Author Topic: Lomography /Low-tech 35mm  (Read 2925 times)

MikeFromLFE

  • Previously known as Millimole
Lomography /Low-tech 35mm
« on: June 29, 2017, 07:56:38 am »
Disclaimer: I know sweet fairy-anne about photography.

Wandering round the internet yesterday I came across the concept of Lomography - itself being a trade mark of the self-named company.
This seems to be an interesting take on arty photography at a fairly low entry price - the gallery at Lomography.com includes lots of very pretty pictures taken using charity shop/eBay 35mm cameras and standard film.
But on the other hand, why shouldn't I just snap away using my simple smart-phone stick the best through a filter app to make them look 'retro' and send them off to be printed.

Is Lomography a door into art-photography for the rest of us, or the equivalent of riding a fixed up a hill in skinny jeans?
Too many angry people - breathe & relax.

Re: Lomography /Low-tech 35mm
« Reply #1 on: June 29, 2017, 08:26:05 am »
Lomography is more the fluorescent single speed of photography. The Holga started the trend. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holga

Re: Lomography /Low-tech 35mm
« Reply #2 on: June 29, 2017, 05:51:43 pm »
Lomography isn't art, but you might use Lomography to make art. That to say that no one technique, device or approach  makes your work art, but neither will any of them stop you making art. That's about intent and purpose I think.

I suspect it might be fun though

LEE

  • "Shut Up Jens" - Legs.
Re: Lomography /Low-tech 35mm
« Reply #3 on: February 27, 2018, 09:12:14 pm »
There are so many glorious vintage 35mm cameras, available for peanuts, that Lomo would be way down my list.

I have a few old 35mm cameras, purely for decoration and fiddling, but they work and, in the case of this Balda Matic range-finder, work so amazingly well that you wonder just how the bloody hell they included so many wonderful features in a mechanical box.

- Light meter linked to aperture and film speed
- Apertures linked to shutter-speeds
- Depth of field indicators
- Rangefinder
- Shots remaining indicator
- Shutter speeds 1/500 to 1 sec

It's a bloody marvel to be honest.....oh yes...and beautiful.

]

55 year old mechanical miracle taken with a 1 year old miracle (Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge)
Some people say I'm self-obsessed but that's enough about them.

nicknack

  • Fledgling Swampy
Re: Lomography /Low-tech 35mm
« Reply #4 on: February 27, 2018, 10:23:39 pm »
That is really nice.  :thumbsup:

But what I really wanted in my yoof was a Voigtlander.
This old man came rolling home.

LEE

  • "Shut Up Jens" - Legs.
Re: Lomography /Low-tech 35mm
« Reply #5 on: March 01, 2018, 10:02:17 am »
That is really nice.  :thumbsup:

But what I really wanted in my yoof was a Voigtlander.

Lots of nice Voigtlanders available on Ebay for not very much. Lovely "man-cave" ornaments.

(my Baldamatic "ornament" was £5 from Ebay... and it even appears to function fully*!!!)

* I wouldn't be surprised if the shutter-speeds were off...but it's irrelevant as I'm unlikely ever to put film in it.
Some people say I'm self-obsessed but that's enough about them.

T42

  • Old fool in a hurry
Re: Lomography /Low-tech 35mm
« Reply #6 on: March 01, 2018, 01:24:19 pm »
That is really nice.  :thumbsup:

But what I really wanted in my yoof was a Voigtlander.

Here you go:



Or did you mean this?

I dare eat all that may become a man.

But hold the oysters.

T42

  • Old fool in a hurry
Re: Lomography /Low-tech 35mm
« Reply #7 on: March 01, 2018, 01:28:56 pm »
Re Lomography, I always thought it was more of a collective joke than an art-form; taking truly awful pictures, claiming it was done on purpose, and turning it into a movement à la Dadaism.
I dare eat all that may become a man.

But hold the oysters.

nicknack

  • Fledgling Swampy
Re: Lomography /Low-tech 35mm
« Reply #8 on: March 01, 2018, 02:43:35 pm »
That is really nice.  :thumbsup:

But what I really wanted in my yoof was a Voigtlander.

Here you go:



Or did you mean this?


Cheers!
The top one. It just looks like my idea of a proper camera (that and the Nikon F I had for years). My second camera (after a Box Brownie) was a Folding Brownie but even then they were a bit old-fashioned.  :)
This old man came rolling home.

LEE

  • "Shut Up Jens" - Legs.
Re: Lomography /Low-tech 35mm
« Reply #9 on: March 01, 2018, 03:46:09 pm »
I have a folding/bellows Kodak similar to the VL above but, after years as an ornament, unfolded, it's covered in dust and the bellows have gone brittle.

Otherwise, all for about a fiver or less...35mm Porn ...and a bit of 127 sadism thrown in for good measure.

]

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The Balda is by far the most technically advanced though*, and reassuringly heavy and solid.

*The lens is mechanically connected to not only the rangefinder but also the film speed dial and light meter display.  There can't be any spare "real estate" inside it.

