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 🙂

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ilford HP5 @ 1600 …. I love the look ….

img015-EditAs a follow up to my recent post “Fathers Day” on the 52 Rolls project blog …. link in post below.

Here is the rest of the roll that I shot with my F80 and some HP5 at 1600 iso which I love shooting at even more than box speed.img012Even though the grain is more pronounced it does not impair the image in fact in my opinion it ready adds to the look that I love when shooting B&W.

The sharpness of the images also compares well to when shooting box speed too, the only slight drawback is the slight loss of shadow detail but if scanning there is a bit more you can do to the image whereas in the darkroom (I am not a master printer) it is a bit harder to do.img016I did a few test prints in my darkroom of the top image of this post and the level of detail in the negative/print is very good and so is the overall tonal range.

I did get a little more detail in the scan and would also get a slightly sharper print if I went the inkjet route but there is something much more satisfying printing in the darkroom.IMG_20160627_194001Overall I think that HP5 looks great at 1600 iso and gives me the look I love in my B&W, the grain/contrast and sharpness. I process all my B&W films using ilfotec HC so I don’t know if it would look better or worse using other developers and I may try a few others in the near future.img014img024img023img022img019-Editimg018img013img011click on 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 🙂

Eventually tested my Zuiko 75-150mm f4.0 ……

R1-02755-021AA few months ago I picked up a mint Zuiko 75-150mm f4 from Ebay for next to nothing, I didn’t think I would probably use it a lot as the Zuiko 35mm f2.8 is my goto lens whenever I shoot my OM1 or OM2s but for the price I had to get it.

R1-02755-009AI was going through one of my camera drawers and noticed the lens sitting there all alone in its case so I thought it was about time I gave it a test.

I loaded the OM2s with some Fuji Superia 400 and went out for a little walk to see how it performed.

It is quite a compact lens with its own pull out lens hood which as I was shooting in quite bright sunshine worked well and I didn’t get any lens flare.R1-02755-008A-EditOut of all the frames I shot I only missed focus on one and the sharpness and contrast were good and the Bokeh was quite pleasing in a few of the frame too.

All in all it is a really nice lens, I will try some portraits with it next  🙂

Film processing and scans as usual by http://www.filmdev.co.uk/
R1-02755-013A

Thanks for looking

I have a film only blog over at usingfilm if you want to take a peek ……

Click on an image to view larger ……

Zorki 4k re-visited …….

Zorki_HP5021-EditI have had my Zorki 4k and Jupiter 8 50mm f2 for ages but I have only put 2 rolls of film through it.

I don’t know why I have not used this camera more as it handles great and the results from the the 1st 2 rolls were also very pleasing.Zorki_HP5022As with my first attempts, getting the framing correct is still a bit hit or miss especially if trying to frame pretty tight.Zorki_HP5016So I have to leave plenty of space just to make sure I get the shot but thats not really a huge problem.Zorki_HP5014HP5 shoots great with the Jupiter 8 giving quite smooth out of focus areas while still getting great contrast which is what I like about HP5.Zorki_HP5010I am going to try to shoot this camera much more from now on and I have been looking on eBay for a nice lens hood as the lens is prone to quite a bit of flare.Zorki_HP5007Zorki_HP5008 Zorki_HP5011 Zorki_HP5020-EditZorki_HP5018Thanks for looking

click on an image to view larger ……

Mountain walk with FP4 instead of my beloved HP5………

img001I bought  20 rolls of Ilford FP4 the other week with the intention of shooting some still life and portraits but popped a roll into my Nikon F4 and went out to shoot some landscapes first.

img011I developed the roll using Ilfotec HC hoping to get a bit of punchy contrast in the images and I was not disappointed.img032cropFP4 does not give me the feel that I like in my images but it is still very nice, the still life stuff I shot on the walk were very nice, plenty of detail and great highlight and shadow tones.img020img008img005Since trying shooting some still life with HP5 I am a little torn between the 2 films for that subject. I love the contrast and grain of HP5 but the smooth tones and detail of FP4 are great.

img028I am going to try pushing the film next time just to see what I get grain and contrast wise and will post the results.

Landscapes do look good though I must admit and I am well happy that I have another 19 rolls in the fridge waiting to be shot  🙂img004 img017 img016 img012Thanks for looking

Click on an image to view larger………..

Cross processing Fuji Provia 100f…….

Mamiya-Provia_cross-012I decided this weekend to try my hand at cross processing some 120 slide film, I have both Velvia and Provia in the fridge and decided to try Provia first.

Mamiya-Provia_cross-006I have never shot slide film before let alone cross processed it so after a bit of reading up on the good old internet I set forth to give it a go.

This was the first roll through the Mamiya with the new AE Prism finder so as I didn’t know if the meter readings were actually correct I also metered by hand just to make sure the exposures were spot on.

Mamiya-Provia_cross-008Once the developing was complete I opened the Developing drum to be greeted with an extremely purple looking negative.

IMG_2223As I have not done this before I was very eager for the film to dry so I could scan them and see what I managed to get.

Once scanned I was surprised to see the subtle muted colours, from what I have seen on the web I was expecting high contrast and distinct colour shifts but instead got very smooth sharp images that suited the subject matter I shot.

Mamiya-Provia_cross-Maybe if I was shooting on a bright sunny day then the effect may have been a little different but all in all I was very pleased with the results.

I will try the Velvia next just to compare them both.

Mamiya-Provia_cross-016 Mamiya-Provia_cross-010Thanks for looking……………..

click on an image to view larger

Tree felling in the Garw Valley and the aftermath…….

Over the last few months the trees in the Garw Valley have been felled due to an outbreak of ‘Phytophthora ramorum’ which is a fungus-like pathogen of plants that causes extensive damage and mortality to trees and other plants.

It is so sad to look out of my windows overlooking the once green hills that are now barren due to this disease but from what I have read this is the only way to stop the spread.

http://www.forestry.gov.uk/forestry/INFD-85TDX6

I decided to take a walk and try to document how this has changed the once beautiful tree covered valley using both Digital and Film.

All these photographs were taken using a Nikon FM2n and 50mm lens on ilford Delta 400 and hopefully shows the decimation this has caused, I think the Black and White gives a more poignant/sad feel to the images.

I am sure mother nature will prevail and cover this once green valley again.

Thanks for looking……  click to view a larger image….. 

Snow comes to the Valley…………

The weather forecast was for snow to arrive here in South Wales around 10am on Saturday and they were not wrong, it snowed until late afternoon when sadly it turned to rain but as it was still extremely cold overnight most of the remaining snow has turned to ice.

Because it was snowing while we went out for a walk I didn’t really want to take my DSLR so used my trusty Olympus E-PL1 and as it is always in my pocket my iPhone4 using Hipstamatic.

The iPhone shots used the combination of the James M lens with Ina’s 1969 film.

While the Olympus was set to Pinhole mode and the emulsion frame effect was added in Photoshop.

iPhone……

Comments greatly accepted…………..