We had gone to India for our summer vacation this year. While in Mumbai, we visited a school for relatively underprivileged kids, where one of our friends volunteered. It was a wonderful yet humbling experience. These kids have relatively little but they were so cheerful and the joy on their faces was just infectious!
I had not taken any digital camera on this vacation. These shots were all taken with the Contax G2, Fuji Superia 400 (first time I used this and I really liked it), the Carl Zeiss 28 f2.8 and 50 f2 lenses and the Contax TLA-200 flash.
We had organised some snacks for the kids and a drawing/ art competition with some small prizes thrown in. The kids were delighted and had so much fun. Our children had also come along and I hope they got something from the experience.
In a prior post, I had posted some photos taken with a Zeiss Ikon rangefinder at a fair that had come to Hong Kong. I had also taken a Mamiya 7ii medium format film camera with a Mamiya 7N 80mm f/4L. This is an absolutely amazing camera – 6×7 medium format, yet very portable (as far as cameras of this ilk go). Like all medium format film photography, its a bit expensive to use given only 10 exposures can be made from a 120 roll of film.
But there’s something about the results derived from this camera and its lenses that is just very very pleasing. The sharpness, pop, contrast and smoothness of bokeh is something just not possible from any 35mm camera. And the Mamiya 6 or 7 are right up there with the best medium format cameras ever made. Like all tools, the results really depend on the artist and I would not recommend this to any beginner. Its just too expensive a way to learn. Learn film photography with a 35mm camera.
These photos were really just snapshots and my first real experience with this camera since I bought it. But now, I feel confident to use this on a more regular basis. All these photos were shot on the Fuji Pro 160 NS color negative film, which is brilliant. It may not be as accurate as the Kodak Portra 160 but its not wild and I prefer the vibrancy of the Fuji Pro 160 NS to the more neutral portra.
The Contax G2 has got to be my favourite camera. Small size, outstanding lenses and easy to use – what’s not to love?! Well, there are a couple of frustrating things but that’s for another day. In the end, despite these minor annoyances, it is my favourite camera.
The Velvia 100 is an underrated and under-appreciated slide film. Perhaps unfairly and almost definitely because all the attention goes to the Velvia 50. Some time back, I had a mix of Velvia 50 and 100 in my bag. I shot a roll with the Velvia 100 before moving to the 50. This was my first encounter with Velvia and I was surprised that when I got the scans back from the lab, I found it really hard to see any difference between the two! All these shots were taken in Bali, Indonesia.