Three Halloween shots with a 1926 Zeiss Maximar

Discussion in 'Classic Manual Cameras' started by cliffmanley, Oct 11, 2008.

  1. I think this kid is adorable. Hope you like these.
  2. I think the kid's adorable too... Are you making these plates yourself`Show us the cool camera!!
  3. HI Chuck, Yea and I'm getting pretty sloppy lately. There is a lot of dirt and the last one has a big finger print in the emulsion at the top. Oh well. Here is the cool camera and the 11x14 prints.
  4. Not bad at all for an old plate camera. I give you a lot of credit for making up the plates. I don't know that much about it. Now, for my critique. I think #2 would have been better if you had included both scarecrows like you did in #3. Just my opinion. Oh yeah, I agree, adorable kid. Thanks, Cliff.
  5. Well Stuart, this is the neighbors kid and I was invited over today, to her halloween/birthday party to take pictures. I was lucky to get these, dealing with a two year old model that started screaming the instant her dad put her on the hay bale. The shot where she is looking up, is when I got her to stop screaming by pointing up and saying what's that. she shut up for a minute and looked up. The last one looks like she is playing with the pumpkin, but was really climbing down to get the heck out of there. Kids are tough customers and when you are dealing with a ground glass and changing plate hoilders every shot, sometimes you are lucky to get anything ...She is adorable when she is not screaming though.
  6. You did an excellent job considering you had an unwilling model! I've always thought that all children are adorable........especially when they belong to someone else! Perhaps you could go into detail sometime about what is involved in making up the plates, transporting them, etc. Are the plate holders similar to film holders for LF?
  7. I agree they are cute when they belong to someone else. I guess I'm getting old, my tolerance level is getting thin. They are just like little kittens, very cute to photograph, except when they decide your house is their romper-room and start climbing the curtains and scratching everything in sight. Not to mention taking a stinking dump somewhere you can't find, but sure can smell.

    I really felt like Rodney Dangerfield in that beginning clip of Easy Money , where he had a Speed Graphic at a kids birthday party. Anybody remember that?

    I think I have gone into the holders in detail and have posted pictures of them before. The are similar to film holders and they have springs that hold the plate to the surface. There are many places on the net to learn to make plates, so I won't go into that again. After you play with them a while you will likely come up with your own formulas that you like. I call mine, my Calgon formulas, "Ancient Chinese Secret". By the way, I have a yellow filter and a Halo diffusion filter on the front of the camera for these shots.
  8. Awesome shots Cliff. I am glad I am not alone using these plate cameras; however you do it the right original way; I cheat - by using the roll film holders made for them. I try to use them quite often, especially if I am concentrating on landscape. I used a Goerz Tenax 9x12 with a doppel anastigmat three or four weeks ago and the results were quite good. My regulars are the Voigtlander Avus and Vag in both 9x12 and 6.5x9 format though.
    Once again, well done with the portraits above and thanks for posting.
  9. Hi Ralf,

    You have seen many of my posts and know I don't use plates very often. It's a lot of trouble so I usually use sheet film. When you make up some plates they don't last too long, so you need to use them up fairly quickly, so when I post plates I will have some plate shots for a while then no more till I get a wild hair again. I also have roll film backs for my two small 6 1/2 x 9 Maximars, but don't use them except when I have the two cameras mounted on the stereo bar, and am walking around some event taking stereo shots. Most of my roll film goes in the folders that I have posted.
  10. Very nice timeless quality about these, great to see the old Maximar put to good use.

  11. Hi Cliff,

    I can image the difficult to use such a camera with such a model. I had some old experiences taking pictures of children lying on the floor, to take them to the same level and I think Iā€™m able to say that them where the hardest shots I ever did. Those adorable dwarf devils :)

    Great pictures, as usual.

    The lens is a Tessar or a Preminar?
  12. Thanks Tony, I might try some of the old car shows, a parked car dosen't move so fast.

    Thanks Luis, The lens is a Dominar. You are right about shooting kids. I had the tripod set down to about 2 feet and I was on my knees hunched over to get my loupe on the GG. Life gets hard when you get old. you don't bend well and can't see anymore. Then it is hard to even think about what you are doing when everyone behind you is asking questions about the old camera, the kid is screaming to get down, and you still need to get a light reading, focus, change the GG to a plate holder, set the aperture, pull the slide, look back up and ... wait a minute where did that kid go?
  13. I don't know anything about making pictures from a plate camera, but these are great, and have a classic timeless look about them, especially #1and #3.
  14. Very cool timeless shots Cliff. I'm impressed you were able to wrangle 2 year old toddler and 90 year old camera and make
    your own glass plates! #3 is timeless. Love the depth of field that 11x14 gives, really looks like something from 1890!
  15. This lens really has a great glow to it. Outstanding portraits that are sure to be family momentos for some time to come!
  16. That lens has a great way of imaging. Thanks for posting the pics.

