1st time shooting Lomography Colour Negative 400 35mm….

I love trying new/old film stocks, usually its some old expired stuff I find on eBay but for a change I picked up a 3 roll box of Lomography Colour Negative 400 35mm last week and was interested in seeing what the film was like compared to some of my favorite films like Portra 400 vc or Fuji Reala.Luckily for me it was a nice bright day which after viewing the scan really showed the best side of this film.

I decided to use a camera that I have not shot for an absolute age … my Canon AE1 program with the 50mm f1.4 which was such fun to use again. The sharpness of the film was quite impressive as so were the colours.

There seemed to be a slight green cast to most of the shots which did not detract from the image in fact I really liked the look. The brighter the light the more saturation I seemed to get which was great.

I am not sure what I was expecting from this film but its fair to say I love it.

I have since bought another pack but this time in 120 format so I can’t wait to give that a try …. 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 🙂

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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 🙂

Summer Velvia 50 colours ….

Last week I did my good deed of the month by giving away a camera to a twitter photographer friend who was happy to pay the postage but also gave me a lovely surprise by also sending me a little Lomo camera along with a selection of films one of which was some Fuji Velvia RVP50 which I have not had a great deal of experience with. I have shot plenty of Fuji Velvia RVP100 in both 35mm and 120 with lovely results but the RVP50  was quite a new experience.

I loaded up the Nikon F100 as I find the metering to be the most accurate and rated the film at 25 iso as it had expired back in 2006 and processed it using the Tetenal E6 kit. When opening the developing drum the colours were popping even before holding up to the light and once I got the scans into Lightroom I began to understand why photographers rave about this iconic film stock. The day that I shot the film was bright and sunny which obviously aided the look of the images with the Reds and greens almost aglow.

Obviously I will have to add a few rolls of this to my film fridge very soon and I will look forward to loading it up the next time we get any sun here in the South Wales Valleys.

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

 

I love shooting expired film ……

Last week I managed to source some of my favorite colour negative film Fuji Reala from ebay and along side of the Reala the vendor also had some Kodak Vericolor II which I also bought to give it a try.

I have previously shot a roll of Vericolor III that I had been given and really liked the muted tone that I gave so I was hoping that this gave similar results.

I decided to take the Mamiya C330 for a run out as I had been neglecting it over the Yashica Mat 124G recently, I used both the 80mm f2.8 and 65mm f3.5.

Here are the images, only 9 as the other 3 were bracketed shots ….  It was an overcast day with glimpses of sunshine now and again.

I rated the roll at 80 iso with my Sekonic meter which was pretty much spot on.

If I shoot the next roll in brighter conditions I could probably rate the film at 100 or even box speed as it didn’t seem to have lost a lot of sensitivity even though the 2 boxes had expired back in 1994  🙂

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 🙂

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 🙂

 

Going Lomo with my Olympus XA1 ……

As it was a Bank holiday weekend here in the UK the weather forecast was for heavy rain as you would expect here in the South Wales Valleys.

I decided to travel light on my walk and dug out my Olympus XA1 and loaded it with some expired Fuji Superia 400.

It was quite nice to be able to just point and shoot for a change, the only settings on the XA1 are the ISO … either 100 or 400 and thats all you have to set and you are free to jus hopefully just compose an image.The only other thing to take into consideration is the close focus which is a measly 1.5 metres so everything must be further than arms length away.The light was pretty poor so I was not really expecting much from the roll but every now and again the sun popped through and I managed to shoot most of my frames in reasonable light.

I was pleased how the colours looked considering the age of the film which I got in a mixed bag of stuff from a friend who had no idea how it had been previously stored before he got it.When the sun raised its head a little the greens really popped and I was happy with how the little XA1 performed … so much so I am going to treat it next time with a nice fresh roll of film to see how much better the images will be.

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 impressions of my Plustek 8100 Scanner …..

Quick disclaimer … this is not a full in depth techy review its just my personal impression after a few weeks playing about with this scanner.

I have never been totally happy with any of my own scans, not that there has been anything wrong with them really but they never seem as good as when I get stuff done in the lab.

