At Meteora with Plaubel Makina 67

I have posted many times images taken at the wonderful location of Meteora (Greece), and written about this unique place. You can see a list of these post here.

With the exception of infrared images and a few other occasions, I am mainly shooting film those days. Especially during the past month I have shot many rolls with the Leica M7, all of them black and white. While digital cameras can produce stunning color images today, I still prefer the look of a film medium format camera for color.

The tonality of medium format camera combined with the unique look of amedium format is still my favorite. Scanned with a dedicated film scanner like the Nikon Coolscan 9000, produces a file with superb color,sharpness and tones, and of course the scanned files translates to many megapixels which allow for very large prints.

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(Plaubel Makina 67, Kodak Portra 400 Professional, handheld)

This 10000×8000 pixels file translates to about 80 megapixels of you do the math. Now, as I have written before, it’s not exactly 80mp, at least the way you count it on a digital camera, but if you look at 100% zoom or do a 40 inches wide print, you will see fantastic details, due to the huge frame size.

For my last trip at Meteora, I took the Plaubel Makina 67 loaded with the new Portra 400 Professional film. The reason for choosing a 400 ISO film, was that I didn’t want to carry a tripod with me. On a bright sunny day, I can shoot with a shutter speed of 1/500 at f11, which gives me both stability and a large depth of field. I can also attach a polarizer and still be able to shoot handheld at fast speeds. The Makina 67 is a rangefinder camera, so there’s no mirror to cause vibrations, and that’s a huge advantage when taking images handheld with a 6×7 camera.

The new Portra 400 is a low contrast film, closer to the now discontinued 400NC emulsion. I still prefer the 400VC version, but still, it’s nice to have a new film in the market. I set the camera at box speed (I find no reason to overexpose it like I do with older films) and get great results. It’s also a great film to scan and the grain is very fine for a 400 ISO film.

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(Plaubel Makina 67, Kodak Portra 400 Professional, handheld)

I consider these photos as travel images and not serious landscape shoots (I was visiting the location with friends to enjoy the day and not just for making photos). If I was doing serious landscape work, I would definitely bring along the Fuji GSW690iii with Velvia slide film.

The Makina 67 is a fantastic travel camera, very portable when folded and although it’s heavy, it can easily fit in a small bag (that’s something I tend to repeat every time I write about this camera !!!)

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(Plaubel Makina 67, Kodak Portra 400 Professional, handheld)

In order to show the great detail of a 6×7 frame, take a look at the right top of the rock formation (the last rock on the right side of the photo). Below is a crop of this part of the image.

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You can easily see the climber resting on the top of the rock. Now, that’s a photo shot handheld with a 400 ISO color negative film and still you can see the detail. Imagine shooting on a tripod with a Fuji Provia 100 slide film and you can easily guess the result !!!

I am planning another photo trip for this weekend, with a medium forms camera in my bag of course, so I will have some new photos for next week posts. I am also planning to scan an Ektar 100 roll tonight (also shot with the Makina 67), and will upload these images during the weekend.

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(Plaubel Makina 67, Kodak Portra 400 Professional, handheld)

(c)2012 Konstantinos Besios. All Rights Reserved.

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