A THOUSAND WORDS - Alex Waterhouse-Hayward's blog on pictures, plants, politics and whatever else is on his mind.




 

I Am A Limp Wrist
Friday, April 10, 2015



Linda Lorenzo - Ilford 3200 Mamiya RB-67 Pro-SD 140mm lens

After all these years, 72 in fact, I must admit that I am a limp wrist.

Before the advent of digital cameras 35mm cameras were the kings of the fly on the wall, shoot from the hip machines. Anything bigger had to be in a studio and firmly attached to a tripod.

Because tools, and cameras are tools, inherently suggest to you what you might achieve when using them, the small cameras were from the era when “film was cheap”. You took many exposures.

When shooting with anything bigger such as 120 film medium format cameras or the bigger 4x5 inch view cameras, film was not so cheap and a pain to process, particularly  when it was my own darkroom.  Early in my photographic career I swore that I would never want to see the world up-side down. I never owned a 4x5 and only used one once.

My choice was my extremely heavy Mamiya RB-67 which used 120 film (10 exposures) and 220 (20 exposures). The latter has been discontinued by all film manufacturers.

The heavy Mamiya was difficult to use without a tripod. It was heavy and cumbersome and most film for it was not fast enough to handle camera shake.

This changed when both Kodak and Ilford came out with a 3200 ISO 120 film. Ilford still makes it 3200 film.

So for a while I was excited at the prospect of shooting almost from the hip with my Mamiya (not on a tripod) with the super fast 3200 film. The pictures included here were my early attempts with the then new film. I was amazed at how good it was and it could handle enlargement up to about 11x14 inches. I processed the film with Kodak HC-110. I believe now that Kodak T-Max Developer would produce a finer grain.



At age 72 I am now. thanks to my psoriatic arthritis,  a limp wrist and that camera would still have to be on a tripod.



     

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