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 #FP4Party 2020 images all together .. plus those that didn’t make the cut ….

I suspect that most of the people who choose to view my blog probably know what #FP4Party 2020 is all about but for those who don’t … well … it’s a twitter thing where like minded film photographers participate in a sort of competition (no prizes just for fun) where we shoot some ilford FP4 during shoot week then the following week process and scan the film and then post the images over the next week.

I have taken part in this on previous occasions and enjoy the whole process.

As the posting week is over I am now blogging all the images shot over the said week all together here on my blog.

I didn’t enter all of these in the Party so if you have been following me on twitter then there are some new ones here.

I shot 2 rolls … 1 – 35mm in my Pentax Super A and 1 – 120 in my Fuji GW690iii

So here they are ….

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.

 

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 🙂

A Month with my Leica …

I have been thinking about and then putting off buying a Leica M for an absolute age.

I don’t really know what the actual reason for putting it off was to be fair … everytime I saw one I liked and put it into my online basket something stopped me pressing the checkout button.

Well last month I bit the bullet and got hold of an M2 which was made the same year of my birth which made it that little bit extra special.

I got it without a lens from Red Dot Cameras but purchased an adapter for my Jupiter 8 50mm f2 as a stop gap until I decide which lens I am going to get.

Here follows 4 galleries featuring a selection of images shot on 4 different film stock all processed and scanned by myself.

The Jupiter 8 really impressed me with the colour rendering and sharpness/bokeh … God only knows how excited I will be when I get around to upgrading this little beauty.

Click on an image to view larger ……..

  1. Kodak Ektar

    2. Ilford XP2

    3. Agfa Vista 200

    4. Kodak Tmax 400

    Overall my 1st month with my 1st Leica has not disappointed in the least … this little camera oozes class and charisma it is such a pleasure to use.

    I now know why photographers heap praise on the Leica M even a 50+ year old model works like a dream and it has to be said .. this is the best camera I have ever shot with … I don’t mean in techy imagey sort of way but as something that makes you feel happy everytime that you use it

    God I even like just looking at it … ha haThanks for looking ….

    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 ….

Click on an image to view larger

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

April’s Tmax-Party entries in one place ….

This months @TMAX_party entries were shot using my lovely new Leica M2 with a Jupiter 8 50mm f2 on Tmax 400.

They were shot in 2 locations 1st at Porthcawl beach and finished off at home in the Garw Valley. To be honest Tmax is not my favorite film but I have to admit that the tones that it gives when using this camera/lens combination are lovely, its hard to tell looking here but when I look at the full res scans they are very pleasing. I will be visiting the darkroom with a couple of the beach shots to see how they print.

 

Thanks for looking ….

Click on an image to view larger

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 ….

Click on an image to view larger

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

Shooting Ilford HP5+ at 1600 iso……..

img020-Edit-EditMy favourite B&W film is ilford HP5 and I rarely shoot any thing else when it comes to B&W.

I love the contrast and grain it produces and depending on which developer I process with I can get plenty of looks from one film stock.

img022-EditI have been reading quite a few blog posts and watching some youtube videos where various other photographers recommend shooting HP5 at 1600 iso as it don’t seem to loose any sharpness and the increase in contrast/grain doesn’t impact on the image.

I like grain and contrast so I was not all that bothered if they increased but as a test I was interested in how sharp the images were, so I shot a roll with my Nikon F100 and 50mm f1.4 which is a very sharp lens and processed it using ilfotec HC 1+15.

The results were great, the sharpness was impressive and the grain didn’t impair the look at all.

Rating HP5 at 1600 may become my standard from now on as it gives me extra versatility to be able to shoot in more lighting situations while keeping the look I like from using this film stock.

Thanks for looking

Click on an image to view larger……

You can find more lovely film stuff on my film only blog at ……..

https://usingfilm.wordpress.com/

Zorki 4k re-visited …….

Zorki_HP5021-EditI have had my Zorki 4k and Jupiter 8 50mm f2 for ages but I have only put 2 rolls of film through it.

I don’t know why I have not used this camera more as it handles great and the results from the the 1st 2 rolls were also very pleasing.Zorki_HP5022As with my first attempts, getting the framing correct is still a bit hit or miss especially if trying to frame pretty tight.Zorki_HP5016So I have to leave plenty of space just to make sure I get the shot but thats not really a huge problem.Zorki_HP5014HP5 shoots great with the Jupiter 8 giving quite smooth out of focus areas while still getting great contrast which is what I like about HP5.Zorki_HP5010I am going to try to shoot this camera much more from now on and I have been looking on eBay for a nice lens hood as the lens is prone to quite a bit of flare.Zorki_HP5007Zorki_HP5008 Zorki_HP5011 Zorki_HP5020-EditZorki_HP5018Thanks for looking

click on an image to view larger ……