There’s Something Very Special About This Leica 50mm F1.4 Lens

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For my fellow Leica lovers here, if you know, you know. But for the rest of us, you might not realize why this Leica 50mm f1.4 lens is just so special. I could do a very sales-y thing by telling you all Leica lenses are special. But that wouldn’t help anyone, and this site doesn’t do things like that. Right now, the Rare Camera store has a silver Leica 50mm f1.4 lens sitting all by its lonesome. And if you’re sick of modern lenses being too sharp and clinical, then you’re going to want to really pay attention to this one.

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Tarik Tosun Makes Hypnotic Photos of NYC on Film

All images by Tarik Tosun. Used with permission. For more stories like this, please subscribe to The Phoblographer.

“As I walked down to the river that night, I remember catching a glimpse of fog rolling over the One World Trade Center,” the photographer Tarik Tosun tells me. “And I remember thinking, ‘Wow, this is going to be really cool.’” A software engineer by day, Tosun lives in Brooklyn Heights in New York, just a short distance from Brooklyn Bridge Park. Throughout the pandemic and its aftermath, he took many walks along the waterfront. On one of those quiet evenings, the mist came and engulfed the city, transforming its familiar architecture into something straight from a science-fiction movie. 

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Get Them Tones Perfect! The Best Film for Portrait Photography

There’s something wonderful about the way that film renders skin tones.

When you shoot portraits with film, you’re expecting a specific look. This is so yearned for that there are digital presets created to emulate the look. But it’s never quite the same thing. Shooting with film is a lot more involved. But the extra work you do is always worth it. The reward is something worth bragging over. So we dove into our Reviews Index to find some of the best film for portrait photography. Take a look at our favorites!

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New to Film Photography? Here Are 3 Film Emulsions You Need to Try

Film photography never died: it only evolved into something much better.

Fact: some of us have never shot film before. Others amongst us are just getting into it. In 2021, film photography co-exists with digital and is in demand by lots of clients. There are lots of the mainstays like Portra, Tri-X, and Velvia. But there are also lots of options out there that aren’t traditional. And we’ve reviewed a bunch of them. So we dove into the old Reviews Index to look at our many years of film photography coverage. Here are some of our favorite emulsions.

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This Hexar AF Has a Rare Mod That’s Perfect for Portraiture

The old Hexar AF is a wonderful camera in so many ways, but this one is just a bit extra special.

The Hexar AF is one of our favorite film point and shoots of all time. It was designed for street photography from the ground up. There’s a lot to love, from the stealthy film advance to the 35mm f2 lens attached. For years, no point-and-shoot camera has ever really come close to being like it. Some may argue that the Sony RX1 Mk II is close, but not the same. For what it’s worth, you should know that prices on the Hexar AF have come down. And if you just want the Konica 35mm f2 Lens in M mount, that’s available too. However, we found one is a bit extra special. 

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Get Hyped for the Exciting Return of 3D Analog Photography!

The Minuta Stereo is bringing 3D back to analog film photography!

Oh, man! Does anyone remember that Nishika 3D film camera? Well, there’s something new and exciting coming to Kickstarter. It’s called the Minuta Stereo camera. It’s a pinhole camera designed to do the kooky 3D photos that we’ve come to know and love. It would mean that you’re going to slow down, and that’s something majorly lacking from photography today.

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What Film Emulsion Should I Choose? A Guide for Analog Photography

There’s never been a more exciting time to start shooting analog. In our latest original infographic, find out which film emulsion is right for you.

The reports of film’s death are greatly exaggerated. In fact, there’s never been a more exciting time to start shooting analog. If you’re new to the world of film photography, welcome! Plenty of film cameras can be had for a fraction of their original price. There’s bound to be one that will suit your particular needs (Check out our handy guide to the 6 Best Film Cameras for Beginners). Unlike with digital, you don’t get to change your ISO on the fly. Once you load a roll or spool of film into your film camera, you’re locked into that particular roll’s ISO until you finish the whole thing.

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Luce: An App That Could Help Analog Photographers Log EXIF Data

An app developer is working on a solution for EXIF Data from analog photos, and it’s called Luce.

“We’re currently just a two-man team who really wants to help the Analog community out with our development skills,” explains Don Chia to the Phoblographer in an email interview. “The app has changed in a myriad of ways since the alpha creation stage. We have received a ton of support and suggestions from the community and we have taken the suggestions into consideration.” After posting on Reddit, Don learned even more about the needs of analog photographers. One of the biggest problems that they face is logging their EXIF data. Lots of shooters often use a notebook or maybe start a Google Doc on their phone. Then when developing and scanning, they’ll keep this info in mind. This is one of the main motivations behind the Luce App. Currently, there isn’t a whole lot like Luce on the market since it’s very niche.

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4 Photographers Shooting Dazzling Photos with the 6×7 Format

Now that you’re curious about shooting 120 film in 6×7 format, allow us to inspire you further with these awesome photography projects.

