Taking the Leica M2 for a walk in the fog …….

I waited years to eventually get to own a Leica and when I did I seemed to use it every week but during the last year my poor M2 stayed in one of my bags while I tried and tested loads of new cameras that I have been adding to my ever growing collection.

The other weekend the weather was it’s usual pants this time of year but I do like shooting B&W then conditions are bad so I was going to shoot my newly acquired Mamiya RB67 with some Foma that I received for Christmas but whilst sorting out which bag I was going to put my stuff in ( the RB67 is a monster) I came across my lovely M2 and immediately changed my mind and went back to the fridge and got a roll of Agfa APX400 which I wanted to try and loaded up the little Leica.

The camera was a joy to use and I quickly sped through the roll wishing that I had brought along another.

The M2 and my Voigtlander Ultron 35mm f1.7 are a perfect match.

I developed the roll using Eco Film developer from Bellini Foto 1+1 dilution for 12 minutes which gave me really punchy negs that scanned really well.

Considering the weather I loved how the images came out with plenty of contrast and sharp.

I need to get back to using the M2 on a more regular basis as this camera makes me happy every time it’s in my hands.

Here is a selection of images from the roll, I shot 2 frames of most of the compositions at different apertures so I have not posted any of the duplicates.

Click on an image 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 🙂

Slide film in a Holga .. are you mad? …the Littlest Holga part 2

Week two with the Littlest Holga and it was a trip to the classic car show on the streets of Bridgend Town.

It was a lovely day so I decided to chance my arm am shoot a roll of Kodak Ektachrome 100VS which I was pleased to report worked pretty well.

So here are the images … all shot on the Sunny f11 aperture which may have been a little better if I had used the cloudy f8 setting just to brighten them up a bit but hey ho on to the next roll …

Holga_E100VS_002

Holga_E100VS_003

Holga_E100VS_004

Holga_E100VS_005

Holga_E100VS_006

Holga_E100VS_007

Holga_E100VS_009

Holga_E100VS_010

Holga_E100VS_011

Holga_E100VS_012

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 ….

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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 🙂

Carl Zeiss Flektogon 35mm f2.4 on my Nikon FM2n …..

I was very lucky a few months back to be gifted a bunch of old camera stuff from a friend, most of which sadly was pretty far gone but mounted to an old Praktica that had died was this beauty … Carl Zeiss Jena Flektogon 35mm f2.4

Funny thing was I was reading a random blog post only days before extolling the virtues of this particular lens.

I have a couple of M42 mount cameras so mounted it on my working Praktica MTL 5B and shot a roll of expired Kodak Colorplus just to test the performance.

See link here .. carl-zeiss-jena-flektogon-35mm-f2-4

I was very pleased with how the lens performed so I decided to get an M42 adapter for Nikon F mount so that I could use it with some of my older Nikon Slr’s.

I made sure that I got one with the glass element that let the camera focus to infinity and mounted it on my FM2n loaded with some ilford XP2 and went out to test it.

I found that if I switched the lens to manual diaphragm mode then the FM2n metered correctly for me.

Here are some sample images mostly shot wide open at 2.4 through 5.6 with the bench landscape at f11.

The viewfinder dimmed quite a bit the more that I stopped down making it quite hard to focus but if you switch back to auto diaphragm mode to focus if you are using f8+ then back to manual to meter then all is good. All in all I am very pleased with this little lens and it has the added benefit of being able to close focus down to 19cm.

Considering I got this for nothing is a bonus but I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend this as a purchase as you will not be disappointed

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 the Ricoh XR-P & Rikenon P 35-70mm Macro ….

I remember this camera when it came out back in 1984 and at the time would have loved to own it but never did until very recently, I did get the later model the XR_X but never got on with it back in the day but since re-purchasing one a year or so ago I actually enjoy using it.

Anyway the XR-P was a pretty advanced camera back in the day and had various programmed exposure modes that required the use of a Rikenon P lens and not the Pentax A  version.

