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 ….

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

Day out to Mumbles with some Ilford Delta 100 ….

img014-EditI had to pay a visit to a doctors in Swansea the other week to have a Steroid injection in my foot in the hope to ease the pain from arthritis and as I was not sure where it was or how long it would take we popped along on a Sunday morning just to get my bearings.

It was pretty easy to find and didn’t take to long so we decided to carry on along the Gower coast to Mumbles, somewhere we have not been since the kids were little.img001-EditWhen we left the weather was pretty poor and was still pretty gloomy when we arrived but the clouds dispersed and we got some lovely sunshine now and again which was nice as I had some ilford Delta 100 in the Canon T90 with the 50mm f1.4img017-EditThere was not a lot to do there really as the Pier was shut for renovations but I did manage to get some nice shots.img011-EditI have not shot Delta 100 very much unlike 400 which I quite like and I was very happy with the results, the grain is very smooth and the tonal range is great, not as contrasty as my favorite HP5 but hey …. horses for courses.img005-Editimg006-Editimg015-EditI may push the next roll that I use just to see if I can bump up the contrast a bit, I could do it in Lightroom after the scans but I try to leave the scans pretty much as I get them with a bit of dust spotting and slight tweaks.img037-Edit img021 img019 img018-Edit img009-Edit img007-EditAll in all it was a nice day and I was happy with the T90, 50mm and Delta combo.

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Thanks for looking … I also have a “Film Only” blog over at  usingfilm.wordpress.com if you want to take a look:-)

Garw Valley Railway with an F100 & some HP5 @ 3200…..

img006The weather this weekend here in the South Wales valleys has been awful, Dark & very wet.

A walk up the mountain was out of the question but as luck would have it the Garw Valley Railway had an open day so knowing from past visits the light inside the shed was very low I loaded the Nikon F100 with some HP5 and pushed it to iso 3200 and used the AF-s 50mm f1.4.

img010Even shooting at 3200 I was having to open up the lens to f2.8 or wider to get a reasonable shutter speed so the sharpness I managed to get was pretty impressive.img005I have pushed HP5 before and I knew that the contrast/grain it produces would suit the type of subjects I was shooting.

The only disadvantage to pushing this much was losing the highlights but it didn’t spoil any of the shots really.img009I processed the film in Ilford ilfotec HC 1+15 dilution for 11 minutes agitating twice every minute which managed to keep the grain well in check while giving excellent sharpness.

HP5 is such an excellent film stock its so versatile in in my personal opinion looks better when pushed than box speed but I love deep blacks and contrasty/grainy images so it suits me.

I had 3 frames left when I got home and fired them off in the house wide open just as a test and to finish the roll so I could see the results.

The combination of the F100 and the af-s 50mm f1.4 is great the focus is spot on and the lens is so sharp.img022 img023Thanks for looking

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You can also find me at https://usingfilm.wordpress.com/ which is all film only loveliness …

Bargain lens find … Tokina 28-70mm macro …..

IMG_20151107_161111I love charity shops, where ever we go if there is a charity shop then I have to browse.

I have picked up some pretty good bargains and this lens joined the list of keepers.20151108_195827It came boxed with Hoya filter fitted and original paperwork and was almost mint for the princely sum of £5.99.

I loaded the Pentax Program A with some expired ilford HP5 and as the weather was pretty poor I decided to push it to iso 800. As it didn’t have a date on the film and the prior storage was also not known I wasn’t really expecting the best results but thats the joy of shooting film I guess 🙂 img012-EditAfter developing the roll I could see that quite a few frames seemed a little under exposed and in hindsight I should have given the film at least an extra 2 stops rather than the 1 stop of compensation that I did give to allow for the loss of sensitivity over the years. img022-EditI was glad that I didn’t have to print this roll in my darkroom, it was quite easy to pull a lot of info from the negs with my scanner and I was pretty pleased with what I got.img003I don’t think that this was a good test for how sharp the Tokina is as the film didn’t lend itself to that type of test, I need to shoot some ektar or slides to test that but it was really nice to use and the handling was great.

This is a real old school type lens all metal and quite a bit of glass, it did seem a bit front heavy on the Program A but after a couple of frames it felt fine.img010 img008All in all I am well pleased with this lens, usually I have the 50mm f1.7 on the Pentax all the time so the versatility of the 28-70mm range is very handy even though its not the fastest the viewfinder was pretty bright so really nice to focus with.img028 img026The macro facility is handy, you can fill the frame at about 6 inches away which makes this lens very useful and I will have to shoot some fresh film to see how sharp it is.img024-Editimg032-EditThanks for looking

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Any comments & shares are gratefully appreciated 🙂

please visit my “Film” only blog over at https://usingfilm.wordpress.com/

if you like more film loveliness

Processing C-41 in B&W chemicals……

img018I have loads of expired C-41 film which I have been shooting in various cameras mainly to test if the cameras I buy are working ok.

I have read on the web about all the different things that can be done when processing both B&W and colour films be it cross processing or caffenol type stuff and came across developing C-41 with standard B&W chemicals.

X-Pro1-2063So I loaded up my T90 with some Boots 200 film that expired back in 2008 and went out for a walk.

I shot the film at box speed and processed it in Ilfotec HC for 10 minutes agitating 4 times every minute and then standard stop/fix/wash as per my normal B&W developing.

When the negs emerged from the tank my 1st thought was that there was nothing on the film as it looked totally black but when unrolled and held up to the light I saw there was something there albeit darker than what I usually see.X-Pro1-2070Once dry the curl was horrendous and the scanning was hard work as the software could not identify the frames so I had to scan them individually but the epson software did a good job.X-Pro1-2066I was very pleased with the scans even though the sharpness was not the best which is typical of most cheap expired films they often look slightly unsharp unlike Ektar.

