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 🙂

Eventually trying ilford Ortho Plus 80 …..

When ilford were teasing about something new coming to the film photography market a while back I was eager to find out what it could be …

When they announced Ortho Plus 80 I was excited to try it out as I have never used Orthochromatic film before.

Just incase you don’t know what Ortho film is here is a little snippet from ilford….

ILFORD ORTHO PLUS is an orthochromatic black and white film. Designed as a high-resolution copy film for negatives, ORTHO PLUS offers superb photographic potential thanks to its fine grain and sharpness.

Ideally suited for landscape photography, the blue and green sensitivity of this emulsion enables the film to be handled in deep red* safelight conditions making processing and inspection easier.

Its lack of red sensitivity also means that reds and oranges in your frame are rendered darker with stronger contrast than standard panchromatic films (all other ILFORD and Kentmere films are panchromatic).

So over christmas I went out over 2 days trying to shoot a range of subjects to see how it performed … I used my Nikon F100 and 50mm f1.4 and developed it using ilfotecHC 1+31 dilution for 6 minutes.

I was really impressed with the images … lovely fine grain, great tonal range and really sharp.

If this was a bit faster than 80 it would challenge my love for HP5+ as my goto B&W film.

I have a roll of 120 to try next and may put it through my Fuji GW690iii to see how much resolution the lovely film stock will produce.

So here is most of the roll as I have omitted some frames as they were duplicates due to bracketing some images.

Please click a photo 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 🙂

Minolta X700 & Some JCH Streetpan 400….

Over the last few months I have been adding to my Minolta SLR collection and one of the cameras I have been looking for since I began was an X700 that was in good condition as well as a reasonable price and I eventually found one.

It appeared in excellent condition so I loaded it with some JCH Streetpan 400 and popped out to give it a test.

I shot the whole roll using aperture priority using the Minolta MD 50mm f1.7 and developed in Rodinal 1+25 dilution for 10 1/2 minutes.

As you would expect the images were lovely and contrasty/sharp and the camera exposures were pretty much spot on.

The camera was lovely to shoot with handling great and is probably going to be one of the Minolta SLR’s that I will shoot regularly.

Here is a selection of images … comments most welcome

Please click a photo 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 🙂

1st time shooting Lomography Potsdam Kino 100 ….

It’s great that in the last few months there has been a few new film stocks hitting the market which can only be good for us film shooters.

Potsdam Kino is a B&W cine film along the lines of the Berlin Kino film that was launched previously by Lomography.

It is 100 iso film with a supposedly wide exposure latitude according to reports on the interwebs so I loaded up my Mamiya C330 on an overcast yet quite bright day and went out to see how it performed.

I developed it in ID11 1+1 dilution for 7 minutes.

The negatives looked great out of the tank .. nice and punchy looking contrast and pretty sharp at first glance.

Once scanned and into lightroom a was pleased to say very little editing was required as the scans yielded excellent shadow and highlight detail and apart from slightly bringing down the highlights and pushing the shadows a bit they looked great, contrasty and sharp.

I have some in 35mm format which I am looking forward to trying just to see if I get the same results as sometimes I find it a bit harder to pull out detail in the shadow areas when using 35mm compared to 120.

So if you like punchy/contrasty/sharp images with minimum grain then give this film a go and you won’t be disappointed.

Anyway here is the whole roll … comments most welcome

 

 

Please click a photo 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 🙂

Salvaged images from badly stored/expired ilford Delta 400 …

I have quite a large stock of expired film acquired from friends/fellow photographers and eBay and I usually know the storage details of nearly all of it but sometimes I get hold of some rolls that have no information on how it spent it’s life.

Last week the cloud formations up here in the South Wales valleys was pretty nice so I went out with my Mamiya 645 and 45mm f2.8 lens with a roll of ilford Delta 400 with the intention of getting some pretty detailed images of the landscape up here.

The film expired in 2004 so I rated it at 200 iso  and proceeded to shoot the roll.

To be honest I have only had trouble with expired ilford film when it has been much older that this and even then it was still usable so when I opened up the development tank and was greeted with some pretty murky negatives I was pretty disappointed.

Once I began scanning it became evident that the whole roll was under exposed quite a bit and the grain was very pronounced unlike how Delta usually looks.

I also suspected that my fix was on its last legs which didn’t help matters (new batched already mixed for next time).

The Epson scan software struggled to find the edges of some frames which meant I had to scan each frame individually.

Once in Adobe Lightroom I have spent the last week back and fore between Lightroom & Photoshop trying to get the best out of the scans and I managed to salvage 9 frames which I am happy to post.

Anyway …. lesson for today … Know how your film has been stored before taking any important shots.

Also buy more fresh Delta 400  because if I managed to get these images with a crappy old roll imagine what they would look like on fresh film and maybe with my Fuji Gw690ii 6×9.

Here are the images … comments most welcome

Please click a photo 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 🙂

1st time shooting Lomo Berlin 400 Kino film …..

I love shooting B&W and when I saw lomography had release 2 new film stocks recently I couldn’t wait to try some and compare it to my all time favourite B&W film … ilford HP5.

The 1st roll I tried was the Berlin 400 Kino which I loaded into my Nikon F4s with the 50mm f1.4 and tried to shoot a varied selection of subjects.

I processed the roll in Rodinal  at 1+50 dilution for 13.30 mins.

I was very happy with how the scans came out, quite a chunky grain structure but I like grain and it did not distract from the image.

It is pretty contrasty with nice blacks but also held the highlights well.

I always find whatever film I process with Rodinal seems to get stronger grain and contrast so when I shoot the next roll I will develop in a different dev.

Overall I will happily use this film again … I won’t replace my HP5 but I really do recommend that you give it a go … I will push the next roll just to see what I get so watch this space.

Here is a varied selection from the roll …

Please click a photo 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 🙂

Trying ilford XP2 at different ISO ratings on one roll ….

This started off as a proper test as I had read in various places that you can shoot XP2 at different ISO ratings without changing the development times.

My plan was to load up my FE2 and over the space of a few days/weeks shoot the roll in different situations that required possible pushing/pulling and write down the setting to see what happens when I develop the roll eg.  does it work??

The experiment went pretty good initially but about 20 frames into the roll I managed to lose my little notepad with my settings on which essentially ballsed up the whole thing as I do not have the settings to correspond to the images.

What I can say is that I shot the roll between 200-3200 iso … the shots in the bright sunshine were at the end of the roll after I realised I had lost my notepad so I think they were all 200-400 while the shot of my son on his phone was definitely at 1600 iso.

All in all after a little tweaking in Lightroom every frame I shot was perfectly useable with the higher ISO shots exhibiting quite a bit of grain but I like grain so to me that was an added bonus.

Well here is a selection of images … comments most welcome …

Please click a photo 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 🙂