March 14, 2011

camera equipment;

One of the most frequent questions I get is what cameras I use, and in my blog statistics l've noticed that some people have googled this question + my name lately, so here is a little line up of the different cameras I always use.


Zenit-B (with Helios-44 58mm/2 and Pentacon 29mm/2.8 lenses)
This is probably my all-time favorite camera (as you might have noticed). It takes regular 35mm film, it has no light meter and it is completely manual. The film I use with this camera is mostly Fuji Superia (iso 200, 400 or 800) or Kodak ColorPlus 200.

Produces photos like these:





Photina Reflex & Zeiss Ikoflex 1a
These are twin lens (because of the two "eyes" on each) medium format cameras that takes 120 film (6x6). The Zeiss belongs to Leo, and this is the camera he uses for most of his photographs. I use it as well sometimes since I think the sharpness level of the Zeiss-lens is much better than the lens on the Photina. The film I (or we) use with these are mostly Kodak Portra (iso 160 or 400) or Fuji Superia (iso 100 or 400).

Produces photos like these:





Polaroid SX-70
The ultimate polaroid camera, in my eyes. It takes various types of film - Time-Zero, Tz Artistic, Fade to Black, 600 film and the new monochrome and color shade films made by the impossible project; PX-70 and PX-100. I mostly use 600 film without any modification of the camera or ND-filters that some say is needed, since the iso speed of the 600 film isn't the same as the original SX-70 film. I simply set the lighten-darken control to the darkest point, and it always works fine. Besides the 600 film I sometimes use Tz Artistic, and I also have three packs of PX-70 color shade in my fridge that are waiting to be used.

Produces photos like these:





Polaroid Image System
This camera is quite similar to the SX-70 above (not when it comes to its apperance though), but the format is slightly different. While the SX-70 produces square prints, the Image System gives you more rectangular shaped prints. This camera takes Spectra, Image or 990 film, and there might be other types of film as well, but these three are the ones I'm familiar with and have used.

Produces photos like these:





Polaroid Colorpack II
This is a camera that takes type 100-film (and there's lots to choose from, take a look at some on the impossible project's shop), and this is a little different compared to the polaroid cameras above. It uses peel-apart film that you basically pull out of the camera yourself after taking a picture (in other words - the camera doesn't eject the print like other polaroid cameras usually do), then you let the sheet of film develop for a few minutes, and at last you peel off the developed photograph from the sheet. The results are often a little "smeared", especially if the film is expired. I've mostly been using 125i and 669 film with this camera, along with Fuji FP-100C and FP-3000B.

Produces photos like these:





Fuji Instax 210
This might be the ugliest camera of all time, it's huge and it's a little loud when turning it on and off, but it gives you very nice prints with great colordepth. It works like a regular polaroid camera - you take a picture and the print pops out. This model uses Instax wide format film.

Produces photos like these:



To scan negatives and polaroid prints I use an Epson Perfection 3200.

I have also been getting a lot of questions about where to buy polaroid cameras and film, so here is a quick little guide: You can find and buy both polaroid cameras and film on ebay US, UK, your own country's version of ebay (or tradera if you live in Sweden) or fleamarkets and thriftstores. I've also noticed some cameras on Etsy every now and then. You can also buy film from the impossible project. Just make sure to buy film that suits the camera you're using.

If you have any questions, feel free to ask!

76 comments :

  1. Amazing Collection, really. :)

    http://kumo09.blogspot.com/

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  2. I love your pictures.they all have something special.


    www.milifly.blogspot.com

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  3. very exclusive, clear all the doubt :) thanks for sharing with us.

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  4. I actually got a question mostly because I know nothing bout analog cameras.

    How much editing do you do after you get your pictures scanned in?

    I'm aware that you probably have to do some editing - or perhaps I should call it processing, since that what you do with convertional film - to get the colors, contrast etc that you want. But I'm curious.. coz this girl (also uses film), her pictures have more contrast than yours.. so I'm just guessing, that the reason why the colors in your pictures are more soft is because you choose it to be like than, rather than it being a direct outcome of the camera&film.

