A long time ago I started a couple of posts called collectibles, old and forgotten (or maybe not?) film photo camera’s, but still working fine. Today a new chapter to this series, the Yashica 635 TLR.
This camera is a twin lens reflex camera, featuring a Yashicor 80mm f/3.5 viewing lens and taking lens. It has a Copal shutter with shutter speeds from B – 1sec to 1/500sec.
This camera is visually very comparable to the much wanted Rolleiflex TLR camera that I use often in my sessions with models, it has about the same size and weight, both have a waist level viewfinder and a back lid that opens from the bottom. This Yashica 635 has the the added benefit that it came with a 35mm film adaptor (next to the standard 120 roll film system) that allowed for a more versatile use. I have never used mine with 35mm film (I don’t have the adaptor), so I can not report about that. The use of 120 roll film is very straightforward, and very similar to the Rolleiflex camera. An empty roll goes on top, the film roll goes in the bottom and is guided with rollers towards the top roll.
A very important difference in both camera’s is that with the Yashica, the shutter is not linked to the film transport. I have been used to the Rolleiflex, and this camera prevents to fire the shutter twice in a row, so you have to transport film in order to be able to expose film. With the Yashica you have a separate shutter winder, so you can do as many exposures you want on a single sheet of film. This is an important difference, that caused me quite some double exposures lately, as well as some missed shots because the shutter had not been tensioned.
Quality wise, this camera produces good negatives, a bit softer maybe than those coming from the Rolleiflex, but certainly having a good sharpness (if you manage to focus right, which is hard to do with the old matte screens).
Now for some images taken with this camera. (a series I did on the local fair in Ronse a couple of weeks ago) All images on Ilford FP4 Plus 125 ISO rated as 100 ISO)
thanks to my model for the day, Emily, this was our first collaboration.
If you would be interested in buying a camera like this, they are very affordable, especially compared to Rolleiflexes.
thank you for coming by, come again soon for a year-round review about 2018
from this summer, early in July, I was in the Netherlands with my wife and I could spend some time there photographing. I had a meeting with Michelle, and in a last minute arrangement I could shoot at the local glider plane club. Michelle had this very classy, classic looking set, a slim fitting skirt and a beautiful blouse, and there was this plane waiting for the thermal to build up. I shot a couple of rolls in this setting, this is my selection.
• Michelle at the flight club •
I had the film developed by a local lab here in Belgium, but I was not really pleased with the quality of the development, and the care they have (not) given to the films. Lesson learnt, better take time to do my own developing at home. This has cost me a lot of retouching spots, dust, scratches, and the results are only ‘just good enough’ for publishing on the web.
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from a while ago,
I shot with Vita Goncharuk in a public park near Brussels earlier this year. I was a bit worried about not having a location with full and agreed access, so we shot outside. The park is open to the public, and you might wonder if there are no risks of being caught. There is actually not really a problem as long as you are not shooting porn or really shocking the eventual witnesses. If you get caught by the owner of the place, you might get expelled from the premises, but they can’t file a complaint unless they can prove you did harm to their person/business/property.
Some people have been asking about public wandering around. First of all, get this agreed upon with your model. Most professional models don’t care much, some don’t like it. Vita didn’t mind at all. When somebody shows more interest than normal, I just go to them an say hello. I do a little chit-chat and then I give them one of my business cards and mostly they disappear after that, or they take some more (comfortable) distance. Some even send me an email about my website or my work afterwards. I even had one person sending me some behind the scenes images. (with Erika in Brussels)
The weather was splendid, the camera did very well, All shot on Ilford film, with the Rolleiflex TLR camera. I love the look of film, it gives a soft, rich tonality and it has some imperfections that are creating a romantic atmosphere. It has a natural grain, that adds to the softness of the images. The medium format (6x6cm) camera has a great shallow depth of field, (hard to focus though) and enough detail in the negatives for really big enlargements. It can’t beat the current 50Mpx camera’s, but its very close. I also love the time-span between shooting the images and having the developed film ready for scanning. The fact that you do not see results is a benefit for working slowly. When shooting digital, I get a little overwhelmed by the immediate results, which stresses me to shoot more and more and more. When shooting analog, I thing about every image, about light, about framing, about what to leave out of the frame and what to get into it, about pose, about a possible story, … I feel that I do not take the same amount of time when shooting digital. You shoot far less images when shooting film, but you get as many good ones than when shooting hundreds of digital images. … I experience a great feeling of joy when seeing the images on the developed film for the first time. They are a physical result, they have a more ‘real’ presence in my opinion than digital files. Film is not dead, at least not for me, and I’m sure for a lot of people with me. 🙂
I have about ten more films that just have been developed, but need scanning and retouching … come back again soon,
well yes, sometimes things don’t go as expected, certainly when shooting with an old camera and film, you are having no instant feedback and surprises occur 🙂
there is no automatic film advance stop, so you have to look for film frame numbers in the dark red window at the back of the camera. Clearly I saw something that wasn’t there.