I did slightly increase the contrast and pull down the highlights in Lightroom as the negs were pretty flat but the look they produced reminded me of Fomapan 100 with the glowing look to the images.

I think I may shoot more C-41 and process it this way maybe varying the exposure and developing times just to see what I get, obviously I am never going to get the quality of genuine B&W film but I like the unpredictability of this experiment.

I think I will try a roll or Ektar next so then at least I know how sharp the negs should be when processed normally.

Thanks for looking…..

I have a film only blog over at https://usingfilm.wordpress.com/

if you are interested in having a peek 🙂

Testing Nikon 35mm f1.8 AF-S DX on full frame ……

img010-EditI love the 35mm focal length when shooting. I have various 35mm lenses to fit my old film slr’s but the only autofocus 35mm I have is the Nikkor 35mm f1.8 AF-S which is a DX lens and when I shoot with it on my D7000 it behaves like a 50mm approx. which isn’t really what I like so the lens even though very sharp stays in my bag most of the time.img014-EditI have tried it on my full frame D600 and as long as I turn off auto DX mode it works great and the only real Vignetting occurred from f4 onwards and was easily sorted with lens correction in Lightroom.

I like Vignetting especially when I shoot contrasty B&W film so I decided to load up my F100 with some HP5 rated at 800 to see how the lens performed.img003The results were really pleasing and as the day was pretty overcast and quite dark I rarely shot above f5.6 so the Vignetting was almost no existent and the images were lovely and sharp/contrasty which is why I love HP5.img006I was thinking about getting the Nikon 35mm f2 AFD to shoot on my F100 and F4 but the results with this little lens really impressed and gave me the look I like with my B&W I would recommend this little gem highly especially as it is so affordable.img022 img008 img012 img016 img021-EditThanks for looking

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I also have a film only blog over at https://usingfilm.wordpress.com/ if you want to take a peak 🙂

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

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

https://usingfilm.wordpress.com/

Nikon F100 first test roll ……..

11116867_759343114180497_1430282617_nI have been looking on eBay for a while for Nikon F100 and the prices seem to vary greatly, I didn’t want to spend a fortune but on the other hand I also didn’t want to buy a well used example either.

I managed to bag this almost mint example for the bargain price of £70 which was a big surprise but I am not going to moan about it 🙂

I decided to try my Nikkor 24-85 vr lens with my 1st roll of HP5 which turned out to be an excellent choice as the images it produced were very sharp and lovely and contrasty.

I am very happy with the F100 it was lovely to shoot with and combined with this lens the images it produced were excellent, I love shooting my older manual focus Nikon/Canon/Olympus/Pentax slr’s but this was almost like shooting my D600 which I have never felt like before when shooting film.

I am going to shoot a roll of Ektar next and can only imagine how sharp the resultant negatives will be….. happy days… Film is definitely not dead 🙂

Fuji X-Pro & my Canon FD 50mm f1.4 testing…….

X-Pro1-1750Today’s weather is pretty poor so just for a change from shooting film I put my Canon FD 50mm on the X-Pro and popped out to see how it performed in the real world of a walk about test.X-Pro1-1747I have used it before but only as a closeup, short DOF type test so shooting it on a walk and only manual focus was going to be a bit of a challenge.X-Pro1-1796As the camera does not know what aperture the lens is at (well at least the exif does not say) I am not sure exactly what aperture I used for each shot was but apart from the container shot which I know was F8 all the others were between f1.4 to f4.0.X-Pro1-1757I was a bit awkward shooting manual focus but the focus peaking on the X-Pro helped greatly but any fast street style shooting was out of question unless I used zone focusing.X-Pro1-1760The results were very pleasing overall, I am not sure I totally like the Bokeh this lens produces with the X-Pro unlike what it produces when I use my Canon T90 but that aside the images came out fine.X-Pro1-1791I have a shed load of FD mount lenses so I am going to try each one just to see which if any I prefer and will blog the results.X-Pro1-1805 X-Pro1-1802 X-Pro1-1783 X-Pro1-1775 X-Pro1-1767 X-Pro1-1764X-Pro1-1814All the images were shot Raw and processed using Adobe Lightroom 5

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I also blog all my film stuff here if anyone cares to take a look 🙂

https://usingfilm.wordpress.com/

Testing my Canon AF35M with Ilford FP4@200…….

A20141230_185151I picked up this little point & shoot a while back now it was only a few quid off e-bay but have not had much chance to try it out.

As I have a couple of days off work I thought it was time to see if it was working or not.Canon_af35_FP4-026cropBefore we braved the cold and frost I loaded up some ilford FP4 and rated it at iso 200, popped in a couple of AA batteries and shot a quicky of one of my camera shelves with the inbuilt flash.

We then went for a walk in the bright sunshine but freezing temperatures.Canon_af35_FP4-002Canon_af35_FP4-010Canon_af35_FP4-018After developing the negatives I was extremely pleased with what the camera produced, lovely and sharp with great contrast and only 2 shots actually missed focus and they were most probably my fault as I was slightly too close.Canon_af35_FP4-021 Canon_af35_FP4-019 Canon_af35_FP4-016crop Canon_af35_FP4-015 Canon_af35_FP4-009 Canon_af35_FP4-007 Canon_af35_FP4-006-EditThis camera is slightly bigger than my fav Nikon L35AF which fits my pocket perfectly which was the only thing that I didn’t really like about this excellent little camera.

The picture quality well exceeded my expectations, I will put a roll of Ektar through it next and will post the results.

Thanks for looking……..