Photos & Projects

Photographing Little Things on Film – By Jordi Fradera

November 20, 2020

There are great masters in the art of macro photography and perhaps some of them will smile if they read my article but these are the adventures of a simple amateur in this difficult specialty.

When I was given a Leica M3 in 1957, I was already attracted to macro photos but I needed a suitable accessory and bought the Visoflex. The set was very bulky, I don’t remember taking any macro photos, I also lacked the necessary skills.

Then I looked at reflex cameras and in 1959 I switched to a first-generation Canonflex with 50mm. and 135mm. Supercanomatic R lenses plus two close-up lens.

With the Canonflex I shot macro photos but I only have some of them on paper that cannot even be considered macro.

Young and just an beginner I lacked dedication, science and patience (in Spanish: “faltar ciencia y paciencia” rhymes and is a popular saying)

In 1983, my abandoned Canonflex was stolen from a closet at home.

Golden years

It wasn’t until 1977 that I bought a Pentax ME with what I needed for macro. I still have the accessories but the camera is now only an empty housing (I completely disassembled it). I was helped by two books on Macro photography and the Pentax Macro Accessories catalog.

The photo at the top is the first one I shot with Pentax ME, it is a glass bird whose head is about 8mm. I don’t remember what accessories I used.

I show you other photos taken with the Pentax ME, some with the subject in one hand and the camera in the other. The film used has almost always been Kodak Gold 200.

Green grasshopper

Mail stamp and others (28 mm + inverted + extension tube #1)

Mantis head

Backlight Hedgehog (28mm + inverted + extension tube #1)

Blue dragonfly

Empusa

Empusa

Today

When doing this article I thought about taking macro photos with the accessories of the Pentax ME with a Pentax MZ-5 that I bought in 1997 but after buying the batteries and the 35mm film, the camera refuses to shoot and I have abandoned the try.

It only remains for me to cite my adventures with digital macro photography, I do quite a few shots but it no longer has the emotion of analog. When taking a film photo, I had to wait for development and hopefully I would get some result. In digital and at my amateur level it is easy to take a lot of photos, check the result immediately, choose the best ones and edit to improve the result, that is, it has little merit.

I show you the first one made in 2002 with a Minolta Dimage 7 (allows macro at 25cm from the sensor, 5cm from the end of the lens).

The photos of the watches are expressly taken for this article with a Sony A37 camera plus reversed Pentax M 28 / 2.8 (that provides a wide field of 11 mm.) taped to a Sony body cap, look at the second hand on watches. Sorry, it was a whim, something I always wanted to do.

2 second exposure on the left, 4 second on the right

Thanks for reading my article!

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4 Comments

  • Reply
    D. Thurman
    November 21, 2020 at 5:10 am

    Nice article. Liked especially the head of the bird at the top, and your comment about the relative merits of film vs digital.
    That is so right on. A film photograph simply contains the authentic magic. If this is kept in mind then digital will reflect it also
    and have its own filmlike “merit”. I hope you continue your work in photography because you’re an interesting person…
    Sorry your Canon SLR went missing. The disassembled body of the Pentax was funny, special, and beautiful.
    Good cameras by great companies are amazing along with the devotion they generate as this website testifies to so we tune in…
    Thanks.

    • Reply
      Jordi Fradera
      November 21, 2020 at 10:53 am

      Thank you for your comments, I had fun taking the photos and also with the post.

  • Reply
    Matt Sandiford
    November 21, 2020 at 12:40 pm

    A nice read, thank you. I particularly like the middle photo of the empusa – really interesting.

    • Reply
      Jordi Fradera
      November 21, 2020 at 4:49 pm

      Thanks a lot.
      One hand with the branch and empusa and the other with the camera while my son (2,5 YO) watched very closely.
      Unforgettable. April 1981.

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