Wednesday, 12 May 2010

Kiev 60 Macrophotography

In my last post I talked alittle about using the Holga macro lenses. I also tested my Kiev 60's macro credentials at the same time. The camera I bought came with two extension tubes (40mm and 20mm) and so I decided to see what this Soviet bruiser would make of some delicate flowers.

The results are below.

This was taken with Ektachrome EPP 100, xpro'd. The photos which followed were all taken with a negative film, Fuji Reala. What surprised me is the fact that the cross processed Ektachrome gave some quite subdued colours, where as the Reala gave some really wild colours. The photos were all taken in my kitchen on a white table with a largely white background so where the turquoise back ground came from is a mystery to me. Anyway I do like the results .
The images were taken using the 40mm extension tube only and I mounted the Kiev on a manfrotto tripod with a three way head. The light was natural, and I waited for a bright sunny morning when the sunlight comes into our kitchen. I didn't use a cable release, mainly because my capitalist cables don't fit this relic of Brezhnev's USSR.

Overall I like the images and I like the bokeh. The focusing is OK and the inbuilt light metre means the exposure is right.

Do I prefer it to the Holga as a macro camera? The answer is yes and no. The Holga is not an ideal camera for macrophotography to say the least - you can't frame the image because the view finder is no good and similarly the focusing depends on how well you guess the distance form the subject to the lens (unless you stick a ruler to the holga).

With the Kiev you can do this and let's face it Communist Russia built better glass lenses than Communist China built plastic lenses so the image quality is better.

But...I actually prefer to use the Holga in some ways. One of the Holga's greatest qualities in my opinion is it's simplicity. If I want to take a photo with the Holga, all I need to is pop on the macro lens, hold the camera at the correct distance and press the shutter.

I find having to carry a tripod and head very cumbersome and the Kiev 60 weighs as much as a T72 so framing a subject properly can be awkward. Maybe I'm too impatient but I like the Holga's easy operation.

The results from the Holga are good and I don't mind the fact that the focus is slightly off or the framing might be abit wonky - the images have an abstract feeling that I think compliments the form and colour of the flowers. I don't need pin sharp details and focusing that's accurate to the nearest nanometre - I' not trying to sell my shots to National Geographic (though I'd be quite happy to if they asked).

Would I use my Kiev plus extension tubes again? Yes - the Holga's biggest limitation is it's fixed shutter speed and aperture and I don't yet own any lights so in that respect the Kiev should give more consistent results. I've got to get some more expired Reala though. That was my last roll and I do like that turquoise.

Click on macrophotography to see the full gallery. Feel free to follow me, like me, swap links or send me money, food or clothing (male only) if you like this post. Nostrovia!

1 comment:

em_102 said...

these are beautiful!