Kodak Retina I Type 117, 28 July 2011


One of the nice things about 135 film is that you can get up to 36 exposures on a single roll (actually, depending on your camera, you can get up to 38 or 39…though latter is pushing it)…which is nice if you’re low on funds. One of the downsides, though, is that it takes a while to scan and edit all the resulting frames. Oh, and the resolution isn’t nearly what you can get with a medium format camera (even a 645), though it is generally on par with most digital cameras (including DSLRs). Anyways, here are some more photos from my Retina – not bad for Kodak’s first 135 camera (and a septuagenarian, at that)!

RetI-117 CHI TMax100 PritzkerPavilion01B

RetI-117 CHI TMax100 RailBridge01B

RetI-117 CHI TMAx100 RandolphE01B

RetI-117 CHI TMax100 TribuneTower01B

Photo Information:

Camera: Kodak Retina I Type 117
Lens: Schneider-Kreuznach 50mm f/3.5 Xenar
Film: Kodak TMax 100 (135)

Photo 1:
Location: Chicago, Illinois; Millennium Park

This is the west side of the Jay Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park, or, as I like to think of it, the big, curvey metal music stage in the park. Y’know, as opposed to the big, shiny metal blob in the park (the Cloud Gate).

Photo 2:
Location: Chicago, Illinois; North Loop

This is part of the structure of the Kinzie Street Railroad Bridge, a large single-leaf bascule bridge just south of Kinzie Street in the North Loop. The bridge was originally built for the Chicago and North Western Railroad, though it has been unused since 2000 and has been left permanently in the “open” position (i.e. raised so that it does not obstruct shipping on the River), and has been designated as a Chicago Landmark. One of these days, I’ll have to post some additional photos of the bridge – I also had my Canon AE-1P with me when I shot this photo, so I captured more shots with that camera (remember how I mentioned that it takes time to scan and edit 135 rolls? Yeah…haven’t gotten there with these yet).

Photo 3:
Location: Chicago, Illinois; Chicago Loop

This is a view of the west side of the Randolph & Wabash stop on the CTA Loop elevated tracks (the station serves the Brown, Green, Orange, Pink, and Purple Lines on the same set of tracks).  The station is one of the oldest in the L system, having first opened in 1896 (though the station itself was rebuilt in the 1950s). I like it mostly because of the large CTA logo on the side of the station; further south on the same tracks is the Quincy Station, which opened in 1897 but, unlike this one, has been maintained in its original configuration and restored throughout the years as necessary.

Photo 4:
Location: Chicago, Illinois; Streeterville Neighborhood

This, of course, is the top of the Tribune Tower, completed in 1925 and designed by Howells & Hood. While the building is quite distinctive and well-designed, it is also known amongst architectural historians more for what it could have been, as opposed to what it is. For those of y’all who don’t know, the Chicago Tribune newspaper held a high-profile international competition for the design of its new office building in commemoration of the paper’s 75th anniversary. While most of the entries were Beaux-Arts or Gothic Revival (as is the completed design seen here), a few entries were early examples of Modernist design, a style that was just beginning to gain prominence at the time. Of particular note in this vein was the design submitted by Walter Gropius. In the end, the Tribune ended up selecting a more “traditional” style over the more radical ones, and the city got the building you see here. It really isn’t a bad design (the crown of the building is especially nice)…it’s just that it is interesting to speculate on what the area would’ve looked like if one of the alternate designs had been selected. Just Google “tribune tower design competition” image results, and you can see some of the other competition entries.

And yes, for those of y’all who saw the recent Transformers 3 movie, this building did feature prominently in the latter part of the film that took place in the ruins of (a slightly fictionalized version of) downtown Chicago (mostly the North Loop along the River). The buttressed top of the building is quite a distinctive sight, even when the city is being invaded by gigantic sentient robots.



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