    Any chance of getting to meet the gal in the background? According to my ex wife she sounds perfect for me.
  17. Thanks Craig, Russ, and Patrick.
    Steve, I don't think you want her, I think she "Stuffs" her bra !!
  18. Wow, I posted #3 in the photo critique and only 17 people even looked at it. And only one rating given as a 4. I guess I should get a point and shoot and go out and rip off a memory card full of snapshots that everyone would like. I guess pretty abstract colors are more pleasing to the modern senses.

    Very few have an appreciation of what goes into a photograph like this. I think this is the only forum that people have actually tried out some of these things and know what is involved. The real difficulties that the photographers of the past had to deal with. I don't think that many even know anymore how long it takes to make a print, with all the washing and toning then rinsing again, a half hour here, and hour there, etc.

    I guess its' time to scrap all of this stuff and stick to cameras with a USB port.
  19. I think Ansel Adams would be hard pressed to get a 3 on this photo critique forum, what do you think?
  20. To be quite honest Cliff, I don't even bother looking at the pictures on PDN, way too much photoshopping for my taste, it's really just photo-illustration.

    I know, I know, I'm just an old fart who is out of touch, but I know what I like... and that's real photography like your images.

    Keep shooting with the old ones if that's what you enjoy, doesn't really matter a jot what others think!

  21. Incredible that these images came from home made glass plates.
  22. Hi Cliff,

    Agreed on Ansel Adams, especially if he posted his early impressionistic work here. Easy to imagine the negative comments...

    I dunno whether to be more amazed at the great images of a precocious child, or that you made the glass plates yourself. Either achievement is stunning. To manage both - wow! No sarcasm intended, but I'm as impressed by what you've done as I am by a guy making his own bow and arrows from trees and flint, and bagging a deer with it.

    I wouldn't worry much about nobody critiquing these images. To those of us in the know, they stand on their own merits. I think regardless of how they were made, they're gorgeous.

    And 30 years from now, when that little girl is all grown up and a mom herself, and her young family is looking at these pics, I'm guessing she'll say "All I can tell you is it was a very old camera, a neighbor man came over, and that's all I know. But for some reason, these pictures he took just really grab me - they remind me of my great-grandma's photos when she was little."

    I do hope that the little girl's parents were appreciative of your efforts, and the resulting art, as we are.

    You've done good work. I'd pat you on the back if you were geographically close.
  23. Thanks Guys for the encouragement. I don't think I'll ever change my ways. I have always been a traditional kind of guy in everything I have ever done.

    Doug, it is very interesting about the Bow and Arrows. I made my first Bow when I was 13 in shop class from two billets of Yew. It was a long bow. I always used a long bow or a recurve bow in all of my Bow hunting, and made my own arrows too. My favorite was my old workhorse 60lb Fred Bear Grizzly, but with my health conditions now, I can't even string it anymore. I never used flint on arrows, but I built several muzzleloaders over the years and knapped out alot of flint for the locks. In fact when I was 20 years old, I shot one of my handmade rifles at the international muzzleloader shoot in Frendship Indiana. I didn't win anything, but I placed 12th in the world competition with my little rifle. Thank you for your comments. I think you have a much better grasp of the old cameras than most people, with your own experiance with stereo and pano cameras you know what is involved.
  24. Great shots Cliff!!
  25. Extremely coincidental that I'd use the bow-arrow as an example, with a guy that's actually made one! All I've ever done with that is buy a book and flint blanks when my young son and I visited Flint Ridge OH on the motorcycle a couple years ago. But chipping away at the flints to shape them, it becomes apparent that to do it well isn't as easy as it sounds. Primitive cavemen, my butt...! I've also browsed books on making a bow, and am fascinated by the idea, but have done nothing on it. And I'd like to build a Kentucky long rifle someday, but same deal - haven't gotten around to it. Working, fatherhood, motorcycling, living, photography, and writing take up enough of my time that not much is left to pursue other branches thtat look interesting.

    I'm a young guy (46 in about a week), so I'm learning this old stuff after starting out on modern film cameras in the 1980s.

    Big thing to me on the really old cameras is how slow the work methods are compared to today (there's so many simple steps!), and how the complete lack of mechanical interlocks or electronic controls allows you to screw up in so many ways, at every single one of those 'simple' steps.

    So when I see good photos taken with really old gear, I appreciate how much skill (and sometimes just a small dash of luck added in) and knowledge those results required.

    If there were a local-to-me elder who was fooling with making his own emulsions on glass plates, I'd love to learn that skill. I can easily see cobbling / buying something like a 5x7 and doing portraits of people close to me on glass plates, for their archival properties.

