Nikon Pronea S presentation

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by Ian Rance, Mar 12, 2009.

  1. As a bit of an APS enthusiast, I thought I would share some of my photos with you that I took in the last week using APS film (Fuji and Agfa). I used the Pronea S for all my photos here and the various lenses I used are listed below. The fact that the Pronea uses the F mount means that I can use my older MF Nikkors without a hitch (apart from lack of metering). The 16:9 framing is actually very nice to use - especially for landscapes, and I hope to run my Pronea for a while yet. I know that many have moved on from the APS fromat, but the Pronea S is the exception I think. It is so compact and easy to use that you can have some fun with film without breaking the bank AND it works with many more of the 'DX' lenses than Nikon would have you believe.
    I hope you enjoy my small presentation - click on each link to see the photos and each photo is around 0.6 Mb in size - so it should just fill your screen.

    Early daffodils - Nexia 400, 20mm f2.8 Ai-s

    Self setting crocus - Agfa Vista 200 - 30-60mm IX-Nikkor

    Catkins against the sunset - Agfa Vista 200 - 30-60mm IX-Nikkor

    Hemel Hempstead town centre at night - Nexia 400, 200mm f4 H.C

    Berkhampstead castle - Nexia 400, 20mm f2.8 Ai-s

    St Albans cathederal - rose window - Nexia 400, 18-35mm AF-D

    Light and shadow - Nexia 400, 18-35mm AF-D

    Archways - Nexia 400, 18-35mm AF-D

    Kindly nun - Nexia 400, 18-35mm AF-D

    Backlit crocus- Agfa Vista 200 - 30-60mm IX-Nikkor
    I hope that you enjoyed my presentation, and also hope that you may be tempted to dabble in the future if you see a clean Pronea S for sale.

    Ian
     
  2. I think you'll get way better image quality with a humble D40 (which can use most of these lenses). But then it's not film, of course.
     
  3. I always like to see older equipment getting some use, and the church interior shots are very nice.
     
  4. Thanks for sharing, some beautiful shots there.
    I also have a soft spot for APS. I appreciate the colour palette and dynamic range, combined with the lovely film texture. If you're using good lenses (which you are) it offers a unique option. There is a place for the unique look of APS in the same way there is a place for high-ISO 35mm, ultrasharp 4x5, or Polaroids.
    I would be more tempted to pick up a bargain Pronea if APS processing weren't so tied up with the decimation of consumer film processing.
     
  5. As a past heavy APS user now having found a way to customize digital to equally and more beautiful outcomes I agree with Bjorn.
     
  6. As a past heavy APS user now having found a way to customize digital to equally and more beautiful outcomes I agree with Bjorn.
     
  7. I think even our Canon Point & Shoot (a little 4MP job) does a better job.
    A place for the "unique look of APS"? I respectfully disagree. There are good and "bad" things about film. APS has, imho, always shown mostly the "bad" things. I predict those who have a soft spot for APS will at some point finally say "enough of this, I want quality".
     
  8. Thank you for your comments.
    Bjorn - whilst I really value your thoughts on all matters photographic I think that while I am getting better with my photography, I am not yet as good as my equipment can be in the hands of an expert and whilst one day I may find my current cameras a limitation I am not anywhere near that stage yet. The possibilites/features of a digital camera would just be wasted on me I think.
    Peter, thank you for your comment.
    David, don't be fobbed of by processing excuses. Take your film back and if you tell them why you are not happy then I find that most staff are happy to put things right and are pleased that a problem has been bought to their attention.
    Howard, did you use the Pronea too?
    Peter, film may have bad points, but then what product does not? I think that it is up to the photographer to make their photos look good, and blaming the equipment is never wise.
    Ian
     
  9. Why someone who own an F6 chooses to shoot with a Pronea instead is beyond me - but if it makes you happy...
    I inherited a Canon APS camera from my uncle - there were even a few rolls of film with it - sold the whole lot as I wasn't even tempted to try...
     
  10. Ian, I think you have a good eye and deserve a better medium.
    I wasn't blaming the equipment, I was blaming the format.
    Case in point as a metaphor, no matter the musician, an old 12-bit digital audio recorder will ALWAYS be more limited than a modern 24-bit one. (I've used both, so I know this.)
    The APS format, by its very nature, has limitations of resolution that your photography is too good to live with.
    That said, the actual size and shape of that old camera is TOTALLY cool! I wish they could make a DSLR like that.
     
  11. I hope that you ... may be tempted to dabble in the future if you see a clean Pronea S for sale.


    In the unlikely case that someone actually wants to take him up on that, let me know; I have a clean Pronea S with two IX lenses and a perfect case collecting dust (all boxes and documentation, too). I haven't bothered to advertise it for sale for lack of value, but if someone actually wants it...
     