    I' not sure if the last part made any sense :/ Perhaps I'm also completely wrong. Please enlighten me :)

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  5. Dear Annette,
    I think you take the most wonderful photos regardless of camera type! :)

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  6. I have always been curious, how do you meter your light? do you use a light meter or maybe another camera's meter? I just noticed that neither the zenit-b or the medium format cameras have built in light meters. I own a light meter but its in need of expensive batteries so I either use my digital to meter light for my film cameras, or I just gauge the light myself. Do you do something similar?

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  7. thank you very much for telling us that!
    now the only problem is the money :)

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  8. You make me want to learn how to shoot with film. I adore your photos :)

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  9. Nice, I love films but i don't use it that much, I like to cause the result is much more better than digital in my opinion.

    http://michaelismoshe.blogspot.com/

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  10. I think that I have Zenit-E, not B but it looks the same. I haven't ever used it, it's been a decoration cuz I don't know does regular film from market be used?

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  11. I absolutely love this post. Thanks so much for sharing your equipment with us. I found the insight extremely interesting. Thank you1

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  12. What a lovely post! I have a sx-70 polaroid too, it's the best.
    X

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  13. thank you for every word you wrote.
    you always be one of my impulsions :)

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  14. I wanted to know this for so long!
    Your collection is amazing, I'm so jealous!

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  15. thanks a lot everyone, I'm so glad it's appreciated :)

    michelle: I don't do much post work, it usually just takes a few minutes on each photo (removing dust takes much longer than color/contrast editing, so that's what I spend most time on). I usually fix the contrast and/or colors depending on what I think needs to be done directly in the scanner - and this doesn't take more than half a minute or something like that. I really like softness which I guess you have noticed, and this softness is usually the direct outcome of the film. I usually just increase the contrast a tiny bit or not at all, and this might be the reason for the difference between my photos and kate's photos (thank you for showing me her blog btw, it's beautiful!). I hope this answers your question :)

    erica: I usually don't meter the light at all, I think I've become really good at estimating/gauging what exposure I need to use in different conditions. when I had just purchased the zenit-b I measured the light with my digital SLR in situations where I wasn't sure at all, but it didn't take long until I felt confident enough to work without measuring the light at first.

    michaëlis moshe: I agree, film has such a different quality compared to digital.

    jenna: they are basically the same camera, the only difference is that the zenit-e has a light meter. you can definitely use it with regular 135-film that you can find almost anywhere :)

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  16. what a great guide! thank you!! I've always wondered what the difference was ,visually, between poloroida dn the roliflexs.

    xo

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  17. thanks for sharing all this info, super interesting! I am in love with your pictures!!

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  18. This was extremely helpful.
    Thank you for taking time to share this loveliness.
    All of your work, your blog included, is really inspiring, and I just want to thank you for your presence. :)

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  19. Thanks for sharing, this is very helpful!

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  20. You have such a lovely collection of cameras there. I'm in love with the look of the first polaroid camera, it's beautiful!

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  21. Wow! what a wonderful post on your cameras and film! Thank you. I just came across your blog recently. I get so excited every time I come across an artist who still believes in the old methods of printing & alternative photography methods as opposed to digital.

    :)

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  22. awesome! I'm really impressed that you gauge the light yourself. Its definitely not an easy thing to do and the light is always wonderful in your photographs.

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  23. thank you for sharint this. That's really really interestsing! I d love to use more my analogic camera but it is too expensive to use it regularly. Using the digital one make me spare money...even if the beauty of analogic has no value...