I have a few Pentax SLR’s along with some A lenses so when I bought this camera I also purchased a Rikenon P lens just to give it a run out.You may have noticed that many of these images are similar to my previous blog on shooting FT12 high contrast film … the reason is I took both cameras out on this walk, I was going to blog this a little later but I thought it may be a benefit seeing the two together for a comparison. The camera was a breeze to use, I shot all the images using various of the modes with no problems.

The lens also performed quite well albeit a little soft at the wider apertures but pretty nice at f8 and over.

The film was a fresh roll of Agfa Vista 200 processed and scanned at home. I doubt very much that I will use this camera in any of the modes other than Aperture priority or manual to be fair but its nice to have the option.

Its a very, very nice handling camera even though it feels a bit cheaply built in comparison to my Nikon or Canon SLR’s nevertheless its size and weight mean that with a little Pentax 50mm its a great walk around camera and I will be shooting it quite a lot in the future.

Thanks for looking ….

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

Trying a new C-41 Developing/scanning service…..

After having fairly inconsistent results from processing my own C-41 at home I have been using AG Photographic to develop my negatives and then scan them on my Epson v500.

I have been pretty satisfied with what I have got and the cost has not been too high either but scanning colour negatives is pretty time consuming trying to get some sort of uniformity in appearance.

I recently came across a company online “Filmdev” who will develop and scan at various sizes depending on what I want, then let me download the images from the web before sending me a dvd with the hires tiff files and my negatives. All for the brilliant price of £5 for the 3600×2400 or £8 for the 4500×3000 scans. ( they also scan at 5400×3600 for £12 )

After posting off 2 films 1x Kodak Portra 400 & 1x Agfa Vista 200 expired I had a telephone call off David the owner telling me they have received my films and was there any particular things I required like push/pull, tiff scans or jpeg or a certain look to the scans all for no extra cost.

I decided on just straight process and corrections just to have some sort of reference next time I send more films.

I must say the results were excellent, great colours and very sharp clear scans with no dust/hairs etc, I was very impressed and suffice to say I will be sending all my films to them from now on.

The 1st gallery is the Agfa Vista 200 expired shot on my Olympus OM2n with the 35mm f2.8.

The 2nd gallery is the Kodak Portra 400 shot on my Nikon F100 with the 50mm f1.4.

Links to the company are here : http://www.filmdev.co.uk/

Thank you for looking any comment very welcome 🙂

Expired Agfa HDC plus and my Nikon F4……..

Agfa boxAges ago I was kindly given a bag full of film, all expired ranging from 2000 to 2009 and the friend who gave it to me didn’t know how it was stored as he himself was given it by 3rd party.

I have been using some of it to test any old 35mm camera I managed to pick up and to be honest it has all been ok but I have not shot it with a decent camera/lens combination and had it processed professionally so the other week I loaded up my Nikon F4 with some Agfa HDC plus 200 that expired back in 2002.F4I deliberately set my iso to 100 and also over-exposed quite a few shots hoping to get a bit of contrast and colour in the film as what I have found with the other rolls that I shot at box speed and camera exposure have all been a little flat.F4_Agfa_HDC_200-004As with most Agfa colour films I have used before the images had a magenta tone to them which I don’t mind.

I was impressed with the contrast and sharpness too, it really made a difference shooting this film in the F4 with my nice 50mm f1.8.F4_Agfa_HDC_200-017F4_Agfa_HDC_200-011 F4_Agfa_HDC_200-008 F4_Agfa_HDC_200-005 F4_Agfa_HDC_200-001F4_Agfa_HDC_200-022F4_Agfa_HDC_200-012After our little walk I still had a few frames left and my better half had a go with the F4 while we relaxed outside our local pub shooting my happy face.F4_Agfa_HDC_200-039All in all I am very happy with how the film performed, it really made a difference using it in a good camera and the processing was done by AG Photographic and not at home by me.

I have another 10 rolls of this as well as various other Agfa/Kodak mixture so now I know that the film works fine I will shoot these in my better cameras rather that just as test rolls in the many point & shoot/rangefinders I seem to pick up in charity shops “I have a GAS problem 🙂 “.F4_Agfa_HDC_200-006F4_Agfa_HDC_200-026Thanks for looking….comments most welcome 🙂

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also check out my “Film Only” blog at Using Film