I usually use an Epson v500 flatbed scanner and the bundled epson software.

I try to scan as flat as I can capturing as much of the Highlight/Shadow detail as possible by adjusting the individual RGB channels then do all the heavy lifting in Adobe Lightroom.

This workflow seems to yield the best results for me.

I was debating wether to upgrade my flatbed to an Epson v800 (I may have to as I am now looking to scan 4×5) but came across a review of the Plustek 8100 and saw that it was only £150 here in the uk so decided to jump in and give it a go.

Here is the link to where I bought it …

Its a nice compact unit and feels pretty solid but the film holders are just as flimsy as my epson ones.

This is a totally manual scanner in the sense that you can only scan one frame at a time, no batch scanning and no motorised loading you just have to push the holder to the next frame but it stops in position with a nice positive click so you know that the frame is aligned correctly.

The film holder is not the easiest thing to use if you have curly film as it is a pain to position and then close the top flap without actually handling the film surface so gloves are a must.

Also as a side note …. this is a 35mm only scanner

It comes complete with a nice little bag that holds the scanner/film-slide holders and leadsThe supplied software is Silverfast SE Plus 8 which I must admit has a damn steep learning curve compared to the Epson Scan software.So now to the results ….

Well before that just a quick word on the Silverfast software …

There are so many options that unless you enjoy scanning this is not for you.

My 1st scans were pretty awful, I clicked and tweaked away at every option and got nowhere fast.

I then tried to scan flat like I was used to and that was poor also so I then decided to check out the web for some instruction and to be fair the silverfast website really helped big time.

The best thing that this scanner/software does is multi exposure scanning … yes it takes quite a while but the results are worth it also the Negafix option gives you a great starting point with the colours as it features a ton of film profiles that you choose when you begin scanning.

All in all I bought this scanner to hopefully get better scans which It really does but I am not going to scan all my images with it as the workflow is pretty time consuming rather I am scanning my rolls with the epson 1st then re scanning the frames that I may want to process further or especially if I want to print an image as the amount of detail that it captures is way more than the v500 for sure.

This is the cheapest version that Plustek sell.

The next one in the range is about £80 more and features infrared scanning for the dust removal this model has dust removal but without the infrared pass so obviously its not as accurate but I never used it much on my v500 so didn’t want to spend the extra £80.

I have used the SRD which is what Silverfast calls the dust removal and it works fine but if its something that you require I would recommend buying the 8200i SE which incorporates the infrared scanning.This was a really old negative that had slipped out of a folder some how and was pretty badly marked and scanned on my v500.This is the Opticfilm 8100 scan using the SRD attempting to find the dust.This is the scan after the dust removal which is pretty good considering it does not have the infrared channel to help.Using the Negafix part of the software you get much closer to the correct color straight from the scanner and before Lightroom ….. this is Kodak Ektar. Epson V500 scan of some Tmax 400 … the 2nd image is a 100% crop This is the Opticfilm 8100 version which captures much more detail and it can then be processed further in Lightroom.

Click on the crops to see ….

 

Here are some more samples to compare 

The V500 versions have been through Lightroom for full editing while the Opticfilm 8100 versions have only had dust removed in Photoshop CC then re-saved as jpegs … no colour editing or sharpening etc….

V500 … Kodak Ektar

Opticfilm 8100 … Kodak Ektar

V500 … Kodak Ektar

Opticfilm 8100 … Kodak Ektar

V500 … ilford FP4@200

Opticfilm 8100 … ilford FP4@200

V500 … Fuji Superia 400

Opticfilm 8100 … Fuji Superia 400

v500 … Fuji Superia 400

Opticfilm 8100 … Fuji Superia 400

Just to finish off I am very happy that I bought this little scanner it doesn’t break the bank as far as scanners go and gives great results if you are willing to give each scan a bit of time.

Its not an everyday scanner unlike the V500 and I would find it quite hard going if this was my one and only scanner especially as I tend to shoot at least 1 roll of film a week so in conclusion I would have to say that if you shoot 35mm and want your scans to get to at least lab standard (not drum scanning) then this is a must buy especially at the £150 price point.

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 🙂