My wife asked me last week what I would like for my up coming birthday and was not impressed when I asked for a Nikon D800…….lol.
Instead a much more realistic possibility was another film camera to add to my growing collection, I had been looking on eBay for a good, high spec Nikon autofocus camera and plumped for the F90x.
When it arrived it was in immaculate condition inside and out so I loaded up a cheapo roll of Kodak Colorplus 200 and popped into Bridgend where there was an Italian Market event to try it out.
The camera felt great in use, the autofocus was quick using both the 85mm and 50mm f1.8 it felt just like using my D300s without the LCD screen on the back.
Eager to see if the photographs matched my joy at using the camera I got home and processed the film.
I was very happy with the results, the focus was spot on and the Kodak film gave the photos a nice slight de-saturated look especially for the portraits.
I managed to pick up a few rolls of Fuji Superia 400 at a bargain price from Sainsbury’s and loaded up a roll just to see how the camera performed with a better film stock (see main photo of my wife at top) and I must admit the photo quality was great, I shot a load of portraits at f2 and loved the results.
I am going to be using this camera a lot in the future I fell in love with the handling and the picture quality all for a bargain price of £38, you have to love eBay 🙂
This week I have been mostly shooting and developing Colour Film……….
After getting the hang of B&W developing I thought I would give Colour a go as from what I have read it is very similar only a bit more Temperature critical. I bought a Tetenal C-41 kit from AG Photographic (see link below) and a few rolls of cheap Kodak colorplus film just incase I messed up.
We popped down my Mum and Dad’s on Father’s day and I was determined to get some candid portrait shots of Dad as he never likes his photograph taken and as a challenge I was using film.
As usual he was a hard subject to pin down but I did manage to get a few nice frames with pretty good expressions.
When we left we popped down the coast to Porthcawl for a nice stroll by the seaside where I shot another roll of Tri-x 400. It is getting easier to shoot manual now after 15+ rolls and it is such a nice feeling to take my time and choose the shot rather than shoot everything and look through later for the best ones.
Ok, not every shot I take on film is perfect but even the one’s that are not quite what I envisaged at the time are still keepers.
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.
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
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.
As I said in my previous blog post I also shot some of the action type stuff digitally which was so much easier than trying to shoot full manual on my film camera…….
The band shots were also shot on film and I prefer the more gritty feel of the film shots over the cleaner/sharper digital ones.
As you can see in this post there are far more digital photographs than film but that is the thing I like about film it makes you choose your shots far more carefully.
There is no way I would go back to shooting film for everything but I will be taking a film camera be it an SLR or a compact like my Olympus Trip everywhere alongside my DSLR as I feel it really compliments the digital shots and I really enjoy shooting and processing film again.
I have manage to edit some of my digital shots from the Classic Car show I visited the other week. There is a mix of cars and portraits, I noticed that this year I shot far more people shots than cars which showed me the way my photography is starting to go.
I really like shooting people be it portraits or just candidly in the street and since getting back into film that is what I want to do more than any other photography.
I still like the look I get when tone mapping Classic cars, this type of look is not appreciated by everyone but I like it….lol
Thanks for looking….. click on an image to see it larger
Well this shot was after the Classic Car Show but I put it first to show the difference between my 85mm and my 50mm.
I had a few frames left when I got home eager to process it and see what I captured I decided to try my Nikon 85mm 1.8 just as a comparison so I dragged my son Ben kicking and screaming out the garden to take a few shots to finish the film.
I love using the 50mm on my FM2n but I must admit the look I get when shooting portraits with the 85mm is so much better.
The rest of the shots were from the car show except for the line of trees, I shot both digital and film on the day and even though the digital shots were good when it came to the people shots I preferred the film.
We have visited the Lightboat in Cardiff bay on many occasions and it has featured in many of my photographs in and around the bay so this time I decided to have a different outlook and just shoot details and abstracts instead of the normal everyday photos.
The lightship Helwick LV14 was built and commissioned by Trinity House in 1953. It was brought to Cardiff Bay in 1993 and restored to create a floating Christian Centre.
A link to the wesite is here http://www.lightship2000.co.uk/ it’s well worth a visit if you are in the Bay, they do a very good pot of Tea and their Welshcakes are good too!
All the shots were taken with my D300s and Sigma 30mm f1.4
After the viewing we walked around the bay looking for photo opportunities using my film camera and my D7000 and Tamron 17-50 f2.8 and immediately came across a great couple sitting down enjoying an ice cream. I didnt want to shoot them candidly so I asked if they were up for a portrait and they gladly obliged 🙂
The main image at the top of the blog is of the Seamen’s Memorial Sculpture created by Brian Fell to the sailors of the Merchant Navy who lost their lives crossing the Atlantic Ocean during the Second World War and the building in the background is the Pierhead Building built in 1897 as the headquarters for the Bute Dock Company.
All in all it was a cheap afternoon out and I am looking forward to getting my film back to see the results, Cardiff Bay is a great place to shoot street stuff.