I was at Tulsa Raceway Park a few weeks ago shooting drag racing photos for a client and friend Tombo Racing. I was using my Nikon digital gear to capture behind the scenes pictures of Tommy Bolton working on bikes, bringing them to the line, and helping his riders with launches. Once I had completed work on his bikes, I spent some time shooting with my Pentax 6×7 and my Toyo 45A 4×5 view camera. The Pentax was loaded with Kodak TMAX-100 – my favorite black and white film – and it was easy to manual focus and grab photos of the launch area. I only had a 90 mm and 165 mm lens so nothing wide angle, just normal and short telephoto.
I really like the bright, clear, easy to focus viewfinder on the Pentax 6×7, and I like the fact that it handles like a traditional SLR. I used to own a Mamiya RZ-67 and really liked it, but it was very heavy to use handheld with the normal pentaprism, and if I stripped it down and used it with a waist level finder, it just didn’t feel natural to me. The Pentax works just like I am used to working.
The black and white pictures of drag racing I just love. They have that old time, authentic feel that I can only get from film, yet the pictures are from modern times.