Japan Camera Hunter – JCH 400 FILM

During my trip to Melbourne where I discover the FilmNeverDie  shop, I bought a couple of rolls of their SHIROKURO but also one roll of JCH StreetPan 400 film (why only one?)! I am always looking forward to try new or uncommon films, this is part of the magic of chemistry of film photography, to make me expected something new and exciting that does not depend on my technical skills (if I have any) to happen on the roll.

You can find the announcement of the film and read more about it there.

streetpan-400iso

This does not look to be  a re-branded film as the negs have the mention JCH.

This is not a technical review, I am by noway an expert, I understand that pan chromatic does not mean much other than a reproduction similar to human eye. Not sure what this means for black and white. This film is supposed to have a higher sensibility to red and a low grain.

I loaded the roll in the newly repaired Leica IIIc, and the following shots are done during Chinese new year in Singapore using a Summitar 50mmf2 lens. The Summitar is a bit back focusing so this is probably not a proper set-up to judge the quality of the film, but I have a soft spot for the IIIc.

Exposure is measured with a handheld Sekonic 308s lighmeter.

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Peanut stall

This picture is shot under a red tent and gives for interesting palette of grey, probably due to the sensitivity to red.

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There’s a cow behind the bins

For those who wonder, this was processed by the usual lab used by Ruby photo, no idea what chemical they use.

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Cookie stall
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Fellow film shooter, using a Canon 7s and Summar 50mm (but I saw he has more tricks in his bag)

The grain is actually quite controlled, and the sharpness, if you keep in mind this is shot with a vintage soft lens, is quite good. I am not a big fan of high grain film like the TriX (although I use it a lot), and always preferred the soft TMAX100 or Fuji Acros

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Kueh shop

Actually the contrast is quite smooth, unlike the Rollei Retro 400s I used recently, so for higher contrast scenes it gives  nice gradation of grey.

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The ladies selling newspaper on Keong Saik Road
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Happy fellows
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Night shot in Chinatown, a Bakua shop
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Preparing for Chinese new year

Even this night shot with back-light could be salvaged and give a nice rendering.

All in all this is quite a satisfying experience, if I manage to get more rolls they’l deserve to be shot with a better camera like the M6 or the “never-fail” EOS 1N.

JCH has sold all his stock, so only retailers will have some rolls now, until more are produced. I don’t think anybody has some in Singapore but you can find a list of suppliers on the JCH web-site.

 

 

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Japan Camera Hunter – JCH 400 FILM

The year of shooting with Leica(s) – Part 1

 

I bought my first Leica in 2009; it was a very nice M4 paired with a Summilux 50mm version2; both from 1967 as close as I could to by date of birth (I was a bit worried at the time about getting involved in the double stroke or single stroke on the M3).  In 2009 I was already back into film for 2 years, I was lusting for a Leica. After much considerations I splurged the equivalent of 2500 USD on the above combo.

M4

If was not love at first sight with the Leica. First I was back to the shop (actually another) to invest in a light meter (Sekonic 380s). Then I brought it in  couple of trips, but with mixed feelings.

Japan 2010

I enjoyed using the little fellow, but really the results were no all great and also I have a trouble bringing the Leica on travel : I though the 35mm was redundant with my DSLR; at least in term of format.

The following years I bought a few other film cameras and got distracted, so indeed the love story with the M4 was not going the right way.

In 2013 I invested in a small LeicaIIIc and a Summitar 50mmF2; this fellow had a couple of problems, but I quite liked it for shooting around.
The Leica IIIc

I got a couple on third party lens in various stage of in-usability to pair him with (a back focusing Jupiter 35mm, a non-focusing Canon 135F4, not mentioning  the Industar of the Zorki 1) , but all in all we had good fun. Around this time I also invested in a 21mmF4 Color Skopar, that I always found difficult to use. And I made my first Leica trip only to Taiwan.

LeicaIIIc Taiwan 2013

Leica M4 Taiwan 2013

Last year finally when Lee Kwan Yew passed away I shot a lot of the funerals with the M4 and my interest was aroused again by the Leica M, so finally for a similar amount of the M4 kit, I bought a minty M6 Classic (Back) and a Summaron 35mmF2 (The version with the goggles).

And so started the year of shooting with Leica(s) (to be followed)

The year of shooting with Leica(s) – Part 1

Over and Under the sea with my Heineken Camera

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Ok actually this is more over the sea than under. Part of the “big tour of the south pacific” holidays camera pack, I carried along the Heineken Toy Camera and its waterproof case. I had a great time and some interesting shots when I brought in on a company week end out in Phuket two years ago, so I thought it would be a nice complement to the DSLR and the Agfa.

To make things a bit more funny, I loaded it with Black and White Tri-X film. I think the colors generally sucks with such cameras and black and white will make a bit more special images. I think at 400ISO the Tri-X is a bit over exposed even given the F9, 1/60th of a second fixed exposure of the camera. The 100ISO shots at Phuket where a bit better.

Oh and the fixed lens is a 28mm.

Below is my aquatic family, mini me and wifey
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And your servitor, shot by Noé the aquatic photographer.

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Shots from our hotel in Tahiti, with the island of Moorea in the background.

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Our neightborhoud

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Finaly a real underwater shot with fish included.Facebook-5-2

All of this is good fun. I missed having a digital submarine camera though, I must say the few underwater shots would have been nice. But not regret, i’ll do this again.

Over and Under the sea with my Heineken Camera

The first film with the LOMO KonstruKtor.

