I had been thinking about trying a medium format camera for years and recently I finally made my mind up and give it a try. After some research I found a good deal on an internet auction platform here in Switzerland and I bought a lovely Rolleiflex MX-EVS with a Tessar f 1/3.5 75mm without knowing too much about it. The camera arrived within a few days and I was lucky to still have a few sunny autumn days to try the camera in the wild. Originally it was my idea to take mostly landscape shots with this new toy so it was great to have some sunshine.
As medium format was a completely new chapter for me I went through a lot of questions like where to develop the films, how to scan the negatives etc. I will share my experiences and thought process below and maybe you can avoid some mistakes that I made.
Finally it looks like the Lab-Box Kickstarter project sees some real progress. The promised improvements are implemented (at least some of them) and the delivery date is still the same. Let’s hope they go on like this.
From time to time you have to try something new. Something that makes you feel awkward and silly because it’s different from the things you have done before. Sounds totally stupid but at least you left your comfort zone a little bit.
Several years ago I was looking for a photography project that should keep me occupied for a longer period of time. Weeks, maybe months it should be. Turned out it would be years. After shooting mostly street photography for years – be it at home or while travelling – I was looking for something new, something I had never gotten in contact with before.
Recently I attended a technical conference in Montpellier, France, for five days. As I still had a roll of FP4+ loaded in my Contax T2 and I had to travel as light as possible I decided to just take this nice little camera with me.
1. Distances in Russia are huge
An obvious fact: Russia is a large country and so are the distances between train stations. If you plan your trip on a map you will probably end up underestimating the distances between Siberian cities. The classic transsiberian railway starting in Moscow to Vladivostok is over 8.000km. Our trips were Zürich to Budapest 1.036km, Budapest to Kiev 1.116km, Kiev to Moskva 862km, Moskva to Kazan 796km, Kazan to Yekaterinburg 876km, Yekaterinburg to Novosibirsk 1.523km, Novosibirsk to Tomsk 317km, Tomsk to Irkutsk 1.883km, Irkutsk to Ulan-Ude 462km, Ulan-Ude to Ulaanbaatar 578km, Ulaanbaatar to Peking 1.172km totaling over 10.000km
For the last 5 weeks we have been on a big adventure through 8 countries from Switzerland, through Austria and Liechtenstein to Hungary, the Ukraine, Russia, Mongolia all the way to China. Our goal was to reach Beijing, China without using any plane only by traveling on land.