Pentacon Six and the Gates in Central Park

Discussion in 'Classic Manual Cameras' started by jorn ake, Feb 15, 2005.

  1. As mentioned earlier, I went to Central Park with my Pentacon Six to see what I damage I could do. The camera is in very nice condition and has an immaculate CZJ Biometar 80/2.8 with a waist-level prism. Actually not as heavy as I thought it would be. Certainly no heavier than say a Bronica or a Hasselblad or even a Nikon F perhaps. In fact, it reminds me a bit of a Nikon F - sort of big and clunky but still easy to handle. Nicely balanced, especially with the shutter button in the standard Praktica location just to the right of the lens. A big Praktica. That's what it is.
    I only pooched one roll. I think that 90% of the frame separation problems are the result of miswinds while loading the film. It takes a little bit of practice to figure out how to work the winding mechanism in order to get the start point lined up with the white dot inside the film chamber. Don't do it correctly, and whatever pre-advance you have done is carried through on each frame of the roll, resulting in overlap. I can't say I have totally figured out the winding yet, but I do get a sense that this is purely driver error and not a defect of the camera.
    The gates were something else. Not really environmental art as much as a mass happening - a sort of lens through which to see something (the park in this case) at a level of detail you might not otherwise see. Lots and lots of people were out, and obviously many people from overseas were there to see the work. The light was so changeable the day I went out, that early photographs look pretty flat orange, while ones taken later in the day were much more vibrant orange. Get a little light behind them and whammy! orange overload. Part of the whole thing I guess.
    Above all, it was fun. That's what I am looking for.
    Here is the link:
    The Gates
  2. gib


    I especially enjoyed #3 - great colour from your gear.
  3. You got some very nice images out of a subject that seems difficult for a camera to interpret adequately. I'm reminded of the term "Be-in" which may have originated in the Sheep Meadow, and probably means nothing to most these days. Anyway, it all seems an auspicious beginning to your stay there. Looking forward to updates.
  4. I only owned that combo for a short time but the image quality is magical-great lens.
  5. Good work Jorn. I like "Pondgates" and "Sleepy" best of the series. Thanks for a look at something I won't see in person.
  6. Well Done Jorn. I had a Pentacon Six long ago and sold it before buy the Bronicas. Keep that tough machin. It's real good.
  7. Jorn:

    Thanks for sharing. I spent a day in Central park last April, and walked through a great
    deal of it. It is nice seeing the Gates and having a sense of what the place is really like.
    My opinion beforehand of the project was skeptical. But now, I think it really is an
    interesting sight after all.
  8. Pictures are interesting enough. Too bad the city stopped short of billboards, flashing lights, and toll booths.
  9. Thanks all. Being a black & white shooter, I don't feel like I nearly have a grasp of color adjustment in Photoshop yet. Need practice.

    The tool booths are there, though early in the morning, their attendants sleep in as depicted in one of my photos. And the billboards cruise through on the bodies of all the cyclists who slather themselves in lycra and spandex.

    I like the camera - funny, I bought it because I couldn't quite afford a good condition Bronica S2a and my target lens which is a 50mm of some sort. The Flektogon for the Pentacon is cheaper and great. I would also like to get the Baier prism and advance modification, but then why wouldn't I have bought the Bronica? I wonder if it is still at the shop.....
  10. Thanks, Jorn. I think your's is the first down-to-earth hands-on informal "review" of the Pentacon 6 I've ever run across, despite a lot of searching. There's lots of dry technical material out there, but nothing as simple as describing what the thing actually feels like in your hands! Nice shots, too - I think this is the first Cristo creation I've ever really warmed to.
  11. I guess this is one of those art exhibits that only works in person, because from what I've read and seen so far, I don't get the point.
  12. Beautiful photographs. You obviously took great care in composition, since most of them have a lovely "rhythym." I've owned your "target" camera/lens (Bronica S2A w/ 50mm f3.5) for a few years, and tho I like the camera a lot, nothing I've done with it shows better technical performance than your work here with the Pentacon. Perhaps the S2A is less finicky, since loading and advancing are a snap.

    I must say I agree with Mike Elek: I don't see the point of "Gates." Perhaps it's like so much of contemporary art, that the "point" is in the concept or underlying idea, and not in the technique or execution, not in the made object as actually seen. I heard somewhere that "Gates" was financed by Cristo and his wife to the tune of tens of millions of dollars. Is this possible? I'd take Central Park plain and unadorned any day.
  13. At first I thought it was some misbegotten device to scare geese off the lake. Central Park is such a beautiful place, why not seek out some of those places? The last thing I would photograph is someone sleeping on a bench.
  14. Jorm,

    I've got two Pentacon Six TL, and love them - you must also get the CZJ 180/2.8 Sonnar, one of the best portrait lenses ever...

    BTW, there's a trick how to get perfect frame spacing every time:

    - works 100% for me!
  15. Mike-

    shmattes on sticks-

    what's not to get?
  16. well, when you break it down like that, it's very clear now. :)

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