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 🙂

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 🙂

Fujifilm Zoomdate …. a Bargain Point & Shoot ……

R1-03120-0014I am always looking in charity shops and on ebay for camera bargains but unlike 18 months or so ago , bargain finds are few and far between.

It seems that the prices of old cameras is rising (due to demand as more people seem to be getting into film).

A few weeks back I bid on a little Fuji point & shoot on ebay and to my surprise I picked it up for £3, I wasn’t really expecting to much from it but when it arrived I was pleasantly surprised.

Yes it was plastic but the handling and overall feel of the camera was really nice in fact it was very reminiscent of my 1st ever Fuji digital camera.20160825_194502_00120160825_194518I loaded it with a roll of expired XP2 and shot with it over a 3 week period, mainly snapshots but I tried to give it a varied runout.R1-03120-0001R1-03120-0002R1-03120-0019When I got the scans back from @film_dev I was very pleased, I know that they are not going to win any awards but as a test of how the little camera performed they were great.

I think if I use a good, fresh roll of something like Ektar the images would shine, the lens seems pretty sharp at both ends of the zoom range.

As its a fully automatic camera I have no idea what the aperture/shutter setting were so these may all have been shot at f8 and above.R1-03120-0033 R1-03120-0025 R1-03120-0003 R1-03120-0010I usually keep my Nikon L35AF in my bag as my goto point & shoot as its a brilliant camera but compared to this its quite big and a little bulky, this little Fuji is nice and compact/light while still feeling good in my hand.

So I think I will keep this in my bag and put a few more rolls through it.

The fact that it has a zoom gives it the edge for versatility over the Nikon.R1-03120-0013 R1-03120-0008 R1-03120-0006

Thanks for looking ……

click an image to view larger……..

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

A day out at the seaside ……

R2-02258-004AWe paid a visit to Amy last week in Aberystwyth and just for a change we had a lovely bright day.

The last few trips to “Aber” have been wet and dark so it lends itself to some grainy B&W images but for a change I loaded the F100 with some Kodak Portra 400 and shot it 2 stops over.

R2-02258-010AI must admit I love the way Portra looks when pushed especially when shooting portraits and along with the 50mm f1.4 wide open the film really makes the image pop.

R2-02258-030AI really need to start shooting more portraits, I have to pull my finger out and make a point of getting some willing subjects ( its like pulling teeth getting my family to pose for me)

All in all it was a good day out albeit a bit cold but it was nice to shoot in sunshine for a change.

As usual the film was processed and scanned by http://www.filmdev.co.uk/ who did a great job, I can’t recommend them more highly.

Click on an image to view larger….

comments welcomed…. and if anyone local is up for some portrait shots drop me an email 🙂

“From behind”………..

D300sB _TDP2746I have been looking at loads of street photography lately and noticed how effective quite a few images were when shot from behind.

Xpro1-1265-EditI didn’t think that I had taken many images this way as I prefer connecting with the subject in my image in some sort of way by either eye contact or even asking to take the image but after trawling though my catalogues I noticed that I did have quite a few images that worked when shot from behind with no subject interaction with me.D7000C-2089Some of these images I have posted before but usually I never seem to use them unless there is something I like maybe the interaction with surrounding people or background/place.

Anyway, a short and sweet post today all these images were taken with a mixture of cameras ….. Film & Digital….. thanks for looking.

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/

Trying a new C-41 Developing/scanning service…..

After having fairly inconsistent results from processing my own C-41 at home I have been using AG Photographic to develop my negatives and then scan them on my Epson v500.

I have been pretty satisfied with what I have got and the cost has not been too high either but scanning colour negatives is pretty time consuming trying to get some sort of uniformity in appearance.

I recently came across a company online “Filmdev” who will develop and scan at various sizes depending on what I want, then let me download the images from the web before sending me a dvd with the hires tiff files and my negatives. All for the brilliant price of £5 for the 3600×2400 or £8 for the 4500×3000 scans. ( they also scan at 5400×3600 for £12 )

After posting off 2 films 1x Kodak Portra 400 & 1x Agfa Vista 200 expired I had a telephone call off David the owner telling me they have received my films and was there any particular things I required like push/pull, tiff scans or jpeg or a certain look to the scans all for no extra cost.

I decided on just straight process and corrections just to have some sort of reference next time I send more films.

I must say the results were excellent, great colours and very sharp clear scans with no dust/hairs etc, I was very impressed and suffice to say I will be sending all my films to them from now on.

The 1st gallery is the Agfa Vista 200 expired shot on my Olympus OM2n with the 35mm f2.8.

The 2nd gallery is the Kodak Portra 400 shot on my Nikon F100 with the 50mm f1.4.

Links to the company are here : http://www.filmdev.co.uk/

Thank you for looking any comment very welcome 🙂

Expired Agfa HDC plus and my Nikon F4……..

Agfa boxAges ago I was kindly given a bag full of film, all expired ranging from 2000 to 2009 and the friend who gave it to me didn’t know how it was stored as he himself was given it by 3rd party.

I have been using some of it to test any old 35mm camera I managed to pick up and to be honest it has all been ok but I have not shot it with a decent camera/lens combination and had it processed professionally so the other week I loaded up my Nikon F4 with some Agfa HDC plus 200 that expired back in 2002.F4I deliberately set my iso to 100 and also over-exposed quite a few shots hoping to get a bit of contrast and colour in the film as what I have found with the other rolls that I shot at box speed and camera exposure have all been a little flat.F4_Agfa_HDC_200-004As with most Agfa colour films I have used before the images had a magenta tone to them which I don’t mind.

I was impressed with the contrast and sharpness too, it really made a difference shooting this film in the F4 with my nice 50mm f1.8.F4_Agfa_HDC_200-017F4_Agfa_HDC_200-011 F4_Agfa_HDC_200-008 F4_Agfa_HDC_200-005 F4_Agfa_HDC_200-001F4_Agfa_HDC_200-022F4_Agfa_HDC_200-012After our little walk I still had a few frames left and my better half had a go with the F4 while we relaxed outside our local pub shooting my happy face.F4_Agfa_HDC_200-039All in all I am very happy with how the film performed, it really made a difference using it in a good camera and the processing was done by AG Photographic and not at home by me.

I have another 10 rolls of this as well as various other Agfa/Kodak mixture so now I know that the film works fine I will shoot these in my better cameras rather that just as test rolls in the many point & shoot/rangefinders I seem to pick up in charity shops “I have a GAS problem 🙂 “.F4_Agfa_HDC_200-006F4_Agfa_HDC_200-026Thanks for looking….comments most welcome 🙂

Please click on an image to view larger……

also check out my “Film Only” blog at Using Film

 

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……..

Merlin Maddock’s Workshop…….

D600A-0396-EditMy friend and neighbour Merlin has a huge challenge/project going on for the last couple of months to attempt to build a replica of a plane built in about 1904 here in the Garw valley.

D600A-0385-EditI have had the pleasure of trying to document the building of the said plane as the project has been progressing. Sadly Merlin’s health has slowed him up greatly but his determination is a pleasure to witness.D600A-0401-EditI love popping next door to his workshop and exploring all his quirky, interesting pieces dotted about.D600A-0393-Edit-2Hopefully this project will see the light next year and I will be there to see the finale 🙂

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-south-east-wales-21366975

D600A-0406-EditD600A-0421-EditD600A-0425-EditD600A-0422-EditD600A-0412-EditD600A-0414-EditD600A-0410-Edit
D600A-0411-EditThanks for looking…. comments welcomed