Sunny day walk with my Daughter & some Kodak Portra 400VC …

I have been working all the way through this pandemic lockdown which is a blessing as I think I would have gone nuts if I had to stay home so on the weekends I make the most of it by going on a long walk here in our lovely Garw Valley.

Most weekends if she isn’t working too I have been joined by my daughter who has been eager to explore the many different walks we have here in our vicinity.

I bought quite a few rolls of Portra 400VC from Mr Cad ages ago so I thought it was about time that I shot some of it so I loaded my trusty Mamiya 645 and went out on a hot Saturday morning to do a 8 mile trek around our valley.

After developing the roll I had some issues namely strange light leaks in different places and of different intensities so I immediately thought the camera was at fault even though I have never had a problem like this on any other rolls.

After posting on Twitter asking if anyone had any idea what it could be most people suggested the camera which would have been the obvious choice so I loaded up a roll of ilford SFX and shot that the following day under the same sunny conditions only to find they were all perfect … no leaks so on this occasion I think the problem was with the film itself.

I bought about 20 rolls and have shot 7 or 8 previously and all were fine except this one.

As most of the leaks occurred on the edges I managed to salvage quite a few frames with a little cropping which was pretty easy as it was a 6 x 4.5 frame.

See this original scan sample here

 

Anyway here are the final images … please click to view larger ….

 

All images on my blog are available as prints just drop me an email

I also have a film only blog over at  usingfilm.wordpress.com if you want a peek 🙂

My 1st roll of the New Kodak Ektachrome … all 36 frames

I have shot most of the available and discontinued slide films over the years and processed them in E6 and cross processed in C41 and it never fails to give you a great feeling holding up some slides to the light.

So obviously when Kodak announced that they were bringing back Ektachrome I couldn’t wait to get some to play with.

Once I bought a few rolls I decided to load the 1st roll into my Nikon F100 as it gives me pretty much spot on exposures when I shoot slide film.

As you can see from the 1st shot on the roll I began shooting on March 30th and I took about 4 months to complete the roll as I wanted to try it on a range of subjects and lighting conditions.

I had the film developed & scanned by AG Photographic as I didn’t want to mess up the developing and get unreliable results.

I have to say the film lived up to my expectations … colours and sharpness were great and even shooting into the sun worked, also portraits came out good too.

So here is the complete roll in the order that I shot them … comments welcomed.

 

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All images on my blog are available as prints just drop me an email

I also have a film only blog over at  usingfilm.wordpress.com if you want a peek 🙂

I forgot that I shot this roll …..

A few weeks back I shot a roll of Kodak  5325 in my Pentax Program A which at 1st appeared to have sprung a strong light leak since previously using it but it turned out to be the actual roll of film which was at fault after speaking to the friend who gave me the roll to try.

He had very similar results.

See here for the post .. Kodak 5325

But before I found this out I loaded up a roll of Fuji C200 just to test the camera again and obviously the roll was fine this time.

I developed and scanned the images but didn’t get around to posting them until I came across them now … so here is a selection, I really like how the C200 renders the greens.

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All images on my blog are available as prints just drop me an email

I also have a film only blog over at  usingfilm.wordpress.com if you want a peek 🙂

Really enjoying shooting motion picture stock …..

I have been trying a few of the motion picture stocks that are available over the last few months and developing them at home in C41 chemistry.

A twitter friend messaged a few weeks back asking if I was interested in some Kodak Vision 3 50D that he had a surplus of  and as I have not tried this stock before I duly obliged.

I am trying to go through each type and dev/scan in C41 first and then shoot the same stocks and dev in the correct chemistry just to compare the looks.

I have not been disappointed with how the films have performed in C41 so it will be interesting which I will prefer.

Anyway here are my keepers from the roll that I shot using my Nikon F100 and 24-85 vr on quite an overcast but bright day.

All images on my blog are available as prints just drop me an email

I also have a film only blog over at  usingfilm.wordpress.com if you want a peek 🙂

New film stock to try out … Agfa APX 400

I was recently sent a lovely little package from a twitter friend Sandeep @Givemeabiscuit that contained a bunch of different films stocks.

