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Should I Despair?

Discussion in 'Everything Film' started by Fishboy, Nov 16, 2015.

  1. Fishboy

    Fishboy Well-Known Member

    A couple of months ago I happened across a young chap taking photographs of a medieval re-enactment show using a Nikon F2.

    I commented on the camera, but said that I didn’t recognise the lens he was using. He showed me the lens and, to my surprise I realised that I actually had one lurking in a box somewhere – an Itorex 28mm f2.8. From memory, the quality of the lens was better than the bottom of a jam jar, but only because the lens didn’t have ‘Robertsons’ moulded into it.

    I suggested that there were plenty of good quality second-hand lenses knocking about that might turn out somewhat better results than the Itorex, but he was having none of it.

    He explained that he was happy with the lens he had, he went on to tell me that he always used out-of-date film stock that he’d deliberately subjected to extreme changes in temperature.

    He wrote down a link to his Facebook page, and when I got home I had a quick look.

    His photographs were awful. Most were out of focus, almost all had colour casts, there was camera shake and the few that were in focus were only sharp in the centre because of the terrible lens he was using. All of the pictures were covered in dust spots and the odd hair. I should add that, in my opinion, these failings contributed absolutely nothing to his subject matter. His friends, without exception, thought that these offerings were brilliant – one of them commented on his execrable results as being “retro photography at its best”.

    My F2, coupled with a lovely used 50mm f1.4 that I picked up for next to nothing on a trip to the US still produces beautiful results – should I despair at what this young lad was doing or should I be happy to see him involved in film photography?
  2. Benchista

    Benchista Which Tyler

    Must get me one of those Itorexs. ;)

    What is there to despair about? He's happy, his friends are happy, you never need look at his pictures again so you should be happy, too. :)
  3. Fishboy

    Fishboy Well-Known Member

    I believe they also did a 50mm f40 as well - no, that's not a typing error!
  4. Roger Hicks

    Roger Hicks Well-Known Member

    Yeah, why not despair? It's quick, easy and cheap.

    On the other hand it won't do you any good, so if I were you I wouldn't bother.

    I've never understood the appeal of deliberately awful quality, but then again, who is to say what is "deliberately awful quality"? I've several soft-focus lenses, meniscus lenses, pinholes, etc., and I find a place for them, but many would dismiss them as "deliberately awful quality".

    He's actually pretty irrelevant to film production, because he's only buying film that others have (in effect) thrown away, but I suppose he's doing his bit for processing -- though not if he's sending dusty, hairy films to the labs the rest of us use.


    Last edited: Nov 16, 2015
  5. Benchista

    Benchista Which Tyler

    Yeah, a Panfocus - I remember it. But then I'm the one that has not one, but two Loreo Lens In A Caps, the standard and the PC version, as well as a Lomo SLR lens (the cheap plastic thing, not the Petzval) and my old Lensbaby.
  6. steveandthedogs

    steveandthedogs Well-Known Member

    Don't tell Adrian, or he'll be pestering you for it. :cool:

  7. steveandthedogs

    steveandthedogs Well-Known Member

    Ye Gods, there are two of 'em!

  8. beatnik69

    beatnik69 Well-Known Member

    I suspect that a lot of the young people striving for these lo-fi effects are doing so because, having seen photos taken by their parents or grandparents, they think that's what all photographs looked like back in the day. They don't realise that not all photos looked like that but the ones they've seen do so because the equipment used to take them wasn't great and was all their parents could afford at the time. In our house we had a Kodak Instamatic and latterly a Polaroid instant camera. Thankfully my photography hasn't been influenced by them.
  9. Benchista

    Benchista Which Tyler

    Yup. I have to say the Perspective Control one is the single most useless bit of kit I own - what the purpose is of shifting a grotty image I have yet to fathom. And yet I bought it.

    The other one does what I want.
  10. gray1720

    gray1720 Well-Known Member

    You're mixing me with Kamepa! I at least try to get the best results I can out of old rubbish...

  11. taxor

    taxor Well-Known Member

    I'm sure there's an element of this but it's more likely a reaction to what they see as digital over-perfection and dubious photoshoppery
  12. EightBitTony

    EightBitTony Well-Known Member

    I bet it's a huge range of possible triggers & influences, most of which 'we' have no concept of without asking the specific individuals in question.

    There are 'more correct' than 'not' ways of achieving specific styles of photography, but there is no one true way of achieving photography in general, a fact I'm very pleased about.

    To the other point, this person's friends congratulating him - great, everyone's happy, even if some of them are only saying it to keep their friend happy. As long as you're not giving someone false hope (you should enter it into the photographer of the universe competition, you'll surely win), or lying when asked for specific constructive criticism, then I don't see the harm in congratulation friends on their creativity.
  13. nimbus

    nimbus Well-Known Member

    Oh, retro and nostalgia. Trying to make things like they used to be, but actually never really were. The real word to use for the end result should perhaps be pastiche.
  14. Fishboy

    Fishboy Well-Known Member

    He wasn't Cornish - I think he was from Birmingham.
  15. Roger Hicks

    Roger Hicks Well-Known Member

    Maybe we need a new compendium word made from "pastiche" and "nostalgia". A candidate might be "pastalgia", unless that's already been taken as a description the pitiful belief that Italian food can in any way begin to compare with any of the great cuisines of the world.


  16. Roger Hicks

    Roger Hicks Well-Known Member

    P'raps his spelling matched his photography...

    (Congratulations on the joke, though: falls into the category of "Wish I'd thought of it.")


  17. PhotoEcosse

    PhotoEcosse Well-Known Member

    A couple of months ago I was taking photographs of a medieval re-enactment using my Ninon F2 and my cherished Itorex 28mm f/2.8 lens. Anyone worth their salt will appreciate just how well-suited this kit is to photographing a medieval re-enactment.

    Suddenly, out of the blue, this old duffer ambled up beside me and began an inquisition of my methods and motives. He even had the temerity to suggest that there were plenty of good quality second-hand lenses knocking about that would give better results than my carefully selected combination.

    Should I despair at the lack of insight on the part of the old duffer or should I just feel sorry for him?
  18. Fishboy

    Fishboy Well-Known Member

    Harsh - I'm not an old duffer, I'm just somewhat chronologically-challenged.
  19. beatnik69

    beatnik69 Well-Known Member

    I thought it described food 'just like Mama used to make it' :D
  20. Trannifan

    Trannifan Well-Known Member

    Shouldn't this be in one of the Creativity and Failure threads?


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