Week 2 – Ocean Colliery site – Blaengarw

Source: Week 2 – Ocean Colliery site – Blaengarw

View from the top……. testing Spur Ultraspeed Vario

TimDobbsPhotography-4008Amy came home from Uni for a couple of weeks and she fancied a walk up the valley, so as I had just received some new sample film developer from Spur Photochemie http://spur-photo.com/ in Germany I loaded up the OM2n with some ilford FP4 and rated it at 400 iso to test how the developer performed.

TimDobbsPhotography-4005The developer in question was Spur Ultraspeed Vario and is used when you want to push or pull your film and keep as much detail and contrast in your negatives possible.

It is a 2 bath dev and this is the 1st time that I have processed this way.

Both mixes were 1+11 when rating FP4 at 400 and was processed 5 minutes for the 1st bath and followed by 15 minutes for the 2nd.

Agitation was 30 sec constant inversions then stand for the remaining 4:30 and the 2nd bath was also 30 sec constant inversions then twice every minute thereafter.

TimDobbsPhotography-4009The results were very impressive indeed, the shadow/highlight detail was excellent and the sharpness and contrast were great too.

TimDobbsPhotography-4018I will try pulling some FP4 next just to get a comparison and will post the results.TimDobbsPhotography-4017

Thanks for looking

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Mountain walk with FP4 instead of my beloved HP5………

img001I bought  20 rolls of Ilford FP4 the other week with the intention of shooting some still life and portraits but popped a roll into my Nikon F4 and went out to shoot some landscapes first.

img011I developed the roll using Ilfotec HC hoping to get a bit of punchy contrast in the images and I was not disappointed.img032cropFP4 does not give me the feel that I like in my images but it is still very nice, the still life stuff I shot on the walk were very nice, plenty of detail and great highlight and shadow tones.img020img008img005Since trying shooting some still life with HP5 I am a little torn between the 2 films for that subject. I love the contrast and grain of HP5 but the smooth tones and detail of FP4 are great.

img028I am going to try pushing the film next time just to see what I get grain and contrast wise and will post the results.

Landscapes do look good though I must admit and I am well happy that I have another 19 rolls in the fridge waiting to be shot  🙂img004 img017 img016 img012Thanks for looking

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Bargain of the century ……… Loving 6×6 format

Tim Dobbs Photography-2On Boxing day I treated myself to a Mamiya C330s TLR but after 3 rolls of film determined that there was something wrong with the focus and sent it back. After posting on facebook about what had happened I was contacted by a fellow photographer who said he had got some 6×6 equipment if I was interested.

Tim Dobbs Photography-1I said that I would definitely be interested if I had not just spent my camera fund on the C330s and was waiting to see wether it was to be replaced/fixed. He told me that he had stored the equipment for the last 10 years and was never going to use it and because I was really getting back into film that the price would be very good for me.

Tim Dobbs Photography-3So I jumped into the car and popped over to Maesteg to have a look and as you can see from the photos above I have managed to bag myself the deal of the century.

The total inventory is as follows :

Bronica SQ-Ai, Bronica SQ-A, Ae prism finder, 2x 80mm f2.8, 150mm f4, 40mm f4, 250mm f5.6

all in working order 🙂

The weather has been rubbish over christmas but I managed to get out for an hour yesterday to try out the new kit.

Tim-Dobbs-img001I shot on Kodak T-MAX 400 and processed it in Infosol 3 1+9, I was very,very pleased with the results.

It was nice aslo to use an AE Prism Finder rather than my light-meter, it was almost like using my SLR.

6×6 format is so nice, I am loving shooting and composing in the square format it is so much different to what I am used to.

Tim-Dobbs-img005My son is getting fed up with me asking him to pose so I can test my equipment so I tried something a bit different with this shot which I thought worked in the square frame.

Tim-Dobbs-img002And the sharpness of the 80mm at f4 was superb….

Tim-Dobbs-img012I am so pleased with this equipment and so grateful to have got it at an unbelievable price I hope I can push my film photography to the next level.

Thanks for looking…….

Alternative Colour Developing………….

Canon T90 - Fuji Superia 400 img025I have been developing my own B&W films for a while now and have experimented with various films and developers and have a good idea what I will get out of my negatives.

I have also been processing my colour films to but the results have been very inconsistant, I have noticed that the roll after processing varied from the start to the end, not drastically but there was a difference.

At first I put it down to my inexperience of C-41 processing but after reading up on the internet It seemed to point to the developing temperature varying slightly.

