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.
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 M6, 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.
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 long gone 400VC version, but still, it’s nice to have a film in the market like the Portra which has a huge dynamic range. I set the camera at box speed (I find no reason to overexpose it like I did with the NC and VC versions) and get great results. It’s also a great film to scan and the grain is very fine for a 400 ISO film.
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). 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 !!!). And of course, when you compare with cameras like the Mamiya RZ67, it's really a no brainer for long walks.
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.
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 going on a field trip this weekend and will soon post new images!!
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