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 🙂

E6 Processing …. Well how hard can it be?

As you may know if you follow any of my posts here I develop and scan all my own C41 and B&W film but until now I have either cross-processed my slide film or sent it out to a lab.

The problem with E6 is its not cheap to get processed and scanned and it seems to take at least twice as long to come back so I decided to do it myself.

So I purchased the Tetenal Colortec E6 kit and proceeded to scour the internet for hints and tips on the best way to go about the processing.

When I develop my C41 I use the 30 deg method as I find it easier to maintain that temperature rather than the 38 deg method and also (may be due to the temp fluctuations) seem to get far more uniform results.

It is a 8 step process including the pre soak/wash and except for the final Stabilizer bath the temperatures were all at 38 deg which started to get me a bit worried.

After watching some youtube videos I purchased 2 medium size plastic storage tubs in which I could put all of my bottles including my filtered water as there are 3 washes in between all of the chemical baths ( we have very hard water here so tap water washing is not an option).

I usually do my normal processing in a bowl as all of my bottles fit and the temp is not so high but by having 2 tubs and the bowl I managed to keep the temp pretty stable with plenty of kettle boils to top up.

All in all it was quite stressful for my 1st attempt, worrying about the temp and the constant 15 second agitation along with swapping thermometers about (I have 3 but could have done with more) but the thrill of seeing the film emerge from the drum was brilliant.

It was such a buzz seeing full colour images as opposed to negatives that the stress it caused was worth the effort.

This was a roll of expired Fuji Sensia 100 35mm and I have since processed my 1st roll of 120mm Kodak Ektachrome E200 which was not such a success as this roll due to me trying to push it to 400 iso but a few of the frames were so under exposed I could not get anything out of them … that is another blog maybe.

 

Thanks for looking ….

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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 ….

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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 ….

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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 ….

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

Testing the Ricoh XR-P & Rikenon P 35-70mm Macro ….

I remember this camera when it came out back in 1984 and at the time would have loved to own it but never did until very recently, I did get the later model the XR_X but never got on with it back in the day but since re-purchasing one a year or so ago I actually enjoy using it.

Anyway the XR-P was a pretty advanced camera back in the day and had various programmed exposure modes that required the use of a Rikenon P lens and not the Pentax A  version.

I have a few Pentax SLR’s along with some A lenses so when I bought this camera I also purchased a Rikenon P lens just to give it a run out.You may have noticed that many of these images are similar to my previous blog on shooting FT12 high contrast film … the reason is I took both cameras out on this walk, I was going to blog this a little later but I thought it may be a benefit seeing the two together for a comparison. The camera was a breeze to use, I shot all the images using various of the modes with no problems.

The lens also performed quite well albeit a little soft at the wider apertures but pretty nice at f8 and over.

The film was a fresh roll of Agfa Vista 200 processed and scanned at home. I doubt very much that I will use this camera in any of the modes other than Aperture priority or manual to be fair but its nice to have the option.

Its a very, very nice handling camera even though it feels a bit cheaply built in comparison to my Nikon or Canon SLR’s nevertheless its size and weight mean that with a little Pentax 50mm its a great walk around camera and I will be shooting it quite a lot in the future.

Thanks for looking ….

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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 ….

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

 

 

Expired Film Day 2017 …..

For this year’s Expired Film Day I shot 2 cameras and just 2 rolls.

1st was a Nikon F100 loaded with some long expired Kodak Ektar 1000 which I rated at 200 iso  with fingers crossed that it came out at all.

2nd was a YashicaMat loaded with some Fuji NPS 160 expired 1997 rated at 64 iso.

I was happy with how both rolls came out and was surprised how many frames that were usable from the Ektar. I found it difficult to choose which 3 images to enter in the competition as the Fuji NPS images did not remotely look like they were shot on 20 year old expired film.

You can checkout all the entries here  expiredfilmday.com

Here are the rest of the images I liked from both rolls … it’s easy to tell which was which 🙂

Thanks for looking ….

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

Spring has Sprung ? ……

I seem to have a slight backlog of films to post at the moment what with the Tmax Party and Expired film day.

I shot this roll of Portra 400vc back at the end of February on a quite bright but overcast afternoon.I have noticed that this film when shot in these lighting conditions give a nice subtle muted colour palette.Next time I shoot this film I will try it in poor conditions to see how it performs then. These were shot on the Mamiya 645 with the 45mm f2.8 and home processed/scanned.

Thanks for looking ….

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

Testing my Minolta SRT 101 with some Delta 400@800 ….

delta400_012Just before christmas a friend messaged me to say he had been given a couple of old camera’s and if I was interested I could have them, well I can never say no to free stuff so I said to pop them around.

To my surprise the the 2 camera’s were in excellent condition the 1st was a Ricoh Singlex TLS SLR with a Rikenon 50mm f2.8 which I have yet to put a roll of film through.

The next was a Minolta SRT 101 with a MC Rokkor-PF 55mm f1.7 both were in almost perfect condition.delta400_009The weather for the last 2 weeks has been very changeable so I decided to push a roll of ilford Delta 400 to 800 to give me a bit more to play with if the light was poor.

I shot this roll over a 2 week period but to be fair the light was pretty consistent every time I shot so the images look like they may have been shot  all on the same day.delta400_010To be honest I was quite pleased with the images even though they didn’t seem totally sharp overall but I put that down to pushing the film and mostly due to my focussing I think.

The camera didn’t have a split prism which I am used to so I may have been slightly out especially shooting at f4 and wider.delta400_022I have looked at various examples of this camera on eBay from time to time but never got around to picking one up so getting this almost perfect sample for free makes me feel very lucky …Cheers Steve 😉

Thanks for looking ….

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