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  24. Hej skulle du vilja följa min blogg på blogglovin här http://www.bloglovin.com/blog/2023620/en-tjej-med-stora-fotografdrommar och gilla mej på facebook hänne : http://www.facebook.com/pages/Oliviasphotolife/183354521705502 kraam Olivia

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  25. Thank you so much for the answer Annette! :) I understand it just a little better now.. though I think I need to explore the whole analog world (or just the photo world in general!) some more to fully get it.

    & you are welcome. Kate is actually one of my fav photo bloggers, so I am glad you like her :)

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  26. Do you develop the rolls before you scan them, or do you just scan the negatives?

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  27. Hej, var framkallar du dina rullar? Försöker hitta något hyffsat billigt ställe..

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  28. mari: I develop the rolls and then scan the negatives. if I didn't develop the rolls at first there wouldn't be anything to scan. I never get prints when I develop the rolls though, if that was what you meant :)

    unni: jag framkallar för det mesta hos crimson (du kan beställa fotopåsar på www.crimson.se) - de är verkligen inte billiga, men man kan alltid vara säker på att det görs proffsigt. när jag inte framkallar hos dem brukar jag bara lämna in rullarna hos närmsta fotoaffär, och det kostar oftast inte mer än max 50-60kr per rulle om man ber om att bara få negativen och inga papperskopior.

    and thanks again everyone, I'm glad you liked this entry!

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  29. oh, okay thank you very much!!
    i think i have to buy a scanner, too..

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  30. I've got another question :D
    Do you develop the rolls by yourself or do you bring them to a store or something like that, where they develop your rolls?

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  31. Älskar älskar älskar dina bilder!! Åh, de är bara så jäkla fantastiska!

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  32. I love how I have two cameras, the Polaroid SX-70 and the Fujifilm Instax.
    Makes me feel connected to you for some odd reason.
    I love your blog.

    http://www.bonjourart.blogspot.com/

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  33. mari: scanning negatives is always fun, even though it takes quite a while to scan a roll with 36 frames :) I send the rolls to a professional lab for developing, and then I get them back in the mail after a few days - it's very smooth. but sometimes I just bring the rolls to a store, which is cheaper, but the results aren't as good. the negatives are often scratched, dusty and dirty.

    johanna: åh, tack, vad snäll du är!

    raymond: aw, that's sweet :) I really love your blog as well!

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  34. I am looking after a nice analogue SLR camera so this was quite a fun post to read. I am in love with all the photo's you share with us.

    Also, I hope to someday stumble upon a polaroid camera :)

    Keep up the good work, anyway!

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  35. Thanks for your answer!
    Your photographs are so beautiful! I think it's worth you spend so many time with scanning them :D

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  36. Your pictures are really inspiring! I hope 1 day I'll be as good as you. :)

    http://imakeyouwannalala.blogspot.com/

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  37. Intressant att få läsa närmare om vad för kameror du använder! Tack!

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  38. Hi Annette,

    Thanks so much for this entry. You posted it right as I was wondering about these details. I love the aesthetic of polaroids, I just wish it wasn't so expensive. I've been avoiding the Impossible Project a little because I'm afraid of the outcome, so it's a relief to know that you sometimes buy from them.

    Your images have always been a huge inspiration for me. I'm currently working on a self-portrait project for my photo fine arts class and most of them are largely influenced by you.

    Thank you for continuing to shoot.

    -Lisa

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  39. i just adore your work. thanks for this post.

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  40. Awesome Stuff Annette. Do any of your (analogue) cameras have a self-timer/ remote control?

    Noticed that you are in a lot of your pics, and there are a few pics with both you and Leo in it. Thought it'd be cool to get some self-portraits going, but I have no idea how to do this without resorting to the MySpace shots ;)

    Thanks!

    -Kenj

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  41. love your blog!

    http://iheartwild.blogspot.com/

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  42. kenji: thank you! yes, the zenit-b does have a self-timer and two of the polaroids as well. otherwise I use a shutter cable or if there's no way I can do it myself - then leo clicks the shutter for me after I've set up the composition :) sorry it took me a few days to respond!

