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.
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.
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.
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.
This picture is shot under a red tent and gives for interesting palette of grey, probably due to the sensitivity to red.
For those who wonder, this was processed by the usual lab used by Ruby photo, no idea what chemical they use.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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)
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
And your servitor, shot by Noé the aquatic photographer.
Shots from our hotel in Tahiti, with the island of Moorea in the background.
Finaly a real underwater shot with fish included.
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.
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 beer pump on club street, shot in the shades, probably one meter distance. My favorite shot.
This is a bit unfair to shot Lomography so close to the bin, but…
Mrs B. in the sun
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.
Singapore B Side: more card board recycling in a small alley in Chinatown. More frame overlap to the right this time.
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.
“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
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.