I recently was gifted a few different rolls of film from a fellow photographer whom I met on twitter, they were all films that I have never shot before.
I will be testing them all over the next few weeks, the first one is FT12 50 iso high contrast Black & White that can be found over at Nik & Trick
After reading up about it on the internet it seems to be a replacement for Eastman Kodak’s SO-331 which yields really high contrast images with Deep Blacks and very white Whites which is how I like my B&W to look most of the time.The instructions said that for best results it would need to be Stand Developed in Rodinol which is something that I have never tried either so the whole process was completed new to me so I proceeded with fingers crossed.I shot the roll using my Nikon F4s & 50mm f1.4 and the development was Stand in Rodinol 1+100 for 45 minutes.
The negatives were unbelievably sharp and contrasty but with very little grain …Maybe this film is not the best for flattering portraits but landscapes or anything with good detail in good light then this film really pop’s.
Even though there is very little shadow or highlight detail it doesn’t really matter as the film has a great look of its own.
I will definitely be buying some of this to shoot again now I know what sort of conditions/subjects suit it best.
I may even shoot a roll of portraits with a single light so create a really dark look.
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.
Over the last few months the trees in the Garw Valley have been felled due to an outbreak of ‘Phytophthora ramorum’ which is a fungus-like pathogen of plants that causes extensive damage and mortality to trees and other plants.
It is so sad to look out of my windows overlooking the once green hills that are now barren due to this disease but from what I have read this is the only way to stop the spread.
I decided to take a walk and try to document how this has changed the once beautiful tree covered valley using both Digital and Film.
All these photographs were taken using a Nikon FM2n and 50mm lens on ilford Delta 400 and hopefully shows the decimation this has caused, I think the Black and White gives a more poignant/sad feel to the images.
I am sure mother nature will prevail and cover this once green valley again.
Thanks for looking…… click to view a larger image…..
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.
Last week I decided as I was shooting more and more film I would have to have a go at developing my own negatives. This is something I have not done since school.
When studying for my ‘O’ level Art my teacher Mr Halley who was a keen photographer set up a darkroom and some of us who were interested in photography got to waste our Friday afternoons developing and printing our own stuff which is where I got gripped with the photography bug over 30 years ago.
With a mixture of memory/facebook friends and youtube I ventured into my makeshift darkroom /bathroom 🙂 and thought I had made a total mess of my film.
First it all unwound and dropped to the floor, then I managed to cut the leader at an angle so it would not wind on to the spool, eventually I emerged from the bathroom thinking the worst but I was so pleased after opening up the processing tank when I saw images instead of clear or black film.
It is such a thrill to process my own film it brings back so many memories, I love processing my digital shots too, but there is something about the look/feel and smell of Film.
These shots are far from perfect but as it is all my own work I love them…….
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