As I develop by hand and not with a processor I try to maintain the required 38 degrees C by placing the drum in warm water in-between inversions and maybe the outer frames of the film were at the proper temp while the inner frames were slightly under.

The Tetenal C-41 kit I use can also be used at 30 degrees C using different developing times which is a far easier temperature to maintain.

http://www.ag-photographic.co.uk/tetenal-c41-kit-1l-681-p.asp

These shots are from the first roll of Fuji Superia 400 I tried using this method and from the first frame to the last the development was perfectly even.

Canon T90 - Fuji Superia 400 img021No colour shift whatsoever, I was going to stop developing C-41 before I tried this but now I am happy with the results and will carry on.

Canon T90 - Fuji Superia 400 img016 - Version 2Thanks for looking, comments most welcome

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Nikon 35mm f2.5e for Film and Digital………

I called into my local camera shop …  (Celtic Camera Centre) …on the weekend to pick up a few rolls of film and noticed they had a Nikon 24mm f2.8 manual focus lens for sale, it was a lovely thing and I am looking to get a wide angle lens to use on my FM2n but sadly it was a bit out of my price range at the moment.

http://www.celticcameracentre.co.uk/Welcome.html

But Andy pointed out they had a Nikon 35mm f2.5e lens also, it was not in the same league as the 24mm……. plastic and a bit tatty but optically fine and was only £50 so I thought I would give it a go.

When I got home I put it on my D7000 and delved into the menus to enter the Non-CPU data so as to be able to use the lens. I only took a handful of shots and imported them into Aperture and was amazed at the results I shot everything wide open and they looked great.

Next I loaded up my FM2n with a roll of Ilford Delta 400 and mounted the lens.

I went out for a walk and proceeded to test out the lens at various subjects and apertures.

On Sunday we went to a Photography exhibition at The Third Floor Gallery, Cardiff bay to see “The Last Resort” by Martin Parr & Tom Wood

http://www.thirdfloorgallery.com/exhibitions.html#exhibition23

so I took the film camera with me to use up the roll and couldn’t wait to get home to develop it and see whether it performed just as good on film as it did on digital.

I was really impressed at the resultant negatives this lens is no way a match for its more expensive equivalents but for £50 it is an absolute steal….closeup the results were excellent even wide open but it did need to be stopped down to get the best images at any distance over a few feet away.

http://www.mir.com.my/rb/photography/hardwares/classics/emfgfg20/eserieslenses/htmls/283550mm.htm#35mm

Maybe in a few weeks if funds are available and if they still have the 24mm in the shop I will buy that lens but in the mean time I cannot praise this little lens enough.

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You have to love Film………..

I took my 1st roll of film to Boots today for their 1hour service just to see the test results from my new Nikon FM2n.

I shot various subjects just to get used to using a fully manual camera on Kodak Ultramax 400 film. The portraits were shot using the Nikkor 85mm f1.8 and the others with the Nikkor 50mm f1.8.

I wasn’t very impressed with printing or the scans from Boots but I was very pleased with the focus and exposure considering I am used to Aperture priority and Autofocus.

I can’t wait to get some Fuji Professional PRO 400H and some Kodak Professional Portra 400 and shoot loads more stuff but get it processed by a decent lab.

The camera is a real pleasure to use and I am so pleased with the results, there is such a difference between using Film to shooting Digital it slows me down and makes me think about the photograph instead of just snapping away and picking the best in post production.

Feedback on the photographs greatly received……..

Got a new Toy……….

I managed to get a Sigma 30mm f1.4 today and boy do I love this lens already.

I already have the Nikon 35mm f1.8 which is a great little lens but this one is something else, just as a little test I went out for a walk and shot everything wide open  which was a challenge because of the bright sunlight

but the shots were great, the focus was spot on and the bokeh was lush. All the above shots were shot Raw with the Nikon D7000 @ f1.4 no post processing just exported to jpeg from Aperture.

Comments welcomed

click on each individual image to view larger……….

Olympus E-PL1

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I have been using my new Olympus E-PL1 camera and playing about with the various Art Filters, and must say I am very impressed at what this little camera produces.

I especially like the Gritty B&W filter best.

The quality of the Raw files it produces with the 14-42mm lens is excellent. It has the added bonus of being able to use various other manufacturers lenses with the appropriate adapter.

I can’t wait to try out some of my Nikon primes. I thoroughly recommend this camera especially at the price it is at the moment £279 here in the UK.

Link to the camera….  http://www.jessops.com/online.store/products/77124/show.html

This is an example of what the Raw file produces…….

1/250sec @f4  iso 100