talkin bout cameras


a blog by Branden Frederick

Xpan

Xpan

Hasselblad's true panoramic rangefinder

1112
gear
2 Feb 2018

For years, the Xpan was a dream camera for me.

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Wooster

Wooster

San Jose Neighborhood

49
photos
6 Jan 2018

Last winter, amid the storms and downpours, I walked around the Wooster and Julian neighborhoods near downtown San Jose, shooting photos using my Canon Rebel 2000, EF 50mm f/1.4 lens, and expired Kodak Ektar 25 film.

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Lakeside

Lakeside

San Francisco

19
photos
2 Jan 2018

On New Years Day, I wandered around the Lakeside area of San Francisco with my Fujifilm X-Pro2.

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2017 Review

2017 Review

a Self-Reflection

2057
concepts
26 Dec 2017
By far, the most important thing that happened to me this year was the birth of my daughter. Yes, this is a photography blog and childbirth has nothing to do with cameras, but her birth transcended all parts of my life, including photography. continue reading »

San Jose Night

San Jose Night

on film

9
photos
19 Dec 2017

Shot using the Kowa/SIX and expired Portra 160VC.

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Yuletide

Yuletide

Corporate Christmas

280
photos
13 Dec 2017

Here are 15 of downtown San Jose's best office tower lobby Christmas Trees. I shot these photos using the Kowa/SIX and Portra 160VC film (expired, but from the same stock as other rolls that worked well).

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santa clara

santa clara

on medium format e100vs

54
photos
8 Dec 2017

For the Hasselblad 500C/M's first real outing with the 220-back, I walked the streets of Santa Clara area armed with the Distagon 40mm lens and rolls of expired Kodak Ektachrome E100VS slide film. The film has held up well, and the colors came through nice and vibrant. Here are the 10 best frames.

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expired 110

expired 110

in the baby diana

125
film
7 Dec 2017
A few years ago, someone gave me some old rolls of Kodak Gold 110 film they had found in their garage. I only recently got a working 110 camera (the Lomography Baby Diana), and then it took me longer to find someone to scan them (I've tried at home, and it's a pain). continue reading »

Financial District 6x6

Financial District 6x6

San Francisco

125
photos
5 Dec 2017

I had time recently to walk around the Financial District in San Francisco, so I used it to take photos using the Hasselblad 500C/M and Kodak Tri-X film. My only working lens for the system right now is the Distagon 40mm with its crazy wide angle of view, so that's what I used.

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Kowa/SIX Compared

Kowa/SIX Compared

compared with what?

1439
gear
2 Dec 2017 4 Dec 2017
The Kowa/SIX was produced from 1968 to 1974, and was the first of three Kowa medium-format 6x6cm cameras. It competed against (and was cheaper than) the Hasselblad V system – and someone familiar with the Hasselblad will recognize many of the same selling points in the Kowa. I've been shooting with a Kowa/SIX for about two year now, and have become familiar with the camera. continue reading »

Crockett

Crockett

on Portra 160VC

97
photos
1 Dec 2017

Crockett, California is a small town at the foot of the Carquinez Bridge famed for the large C&H Sugar Factory dominating the view. Having many old and winding streets mixed with the unique vistas, I was drawn to photograph the area.

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gone to mars

gone to mars

velvia gone bad

116
film
28 Nov 2017
In another exciting chapter of shooting junk film bought at bargain prices off eBay, I present you these photos shot on the surface of Mars on the Niles Canyon Railway. continue reading »

kodak plusdigital

kodak plusdigital

unusual film

158
film
27 Nov 2017
In the mid-2000s, Kodak introduced PlusDigital film (alongside some other lines) in Asia, where digital had not yet fully supplanted film as the standard in photography. continue reading »

Alameda Long & Wide

Alameda Long & Wide

with the Kowa

134
photos
20 Nov 2017
For my own testing, as well as an article here, I wanted to shoot a roll of film through the Kowa using exclusively each the wide 55mm lens and the long 150mm lens. continue reading »

Canon EOS Rebel 2000

Canon EOS Rebel 2000

film SLR

142
gear
30 Aug 2017
The Canon Rebel 2000 was the entry-level SLR released by Canon in April 1999. It cost about $500 at the time, although I bought this one on eBay for $15. continue reading »

Palo Alto

Palo Alto

On the Xpan

34
photos
30 Jul 2017
I ran some rolls of expired original Velvia through the Xpan on the mean streets of Palo Alto, California. Some of the rolls were too expired... so I converted them to monochrome. continue reading »

willow glen

willow glen

on film

46
photos
27 Jul 2017

Willow Glen is one of the older neighborhoods. Incorporate into San Jose's city limits somewhat against their will, they maintain their own identity more strongly than some other areas that suffered a similar fate.