shot with a Voightländer Bessa I 6×9 film camera, with Kodak TMax400 film, in a small roof flat in Leuven (Belgium)
Model Yana Mood, click for bigger version
in my series ‘strolling trough … ‘ a new chapter, coming South from Scotland last summer I had a stop in Cambride, where I shot a couple of rolls of 120 film with my Rolleiflex.
I find the Rolleiflex to be a fairly good camera for street photography. Since you are looking down as a photographer, people don’t really notice you as being one, and you can stay unnoticed a little longer, enhancing the chances of taking a good shot. I got trapped once in this series, you’ll see 🙂
All shot with Kodak TMax 400 film, on a grey day.
Enjoyable time with friends. Not.
Cows on the bike path
And two more shots from a village called Osmotherley, near North York moors National Park (UK), where I camped the night before.
A cactus (plural: cacti, cactuses, or cactus) is a member of the plant family Cactaceae, a family comprising about 127 genera with some 1750 known species of the order Caryophyllales. (From Wikipedia)
A small series of images I did about a year ago together with Kate in some semi-public glasshouse. The glasshouse was the only place where it was more or less hot enough to do nude work, and Kate didn’t care about the public character of the place, we met only very limited people, and managed to keep out of sight of most of them, at least we think. 😉
Taken with the Rolleiflex 6×6 TLR, on Kodak TMax400 film.
hope you liked that,
come again soon,
I still had time to spend, same day as part II – Dunure
I had a ferry at about 18:30 hrs, for good three hours to Campbeltown. Waiting time always inspired me to take pictures, for me it is a perfect pastime, and it might result in some nice souvenir images. I tried to check in at 16:15, but they didn’t take checkin for my ferry until half an hour before departure time, because they have very limited waiting lines. One at a time is their slogan 🙂
I had parked my motorbike along the harbour quay, quite deserted at that time, except for two young men fishing. Time to eat a bit and look around. Always something to discover in a harbour. It’s an important traffic hub, and it mostly has plenty of character. It started raining and I pulled my motor into the open garage for shelter, I shouldn’t have done that, because the floor was full of oil and diesel smudge, and almost caused me a crash late in the evening, because my tyres were all slippery. (didn’t realise it until I took a sharper bend). What you see in the images: the local fuel store, the ferry that was sheduled before mine, waiting to be loaded, the harbour, a boat workshop and some more of the harbour.
After shooting and waiting for a couple of hours I could check in, but not board yet. Rain started pouring again, now for real. I got wet, I got cold, couldn’t go anywhere because I was stuck in the waiting line. The ferry went well but I didn’t really get warm again. I managed to put up my tent at about 22:30hrs, in the dark. Happy to have a good warm down sleeping bag. (I slept at Peninver Sands – I hadn’t seen the owner in the evening, so in the morning I called him to pay my bill. ‘I’ll be there in 3 minutes he said’ when he arrived we did a little chat, when I asked him how much I owed him, ‘a bike and a tent’ hes said, he thought a bit and made a little calculation and then said ‘Oh, never mind, a lot of people wouldn’t even bother calling me’ and he wished me a good trip. Scottish hospitality I presume.)