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  43. härligt med analoga kameror! gillar vad som publiceras här inne skarpt!

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  44. hi annette, i don't know if you will read it, this is quite an old entry, but anyway. i wanted to ask you smth about zenith-b. i also have this wonderful cam, an i wonder if you have ever tried to make double exposures with it without taking the film out and reloading it? thank you very much! :)

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  45. Nice and thanks!

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  46. You (and your blog) are so inspiring and beautiful. Thank you for being willing to share your tools and methods.

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  47. Love your work, thanks for sharing this information :) Your collection is really brilliant. x

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  48. Riktigt nice! Du använder ingen som tar Polaroid 100-film?

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  49. Kollade inte tillräckligt! Såg det nu :)

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  50. hei Annette!

    Amazing work. I've recently purchased the color pack 2 polaroid camera that u listed here. Im a little bit confused about the film.. Could you maybe tell me where to buy them? There are a lot on ebay but I'm not sure.. It doesn't matter if they are expired? Or should i buy them at the impossible Projects shop? And which one exactly would you recommend to buy? Sorry lot of questions :)

    Thank you!

    Janine

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  51. marina: sorry for the very late reply (and I'm sure you probably won't come back to check now, but I'll answer it anyway) :) I haven't tried making double exposures without taking out the film, I don't really know how that would be possible? I'm guessing it would require some kind of modification of the camera though, but that's always a little scary.. anyway, I would absolutely love being able to make double exposures without taking out the film :)

    fleur rebelle: yes, the easiest way to find film is on ebay and on the impossible project, but make sure it is type 100 film you buy though, otherwise it won't fit. I have mostly used 125i and 669 film for my colorpack, and I really love these - so I would definitely recommend them! unfortunately they are quite expensive nowadays :( it is okay if the film is a little expired (I would say four or five years at the very most is ok to use - but if the film hasn't been stored correctly it might have gone bad even if it was expired in 2008, for example), if it is too expired there is a risk that it won't work since the fluids have dried. once I bought two packs of film that was expired since 1997 and it didn't work at all. if you're buying on ebay, pay attention to the item description and what it says about expiration date and how the film has been stored - it should have been refrigerated, but absolutely not frozen. if you buy on the impossible project you are pretty much guaranteed to get film that works :) I hope this helps!

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  52. Thanks for your detailed answer annette :) Helped a lot!

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  53. hi annette,

    i came back to check for the answer though, hehe :) well, you know those half automatic nikon cams, they have this possibility of making double exposures without reloading the film, they have a special mode which allows just to hold the film and to make even triple exposures.
    but as to zenith-b you always remember the sequence of the picture taken? i mean if you want to combine two shots in special way, do you count somehow?

    thank you !

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    1. I completely forgot about this, I'm so sorry! I've never actually done a double exposure with my zenit-b, only afterwards when the negatives have been developed, in other words I just put two frames on top of each other when I scan the negatives. But yes, if I would want to make a double exposure directly in the camera I would have to count (and probably write down on a piece of paper) to make sure that I would be able to remember which photo was taken and when to combine it with a new frame.

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  54. Hur kan man egentligen bli bra på att fotografera med en polaroidkamera? Jag menar, man trycker ju bara?

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    1. Det är väl precis samma sak som med vilken kamera som helst, polaroid eller inte? "Man trycker ju bara" vilken kamera man än använder. Det handlar ju inte om kameran i sig, det handlar om personen som står bakom kameran.

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  55. Your photo is beautiful. I was very impressed at all. very attractive.