He kindly sent me the films due to losing a bet that we made last year in regards to Liverpool FC ( who I support) finishing higher than Manchester UTD (who he supports) .

We both agreed to send each other a pile of film which ever one of us lost the bet, I won but to be honest I forgot all about it but Sandeep being the gentleman that he is reminded me and suffice to say he sent me a excellent pile of films some of which I have never shot before.

The 1st film that caught my eye was some Agfa APX 400 which is a film that I have not tried so I decided as the weather last weekend was total pants and my rugby match was cancelled due to a waterlogged pitch I though I would get wet anyway so loaded up a camera that I have had a while but never shot the Minolta Dynax 500si (more about this at the end of the blog) and went out up the mountain in the mist and rain to see how the film/camera performed.I tried to test the film/camera with a variety of settings and subjects from wide open closeups to stopped down wide shots all in aperture priority at iso 400 and developed the roll in Ilfotec HC 1+31 dilution for 8 minutes.

The camera performed really well I did switch to manual focus for some of the shots as it did struggle in the light a little but other than that it was great. The film itself was also a revelation with lovely contrast and excellent sharpness which really showed in some of the images where I stopped down to f8 and more.

The grain is pretty uniform and tight which helped in the large areas of mist in the pictures.

Overall I am very impressed with this film and will certainly look into buying some more in the future.As I said earlier in the post … more about the Minolta Dynax 500si …

I have been thinking about how to give back to the film community in some way.

I have given a few cameras/film away in the past but I was thinking about how to get others to join in the absolute joy that is “film photography” so as a start I am going to give this camera and AF35-70mm lens away along with some film to a newbie film shooter.

I will do a follow up blog post in the next few days with details about how I am going to do this as I am not really sure how to target newbie photographers.

Hopefully my fellow film togs can spread the word somehow and I can get the ball rolling soon.

Anyway thanks for looking ….

Click on an image to view larger

All images are available as prints just drop me an email

I also have a film only blog over at  usingfilm.wordpress.com if you want a peek 🙂

Garw Valley Mountain Walk with some Velvia 50 ….

After some friendly banter with a fellow twitter photographer about how slide film should not be cross processed and that it was almost a sin I decided to shoot a roll of Velvia 50 as the Gods intended and get it processed and scanned by AG Photographic and here are the results. They were shot using my Nikon F100 and Nikkor 24-85 VR … they are untouched scans that I got back from AG and I am pretty happy with the results, I still love to Xpro E6 but I have just bought a Tetenal E6 kit and have started processing my own so I am now almost a convert … ha ha I am pleased that the exposures were pretty spot on which I don’t worry about when I know that I am going to xpro the roll … I did notice the difference in colour when shooting with the sun behind me compared to in front, I could have warmed them up a bit in Lightroom but I thought I would just post as is….

 

Thanks for looking ….

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I also have a film only blog over at  usingfilm.wordpress.com if you want a peek 🙂

My 1st Nikkormat ….

I received a message the other week from a photographer friend saying someone that he knew was selling some film equipment and wondered if I was interested.

I contacted the gentleman and called around to see what he had for sale.

As I had just bought my 1st Leica the week before my camera fund was a little depleted but out of all the stuff he was selling I managed to afford this Nikkormat FTn.

As soon as I held the camera I loved it, especially the brassing from years of use.

The seller was a retired pro photographer and to be fair he took very good care of his equipment.The first problem that I encountered was the fact that I didn’t own a lens that were compatible with how the meter operated. All my lenses were too new, even though they all fit they didn’t have the aperture coupling thingy so I had no way of using the internal meter … or so I thought.

After some reaching out to my Twitter friends I was informed that I could use it in “Stop Down Metering Mode”  where you use the DOF preview button to stop down the lens to the aperture that you want then while holding it adjust the Shutter/Aperture to get the meter in the centre.

Then came the 2nd problem … to do this correctly on the FTn you need to push the lever on the camera that is supposed to attach to the coupler on the lens completely to the right when you mount the lens then it should remain there to give correct meter readings.

