My friend Eric Flexyourhead lent me his Olympus OM-10 (which had the G. Zuiko 50mm f/1.4 on it) since I wanted to use an old camera as a subject for an assignment I was doing with Ming Thein. I took advantage since Eric let me use the OM-10 and it was perfect timing since my Nikon FE still has film in it and it's acting up. Perfect timing because I wanted to try the Ilford Delta 100 for the first time and I do not have any other film camera. I was inspired by Ming's BW images and the rich tonal characteristics of the film. Pair the Delta 100 with a sharp lens and viola, I now have a favourite BW film.
First, the camera and lens I used. To produce such great tonality it's a combination of the film plus lens. It's not really the camera.
The G. Zuiko 50mm f/1.4 is sharp, no doubt. Just look at the BW images below. I used an Epson V500 to scan the images and all I did after is to sharpen for web posting. I love the rich blacks and whites you get from film. There's almost no equivalent in digital, perhaps the Leica Monochrom is an exception. The OM-10 though plus lens is less than $100 while the Leica Monochrom is $7,950. There's the cost of film and development but if I were to do it I think I'd settle with film and an analog camera. Perhaps a Hasselblad or even go cheap with a Mamiya. The experience is just different when shooting an analog camera. I know the rangefinder experience is also different but there's no way I'd spend $7,950 for a digital black and white camera. I have to shoot A LOT of film before I can spend ~$8K and there's also the life of the camera. I think a Hasselblad or Mamiya with any lens can outlive the life of a Leica Monochrom.
I have to shoot it wide open and experiment. The G. Zuiko 50mm f/1.4 is also pretty sharp wide open and renders great bokeh.
For some reason the film came out wider than 4x6. It's more pronounced at the verticals, look at how tall they appear.
Lastly, some squares. I just had to crop to better suit the subject.