any case, it is a really great lens, which gives decent enough sharpness even wide open and between f/8 and f/16 it is in fact amazingly sharp.

© Lilly Schwartz 2014

© Lilly Schwartz 2014

Yesterday I also felt inspired and decided to make some contact sheets of a couple of rolls after not having made any for a whole year. I have no darkroom, so I was improvising at home in the bathroom. One was from the second roll of 35mm taken with the Olympus XA the other some 120 with the Isolette II. I didn’t have any paper developer, so first I tried some Caffenol. I got really uneven development though, so I chucked that and tried some Rodinal 1:20 instead. It actually worked really well! I’m already a huge fan of Rodinal, because I love stand development, but to be able to use it as a paper developer makes me like it even more. I don’t have an enlarger, so the exposure was a bit hit and miss with the overhead light in the bathroom, the difference being a second between under- and overexposed. I bungled the Isolette sheet a little bit by picking the wrong couple of frames for a test strip and thereby getting a couple of unusable frames, silly! The second one turned out perfectly though.

So bathroom contact sheets are doable, although it felt really quite lo-fi. Guessing game with the exposure, squatting on the floor while moving the print around in the trays, annoying angle of the safelight, etc. And why oh why does my alarm clock have to have a red hand for the seconds, why?!

Ok, it was lo-fi, but also lots of fun, so I’ll definitely do that again!

Comments

  • Die hab ich mir auch geholt neulich. Super Kamera, super wie klein die ist 🙂

    • Lilly Schwartz

      Total, die ist kleiner als meine E-PL3! Und die Qualität des Objektivs ist spitzenklasse! Bin richtig verliebt. 🙂

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