5 Frames in West Norwood Cemetery with a Minolta SRT-101b and Rokkor 28mm f3.5

Unusual ideas happen to me generally when travelling on trains. I occurred to be passing by Nunhead on one earlier this yr it struck me that I hadn’t but visited the cemetery there. Truly, that one’s not as unusual because it appears. You see, I’d commented to an article by George Griffin right here on 35mmc that regardless of it being the closest to me it was the one one London’s Magnificent Seven cemeteries that I hadn’t been to. So I went. Twice in actual fact.

Now, I like those that are in a position to convey a photographic venture to a passable conclusion, a degree at which they will say, “That’s it.” Though I managed to finish what may be thought-about a stand alone extract of 1 final yr the one capacity I appear to have with tasks is to amass too lots of them, name it PAS in the event you like. So if I let you know that I’m now doing the rounds of the opposite six of the Magnificent Seven, this time with movie, I need you to grasp that this isn’t one more venture. It actually isn’t, it’s a special P-word altogether: it’s the Pursuance of a theme.

George provides a superb overview of the historical past of the Magnificent Seven as an entire so I’ve no have to repeat it right here. This, then, is my tackle the fourth one I’ve now obtained beneath my belt: West Norwood.

Historical past and Background

West Norwood Cemetery was based by an Act of Parliament in 1836 enabling the South Metropolitan Cemetery Firm to put out grounds for a cemetery on a web site comprising a part of the Nice North Wooden. It’s from this historic wooden that Norwood takes owes its identify, as do different neighbouring cities on this a part of south London: Woodside, Forest Hill and Honor Oak. Consecrated for burials in 1837 it was the primary cemetery within the UK to be designed within the neo-Gothic model and broadly follows Sir Christopher Wren’s advice of 1711 that newly created burial grounds ought to be “inclosed with a robust Brick Wall, and having a stroll spherical and cross walks, decently planted with Yew-trees”. Though most of the wooden’s timber had been cleared through the landscaping a quantity remained, in actual fact a current survey recognized fifteen oaks, a maple and an ash that predate the inspiration of the cemetery. These had been joined by conifers and different evergreens to slot in with the general design.

As with the opposite cemeteries forming the Magnificent Seven, West Norwood has its personal distinctive traits and subsequent historical past. In 1842 the London Greek neighborhood acquired a piece for a Greek Orthodox cemetery. Through the years with its monuments, household mausoleums and chapel this has develop into a powerful necropolis in its personal proper. It’s at the moment present process intensive renovation.

The early a part of the twentieth Century noticed an increase of curiosity in and acceptance of cremation. Searching for to money in on this in 1915 the Cemetery Firm rebuilt considered one of its two chapels and catacombs as a state-of-the-art crematorium which even included an underground slender gauge railway to allow coffins to be simply moved from chapel to cremator. So profitable was this initiative that two additional cremators had been put in and the entire rebuilt in fashionable model within the 1920’s. Having had its tools up to date a number of instances the crematorium nonetheless features each day.

The success of the crematorium however, the austerity of the submit WW2 years and lowering house for brand new burials introduced monetary difficulties to the Cemetery Firm which discovered itself unable to afford the the cemetery’s maintenance and restore to bomb broken buildings. In consequence Lambeth Council compulsorily bought in 1965. Sensing a chance to make a fast buck from the deal the council claimed possession of present graves and reserved plots. Changing a lot of the location right into a “garden cemetery”, eradicating what’s estimated to be some 10,000 monuments within the course of, it then re-introduced new burials and promoting plots for re-use. Understandably, the Church of England took a dim view of those proceedings. Two court docket instances dominated that Lambeth Council had acted illegally, forcing it stop new burials and reinstate no less than a number of the monuments. Lambeth Council continues to be accountable for the cemetery and operates the crematorium, albeit beneath a joint administration association that features the little question watchful eyes of the Diocese of Southwark, the Associates of West Norwood Cemetery and Historic England.

To be truthful, the areas instantly inside the doorway gate and people adjoining what’s now a fringe highway accessing the crematorium are fairly effectively taken care of. Stray away from these and the results of nature and the passage of time are asserting themselves.

The 5 Frames

We’ll take this path….

West Norwood 1

….the play of sunshine and shade is what we’re after….

West Norwood 2

….and swimming pools of sunshine dappling by the timber.

West Norwood 3

West Norwood 4

And that is precisely what we’re after: the Nice North Wooden recaliming its inheritance….

West Norwood 5


The movie used was FP4+ whch was developed in Rodinal 1:50.

The Rokkor 28mm f3.5

I believed it could be a simple matter to do a little bit of analysis and jot down a number of notes about this lens. Sadly it’s not a easy story, so I’ve left it till final and made it as succinct as I can.

It appears that evidently Minolta had a fixation with 28mm lenses, producing f2, f2.5, f2.8 and f3.5 variations only for the SR mount alone. Of those the standard f3.5 has the longest pedigree, from 1958 to 1985-ish. Throughout this era it ran by 9 (or is that 10?) variants which took in plain SR, MC, MD and MD-X mounts and adjustments to cosmetics, coating and optical system, with the final model dropping the Rokkor identify in favour of simply Minolta. If you need a remedy for insomnia you’ll be able to look all of it up right here and right here.

Some current retrospective opinions are fairly scathing of the f3.5’s efficiency. Unusual, as a result of after I purchased one as my first vast angle again within the seventies it was thought-about to be a price for cash various to the f2.8 with nothing a lot to decide on between them besides pace and worth. I used to be extra then pleased with its efficiency then, as I’m with the 2 I’ve as of late: this one, the final MC model, and the later and smaller final MD model. In use, I’ve shoot all of them in quite a lot of mild situations, together with night-time, and have by no means felt deprived by its relative sluggish pace dimming the viewfinder, even when utilizing a yellow filter as I did right here.

The underside line? If Minolta thought the Rokkor 28mm f3.5 adequate to maintain in manufacturing for effectively over twenty years then it’s adequate for me.

Thanks for studying.

And because of the Associates of West Norwood Cemetery for the historic background, the intereptation of which is completely my very own.

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