New film stock to try out … Agfa APX 400

I was recently sent a lovely little package from a twitter friend Sandeep @Givemeabiscuit that contained a bunch of different films stocks.

He kindly sent me the films due to losing a bet that we made last year in regards to Liverpool FC ( who I support) finishing higher than Manchester UTD (who he supports) .

We both agreed to send each other a pile of film which ever one of us lost the bet, I won but to be honest I forgot all about it but Sandeep being the gentleman that he is reminded me and suffice to say he sent me a excellent pile of films some of which I have never shot before.

The 1st film that caught my eye was some Agfa APX 400 which is a film that I have not tried so I decided as the weather last weekend was total pants and my rugby match was cancelled due to a waterlogged pitch I though I would get wet anyway so loaded up a camera that I have had a while but never shot the Minolta Dynax 500si (more about this at the end of the blog) and went out up the mountain in the mist and rain to see how the film/camera performed.I tried to test the film/camera with a variety of settings and subjects from wide open closeups to stopped down wide shots all in aperture priority at iso 400 and developed the roll in Ilfotec HC 1+31 dilution for 8 minutes.

The camera performed really well I did switch to manual focus for some of the shots as it did struggle in the light a little but other than that it was great. The film itself was also a revelation with lovely contrast and excellent sharpness which really showed in some of the images where I stopped down to f8 and more.

The grain is pretty uniform and tight which helped in the large areas of mist in the pictures.

Overall I am very impressed with this film and will certainly look into buying some more in the future.As I said earlier in the post … more about the Minolta Dynax 500si …

I have been thinking about how to give back to the film community in some way.

I have given a few cameras/film away in the past but I was thinking about how to get others to join in the absolute joy that is “film photography” so as a start I am going to give this camera and AF35-70mm lens away along with some film to a newbie film shooter.

I will do a follow up blog post in the next few days with details about how I am going to do this as I am not really sure how to target newbie photographers.

Hopefully my fellow film togs can spread the word somehow and I can get the ball rolling soon.

Anyway thanks for looking ….

Click on an image to view larger

All images 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 🙂

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London, New York, Pontycymmer … Artist at work .. Kevin Sinnott

Over the last few weeks I have had the pleasure of spending time with world renowned artist Kevin Sinnott who lucky for me lives here in Pontycymmer where he also has his studio and his most excellent gallery “Studio 18”.

My first thoughts about this series of images was to shoot it completely on film which after my initial test shoots was not going to show how I pictured the project in my mind where I had some sort of control over the colours of the paintings.

So I used a mix of film & Digital hopefully to give a good overview of a working artist.

Before we start here is a very brief snippet about Kevin that I procured from the web….

Kevin Sinnott

Born in Sarn, South Wales in 1947, Kevin Sinnott is a contemporary Welsh artist with a truly international reputation. He trained at Cardiff College of Art & Design, Gloucestershire College of Art & Design and at the Royal College of Art, London. Kevin remained in London throughout the 1970s and 80s, building a very successful career, and exhibiting at leading London galleries, major galleries in the USA and mainland Europe.
Kevin’s work is collected worldwide and he is represented in many important public collections, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. His large canvas, ‘Running Away with the Hairdresser’ has proved to be one of the National Museum and Galleries of Wales’s most popular acquisitions.
Kevin returned to live in Wales in 1995 and has quickly established himself at the forefront of the renaissance in Welsh painting. While his work is primarily concerned with human relationships, the influence of the south Wales landscape is strongly felt in his paintings. He was elected to the Royal Cambrian Academy in 2007.

 

I will include some links at the end of the post to various articles featuring Kevin that may be of interest.Hopefully this will be the start of an ongoing project where I hope to spend time with artists in their studio or place of work where I can document the process of their discipline whether they are a painters, photographers, illustrators, musicians, sculptors etc

This 1st post may be an exception as Kevin gave me unlimited access to him and his studio for which I am so grateful.

 

I was very lucky with my timing as Kevin was in the middle of a painting on the day we arranged for me to pop over to do the studio shoot.

