I had a couple of events recently and thought about trying the new Kodak TMax 3200. This is supposedly a new film, replacing the old TMZ 3200 discontinued in 2012.
I loaded the Leica M6 and used my brand new Summicron 35mm Asph v2. The M6 meter is basic but consistent.
The result is quite disappointing, chances are that can be some issue with the processing as the lab may not get used to this film yet (but they have been quite reliable so far).
What is so disappointing? Mainly the high level of grain. I shot a roll of Ilford 3200 last year and it was far lot better. Ok the lighting conditions vary, last year was a concert where the band was quite lighten up on a dark background.
On this roll there are different scenes with various lighting conditions. The first shot isoutdoor, late afternoon light. The next two ones are a show for kids, one make up session lighten through a bright large window, the second a little girl during the show.
Shots 4 and 5 are taken during the preparation of the Charity day in my office. Light on shot 4 is challenging, as it’s shot through glass. But 5 is standard office neon light.
The last 6 shots were taken during the opening party of Merci Marcel restaurant in Singapore (thank you guys this was a nice party). The pictures are quite moody, and the 35 mm is a great party lens. Maybe I should have overexposed a bit?
I read this brilliant idea last week, but I I cannot remember where nor who to credit, so my apologies to the original writer. So here it is, Sunday was father’s day and what nicer tribute to my dad that to shoot with his camera?
So I loaded his Agfa Isolette III with a roll of Bergger Panchro 400 and went for the usual family stroll in the city center.
A small write up today, and I will avoid the temptation to make another complete roll review (although in fairness I was tempted).
The flea market that use to seat in Sungei Road east of the city center has been closed for building a MRT (the local term for underground). What used to be coined as the “thieves market” has slowly moved to Chinatown in the heard of the city.
I am not sure what the authorities think of it, but here is another attraction in one of the tourist hubs of the Lion-city. These guys sell mostly old junk, and it’s rare you will find anything you might want to bargain for … actually as odd as it seems I bought for 2$ a record of Industrial Music, and one of the sellers (not sure how to call them) actually has a few interesting cameras.
You will find old watches and Buddhist artifacts and amulets, and for the rest … you’ll see for yourself.
Sure this will come a popular spot for street photography.
The 4 shots above were taken in a rainy afternoon, with Ultrafine Xtreme 400 iso with the Leica IIIc and the Summaron 35mmF3.5, probably 1/60 second and f3.5.
As I am here I also add as a bonus three earlier shots done on the same film with the Leica M4 and teh modern Summicron 50mm v5.
A follow up of the last post , I showed pictured made with the Hassie 500 CM on Cinestill 50D, but that was the Leica User Group Singapore outing after all, so I carried along a Leica M4 for film shots (here) and a M262 for Digital.
On the recommendation of fellow members of the group I brought my longer lenses, the 90mm Elmarit and a Canon Serenar 135mmF4 (the bad version). I did not use the Serenar on the M4, it is too unpredictable no use to throw away valuable shots.
It is easy to see here what shots are taken with the 90mm and whose with the 50mm.
Shooting with the 90mm is very unusual for me, specially on film. The Elmarit often comes with me on holidays but only for a couple of digital shots. The results are quite pleasing, it offers very different point of view.
The film is another roll of my bulk Ultrafine Extreme 400 hand-rolled. The processing from the lab was a bit below the usual quality, that’s life.
You see mostly men in these pictures, but there were many women as well, they just did not come on the frame at the right time.
A small follow up to y last post about this celebration
Above is mister Lee Kum Yuen, he is the current master and son of the master who brought this Kung Fu / Lion Dance style in Singapore. There is a very interesting video here https://youtu.be/kZq6iGxfWUo.
I shot a couple of rolls with the Leica M4 and either the Summaron 35mm F2.8 (the one with Goggles) or a Summicron 50mm v5.
Above is the typical Lion Dance troupe transport, a lorry used the rest of the week for hardware work.
Below the troupes gathering before climbing up the slope to the part of the temple where the celebration takes place. (Did I mention if the other post the temple is massive?)
The slope is tough, the sun is hot, and yes they drum up-hill
Below starts the celebration directed by a monk,
below the final parade and one minute drumming of all the troops together.
The color shots are Kodak Portra 400, the black and white are Ultrafine Extreme 400, hand-rolled.
Oh yes if you want to see more, come back soon, I also did a certain number of digital shots as well.
Beginning of the year and excitement to try the Ultrafine Xtreme 400 that I am bulk loading, I am taking the odd camera from the treasure box.
A couple of weeks back it was the turn of the 1970’s Minolta Himatic 7s. Actually the 7s was released in 1966 same year as me. The Himatic is a rangefinder camera with a sharp, fast 45mm F1.8 lens, and in-camera metering.