If you’ve been wanting to get into medium format film photography and have done enough research, you must have come across the fact that 120 film comes in several frame sizes, including 6×7. This format was popular because, as Wikipedia mentions, it enlarges almost exactly to 8×10 inch paper, leading its proponents — especially those who print — to hail it as the “ideal format.” You may even have stumbled upon our round-up of fantastic cameras for 6×7 format. We can only hope that’s enough to help you either make up your mind about shooting in this frame size or which camera to get you started. But in case not, these awesome projects we’ve featured in the past will inspire you. This format is great if you’re not a fan of shooting squares, but don’t take our word for it — let these photographers and their works serve as proof!

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Review: 7Artisans 28mm f1.4 (This Lens Belong on a Film Camera)

The 7Artisans 28mm f1.4 is a reminder that cheap lenses are just an impulse buy for photographers.

If you look around on Instagram and at reviews of the 7Artisans 28mm f1.4 on the web, I’m very positive that the reviewers got a free copy of the lens and hyped it up. I’m even convinced that they’ve done excess editing to the images. But I bought mine with my own money. This has to be one of the most disappointing lenses that I’ve bought from 7Artisans. I purchased the company’s 50mm f1.1 and was given the 35mm f2 for free. Both of those lenses were pretty good. But the 7Artisans 28mm f1.4 is disappointing when shooting with it wide open and adapted to Sony. It only starts to become really worth anything when stopped down past f2.8. However, I’ll state that it has a look–and that look is best achieved on a Leica. It’s nothing compared to a proper Leica lens, and I doubt that the optics are even designed in the same way. But this purchase was a reminder to me that cheap lenses are often an impulse buy. Was I expecting Leica quality? Heck no. I wasn’t even expecting Voigtlander quality. But I was expecting the lens to be better than others on the market when adapted to Sony. Yet somehow or another, this lens absolutely sung to the heavens on Leica bodies.

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Kate Hook Shows Incredible Skill with Double Exposures on Film

All images by Kate Hook. Used with permission. 

“One big theme for me is ghosts because I have a lot of them, still living and not,” Photographer Kate Hooks explains. Kate is a name you have seen before on The Phoblographer. That’s with good reason as her film photography is some of the most creative and compelling we’ve had the pleasure of sharing with our readers. A lot has changed in Kate’s life since we last spoke to her in 2017, but one thing that has remained is the quality of her work. Back with a fresh batch of double exposures, Kate shares a series of work as eerie as it is pleasant. Intrigued by the theme, we dived deep into her creative world to see how life is going in 2019.

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Analog Self-Portraits Help Chantal Convertini to Love and Accept (NSFW)

All images by Chantal Convertini. Used with permission. 

“I don’t like these overly perfect fashion images that are as pretty as they are empty.” That’s the thought of Chantal Convertini. She adds, “shooting self-portraits is a form of self-acceptance and self-love.” She gives her audience a raw, straight out of camera view of her world with film photography that is gentle, but also has a powerful message – we’re human, we’re different, and that’s okay. In her portfolio, a mix of portraits and self-portraits, we see women wanting to connect to themselves, not to the self that society tells them to connect to. We find this truly inspiring and we adore the beautiful results that come from this creative approach.

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Antonio Privitera’s Inner City Blues: The Story of a Dream Come True

New York City – the land where dreams come true…

“Oh my god! I was super excited, thrilled to get there!” says Antonio Privitera as he recounts how his childhood dream to shoot the streets of New York finally came true. His latest series is not just an exploration of New York, it’s a narrative that tells the story of a photographer in his element. It’s the perfect advertisement for what happens when a creative mind meets an inspiring destination. Simply put, this is freedom and love communicated through the medium of photography. When we spoke to Antonio we felt his enthusiasm. We connected to his passion. Through his dark, cinematic-like images we got a sense for each step that he walked. His energy is contagious and through his words and photographs, he gave us the same feeling of euphoria that he had when he first stepped foot in the Big Apple. With his headphones on, his music of choice being the soundtrack of his movie, he takes us on his journey. S

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Vintage Camera Review: Fujifilm Natura S (The Best Point and Shoot You’ve Never Heard Of)

The Fujifilm Natura S is quickly becoming my favorite point and shoot camera.

When you look on the market, you’re going to find stuff like Contax T2 to be very pricey. The chances that you’re not looking for the Fujifilm Natura S are high. But, the Fujifilm Natura S potentially has a lot more going for it than you’d think. This small point and shoot is easily pocketable and despite its very compact size, it sports a 24mm f1.9 lens. Yes, that’s right; that’s one of the widest and fastest lenses you can get on a point and shoot. It also comes in a variety of colors like green, the pink that I’ve gotten a hold of, and there is a variant called the Fujifilm Natura Black. There is also a version with a zoom lens simply called the Fujifilm Natura. But the Natura S is really where it’s at; its simple interface and not serious look is going to guarantee that you take it with you everywhere.

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Dear Fujifilm: Please Give Us a Digital Fujifilm Natura Black Point and Shoot

One of the most perfect film point and shoot cameras should find new life in the digital world: The Fujifilm Natura Black.