I was privileged to watch him work and then re work the painting “SuperMam” which will feature in most of the following images, please excuse the slight colour variations as obviously they are a mix of Film & Digital.

The paintings need to be seen in life to appreciate them  🙂

The images were shot on a mixture of Kodak Portra 400, Fuji Pro 400H for the colour and ilford HP5+ and Kodak T-Max for the B&W.

Cameras used were Nikon F100, Mamiya 645, Mamiya C330 and Leica M2.

Digital were Nikon D600, Fuji XT-1 and Fuji X-Pro1

Martin Tinney Gallery
http://www.artwales.com/artists-detail-mtg-en.php?artistID=49
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Wales online link
http://www.walesonline.co.uk/whats-on/kevin-sinnotts-new-paintings-go-4891977
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Studio 18 link
http://studio18.wales/
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Youtube video link

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National Museum link
https://museum.wales/art/online/?action=show_item&item=1671
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Flowers Gallery
https://www.flowersgallery.com/artists/view/kevin-sinnott

Thanks for looking ….

Click on an image to view larger

All images 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 🙂

All my #SummerFilmParty “August” images together …..

As I said in a previous post I have been taking part in a Twitter competition called #SummerFilmParty … only using certain film types then posting the results and if chosen the participating photographers get to vote for the winner.

Last month I managed to get 2 images shortlisted (didn’t win) which was well pleasing given the calibre of the other entries.

I shot 2 films .. ilford Pan F in my Nikon F4s and some expired Fuji Sensia 400 in my Nikon F100.

Here are the entries plus a couple that didnt make my cut  ….. in no particular order

This was the last #SummerFilmParty but other parties have been planned so watch this space.

Thanks for looking ….

Click on an image to view larger

All images 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 🙂

 

Trying out a new film stock …. Orwo N74

Quite a while back I was gifted some film by a Twitter friend which I have steadily been trying out … all of which have been film stock that I have never used before.

This week was the turn of some Orwo N74 which is a 400 iso motion picture stock and after looking it up online it was described as having an excellent tonal range and great contrast which sounded right up my street for a B&W film look.

I rated it at box speed and decided on using my Nikkormat FTN and Nikon 35mm f2.5 as the trial camera, as I don’t have a lens with the aperture coupler prong so I used the stop down metering way of setting my exposures which seemed to have worked out well.

The film has a good exposure latitude and I didn’t get much shadow blocking or highlight blowout given that I was not 100% sure that the metering method was totally accurate.

I developed the roll in Rodinal 1+50 dilution for 13 minutes inverting twice every minute.

Overall I was pleased with the results more so with the closeup/shallow DOF shots than the Landscape type shots.

The grain didn’t lend itself to sweeping skies to my eye in fact it was a little distracting while the sharpness and contrast was great.

I may buy some more and either try stand development in Rodinal or use some IDII/D76

Here is the link to the film stock here in the UK .. https://ntphotoworks.com/shop/product/orwo-n74/

So here are the shots … click on an image to view larger Approx 100% crop 

Thanks for looking ….

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

All images on both my blogs are available as prints just drop me an email

 

Carl Zeiss Flektogon 35mm f2.4 on my Nikon FM2n …..

I was very lucky a few months back to be gifted a bunch of old camera stuff from a friend, most of which sadly was pretty far gone but mounted to an old Praktica that had died was this beauty … Carl Zeiss Jena Flektogon 35mm f2.4

Funny thing was I was reading a random blog post only days before extolling the virtues of this particular lens.

I have a couple of M42 mount cameras so mounted it on my working Praktica MTL 5B and shot a roll of expired Kodak Colorplus just to test the performance.

See link here .. carl-zeiss-jena-flektogon-35mm-f2-4

I was very pleased with how the lens performed so I decided to get an M42 adapter for Nikon F mount so that I could use it with some of my older Nikon Slr’s.

I made sure that I got one with the glass element that let the camera focus to infinity and mounted it on my FM2n loaded with some ilford XP2 and went out to test it.

I found that if I switched the lens to manual diaphragm mode then the FM2n metered correctly for me.

