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 🙂

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 🙂

 

 

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:-)

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.

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 🙂

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/

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……..

Mamiya 645 & some Fujichrome Velvia 100F …………

img005-EditSlide film has been a bit of a hit or miss for me over the years, back in the pre digital days I tried and mostly failed with most of my attempts at shooting slides.

Most probably as the subject matter I seemed to shoot was not really suited to the medium and I never really found the appeal that others did.

img004Since getting into medium format I decided to give slide film another bash so bought a few packs of both Fujichrome Velvia 100f and Provia 100f.

I shot some Velvia a while back and cross processed it with some interesting results which can be seen on my other blog http://usingfilm.wordpress.com/2013/11/01/cross-processed-velvia-100/

But this time I had it processed E6 at AG photolab http://www.ag-photolab.co.uk/

img010I was quite pleased with the resultant scans even though my exposure was a bit over on most of the frames, I’m not sure if it was the Mamiya meter as it has been fine on negative film but I know that slide film is not very forgiving.

Nevertheless I am going to try another roll when the weather is right and this time meter with my Sekonic meter just to see.

img011 img007-Edit

Thanks for looking…. feel free to comment

Click on an image to view larger ……..

Bridgend Show with my Fuji X-Pro & 35mm f1.4………

Fuji Xpro1-1155-Edit-EditPopped along to the Bridgend Show on Sunday with just the X-Pro 1 and 35mm f1.4 with the intention to shoot as much as I could as near wide open as I could but it was rather bright and sunny so managed f2.0 -f4.0 and the camera and lens performed superbly.

All images shot Raw and processed in Adobe Lightroom 5 using the Adobe Fuji camera profiles, quite pleased with the colours but still not as sharp as with Capture One Pro but getting there.

Click on an image to view larger …….

Thanks for looking 🙂