All three 35mm cameras have 45mm f/2.8 lenses. Now I find myself using a Canon 5D with a 40mm f/2.8.   (My beloved Olympus XA2 was a 35mm f/2.8  )...so it seems i'm reverting to the 1980s (or the 1950s).

Thinking about it, a working XA2 (Ebay £30) would be a fabulous way into 35mm film photography.  Cracking lens, truly a pocket camera with a simplicity that belied its results.
Some people say I'm self-obsessed but that's enough about them.

T42

  • Old fool in a hurry
Re: Lomography /Low-tech 35mm
« Reply #10 on: March 01, 2018, 04:03:39 pm »
Those German cameras from before the rise of the Japanese camera industry were all pretty solid. Here's our Retinette II B:



This was one of the upstarts:



The Inlaw Paw bought this one for under £10 in Aden during a stopover on the way to Uganda around 1960. According to Mme T42, the Inlaw Maw gave him hell for it.

All those early light-meters are kaput now, though. Shame.
I dare eat all that may become a man.

But hold the oysters.

LEE

  • "Shut Up Jens" - Legs.
Re: Lomography /Low-tech 35mm
« Reply #11 on: March 01, 2018, 04:21:27 pm »
Engineering Art.

Should I put a roll of B&W through the Balda I wonder.  I'll see how the light meter compares to my DSLR readout.
Some people say I'm self-obsessed but that's enough about them.

Re: Lomography /Low-tech 35mm
« Reply #12 on: March 01, 2018, 10:54:22 pm »
...why shouldn't I just snap away using my simple smart-phone stick the best through a filter app to make them look 'retro' and send them off to be printed.

Is Lomography a door into art-photography for the rest of us, or the equivalent of riding a fixed up a hill in skinny jeans?

Yes, no, maybe, it doesn't matter. There's always people ready to judge.
Do whatever has meaning/is interesting/fun for you and don't worry.
Art is what artists, including you, say it is.

T42

  • Old fool in a hurry
Re: Lomography /Low-tech 35mm
« Reply #13 on: March 02, 2018, 08:26:45 am »
Art is what artists, including you, say it is.

That was my daughter's excuse for turning out 36 blurry pictures with a perfectly good OM-10.
I dare eat all that may become a man.

But hold the oysters.

LEE

  • "Shut Up Jens" - Legs.
Re: Lomography /Low-tech 35mm
« Reply #14 on: March 02, 2018, 11:49:58 am »
...why shouldn't I just snap away using my simple smart-phone stick the best through a filter app to make them look 'retro' and send them off to be printed.

Is Lomography a door into art-photography for the rest of us, or the equivalent of riding a fixed up a hill in skinny jeans?

Yes, no, maybe, it doesn't matter. There's always people ready to judge.
Do whatever has meaning/is interesting/fun for you and don't worry.
Art is what artists, including you, say it is.

I have to say that my first choice would be to use a LOMO filter on my phone...but then again some people like riding fixed and playing vinyl with record players. 

If the process is an important part of the experience then go for it.
Some people say I'm self-obsessed but that's enough about them.

Re: Lomography /Low-tech 35mm
« Reply #15 on: March 02, 2018, 08:41:11 pm »
Art is what artists, including you, say it is.

That was my daughter's excuse for turning out 36 blurry pictures with a perfectly good OM-10.

Provided she intended them to be blurry that would be fine!

Or sometimes you get the occasional lovely accident, although most of my blurry accidents are with af and for me that’s digital. I still prefer my film and film cameras though, regardless of Lee’s commentary.

hellymedic

  • Just do it!
Re: Lomography /Low-tech 35mm
« Reply #16 on: March 02, 2018, 08:54:24 pm »
I might ask my parents what became of Dad's Voigtlander when they return from Forn Parts.

Re: Lomography /Low-tech 35mm
« Reply #17 on: March 02, 2018, 10:15:15 pm »

Or sometimes you get the occasional lovely accident, although most of my blurry accidents are with af and for me that’s digital. I still prefer my film and film cameras though, regardless of Lee’s commentary.



Recent accident of mine that I liked.
(An old Nikon 50mm f/1.4 at 1.4 on a bright sunny day, when the DSLR couldn't figure out the aperture because I'd selected a different manual lens in the lens menu, so it massively over exposed, so I pulled it way back in Lightroom and got this interesting contrast curve with everything at either end and very steep contrast in the middle.)

LEE

  • "Shut Up Jens" - Legs.
Re: Lomography /Low-tech 35mm
« Reply #18 on: March 02, 2018, 11:51:45 pm »
I still prefer my film and film cameras though, regardless of Lee’s commentary.

Is that because of the process involved, the loading of the film, knowing you have only 36 exposures, the wait until you see the results..etc, or the results themselves?

I admit that the wait, to see the results, is a feeling hard to replace.

From a results point of view though I honestly think 35mm film, printed traditionally, with dodging & burning, is inferior to a modern DSLR+Photoshop, but that 36exp limit helps focus the mind and it teaches you that every composition needs to be special.