    The bad news is you've got health problems. But the good news to me is that in spite of that, you're out there doing these things, successfully. That is so cool.
  26. concerning the ratings cliff, i know what you mean, i have done some s hots with my LF camera and posted them, got a few 3's. Im thinking, "what in the heck, what do you mean a 3" lol. alot goes into shooting the old style than what folks realize, I really appreciate the work you do though, those arent just photographs to me, they are also the heart of the photographer because of what you have to do to prepare. 7 of 7
  27. Thanks again Doug and John. That's why I hang out here on this forum, it's the only place where people understand the photography we grew up with. We need to keep it alive and try to find some interested kids to teach, if there are any...these cameras don't include phones with cute ringtones.
  28. Cliff, I can also sympathize with the crowd asking questions about the old camera.

    The second group shot I did with my Cirkut was about 1000 people at a motorcycle rally this past summer, a photo of the rally attendees.

    While I was directing things in front of me, telling the audience / subjects what would happen, how we'd get the shot, there were at least a half-dozen cameras behind, journalists and videographers, taking pics of me taking the group pic. So looking ahead at the mass of people was intimidating, but looking backwards at a bunch of cameras aimed at me, and rolling, was just as intimidating.

    I controlled questions by starting (loudly) with "People, we have only X minutes. I'll be glad to talk all night about the camera - *after* we get the shot..! Here's what we're going to do to get the shot, and here's what the camera will do. We have *one* piece of film...."

    Something similar would work for your adults. But you'd still be on your own with the children, I'm afraid.
  29. Well Doug, my croud was not all that big, just the other kids parents at the birthday party. I was tring to be nice to them, hoping they would pay me to take portraits of their kids while I had everything set up. All I really got was a "That's really neet". And you know the parents of two year olds are all pretty young themselves. I only had one ask how much it would cost for an 8x10 silver gelatin portrait of herself and her sisters. When I told her, she just said "OH", but I left some cards anyway.
  30. Often I'll also show people the image on the groundglass ahead of time. Among the photos taken of me and my 3 assistants on the big group shot, are pics of each of the assistants (photographers themselves) checking out the Cirkut groundglass image for themselves, prior to the 4 of us setting up the shot.

    I have the notion that BIG negs from antique cameras are salable in modern times, for their clarity and timelessness. I'm almost 100% certain that I'm right on that.

    But.... people have become spoiled. They expect free images, and value "free" over "detailed, sharp, clear, archival." Cellphone images are OK, to most, as long as they're free.

    I think free digital images, ie snapshots, at least those that are printed and not lost forever due to hard drive crashes or forgotten due to mediocrity, 20 years from now folks will look at those pics in family albums and wonder why the oldest photos are the sharpest / best, and cellphone snaps will have the same kind of stigma attached that we have for photos shot on 110-size film (pocket cameras) or worse yet, the 1980s Kodak disc cameras....

    Hi-res digital with good gear is excellent. But free cellphone snaps are just... worth what folks paid for them.

    Just curious, but what would you charge for those pics? How big is the neg? Can you make money if people buy them?

    I suspect older people value sharp clear detailed photos more than the young, because the mature groups have seen changes in their lives, while the young figure they'll always look exactly as they look today.
  31. Those were great shots. I have been looking at a 9x12 Maximar and also at a 9x12 Recomar. It all depends on how much money I am willing to spend, and I may have to wait a while.

    Doug, are you going to post your Cirkut photo of the motorcycle group? I would be interested in seeing it.

    There was a 5" Cirkut sold on ebay this past week for over $3k. It was way too expensive for my blood. I'm still looking for a N.1 or No3 Panoram.
  32. Michael,

    It's agreed between the rally organizers and myself that they (organizers) will be the first to publish it / sell copies of it, so I cannot post it for now; sorry.

    It is a neat shot, but you'll just have to take my word for it, for a while yet.

  33. Michael, There's not a lot of difference between the Maximar and Recomar, or any of the other great German plate cameras of the day. Just make sure you get one that uses a standardized slide on holder. Prices should be about the same.
  34. Cliff,
    Your pictures are timeless. We have two grandaughters, and when the oldest girl was at the two or three year old age, she could not sit still for a minute to have her picture taken/ She is now ten and still jcan not sit for a picture. Her 6 year old sister is just the oppiosite of her older sister, she enjoys having her picture taken.
    I always enjoy your work and Gene M's, as well as many other talented photographers who are on this forum.
  35. Thank you Richard for taking the time to write your nice comment. I try to post some things that are not typically
    seen anymore, rather than a bunch of 35mm photos. I think it adds to the forum a bit of variety, by mixing the
    antiques from the past with the present high tech manual cameras we see so much of. With Gene M's great
    found photos from the past and all of the other great color rangefinder and medium format folder photos, Minh's
    great pans and Doug's great Cirkut photos, etc. makes this the best photography forum on the web.

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