So I finally finished assembling the LOMO Konstructor last week end. I loaded it with a roll of Ilford Pan 400 ISO, my favorite low end film and went for a Sunday stroll with the family around Singapore.

The camera is fun, light, small. Cracking is not obvious so I had a few overlapping frames “lomo style”. It looks like 1 to 10 meters is the ideal range to take shots, as further out the lack of sharpness shows and lacks of interest. Framing is a bit random, an I did not manage to take a vertical shot. Finally the shutter is a bit difficult to press, causing frequent camera shake.

Asahi
Asahi

 

 

 

 

Asahi beer pump on club street, shot in the shades, probably one meter distance. My favorite shot.

Lomography

 

This is a bit unfair to shot Lomography so close to the bin, but…

Mrs B

 

Mrs B. in the sun

Young photographer Noé

 

I think this picture of my son is also quite good, a bit of frame overlap on the left, enough detailed on the center. Hey I’m a lomographer.

 

B-Side

 

 

Singapore B Side: more card board recycling in a small alley in Chinatown. More frame overlap to the right this time.

The lomographer

 

Oops the lomographer lomographed. Even wife and children can use the Konstructor. With an aperture of F10 you really need ISO 400; maybe a bit overexposed in broad daylight but perfect as soon as there are a bit of shadows and not enough inside. Probably a bit of camera shake is involved here as well.


Gentrification

“Potatoo Head”a new place in Keong Saik road, in Chinatown, another example of the gentrification of the area where a new “trendy”place replaces the old corner coffee shop. The lack of sharpness really shows heere

Camera:Lomo Konstruktor, 50mm F10

Film: Ilford PAN 400 ISO

The first film with the LOMO KonstruKtor.

A day at sea with a Toy Camera

Let’s have a small break from the pictures of Vietnam.

Last week end we had a company outing in Phuket, Thailand and I was asked what camera i will bring. I have a pretty bad record for this type of activities as I broke my D80 last time as well as a Fuji Instax. So this in mind, plus not wanting to have a proper camera in the middle when having some funny activities (some involving water and some even stronger beverages) I ended up picking up the Heineken Toy Camera. A plastic 35mm camera that was given free a couple of years back with the purchase of 15 bottles of Heineken.

I loaded the thing with some Ilford 400 PAN, which turned out to be as its worst but also when we went to a beach on an island with a roll of Rollei RPS 100ISO. The pictures below were taken from this film. I really really enjoyed it, specially the ones under the rain. Of did I mention the camera came with an under water case? I don’t really shoot with toy camera’s, only with battered old ones, but I like the dreamy effect of the plastic lens very much.

Long Boat ashore
Long Boat ashore

All Rollei RPX 100ISO , F9, 1/100th

Long Boat
Long Boat
Fishermen
Fishermen
Andaman See
Andaman See
Friends under the rain
Friends under the rain
Happy buch
Happy buch
A day at sea with a Toy Camera

The Leica IIIC

The Leica IIIC and Summitar 50mmF2

So this is my latest acquisition, a vintage Leica IIIC, built soon after World Word III (1949 if you believe the literature) and the associated 50mm, a Summitar F2, which himself was probably made during  war (1940 if you believe …).

Hold of your horses, I did not break the piggy bank to get this little fellow, the body was around 200 USD and the lens on the top 300, all postage included.  So I could respond to my Leica envy without getting into any argument at home (nearly no argument).

This is a very nice piece of kit to handle, and since May I already did a few film with it.

The only annoying thing I would say are the separate windows for focusing and framing; but I’m getting used to it. The other specifics, like cutting the film trailer for loading or the rewind knob are easy to get used to. There is also a little lever on the top left of the body that acts like a dioptric adjustment and which I welcome very much.

The LeicaIII was part of the film only trip to Taiwan, and came with me in France, but that’s another story.

Sharp Dressed Man : From the first film with the Industar 50mm F3.5

Ice Man: This time with the Voigtländer Color Skopar 21mmF4

Keong Saik Road: With the Summitar 50mmF2.0

The Leica IIIC

International Commie Camera Days 2013

So May Day came along and a Flickr group organized International Commie Camera Days 2013; a day of celebration for the workers united and an opportunity to get your Russian camera out of its box. So the choice is between the Zorki or the Kiev or both, but at this time I already have received the LeicaIII and some new LTM and have a few rolls on for testing so I’ll keep it simple and pick only one camera and it is the Kiev. The Zorki rangefinder is still not repaired so until then it way stay in the box.

I picked up the unloved Ilford Pan 400 ISO for this “assignment” and In order to get ready for it I have sealed the leaks of the Kiev 4 with masking tape as shown on the last post and made a bit of decoration after loading the film of course.

Discussion on the group gave a bit of flexibility on the definition of May Day and the range was extended from 1st to 9th of May; but I decided to try stick to the 1st of May and/or work related stuff.

Workers Party of Singapore
Bad Comrades – working on may day

 

No Illegal workers – in many languages

I can recognize English, Malay, Chinese and Tamil; the last one I hesitate between Thai and Burmese

Worker at rest

This one is with the 50mmF2 Jupiter 8 nearly wide open, probably F2.8 1/60s seconds in the office.

 

All in all this is only the 3rd film for the Kiev and I must say I am quite pleased with the result; including the B&W quality of the Ilford PAN. I’ll post next the first part of the roll shot in old buildings in Wessex Village in Singapore of which I find the B&W just amazing. Ah and I think I am nearly on target for “a film a week in 2013“; another stupid and funny exercise.

 

International Commie Camera Days 2013