Pushing TRI-X

I love the look of Kodak TRI-X black and white film. It has nice mid range tones and just the right of grain for me. At 400 ASA it often isn't fast enough for the conditions I find myself typically photographing in so I decided to try an experiment and push it to 1600 ASA. I had heard that it pushes nicely and I wasn't disappointed. In fact, I like the results better than what I've gotten with Kodak P3200 in the past. The grain is negligible and the contrast is quite good. I only minimally adjusted the contrast curves of the film scans in Lightroom. I had my local lab, Austin Camera, develop the film with a +2 push and scan the negatives for me. I'll certainly be experimenting more with pushed TRI-X in the future.  Here are a few favorites from the first roll.

Olympus OM-4 Ti

I like to dabble in film photography from time to time. My personal goal is to shoot at least a roll of film a month, although I have to admit I haven't been very good about keeping up with it the past few months. I hope that will change this summer with my latest camera acquisition, an Olympus OM-4 Ti. This is a neat 35mm camera that I've desired for quite some time for a couple of reasons. 

The first thing that got me thinking about the OM-4 Ti is a little silly perhaps. I'm a James Bond buff and ever since seeing an OM-4 Ti in the title sequence to "License to Kill" I've wanted this camera. The camera's cameo appearance has nothing whatsoever to do with the movie itself but it was a prominent feature in the title sequence. Great product placement, Olympus! My copy of the OM-4 Ti isn't an exact match to the one from the movie as that one was in the more common champagne color and I picked one up in black. The black copies actually are more expensive usually. I was lucky enough to catch one in stock at my favorite used camera seller, KEH, during a sale.

The other reason I've been wanting this particular camera is because of the unique spot metering capabilities it has. My film cameras all have meters that are either broken or that are not very accurate any more. I've been wanting something with a good meter so I don't always have to have my Sekonic with me while shooting film. A spot meter is preferable and the meter in the OM-4 Ti is a really good one. The spot is a bit large as it takes up the entire focusing prism spot. However, the camera is able to let you take multiple readings and average them together. In fact, it allows up to 8 spot meter samples to be recorded for exposure evaluation. It works great! You can see some of the shots I got in my initial outing here. Most of these were taken using auto exposure in conjunction with single or multiple spot metering.

A couple other nifty features on the OM-4 Ti are the Hi-Light and Shadow buttons. These are a nice convenience feature that let you spot meter either a highlight or shadow area and push a button that automatically adjust the exposure to keep your whites white and your blacks black. The Hi-Light button adds 2 stops to the exposure and the Shadow button substracts 2 2/3 stops. 

I'm hoping to shoot a bunch more rolls of film this summer and hopefully having the OM-4 Ti as my muse will keep motivated and on task. Queue James Bond theme song...I've got a license to shoot.

Sunday in Taylor

Camera G.A.S. (Gear Acquisition Syndrome) struck me a couple of weeks ago when I noticed that my favorite online camera seller, KEH, had a sweet sale going on. While I wasn't particularly looking for anything at the time, a sale is sale so I had to take a look. As luck would have it I found a camera that was on my "want it some day" list. It was an Olympus OM-4Ti 35mm film camera and at 25% off I clicked the buy button without a second thought. I'll talk more about this camera and why I was interested in it in an upcoming post. For now, I just thought I'd share a few photos I took with it on a functional test in nearby Taylor, TX. 

It was last Sunday morning when I ventured out with my friend and fellow photographer Jim. He has the same camera and was kind enough to show me the ropes on it and lend me some lenses. Taylor is a small town and I've certainly been there enough times that it seems like I've taken photos of just about everything there. Once again though, Taylor didn't disappoint as I pushed myself to find something special in the familiar. 

All photos were taken with the Olympus OM-4Ti using 50mm and 24mm Olympus lenses on Fujifilm Acros 100 black and white film. The film was developed and scanned by Austin Camera.