Ok I don’t quite like the the Himatic too much : it is heavy feels clunky compare to the German rangefinders; it is not that fast to operate, and also the metering died on mide during a bike tour.
I also the viewfinder to be not that bright and having too many signs inside; there are just three visible sides of the frame, so I always wonder how to frame the fourth.
BUT when I got the roll from the shop I must say that I am impressed by the result, the lens is fast and sharp and the 45mm give a bit of air to the shots.
This is my 3rd roll of the Ultrafine Xtreme 400 bulk and I quite like it. I am new to handrolling, the picture below is the last of the roll, so the first from the bulk that I attached to the canister and I think it was exposed to light. Pitty I like this shot.
I think I like the film, it is now 3 rolls I shot this year and 2 last years, it is on the contrasty side but nothing too extreme, so it makes a good replacement for TRI-X or TMY 400. The shot below is quite smooth as I like it. Actually tones quality reminds me of a proper wet paper print.
Mmm also I fell the Epson v800 gives immediately better results that the v500, but this may be just because I paid so much for it.
There will be no declugging for the Minolta, it belonged to one grand uncle, so that’s a keeper even if it goes out of the box only once a year.
Here we go again, here is my new year message to the world : happy new year to all go out and keep shooting film.
I think 2017 has been another very good year for film photography; the medium is getting more and more momentum. We saw a lot of new films released :Cinestill finally delivered the 120 version of 800T and 50D, Rollei gave us the Vario slide, Kodak is working on reviving Ektachrome, Japan Camera Hunter made more street pan and now has a second line, and more niche brands are creating or reviving special films. Of course Fuji keep on thinning his product line and Film Ferania is still not able to deliver its products. All in all the future of film is bright and it looks we are living more than just a fad. On the down side film camera prices are going up, but for most of it probably just from insanely low to still acceptable. The most expensive gear, Leica like, has not gone up much. Only the lenses that can be used on DSLR or four third cameras has seen unreasonably hikes.
As in the past (2015, 2016) lets see how I plaid my part this year.
I managed to beat my own record once again by shooting 65 rolls this year, 1 more that last year. With both 120 and 35 mm format that should be close to 2000 pictures. I would say that 1 roll per week is a good average, as I also shoot digital.
Below is breakdown of the rolls shot by camera:
Number of rolls
Last year rank
Agfa Isolette III
Kodak Autographic Jr 3a
Heineken Toy Camera
Clearly the Leica’s are the star of the year, now I shoot Leica digital, I always carry the M6 on holidays. Apart from a small issue on the winding side, this is a perfect image making machine and I now have a good set of lenses (28, 50, 90) that are foolproof and cover most situations. The Leica IIIc, is still my most used “lesser” camera, I invested in a beautiful 35mm F3.5 Summaron this year, and despite maybe a small intermittent curtain problem I can now use it without second hesitation. I still love the M4, but lacking meter it stayed home most of the year, until I dig it out this autumn, this one is faultless. I still love the Hasselblad, but I hardly carry it with me on holidays anymore, pity because my fridge is loaded with 120 rolls ,I have a long standing project of portraits that I may finally launch this year… The rest is done with my older cameras which for most have issues now, so I managed to make some odd nice shots but I would think twice before using them again.
This year again I offer you a breakdown of the films I shot :
Count of Film No
Rollei Retro 400s
Kodak TMY 400
Kodak TRI X
Fuji Fuji Xtra 800
Kodak Portra 160
Kodak TMX 100
Rollei Retro 80s
JCH 400 pan
Kodak Portra 400
Rollei Superpan 200
Fuji Superia 400
FilmNeverDies Shirokuro 400
Fuji Velvia 50
Rollei Retro 80s
Ilford Delta 100
Rollei ATP 32
This is a big variety; but as last year majority is 35mm, back and white; but there are about 20 colors rolls (10 last year) and a total of 16 120 format films (7 last year). The surprise may come at the Polypan 50 iso coming first with 9 rolls, these (and more) were given to me by my friend Ray, I like how it goes out and enjoy shooting at iso 50. Kodak and Rollei are still high up in the list.
The news was the Bergger Panchro, the Cinestill 50D and 800T in 120 format, but I did not made anything outstanding with them.
I confirmed this year my attachment to Leica systems, I nearly did not shoot any Nikon, apart on digital for some events. This year I plan to stick to the same program, camera and film wise, I have a bulk roll of Ultrafine Extreme 400, so this will give me 20 roll of 36 shots more or less, and the fridge is still stocked (around 50 rolls in there). I plan to upgrade my scanner, I have the Epson 500 for 8 years now, it served me well, I may have scanned, 300 rolls with it so that’s 1.5 $ a roll for scanning, I think it paid well for itself.