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  56. Annette: So i am a beginner photographer and i LOVE LOVE LOVE this film polaroid look, and i looked at the film you use, and its a bit pricy (note im a teen and i don't have a job lol) So i was wondering if you could give me tips on getting this look or what should i start with photography. Thank you soo much i love your work! You inspire me so much <3

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    1. Hi Chloe! Yes, the older polaroid film is quite pricy these days, unfortunately :( I bought loads of packages when the price was still somewhat reasonable, but now it is just ridiculous and I haven't bought any more in several years. I'm not really sure what tips I could give you regarding getting this look without the film, mostly since I think it is quite difficult to get the same "effect" by using various editing tools in photoshop, etc. My advice would be to just play around with the curves-tool in photoshop, and explore the different colour channels. You always learn new things by experimenting, especially when it comes to editing! :)

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  57. i have a zenit b and only have shot one roll of film, they didn't turn out well at all. perhaps it is just because i was new in using it, and don't really know how to work the dials, etc. plus i don't have a good lens. can you post how to use the dials on the zenit b sometime? thanks so much. xx
    deb

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  58. Hi Annette!

    I would like to get an advice from you. I want to buy an instant camera, and you have the two cameras I'm thinking of: Polaroid SX-70 Autofocus and Fuji Instax 210. I don't know what to do: I think that Polaroid probably creates the "best effect" but its price (over all film price) keeps me doubting. Fuji looks like a great alternative but I read in lots of Internet discussions that it's really far from Polaroid (although pictures look quite good). Awww, I'm desperate! I think I need advice from someone who has tried both cameras :)

    Thank you!

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    1. hi there, and sorry for not responding sooner first of all! the sx-70 is indeed the loveliest camera of the two you're interested in, it is by far my favourite polaroid camera. if you can afford buying film for it then it is definitely worth it in my opinion, but if you think it is too much for your budget then I would advice you to get the fuji instax instead. it doesn't have the same "polaroid-feeling" since it is not an original polaroid camera, but it still produces very nice prints in its own aesthetics - it's a fun camera and I'm sure you wouldn't regret buying it :) good luck!

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  59. Wow, I want these cameraaas *.* I have a Fujifilm instax 200 but I don't have money to buy the paper, but I'll have :D
    You're photos are so beautiful, I love it <3

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  60. This is a bit of a silly question, but what digital SLR do you use? I know it's not your main camera but as film keeps getting more expensive here, I want to invest in a digital back up. But those are so expensive too! Thanks in advance and I love your photos!

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    1. I use a canon eos 350d which I got for my 18th birthday along with a nikon d70 that belongs to my boyfriend. they are both old and simple models, but they work well enough! lately I have been thinking about investing in a newer digital model since I shoot digital for work, but as you say, it's so expensive :/

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  61. Hi, Annette! I love your photos! I just wanted to ask, did it take you a while to learn how to use the Zenit-B? Because I am thinking about purchasing a Zenit camera though I'm not sure if I will be able to learn how to use it.

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  62. so amazing! loving those photos, thanks for the information (:

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    building up new website.
    Have a look at my homepage - work from home

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  64. Hi Annette!

    I absolutely love your photos! I recently bought an instax 210 and i'm having so much trouble with framing and the flash! It almost always come out off centre, and the flash is really bright and overexposes many of my shots. Do you have any tips on how to frame it properly or get the right lighting? the lighting in your pictures look perfect! Thanks in advance!!

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  65. Hi Annette!

    I absolutely love your shots! I have a couple of questions, hopefully you can spare me a tip or two! I recently bought an instax 210, but am having trouble with framing and the flash! many of my shots end up off centre, and the automatic flash ends up over-exposing quite a few frames. do you have any times on how to frame properly, and how to handle the flash? your pictures have such perfect lighting!! :) thanks i advance! :)

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  66. Hello Annette, I was wondering what kind of film scanner you use, if you do scan your negatives yourself. I work with medium format quite a lot these days, but having them scanned for you at a professional photolab is so expensive and most of the time day don't even do it right.

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  67. Amazing! I love the look of your photographs :)
    And I have a question: I have got a Zenit-E, which is similar to the Zenit-B, but I have a problem with the winding the film - it always seems to get stuck inside the camera. Do you think my camera is broken or do I do something wrong?
    Love, Marley

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