One roll of Kodak TMax400, shot with the Rolleiflex 3,5. All images of this film shown.
next I had three days of bad, really cold weather ahead, I left the Rolleiflex in the bag till my arrival at Osmotherly, back south (North York Moors NP.) for a village stroll. Soon to come.
thank you for watching,
Coming from Glentrool, and taking the ferry in Ardrossan late in the evening, I could spend a couple of hours at ease in Dunure, a very small fishermen’s town a couple of miles south-west from Ayr.
That is one of the main joys of travelling alone, not being influenced by companions, to make way, or to discover more things on the go, but just decide for yourself when and where to stop. I had driven past a small road sign along the A719 pointing to Dunure, and then another one, and I saw the rooftops of the houses just along the coast, from this main road, so I decided to turn around and check it out. It proved to be the ideal midday stop. What you see in the pictures is Dunure Castle and surroundings, in some images you will see an island in the distance, (Isle of Arran). Some images of the harbour area, and the facade of the Harbour View Coffee shop, where I had lunch that day. It is the first place that shows up on Google maps when you zoom in on Dunure, and very well documented by pictures as well. Little did I know 🙂 They provided me with a fine meal, and a place to charge my cellphone. Lovely lady-owner, very friendly and servile.
Time was all overcast when I arrived, but with sun coming trough after noon. A very enjoyable time there. I shot one roll of Kodak TMax400 with the Rolleiflex 3.5 6×6 camera. So here you see the entire film, I have not made a selection, you see what I’ve seen and what I’ve shot. Lab developed, home scanned and digitally redeveloped in Adobe Lightroom. You’ll notice some scratches on the left side of the images. These are probably from the lab, that’s why I decided to start developing film again myself. Oooo, it’s been like 25 years, exciting 😀 … (edit: scroll down for the link for part III)
part III of this series, another roll of film shot in the harbour of Ardrossan
there is a collection in this house, of wild boar’s, in all shapes and sizes, on paintings, sculptures, drawings, teeth, … everything that reminds of the wild animal living in the heart of the Belgian Ardennes has received its place on these walls, in this castle …
the study is the most quiet space in the castle, where one can stay all day without being disturbed. Old books are being well taken care of, and this place is not influenced by day-to-day matters.
Meet Eva Evian, my model for this day, experiencing the atmosphere of the place, enjoying the quite and calm of the day.
All shot on Kodak TMax400, with Rolleiflex 3.5 camera.
thank you for watching,
after the preview of a couple of months ago already, here’s the complete selection.
All images taken on film – Kodak TMax400 and Ilford FP4 Plus125
All shot with the Rolleiflex 3.5 TLR
assistance: Nathalie, Model: Carlotta Kah
location, some abandoned hotel in Corsica
• Paradise Lost •
thank you for watching,
• The birdkeeper •
Summer is long gone it seems, but this shoot was taking place on one of those hot summer days, when models do not hesitate to pose in lingerie or nude, sun will keep them warm.
The image was taken in a little castle near my hometown, on a shady terrace. The owner had opened the door and then vanished. Eva was in a good mood, the birds were singing all around.
Shot with my old Rolleiflex TLR, on Kodak TMax 400 film. Shooting on film is a strange thing, it is slow, expensive, delicate, cumbersome … but I love it. It makes the experience more real, and the waiting for the negatives makes you take some distance from your own work. It is always exciting to see the images coming, 3, 4 weeks after you’ve shot them.
have a nice Sunday afternoon,
this is from a while ago.
Visiting Paris is something I love a lot. I have been there many times now, and I feel no real urge anymore in visiting particular places or monuments, and I enjoy more and more just being there, and observing people, looking at things happening, or seeing things being just things.
Documenting with the old Rolleiflex helps me being a more attentive observer. Trying to shoot whatever presents itself is a challenge, but is also fun and maybe a bit contradictory, a very relaxing thing to me. It is a mixture of being an observer, and in a certain way being part of the city life.