Here are some sample images mostly shot wide open at 2.4 through 5.6 with the bench landscape at f11.

The viewfinder dimmed quite a bit the more that I stopped down making it quite hard to focus but if you switch back to auto diaphragm mode to focus if you are using f8+ then back to manual to meter then all is good. All in all I am very pleased with this little lens and it has the added benefit of being able to close focus down to 19cm.

Considering I got this for nothing is a bonus but I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend this as a purchase as you will not be disappointed

Thanks for looking ….

Click on an image to view larger

All images 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 🙂

 

#Camerachallenge time ….

Over the last week or so I have been taking part in the #camerachallenge on twitter organised by fellow photographer Jason Avery @Jaysargo who came up with the idea of buying a camera for under £5 or equivalent in any other currency and then shooting and posting the results followed by a twitter Q&A today all about the process.

I am always looking on ebay and in charity shops for cameras so that part was not new to me so this challenge was right up my street.

I managed to get 2 cameras for under the £5 price both of which were Pentax Espio’s … the 115 and 140 which differed slightly but the main difference was the zoom length as the numbers in the names suggested 38mm to 115 and 140mm.

Also the 115 had a so called macro setting that the 140 did not have while the 140 has an extra spot af setting and both of those were useful, it would have been nice to have both on one camera.

They both also had a pano setting which only seemed to crop to the centre of the 35mm frame and most importantly you could shoot without the flash if you wanted and not be automatically forced to use it .

Also there was a landscape af mode on both which I assume  focussed to infinity and stopped down the lens to achieve a greater DOF. I tried all the of the available modes and was pretty impressed with the results. The Espio 115 shot a roll of Kodak Tmax 400 while the 140 already had a roll of what turned out to be Tudor XFG 100 which had 6 frames already shot.

I developed both rolls at home and here are some of the images.

First the Pentax Espio 115 & Tmax 400

And the Espio 140 and Tudor XFG 100

All in all both cameras were great and if I had used a better roll of film in the 140 instead of the expired roll that was already in there I would have said that both cameras had great lenses that gave very sharp and contrasty results.

This challenge has been good fun and I would recommend other film photographers reading this to give it a try … follow Jason and keep a lookout for the next challenge, I am not sure how it will differ from this one but thats the fun really.

It just goes to show that you don’t need expensive kit to get nice images and also how cheap it is to get into film photography.

After the Q&A today I may give one of these cameras away to someone who is interested in getting into film photography so follow me on twitter or leave a comment below.

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 🙂

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 🙂

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 🙂

My 1st Nikkormat ….

I received a message the other week from a photographer friend saying someone that he knew was selling some film equipment and wondered if I was interested.

I contacted the gentleman and called around to see what he had for sale.

As I had just bought my 1st Leica the week before my camera fund was a little depleted but out of all the stuff he was selling I managed to afford this Nikkormat FTn.

As soon as I held the camera I loved it, especially the brassing from years of use.

The seller was a retired pro photographer and to be fair he took very good care of his equipment.The first problem that I encountered was the fact that I didn’t own a lens that were compatible with how the meter operated. All my lenses were too new, even though they all fit they didn’t have the aperture coupling thingy so I had no way of using the internal meter … or so I thought.

After some reaching out to my Twitter friends I was informed that I could use it in “Stop Down Metering Mode”  where you use the DOF preview button to stop down the lens to the aperture that you want then while holding it adjust the Shutter/Aperture to get the meter in the centre.

Then came the 2nd problem … to do this correctly on the FTn you need to push the lever on the camera that is supposed to attach to the coupler on the lens completely to the right when you mount the lens then it should remain there to give correct meter readings.

But when I did this and compared the camera reading to my lightmeter reading it was off quite a bit but after a bit of fiddling I realised that if I pushed the lever all the way to the right then pulled it back about 1cm then the readings matched … happy days 🙂

So I loaded it up with some ilford XP2 and went out to test the beast … It was a joy to use and handled great.

Here is a selection of the images that I got and managed to get every frame pretty much in the correct exposure ball park …

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 🙂

First time using FT12 high contrast film ….

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.

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 🙂