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santa clara homestead

santa clara homestead

breaking in the x-pro2

98
photos
23 Jul 2017

Because I have no self control, I purchased a Fujifilm X-Pro2 to accompany my Fujifilm X setup. I will do a full write-up after I get more experience with the camera, but in the meantime I wanted to share these photos I shot on Homestead Avenue in Santa Clara – the first time I took the X-Pro2 out for some photos outside the house.

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slide duplicating film

slide duplicating film

testing and bracketing

324
film
19 Jun 2017
One of the weirder films you can find on eBay is Kodak's Ektachrome "Slide Duplicating Film 5071". I doubt there's 5070 other Ektachrome slide duplicating films, so I don't know what the "5071" indicates. Maybe some Kodak internal index? Coded "ESD", this film isn't labeled with an ISO. continue reading »

San Jose

San Jose

Testing the XF 50mm f/2

16
photos
20 May 2017

I took the new Fujifilm XF 50mm f/2 lens out for a stroll this morning.

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review of every fujifilm XF lens

review of every fujifilm XF lens

even those I've never used

3131
gear
19 May 2017
Fujifilm, blessed be they, are makers of the "X" camera system – the best compact camera system on the market. There's two lens lines available in this system, the XC lenses, which suck are cheap, and the XF lenses, which are awesome. I'm going to tell you all about every single XF lens, even those I've never used. continue reading »

how I pick cameras

how I pick cameras

what I look for

1308
concepts
13 May 2017

As this website will attest, I've written a lot of garbage over the years about my experiences with different cameras and photo techniques. I've bought and sold entire camera systems, delved deep into film, had my left eye socket fitted with a M42 screw mount (I lie), not to mention that time when I heard the term "strobist" and got really into flash photography for 45 seconds. I'm open minded and willing to experiment.

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carquinez

carquinez

not exclusively

43
photos
30 Apr 2017

I had an appointment in Berkeley recently and no reason to rush home, so I took some photos around that area, and wandered around the town of Crockett (which I didn't know existed before this) which is right at the Carquinez Strait.

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too small, too fast

too small, too fast

film broken and abused

849
film
11 Mar 2017

I have brought together a perfect storm of dumb. But first, a story.

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coleman

coleman

san jose neighborhood

22
photos
4 Feb 2017

An old industrial neighborhood holding out against the rising property values surrounding it. Shot using the Leica M3 and T-Max 100.

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2016

2016

year in review

188
concepts
26 Dec 2016
Here we are – nearly at New Years Day, our annual reminder that we're all slowly approaching our deaths. As the heavy drinking drowns our sorrows, so does it turn our reflection inward, and cause us to self-evaluate. We realize how little we've accomplished, and to what degree we've let ourselves down. continue reading »

first impressions: xpan ii

first impressions: xpan ii

legendary panorama rangefinder

858
gear
28 Nov 2016
I recently was able to add a dream camera to my collection: the Hasselblad Xpan II. The Xpan II was produced from 2003 to 2005 by a joint effort of Fujifilm (in Japan) and Hasselblad (in Sweden). continue reading »

San Francisco Adventure

San Francisco Adventure

XPan Edition

32
photos
26 Nov 2016

I took out the Xpan II on a trip up to San Francisco, shooting three rolls of film: one Ektachrome 100SW, one Ektar 125, and one ProImage 100, all Kodak stocks.