Next to this, it is also a way to get socially engaged in a certain way. I get many conversations when shooting with this old camera, from people interested in what camera it is, how it works, if it is still able to find film etcetera etcetera. I try to go unnoticed, but that is difficult sometimes, and I don’t mind.
All shot on Rolleiflex 3.5 and Kodak TMax 400/100 film.
thank you for passing by.
you’ve seen one of this series before here: envy
a new experience,working with two models at the same time,
I shot digital and analog for this series, all available light at the former Pinehouse interior shop in Ronse.
• Laura and Pauline – Duo •
first one not entirely sharp, this means not enough dept of field due to low light (large aperture needed) and medium format negatives (gives a shallower DOF than 35mm film).
I especially like the last image, don’t know why.
thanks for looking,
the first of July I had two models coming over. A new experience to me, having to concentrate on several things at a time, and not much time to come up with ideas during wardrobe changes or pauses, there’s always another model waiting. We worked in a former furniture store. There have been final sales for a couple of months, so most places are rather empty. There are however a lot of different rooms and spaces, and a lot of different lighting situations, that’s what I like about a location like this. I had my lovely assistant doing hair and wardrobe assistance with the models, and she also keeps an eye on little details during the shoot.
I shot both Pauline and Laura apart as well as together. more to come. Pauline is a long time favourite, and she brought a lot of her friends to me in these last couple of years. Laura is one of them, you’ll meet her in my next post.
• Pauline •
shot with Rolleiflex 3.5 TLR on Kodak T-Max 400 film.
this film is a little grainier than the Kodak T-Max 100, but for interior work you have to get a faster film than the 100 I mostly use. All images available light only.
Thank you Pauline, for being my model
Make up: Hanna E.B.
I have told you about a bunch of camera’s I could buy recently, this is the next chapter. I have shown you images from a Yashica TLR, A Rolleiflex TLR, the Voightlander Bessa I I owned many years now, here some images taken with an Agfa Isolette II.
The Camera is A nice folding viewfinder camera, which means it comes handy when folded, and will fit easily in any vest-pocket. (14 x 9,5 x 3,5cm) It takes standard 120 film rolls, easily available still in Belgium. It has a simple viewfinder with no indications in it of any kind, hardly a simple aid for compositing. It has an Agfa Apotar 1:4.5 f85 mm lens, and a Pronto shutter with speeds B – 1/25 up to 1/200s and a self-timer mechanism. It was made during the 50’s of the previous century. This camera can be found for a really low budget (50-75€ should get you a fine working camera), and as such, it is a perfect way to get into medium format film photography.
What I find most difficult with this kind of camera, is focusing correctly. The focusing ring has a distance scale, so you will need to either measure subject distance, guess it, or get yourself a distance measuring tool of some kind. With the large negative format (57x57mm approx) you get a shallow depth of field, even with a not so small aperture as f4.5, so focus is easily a bit off, especially in close up work.
A beautiful niece in the first three images, and a couple of walking-by family pictures.
Taken on Kodak Tmax400 film.
I have worked an entire day with Aude, so we did a lot of different things.
After the ‘Castle shoot’, both analog and digital, we went to see Bart’s house. A beautifully situated cottage house in the Flemish Ardennes. Thank you Bart and Anja, for having me in.
A new location is always a bit harder to work with, but gives you plenty new possibilities for images. Please enjoy these analog images, taken with an old Yashica 635 camera, on a dull grey day.
and a ‘behind the scene’s image, remember, keep the lady warm.
thank you for watching, have a nice year’s end all of you,
My first 100% analog photoshoot. Shot with my Rolleiflex 3.5 TLR camera, on Kodak T-Max 400 film.
My model had taken the initiative to look for great clothing and accessories that fitted them well. Next to first time only analog, also first time with a model in a crowded place. Ik kind of enjoyed the public interaction.
I hope you like the images, thank you for watching, thank you Corry for being my enthusiast model on this drizzling day. Thank you Nathalie for the hairdo, thank you Hanna for the make up.
please come again soon, for more images with this and other analog camera’s