The world moves on though, and the most popular photographers are now 15 year olds, taking photos with their phone and posting immediately to millions of followers on social media. 
One day that will seem as "lame" as standing at a wooden tripod, under a piece of black cloth, while your subject remains motionless for the 15 second exposure.

Some people say I'm self-obsessed but that's enough about them.

T42

  • Old fool in a hurry
Re: Lomography /Low-tech 35mm
« Reply #19 on: March 03, 2018, 08:06:21 am »
Come to think of it, I did a bit of Lomography after the fact a few years back, using a combination of filters from a bunch called Flaming Pear:







Anyone recognize the church? Clue: getting there takes a bit of effort.
I dare eat all that may become a man.

But hold the oysters.

LEE

  • "Shut Up Jens" - Legs.
Re: Lomography /Low-tech 35mm
« Reply #20 on: March 03, 2018, 11:52:53 am »
Engineering Art.

Should I put a roll of B&W through the Balda I wonder.  I'll see how the light meter compares to my DSLR readout.

Hmmm.. The light meter is spot on when compared to my Canon 5D.  The shutter appears to work nicely (There are appreciable differences in the various shutter speeds).  Whether or not the actual speeds reflect the numbers on the dial is another matter.

Any advice on film choice and who best to develop/scan ?  I'm 20 years out of touch.  A C41 B&W film may give me plenty of latitude for any shutter-speed inconsistencies. (XP2?..is that still a viable thing?)
Some people say I'm self-obsessed but that's enough about them.

Re: Lomography /Low-tech 35mm
« Reply #21 on: March 03, 2018, 08:33:29 pm »
I still prefer my film and film cameras though, regardless of Lee’s commentary.

Is that because of the process involved, the loading of the film, knowing you have only 36 exposures, the wait until you see the results..etc, or the results themselves?

I admit that the wait, to see the results, is a feeling hard to replace.

From a results point of view though I honestly think 35mm film, printed traditionally, with dodging & burning, is inferior to a modern DSLR+Photoshop, but that 36exp limit helps focus the mind and it teaches you that every composition needs to be special.

The world moves on though, and the most popular photographers are now 15 year olds, taking photos with their phone and posting immediately to millions of followers on social media. 
One day that will seem as "lame" as standing at a wooden tripod, under a piece of black cloth, while your subject remains motionless for the 15 second exposure.


Yes the world moves on, but I (fortunately) have no ambitions to be popular or to sell photographs. That lets me do what I want without being subject to the whims of fashion.

However, I do want to make work that is meaningful to me and, when I look at the pictures I like the most, they are more often made with film. Even that can be a bit misleading though, because another classification would say they are mostly made with manual focus rangefinders (and a 50mm lens). As I don’t currently have a digital rf, this tends me towards film. There are aesthetic elements of film too that I like, and I am not minded to replicate them digitally - that is a choice of course.

In terms of process, my current preference is to shoot 35mm mono film on my old Leica and photograph the negative with my Pentax K1 and 100mm macro lens. Then to print with my inkjet printer (giclee;)). I’m not averse to photoshop, but retain a fascination with the projected image recorded in silver - so process matters as well.

When I can afford an M10 then I may well buy one, but it’s not necessary! What I do like is seeing through an rf window.

Obviously, I also take pictures with the K1 and a couple of compacts - one digital and one scale focus film. I should put up a picture of the latter. It would also make a nice small man cave ornament.

Mike

Re: Lomography /Low-tech 35mm
« Reply #22 on: March 04, 2018, 01:24:56 am »
(XP2?..is that still a viable thing?)

It is, and as good as ever.

MikeFromLFE

  • Previously known as Millimole
Re: Lomography /Low-tech 35mm
« Reply #23 on: March 04, 2018, 08:44:54 pm »
We'll, since posing the original question, I've accumulated around 50 (yes fifty) film cameras!
My top limit has been £15 (including any postage) and I've not yet had one that doesn't work (although there are a few that have 'quirks').
Most are 35mm, but I've also got some 110 cameras (including the Pentax 110 SLR), a 828 Kodak bought by accident, and a small handful of 120 medium format cameras.
There's some dull plastic boxes from the 80s but some great hefty lumps from the 50s & 60s.
I've learned about dodgy photocells (and I've now got an Olympus Trip 35, and FED 50, with working cells - both have just come back from the Arctic Circle); I've also discovered the reasons to avoid cameras needing Mercury batteries (but I also took my Practika MTL5 away).
I've found a great team for processing & scanning my films (Snaps in Bournemouth).
I'm trying to stick to European cameras from now on, and am limiting myself now to cameras sold with cases.
I've learned a great deal with loads more avenues unexplored, and am having a ball!

Sent from my Moto E (4) Plus using Tapatalk

Too many angry people - breathe & relax.

Re: Lomography /Low-tech 35mm
« Reply #24 on: March 04, 2018, 11:07:24 pm »
Really pleased for you! Well done.