Film Photography with the CONTAX 645

SO YES, I bought a CONTAX 645, the legendary film camera for wedding photography and did a “Victorian” collaboration photoshoot with it.

I don’t really understand the film logics yet, not 35mm nor the 120mm format, not the higher stop iso setting or whatever they call it. Being a total noob in all these terms or even digital. I’m sick but hungry, always eager for something different and don’t mind to try! The thing is, I’ll never stay with the same style – I mean, dark stuffs are pretty, but I’m curious too about the bright stuffs like Mastinlab, Jose Villa, Greg Finck’s fine art soft tones. So, when there is a great deal, I got this camera immediately without thinking twice. Crazy, I know! Anyway, it was only a meet up session with Peter Herman over some German beer(I think?) for a simple collaboration photoshoot discussion then maybe it was because of the beer we had – I am already halfway texting with all the bad ass vendors and a talent that are totally gamed for this shoot together! Thank you everyone for doing this in such a short notice specially the gown were specially modified for us. What a great team to work with!

So fast forward to the shoot, I brought this heavy bad boy and it’s baby lens Carl Zeiss Planar 80mm f2.0, a Polaroid Land Camera, and of course, my other baby boy digital Canon 5dm4 with a 35mm L lens (gotta need some digital in case anything happen to the films gosh) Worried and no clue about how all these films works but still shoot anyway……………. I have to admit that it’s kind of hard to focus which to shoot with mainly, together with so many choices on my hand at the same time, but I stick with the Contax645 most of the time and shot 3 rolls of Fujifilm’s Pro 400H and 1 roll of Kodak’s Portra 400. I did switch with the Polaroid Land Camera and digital time to time with the help of Kenny who also came join us and took some behind the scenes, thank you!

This is my favourite image.

Shot with Pro400H, lens wide open.

And with my favourite trick to get an even softer and dreamy tone, I wrapped the lens with some random plastic cover found in my kitchen.

Feeling nervous shooting by focusing manually and not understanding the camera too much, I was praying hard that the shots weren’t too OOF. (Out of Focus)

Most of the photos here are taken with Pro400H, I kinda like the outcome of this film instead of Portra400.

I am not sure was it because of the location with dark background or was it the light that constantly changing all the time. I guess I need to shoot more with this baby to find out.

The films were sent to a lab in Indonesia, I must say that they did a pretty good job scanning it. I am amazed by the soft colours!

The one image above that is taken with Portra400 since I shot one roll of it only.

And the two images below without soft corners are taken without the plastic trick therefore it seems more contrast and clearer.

Inspired by Emily Soto, I got these large format polaroid films scanned too by a local lab.

As it rained on the end of the day, sadly most of the polaroid films were ruined with water and humid, lesson learned :(

But thankfully, these three seems to make it. They weren’t perfect as I only cleaned the films with Clorox a month later.

The conclusion? I love it!

Even though the tones weren’t exactly like the finer arts I’ve mentioned but I am still happy with the outcome :)

Peter shot some beautiful ones from his digital Nikon camera too so make sure to check his collection here.

Now if you’re wondering where are my digital shots – I’ll post them up on the next blog post. Those photos are so sick I wouldn’t want to miss out on sharing them with you guys soon.

Stay tuned.

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