  12. Dieter, naturally my F6 gets plenty of use, however I am walking and cycling far more than I used to and I can tuck my Pronea S inside my cycling top without much penalty. It's ease of carrying means that I am more likely to be carrying a camera when I see a nice photo situation arise.
    Thank you Peter, I will bear your comments in mind.
    Mark, why not give it a try? They are too nice to leave unused.
    Ian
     
  13. Does anyone remember when APS was perceived as a threat to 35mm? It was being pushed pretty hard when I first got into photography in 1997. In those early days of photo forums I remember some comments from people using F5 bodies worrying that their $2,000+ camera was going to become obsolete. Little did we know that $5,000 cameras would soon become "obsolete".
    Anyway, it's too bad that the added features of APS could not have merged with 35mm. For print film, rolling the negatives back into the film cassette was a great idea if you could figure out a way to store and organize them all. Fuji did make an ISO 100 APS slide film for a short while; I remember a test of it in Petersen's PHOTOgraphic in 1997 or 1998. Amazon UK still has it on their site, though not available.
    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Fujichrome-100Ix-APS-Slide-Exp/dp/B00006H28Z
     
  14. I use that Fuji slide film Eric. Mounts are available from Gepe and the last run of the film was around 2003. I have some deep frozen and it is very good.
    Ian
     
  15. Peter, I'd never shoot only APS. But sometimes it might be the right format to shoot. Whether you think it's an advantage or disadvantage, APS' size of negative imparts a characteristic on the images. I can imagine cases where I want that. Cases where I want larger film grains and increased texture.
    I shoot 35mm for many of the same reasons. I have given up trying to coax amazingly smooth, grain free shots from 35mm. If I want that, I shoot 6x7 or digital. When shooting 35mm now, I embrace the grain and often shoot higher ISO film and crop tighter to bring out the texture.
    Sometimes the texture of the materials are part of the experience. As a filmmaker, I've been known to shoot Super 8 film for the same reason... the texture and tonality are considered "inferior" but the look is completely unique. Super 8 doesn't replace 35mm motion picture film or high-definition video, it just adds to your visual palette.
     
  16. Ian, I admire your dedication.
    And I really like some of these shots. Forget poking fun at the camera, the photographer's got the eye. I do like the color you're getting from the Fuji film better.
     
  17. The APS just don't get no respect. When the format was new I gave an APS camera to a neighbor who'd done me a favor. Later, after having the first set of panoramic photos printed, all he could do was complain about the cost of the panoramic prints. Not "Hey, cool, this camera has a built in feature to generate panoramic prints without special instructions to the lab." Nope.
    Heck, I'd still kinda like one of the original Canon Elphs. But what do I know, I thought the then-new Olympus half frame cameras were cool when I was a kid.
    BTW, Ian, I suspect your prints from APS will look better than those scans. Unless you're doing your own scans, you might get better results making flatbed scans from high quality prints than lab generated scans from the negatives.
     
  18. Lex, you are right actually - the prints do tend to look better. I think the lab software clashes with film grain leading to 'clumping'.
    Thank you Andrew - I am using the Fuji as my main film, but I had some short dated Agfa to use up.
    Well, I don't want to keep on about APS as I realise most on the Nikon forum find it of little interest (or use, truth be told) so I think this will be my last thread on the matter for a while, but please do indulge me by allowing me a weekly APS submission in the Wednesday pic :)
    Ian
     
  19. I have a 6i and an S. I mostly use the S. The 55/2.8 Ais works nicely on the S . I can select the shutter speed and estimate the f/stop or use a separate meter. My favorite ix Nikkor is the 20-60. With the right film and with adequate exposure you can get very nice enlargements from 20-60. The enemy of APS film is underexposure. It will cause a look of increased grain and muted colors. I would love to get some Ektar 100 in APS size. That probably won't be available so I will go in the opposite direction and get some EKytar 100 in 120 size as soon as it's available.
     
  20. Ian - as a late answer to your question, no I haven't used Pronea cameras but I did have a couple of close calls on the 6i. Had our local APS processing not gone belly up, I'd have done it. However, I did have some good results with Kodak T700 cameras. The only surviving shot in my gallery is at this link if you're interested.
    http://www.photo.net/photo/3383330
     
  21. Ian, I'm glad you are enjoying the APS Pronea. It's a retro-thing for sure. I wonder how long processing will be available? But, if it gets you out shooting more, it's a great system. Hey, just ask the Leica F & G shooters (they even have to use hand-held light meters :)
    On a side note, didn't Minolta have a cool little APS interchangeable lens SLR set-up with a mirror finder, or something like that?
     
  22. Thank you Howard.
    Dan, my Father uses the Minolta system - it is called Vectis - and he gets on with it very well. The short zooms are not that special though with edge softness problems, but the APS 50mm macro lens for that system is a real peach. He is still looking for the 400mm mirror lens though, but he did strile lucky with the 17mm lens which was still sitting on the dealers shelf. We treated ourselves to a pair of Contax APS compacts a couple of years back and they are nice too, but not Nikon though ;-)
    Ian
     
  23. If portability was a concern, I would just go with something like a Olympus XA, which is compact, good quality, offers 35 mm and has only one focal length. Another interesting thing would be medium format rangefinders. You could get one of those Fujis, Ian. But that's just me, I rather simplify my shooting than cut down on film size.
     
  24. Excellent! I love my Pronea S, and until the summer I was using it a lot. I had a Pronea 600i for a while as well, which was my main camera - laugh all you like, but it's a very capable machine and took some wonderful shots. However, I sold it when I acquired my first DSLR, a Pentax K-m. I chose this because I had a lot of older Pentax lenses, and Pentax DSLRs have amazing backwards compatibility with them.
    The Pronea S is still with me, but I've not used it for a while - it needs fresh batteries for a start, but having seen these shots, I'm keen to get some and start shooting with it again. I've still got a lot of APS film in my fridge, including loads of Kodak B&W Plus, which is lovely stuff.
    I really like the 16:9 format, and I wish someone would produce a DSLR that could shoot it natively. I've taken a few lovely panoramas with the Pronea S as well, two of which - Hebridean beach scenes - are framed in my bedroom.
    Some of my APS photography can be seen on my website at http://www.primitiveimages.co.uk .
     

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