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Enlarger-Camera-1

All images by Chuck Baker. Used with permission.

Making your own cameras usually results in the creation of pinhole cameras, but photographer Chuck Baker recently created a large format 5×7″ camera after being inspired by a 20×24″ camera. He tells us that he wanted to create a smaller version and that the stuff that he collects from garage sales helped him to build a camera using an old film enlarger.

For the uninformed, 35mm film needed to use enlargers in order to print them at a larger size. These enlargers had lenses, bellows, etc. And in many cases they are indeed turned into cameras. But the story about this one from Mr. Baker really amazed us. His ingenuity inspired us–and his knack for tinkering helped him to create his own large format camera.

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Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Leica MA first impressions (1 of 6)ISO 6401-80 sec at f - 2.8

When Leica announced the M-A camera at Photokina 2014, a spark was lit. We don’t believe it’s possible for a camera to be a soul mate, but if it was then the Leica M-A would be stringing hearts along as it struts through life. The Leica M-A is designed to pay homage to the cameras that put the company on the map in the photojournalism world and that are still used by many photographers today. Those cameras beautiful pieces of machinery and can far outlast any other cameras made out there. Amongst that lineup are the Leica M2, M3, and M4–with the M4-P perhaps being one of the company’s most popular products in this line.

And with that, the Leica M-A is designed incredibly simply. It takes film, has a film advance lever, is designed with lots of metal, and has no light meter built in–just like many of the older cameras. Think that that’s a waste of your money? Think again–especially when you consider the fact that the camera could be used by people many generations from now with no major problems to the machinery.

No–this isn’t a camera meant for the new breed that rely on meters; it’s designed for those photographers who used the tried and true Sunny 16 methods to capture scenes in every day life. And despite it’s near $5,000 price tag, it makes complete sense if you consider that many of the much older Leicas still go for a lot of money and that this is a made with brand new materials.

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The Phoblographer Solargraph (2 of 2)

All images by Oli Stevens. Used with permission.

We’ve featured long solargraphs shot with beer cans before, but every time we run across new ones we find something incredibly fascinating. Take this 10 week Solargraph shot by photographer Oli Stevens. Oli is a Biochemistry Masters student, splitting his time between London and Oxford. He’s primarily a 35mm analog photographer who enjoys pushing the technical limits of film photography. What other way to push them than to play with a super long exposure and to work with the most experimental form of the craft: pinhole photography.

To create the image above, Oli created his very own camera from a beer can and used Ilford sheet film to shoot the image. We talked to him more about the setup, the camera, and his photography.

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The Affordable 4x5 camera

The larger the format is that you’re working with, the more time it will surely take you to get a single image due to all the work that goes into it. And while large format cameras can be expensive, a duo from Europe are Kickstarting a more affordable camera. It’s called the Intrepid 4×5 camera, and it promises to be a light weight camera made from birch ply wood.

The Intrepid will take 75-300mm lens boards, has ground glass for focusing, comes with a choice of bellows colors, and folds down into a very compact size. With it being made from plywood though, I’d personally want it to be finished with a sealant of some sort to prevent moisture from affecting it too much in the long run. For the 125 Euro that they’re apparently charging for the camera though, we can’t really expect much.

It will take standard film cases for the image loading: which means that you can enjoy many of the offerings from Fujifilm, Kodak and Ilford still available for the format.

The intro video is after the jump, but be sure to head over to their Kickstarter page too to see the different rewards offered.

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Lomochrome Turqouise

Sometimes a product hits the market that makes us literally say “WTF!?” Today, that award goes to Lomography with their brand new Lomochrome Turquoise film. Based off of Lomochrome Purple (which was based off of Kodak Aerochrome) the company describes the film as taking warm colors and rendering them in shades of blue. But that’s not all. According to the company it is responsible for: “turning warm colors into varying shades of blues from aqua to cobalt, transforming greens into deep emerald shades, blue skies into a sunset and a crystal clear sea into a golden hue”

Essentially, it looks like a permanent cross process–which unless done correctly makes us want to cry and rub our eyes with fixer fluid.

The film is a brand new offering, and they’re expecting the first shipments of Lomography Lomochrome Turquoise to come in in April 2015. The film comes in packs of 5, 10, 15 and 20. They also have it available in 120 format and requires C-41 processing.But in our opinion, they’re a bit overpriced.

More images samples are after the jump.

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Chris Gampat Bronica etrs and film 75mm f2.8 (1 of 1)ISO 2001-160 sec at f - 1.4

Back around the end of last year, PBS decided to do a small segment putting film against digital photography: a debate that’s been going on for years now. The segment put two Canon cameras up to shooting the same scene in many different scenarios. And without looking at the images at 100%, we can see that it’s quite tough to tell the difference between the two unless you have a trained and skilled set of eyes.

The video also brings up a better point that is only realized when you think deeper: real people and clients won’t sit there pixel peeping at your images. Instead, they’ll want to look at it as a whole. It also demonstrates the use of filters to make digital images look like film.

What it ultimately proves though is that telling the differences is really tough to do in some situations though in other situations film will also need much more careful work where digital is more forgiving. Of course, that statement only applies to color film and color digital. It would be interesting to put black and white film and digital up against one another. The video featuring Film vs Digital Photography is after the jump.

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