Tag Archives: contax rts iii

Portraits

These two portraits are natural light portraits I took of my parents in their kitchen. These were play-around shots with my Contax RTS III and the 50mm f1.4 Planar lens for it. I wanted to see what the out-of-focus areas looked like when shot wide open. I think the shot of my mom with my dad in the background has an extremely painterly quality to it and really shows off the lens’ capability. Now it makes me want to use that lens more!

Joyce and Tom
Joyce and Tom
Tom
Tom

Cars

Sometimes, I do actually break out the 35mm and shoot. These were all taken at a local car show, playing around with my Contax RTS III and the 50mm f1.4 Planar lens. I think you really can tell a difference between shots taken with the RTS III and other 35mm cameras because of the vacuum film pressure plate – sucking the film perfectly flat at the time of exposure does lead to a sharper negative overall, or at least takes the film’s flexibility out of the equation and lets the lens shine through. These were taken with my favorite color negative film, Kodak Ektar 100.

I just love the simplicity of the Corvette rear end design in this composition – the field of cream yellow, offset by the curve of chrome and the two red taillights reflected in the bumper. It doesn’t get much better than this.

Corvette Bumper
Corvette Bumper

Aah, classic design. The Art Deco glory that is the Cord 810 convertible. Considering how rare and expensive these are, the owner/driver gets a lot of credit for driving it to and from the show. I saw him later that afternoon, pulled over with the hood up, so that dashed my fantasies of having one as a daily driver. But it’s still a glorious car to see on the road today.

Dashboard, Cord 810
Dashboard, Cord 810

Another vintage dashboard, from a Porsche 356. Very clean, very simple, no clutter to distract from the driving experience.

Porsche Steering Wheel
Porsche Steering Wheel

I was racking my brain to remember what car this was exactly. It’s British, 1950s, with a big (for the time and place) engine. I was thinking Jensen, or BRM, but I think Jensen was 60s and 70s, and BRM mostly did racing cars. Then it struck me – it’s a 1950s Bristol four-place coupe. They were fast, luxurious GTs in their day, and somewhat rare, especially on this side of the pond.

Bristol Dash
Bristol Dash

Here is the engine compartment of the Bristol. A big inline 6-cylinder topped by three magnificent carburetors. It’s almost sculptural.

Bristol Engine
Bristol Engine

The modern contingent – a Ford GT, the modern recreation of the 1960s GT40 race car, but this one is street legal, and fully civilized on the inside with working A/C, radio, and leather seating.

Ford GT40
Ford GT40

And last but not least, what car show would be complete without a Ferrari or two? This is the dashboard of a Ferrari 250 Berlinetta, as seen through the window glass.

Ferrari Dash
Ferrari Dash

At the Montgomery County Agricultural Fair

Ag fairs are a long-running tradition in the United States. They’re getting harder to find now, especially near urban areas on the coasts, as agricultural regions disappear. And really, there’s not that much agricultural to the Montgomery County Fair these days – it’s mostly just the midway with the rides and games and heart-stoppingly unhealthy food. It had been ages since I went to one, so it was a nice trip down nostalgia lane, and they make for a great opportunity to shoot wild colors at night. The Montgomery County Fair is held in Gaithersburg every summer, and while the area used to be semi-rural, it is now very much a part of the Washington DC megalopolis. It’s not an exurb or even an outer suburb anymore.

Merry Go Round
Merry Go Round
Win Big Prizes
Win Big Prizes
Pizza, Nachos
Pizza, Nachos
Super Shot - Starting Out
Super Shot – Starting Out
Super Shot - Halfway
Super Shot – Halfway
Super Shot - Almost There
Super Shot – Almost There
Super Shot - At The Top
Super Shot – At The Top

I’d have included the Super Shot dropping but it happens so fast it’s hard to time it and get a good picture with motion blur that makes sense – setting up a tripod in the middle of the midway to take that shot would probably get you ejected by security for obstructing traffic.

I shot all of these hand-held, with my Contax RTS III and 50mm f1.4 lens. most were shot at f1.4. My film of choice is Kodak Portra 160, not only because it’s very fine-grained but also because it has a remarkable talent for handling mixed lighting conditions.