But when I did this and compared the camera reading to my lightmeter reading it was off quite a bit but after a bit of fiddling I realised that if I pushed the lever all the way to the right then pulled it back about 1cm then the readings matched … happy days 🙂

So I loaded it up with some ilford XP2 and went out to test the beast … It was a joy to use and handled great.

Here is a selection of the images that I got and managed to get every frame pretty much in the correct exposure ball park …

Thanks for looking ….

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I also have a film only blog over at  usingfilm.wordpress.com if you want a peek 🙂

Testing my Minolta SRT 101 with some Delta 400@800 ….

delta400_012Just before christmas a friend messaged me to say he had been given a couple of old camera’s and if I was interested I could have them, well I can never say no to free stuff so I said to pop them around.

To my surprise the the 2 camera’s were in excellent condition the 1st was a Ricoh Singlex TLS SLR with a Rikenon 50mm f2.8 which I have yet to put a roll of film through.

The next was a Minolta SRT 101 with a MC Rokkor-PF 55mm f1.7 both were in almost perfect condition.delta400_009The weather for the last 2 weeks has been very changeable so I decided to push a roll of ilford Delta 400 to 800 to give me a bit more to play with if the light was poor.

I shot this roll over a 2 week period but to be fair the light was pretty consistent every time I shot so the images look like they may have been shot  all on the same day.delta400_010To be honest I was quite pleased with the images even though they didn’t seem totally sharp overall but I put that down to pushing the film and mostly due to my focussing I think.

The camera didn’t have a split prism which I am used to so I may have been slightly out especially shooting at f4 and wider.delta400_022I have looked at various examples of this camera on eBay from time to time but never got around to picking one up so getting this almost perfect sample for free makes me feel very lucky …Cheers Steve 😉

Thanks for looking ….

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I also have a film only blog over at  usingfilm.wordpress.com if you want a peek 🙂

1st roll of Kodak Portra 400VC in 35mm format …

portra400vc_022A few weeks back I managed to get hold of quite a bit of expired Kodak film from MrCad here in the UK, most of it was in 120 format but I did also get a few rolls of Portra 400vc in 35mm to try.portra400vc_015-editI was a pretty nice day last weekend so I thought I would give a roll a go in the Nikon F100.

When I shot some of the 120 when I got it the sun was blazing here and the images really popped, I loved the colours so I was hoping for the same with the 35mm and to be fair the images that had really good light really shone.portra400vc_020
portra400vc_012-editI am so pleased that I bought loads of this film, after just shooting 3 rolls I am hooked.

All I need now is some sunny weather to do it justice, even though I was pleased with most of the images its the one’s in the best light that showed the best of the film.portra400vc_032 portra400vc_028-edit portra400vc_025Roll on the summer I say 🙂

Thanks for looking ….

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I also have a film only blog over at  usingfilm.wordpress.com if you want a peek 🙂

My 1st ever Photo workshop for my 50th Birthday…………….

D600A-3740AI turned 50 years of age 2 weeks ago and part of my present from my wife was a Photography Workshop run by Nigel Forster of Creative Photography Wales.

It was a Brecon Beacons Heritage & Landscape course,  As I have never been on a workshop before I didn’t really know what to expect but after meeting Nigel at his home I was put at ease from the off.D600A-3690AWe visited 4 locations during the day ……The Guardian at Six Bells, Blaenavon Ironworks, Big Pit and lastly we walked up to Llangattock Escarpment giving stunning views over the beautiful welsh landscape.D600A-3847AThe Workshop ran from 9:30 til 7:30 and was a great day at locations that I have never visited before.

All images were shot on my Nikon D600 with the 24-85mm and processed in Lightroom.

Some links related to this workshop

http://www.blaenau-gwent.gov.uk/leisure/14674.asp

http://www.countryfile.com/days-out/llangattock-escarpment-brecon-beacons

http://www.creativephotographywales.com/index.php

Thanks for looking…. click on an image to view larger