I’ve made my grandfather’s Pentax the camera I grab and go when I want to carry more than my phone but less than my dslr. Here’s a roll of Portra 400 taken over the course of a couple of weeks. Seen here: SFMOMA and Yerba Buena Gardens with Sarah, lots of walks in my neighborhood, a solitary hike in Marin.
Had a great time romping around Dolores Park on Saturday evening with my former coworker Chelsie and her beautiful family. Have you been to the huge new playground there? It’s especially fun when you’re not breaking the rule that says “adults must be accompanied by a child”! Here’s some photos!
Last week I shot two rolls of film with my late grandfather’s Pentax Spotmatic, which was given to me by my mom more than a decade ago and has spent far too much of that decade languishing on one shelf or another. It’s a beautiful, historied piece of mechanics, with a loud metallic shutter release and scuffs in all the right places, and it came with three prime lenses in leather cases. It had been a few years since I’d picked it up, and I’m pretty sure I ripped the last roll of film I shot with it when I totally forgot how to use the rewinding mechanism. I have a few prints somewhere from the summer in college when I interned with a fine art black and white photographer, but mostly I’d been disappointed by what I’d produced with this camera. Last week, though, I felt like I’d finally earned it, somehow — like I understood it, and we could be friends. I really like a lot of these images. Like my mom says — there is something special about film, isn’t there? I also found that I was attracted to different subjects than I am when carrying around a dslr, and of course there’s the one-chance-to-get-it aspect of film that really encourages mindfulness and intentionality. I think I’ll learn a lot by using this camera more often.
If you’re curious: the film is Kodak Portra 400; the lenses I used were a 135mm f3.5 and a 35mm f3.5. I also have a 50mm f1.4 that I haven’t used yet — it’s wrapped in tinfoil on my windowsill to hopefully reduce the yellowing caused by radioactive(!) thorium. Apparently these M42 Takumar lenses are pretty popular with Canon dslr users! I bought an adapter and am looking forward to using them with my dslr too.