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what's in my bag?

what's in my bag?

don't expect me to actually answer this question

1274
concepts
19 Nov 2016
I subscribe to too many camera discussions where the premise is "what's in your camera bag?" Like watching car crash videos on YouTube, there's nothing good about this habit, but I just can't help myself. This is my own failing. continue reading »

Night Film

Night Film

Ektachrome 50T shots of San Jose's skyline

45
photos
19 Nov 2016

I have read online that for long exposure night time film photography, Tungsten-balanced slide films can provide the "best" results. So I tried it out for myself, using this ancient Kodak Ektachrome 50T, letting my Canon Rebel 2000 do the metering automatically at +1.

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first impressions, part 2: xpan ii

first impressions, part 2: xpan ii

and the island of lost dreams

49
photos
10 Nov 2016

Here's some of my first photos with the Xpan II. I used way expired Kodak TMax P3200 film, exposed at EI 640 (I needed to use that ancient stuff for something). I have the 45mm and 90mm lenses for the Xpan, so those were the focal lengths used.

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ektachrome gone bad

ektachrome gone bad

abused and forgotten

71
film
30 Oct 2016
When you're shooting film you've bought off someone on Craigslist, the film is expired, and they're not a photographer, all bets are off. continue reading »

repairing the x-t1

repairing the x-t1

a log

455
gear
24 Oct 2016
Last year, on vacation in Ireland, I dropped my Fujifilm X-T1. I had a crappy wriststrap attached to one of the strap lugs, and the camera was dangling from my wrist, when the strap broke, and the camera tumbled to the ground below. continue reading »

two years with the x-t1

two years with the x-t1

obnoxious statistics

964
gear
24 Oct 2016
Two years ago I sold almost all my Canon gear and went to Fujifilm. Under the auspices of Canon, I cut my teeth in really learning photography. Over the Canon years I had gone through a ludicrous amount of Canon gear, having used well over two dozen different lenses, not to mention the slew of flashes and other accessories. continue reading »

visitacion to mission

visitacion to mission

san francisco

114
photos
4 Oct 2016

I walked from Visitacion Valley through the Excelsior, into Noe Valley, through the Mission into the Castro and finally ended in the Lower Haight. My fitbit recorded 37,000 steps and 125 floors on this day.

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my legs

my legs

yes, i'm going to talk about tripods

307
gear
4 Sep 2016
The thing with photography as a hobby is that there is more gear out there than even a gear-o-phile like myself cares about. I am talking, in this instance, about tripods. continue reading »

xf 56mm f/1.2

xf 56mm f/1.2

my reaction

166
gear
4 Sep 2016
I'm not much of a long lens guy. I love me some wide, fast primes. But when it comes to long lenses, I just am never happy. So me, knowing that Fujifilm makes a highly-acclaimed 56mm f/1.2 lens for my beloved X-T1, just had to get my hands on one, but didn't want to commit. So I rented. continue reading »

accidental double-exposure

accidental double-exposure

mysterious first exposure

180
film
13 Aug 2016

A few years ago, a friend's father gave me a box of assorted camera junk that had been gathering dust in his garage for who knows how long. Included were some rolls of trash film. I threw them into my freezer and said "one day I'll shoot those".

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hensley district

hensley district

san jose neighborhood

10
photos
31 Jul 2016
Photos I shot using the Canon Elan IIe. continue reading »

old t-max p3200

old t-max p3200

doesn't save well

113
film
25 Jun 2016
In another exciting adventure in using expired film, here's photos shot on 20-year-old Kodak T-Max P3200 film. The higher the speed of film, the more delicate it must be stored, and the less well it will save after expired. continue reading »
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this website

is a one-person blog all about digital and film photography and its techniques, concepts, and accessories, and the search for the meaning of life. This project is created by Branden Frederick, a long-time hobbyist photographer with allegiance to no brand. The goal of this website is to help us all become better photographers.

Photography advice is the only as good as the person making the photos, and as Branden is miles away from being a great photographer, take this whole blog with a grain of salt.

about Branden Frederick

about Branden Frederick

I am a photographer: I have fun taking photos, and I always have.

I've had a camera in my hand my whole life, a 110 camera as a kid, and the high school's 35mm SLR later. In 2008 I spent six months doing nothing but taking photos and loved it. From that point on I've had my camera surgically attached to my hand (I lie). I went digital in the year 2000, and I came back to film in 2013. My parents tell me my photos are "nice".

bf@branden.me