While I’m still a big lover of the Hexar AF, I have to admit that the Fujifilm Natura Black has always been a camera I’ve lusted over for fantastic reasons. With much talk about Fujifilm and their point and shoot lineup, I decided that I’d look back in their history. Obviously the T-X2 is on the list of cameras that folks think about, but circles of photographers in the know perhaps have kept the Fujifilm Natura Black a secret for years. If you find them on eBay, they’re often in good condition or heavily discounted due to the slightest ding. But those slight dings aren’t to worry over, especially when you consider just how great this camera is.

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Review: 7Artisans 35mm f2 (Leica M Mount, Used on Sony FE)

The 7Artisans 35mm f2 lens isn’t as sharp and doesn’t have better bokeh than a Leica, but it’s still very pleasing

Let me get this right out of the way, the 7Artisans 35mm f2 lens isn’t as good as Leica’s. Leica’s outperforms in sharpness, detail, and bokeh in pretty much every way and at every aperture. But the 7Artisans 35mm f2 isn’t at all bad; and it can still render very gorgeous images. Being a Chinese lens, there are surely folks out there who may doubt how capable it is. But I can assure you that unless you had other lenses side by side or were very familiar with other optics, you wouldn’t really be able to tell the difference between the 7Artisans 35mm f2 and other offerings when it comes to image quality. But when it comes to the ergonomics, there are surely differences.

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Motion Picture Films are Driving Kodak’s Consumer and Film Division

Kodak’s First Quarter 2018 Financial Report revealed that while the film division isn’t among the strong performers, motion picture films saw increased revenues.

According to Kodak’s First Quarter 2018 Financial Report, the company had a net loss of $25 million over $357 million in revenue for the quarter that ended on March 31, 2018. Continued growth was seen for the KODAK SONORA Process-Free Plates, KODAK FLEXCEL NX Packaging, and KODAK PROSPER Inkjet imaging solutions. However, the Consumer and Film Division didn’t do so well with revenue of $48 million – a $1 million decline compared to the same quarter last year.

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The Classic Presets Introduce Classic Film Styles for Capture One

The Classic Film Styles Collection could be a better choice for film simulation over Capture One Film Styles.

After creating Kodachrome and Cinestill Presets for Adobe Lightroom, The Classic Presets now has film simulations for Capture One. If you’re looking for a better option for the Capture One Film Styles, the Classic Film Styles collection could just be it.

We’ve recently given the Capture One Film Styles a go and gave our verdict a few days ago. It’s a nice option for photographers who want a film look to their digital images, but not for “hybrid” photographers who also shoot film regularly. If you’re among those who think the simulations don’t look like film at all, The Classic Presets creator André Duhme shares your disappointment.

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Vintage Camera Review: Nikon N80 (Nikon F Mount)

For a really long time, the Nikon F100 was the best buy if you were looking for a Nikon film SLR at a good price that was compatible with most modern lenses. But then people discovered it, and like everything that gets discovered, the price got ruined. The Nikon FM2? Yeah, they’re really expensive now. It’s no secret second hand film cameras are on the up and up when it comes to prices and sales. Not only that, but they’re pretty. Well, most of them are. In the case of the Nikon N80, we’ve got the camera designed to be more consumer oriented and a step down below the famous Nikon F100. But for everything a professional photographer could want or need, it’s highly capable. And unlike digital cameras, all you need is some sharp film, good glass, and a lot of light.

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Film Emulsion Review: Lomography Color Negative 800 (35mm and 120)

Of all the color negative films Lomography sells, my consistent favorite has to be Lomography Color Negative 800. As the company’s highest ISO color negative film, you should expect to get good colors and some amazingly warm skin tones if you’re into that sort of thing. The film is designed for photographers who need a fast film for a variety of reasons. In some ways, I find it to be in-between both Kodak Portra 800 and Fujifilm Superia 800. Where the latter was the bread and butter for photojournalists for years, Kodak Portra 800 is instead meant for portraits in low light–but I’ve seen it capture some stellar Northern Lights photos. Lomography Color Negative 800 on the other hand works pretty swimmingly for both.

I’ve been testing and using Lomography Color Negative 800 on and off for the past few years in a variety of cameras. I can say with all certainty that it’s probably my favorite alternative to CineStill 800T when shooting at night.

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Vintage Camera Review: Mamiya 6 Medium Format Rangefinder (120 Format, 6×6 Square Format)

The Mamiya 6 is a camera that I’ve lusted after for many years; and when the opportunity to get one with two lenses for an absolutely unheard of price, I knew that I needed to spring for it. As one of the few great compact interchangeable lens rangefinders that use medium format film, the Mamiya 6 is in my mind one of the most perfect square format cameras ever made. While some may pledge allegiance to Hasselblad and other to Bronica when it comes to SLR cameras, still other will stand by some of the best TLR options on the market that shoot 6×6 format. In many ways, I want you to imagine a Leica M series camera but bigger and plastic. On top of that, this camera is collapsible and has a few features to it that could be considered quirks but in other ways are fail safes.

If you’re the type of photographer that needs a compact medium format shooter the way that I do, then there is almost nothing better.

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