Film Photography Podcast – Episode 106 – July 1st, 2014
Show Notes By: Alex Luyckx
Coming to you from their secret lair in the Jones Mansion, the FPP gang is still in lovely Findlay, OH. In the studio today is Michael, John, Mark, Dane, and Leslie…plus a special guest, Mark O’Brien! On today’s show, a big interview with fine art photographer Tim Rudman, Minolta Cameras (SRT and Maxxum 7000), Argus Cameras, and much more!
FPP Interviews Tim Rudman!
Kicking it off, FPP Super Correspondent Viviane Lee sits down with fine art photographer Tim Rudman. Tim got his start in photography back when he was in medical school after picking up a Sam Hoskin’s photography book. Tim is completely self-taught, working with traditional black & white film processes and printing using a wet darkroom. He works almost exclusively with medium format as it’s bigger than 35mm but not as overwhelming as 4x5 or larger formats. While many today work with scanners and digital editing, Tim prefers to use his years of experience in the darkroom, turning only to a scanner and Photoshop to post images of his work online.
Tim creates almost surreal altered reality images through use of toning and lith printing. This allows the viewer to build their own vision of the presented print. When he’s not working in the darkroom Tim also teaches workshops that are good for anyone from the very beginner to the expert printer looking to expand their own skill set. As for what you can do on your own, Tim recommends playing in the darkroom, trying out something new or different and see what happens, and more importantly treat your prints with care, practice good techniques and keep a clean space. If you want to learn more about Tim and see examples of some of his stunning work or sign up for a workshop check out his website: www.timrudman.com. And the FPP would like to extend a special thanks to the fine folks at Silverprints in London who gladly hosted this interview at their shop. Silverprints is an excellent source for traditional photography supplies, you can check them out online at: www.silverprint.co.uk
Read Viviane Li's blog: "Journey to excellence – what qualities made Tim Rudman the expert in lith printing?" HERE.
Meeting Mark O'Brien
Mark is not a new voice to the FPP having been interviewed by Mat back at Photostock 2012. When Mark’s not maintaining the extensive insect collection at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor he’s out shooting with a wide range of cameras and is a member of the Ann Arbor Crappy Camera Club. Formed back in 2006 the club was founded by a group of photographers interested in pinhole, toy, and other odd cameras out there. In fact in their very first year they did a full out gallery show that ended up having so many people attend the opening night, the lineup was out the doors of the building. While the name may turn some people away, the club is really for anyone who loves to shoot film.
What’s the big thing that put Ann Arbor on the map, well that would be the Argus Camera Company. The most recognized camera was the brick like C-series of cameras, and the prolific C3 model. Go to any antique store in the mid-west and you’ll find one gathering dust on the shelf. The C3 introduced in 1939 gave the market an affordable 35mm camera that featured interchangeable lenses. If you’re interested in learning more about the history of Argus, check out Argomania, and stick around for two weeks, as episode 107 will have plenty more Argus talk!
There are plenty of folks on the FPP who love Minolta, Mark, John, and even Leslie (although she’s more an Olympus fan). Kicking it off is the SRT-200. This beast of a mechanical camera comes from a long line of cameras that were first introduced in 1966 with the SRT-101, the line itself growing out of the SR-7 SLR from Minolta. These were some of the first cameras to use TTL or Thru-The-Lens metering that the lens could remain wide open. The meter’s required a mercury battery to drive it, but the cameras would work just fine without one. The SRT line also required a new line of lenses, MC (Meter-Coupled) that allows for this innovation to be used. The SRT-200 was a very basic camera, nothing fancy produced between 1975 and 1977, and like all SRT’s used the simple match-needle system in the viewfinder. These are great student cameras and really won’t let down. The entire lineup was replaced by the popular X-series of cameras, such as John’s trusty X-700!
But we’ll just skip over the X-Series and jump right into one of the biggest innovations that Minolta brought to the camera world, the first useful autofocus system and built in computer for control The Maxxum 7000 was introduced in 1985, featured a built in computer in both the camera and the new A-Mount lenses, gone were switches and dials, replaced by LCD screens and buttons. It was very much a camera for the 1980s. Unlike earlier AF systems, the Minolta one did not require the lens to have the batteries. Despite the plastic construction the cameras were fairly durable. These were also the last Minolta cameras to use a standard Hot Shoe, going to a proprietary ‘bastard-shoe’ as Leslie termed it. There were two other cameras released around the same time, the Maxxum 5000 (aimed at lower end markets) and the Maxxum 9000 (a professional body). Another interesting note, the Maxxum logo originally had the two x’s stacked on each other, which created a bit of a stir with Exxon. Minolta was sued and was forced to recall the earlier models to replace the logo with the x’s side by each.
That’s it for us, but only for a short two weeks! Until then, enjoy the summer weather, get out, shoot, share in our pool. Also drop us a note by email or regular post (PO Box 152, Butler NJ 07405 USA). Closing out to get us in the summer mood is Surf Pajama Party by the Pink Delicates. And Happy Canada Day to our Canadian listeners!
Chips Ahoy! A BIG thanks to all the awesome listeners that heve sent in donations. We rely on YOU to keep the FPP going. Extra thanks you tasty treats are added! They make our recording sessions extra special!