Kebun Baru Birdsinging Club (The Hasselblad shots)

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2018-19-Hassie-010082018-19-Hassie-01007The Leica User Group Singapore (LUGS) organized an outing last week (7 April 2008) to the Kebun Baru Birdsinging Club.

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The Hassie came to the party loaded with a roll of Cinestill 50D. Here is the result. The Kebun Baru Birdsinging Club is  place in Amg Mo Kio, central Singapore, where bird lovers have their pets compete. In both singing and look competition.

It is a beutiful places with both shadow areas with low hanging bird cages but also a wide open space with high poles were cages are hoisted by a pulley system.

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(The above rectangular shot is due to an issue with the Hassie back frame spacing)

On competition days judges are walking between the birds and give notes.

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Read more at https://kebunbarubirdsingingclub.weebly.com/about-us.html

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Also a nice opportunity for people watching.

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Kebun Baru Birdsinging Club (The Hasselblad shots)

Train des Pignes à Vapeur (France)

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So this was the first day of the holidays; after the long-haul flight from Singapore to Nice and a night or rest, here I am driving up 2 hours from Cannes to Allos in the Parc of Mercantour in the southern french alps, a couple of boys day’s out with my son and my dad.

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I had a couple of ideas of things to shoot on the way, including a stop at the railway station in Thorame Haute a stop on the “Train des pignes” that link Nice to Dignes-Les-Bains.

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To our amusement, when we stepped out of the car a vintage steam train was parked along the station.  It appeared it had to make a stop to let the regular train  pass by as there is only one track in this area.

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The people attending the train were very nice, happy to have a chat and camera friendly, hell they had 2 hours to kill

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This train is kept by a non profit association it travels from May to October on Sundays.

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You can see their Facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/TrainDesPignesAVapeur/

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Shots with Leica M262 and M6+Cinestill 50, with Summicron 28 and 50.

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Train des Pignes à Vapeur (France)

Leica M6 + summaron 35mmF2.8

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That’s it, it did not took me one year to upgrade, or at least expand my Leica toolbox.

I was a bit frustrated last summer when trying the M240 for nearly 4 days. This is of course a wonder of a camera but I found all in all a few issues. Definitely for its price it is not the one fits all camera I am wishing for; it cannot take Circular polarizers, the close range is not so close, older lenses are visibly outdated, for the price you would wish every shot to be a piece of art which actually it is not. Also, having to wear glasses to see things at short distance the back screen and live view is a total loss for me (maybe there is something I have to learn here). Don’t get me wrong I had a lot of fun, and probably I will end up owning one sometime, but really I felt no urge to do so. I concluded my small review saying that instead I would more likely invest in a newer film body in the short term.

I already own a M4 with a Summilux 50mm V2, a Leica IIIc with a Summitar 50mmF2 and a few Ltm lens; most notably a Color Skopar 21mmF4. I was quite interested in getting a body with a meter and a wider lend. I ended up purchasing a boxed M6 Classic black and a Summaron 35mmF2.8, the version with the goggles.

Subodh Gupta – Le Domaine du Muy – France Shot with Fuji Provia 100 ISO, Summilux 50mmF1.4

Both pieces come in excellent condition (but I am not a collector), no dents or scratches, difficult to see how much films they shot.

I have now shot 6 films with the M6 and the Summaron or the Summilux and I must say I am very happy. Both works very smoothly and are very easy to use.

The metering is a lot better that using a handheld meter. Actually this cause a bit of a problem because if I have the M6 and the M4 in the bag, the M4 tends to stay there. Focusing is very easy; the finder is very bright, although I suspect there is a bit of haze in one of the front glass. With the goggles of the Summaron the viewfinder is a bit less luminous, something I would not have though of.

Compression de Porsche – César – Mougins – France TMAX100 – Summaron 35mmF2.8

There is absolutely no difficulties using the M6 if you had another M before; actually I would think that if you played with a few film cameras before it’s difficult to come with a surprise. The only small problem, which Leica solved in the M6TTL is the size of the speed dial. It is quite frustrating to manipulate it when looking at the meter arrows inside the finder.

The Summaron is a nice piece of kit; the infinite lock is particular and easy to handle. The focusing is smooth and does mot require as much course as the Summilux. I think F2.8 is fine for daylight. Some shots have a very nice 3D effect as the lady from the lab puts it.

All in all I am very happy; for the price of a new Elmarit 28mmF2.8 (That I did not found great last year) I have a new kit. I went on my summer holidays with the two bodies, the two lenses and the Color Skopar a very happy combo. All of this fits in a Crumpler 6Mio, with a couple of spare films, wallet, keys, sunglasses and reading glasses.

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Church of the black Nazarene – Manila – Philippines – Portra 400 – Color Skopar 21mmF4

Film wise, I had the chance to shoot a mix of :

  • Provia 100 slides
  • Kodak Tmax 100, my favorite B&W for daylight
  • Kodak TriX and Rollei RPX400, different grain but both nice for street shots
  • Kodak Portra 400, an excellent film, unfortunately under bad weather
  • Cinestill 50, first try, very promising

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La Kitchenette – Katong – Singapore – Cinestill 50 – Summaron 35mmF2.8

It is difficult to conclude. Having a better film camera is not replacing having a digital body, none of the shortcomings of the M240 are solved by the M6, but I can do better Leica shots. But I feel I did a good move. I saved a lot of money, I can happily have my new toy around my neck and still agree that the D700 is the best camera I ever had without looking like a fool. Which is important at my age.

Leica M6 + summaron 35mmF2.8

First try of Cinestill 800T

My sson Noé in Shanghart gallery, lightened by Tungsten bulb

Cinestill  produces a tungsten film (the 800T) based on motion picture cinema film; they pre-process and package the film so it can be used in 35mm cameras and processed in any C41 capable lab.  Cinestill also had a daylight film and planed to offer a 120 format film, but if I believe their web site (http://cinestillfilm.com/) all products are sold out at the moment and the kick-starter project for the 120 format did not get off the ground.

“Lock Road” sign in Gilmore Barracks , overcast daylight

You can however still buy some film in some online re-sellers or in brick and mortar shops. I have 5 in my house in France waiting for me that I ordered from Firstcall Photographic Ltd in the UK and I bought this one in the Lomo shop in Chinatown in Singapore. This is quite a costly film, Lomo sold it around 16 SGD and Firstcall 13 (so around 8 EUR or 10 USD). Processing is standard price so around 8 SGD here. All in all this is quite expensive for casual shooting.

Lavender Food Square, probably accounts as daylight (dimmed)

Picking the camera to try a new or special film is a bit tricky, I do not want to blame the gear for missing shots or bad exposure, so I decided to remove the dust from the F4s. Unfortunately it appeared (once all loaded) that the auto-focus was not working any more. Well we have a say in France that for every bad thing there is a good one coming. So with no AF working I was allowed to pick up a manual lens; that was the small and sturdy 50mm F1.4 AIS. But I must admit it feels silly to carry such a big beast of a camera with no AF.

My friend Oliver aka the Walrus, artificial light but I cannot say it’s tungsten

After google-ing a bit I decided to overexpose the film a bit and shot it at 640 ISO and processed at 800. This is a Tungsten film, for those who do not know it is to be shot in scenes lightened by tungsten bulbs. Daylight shots should be done with a 85B color filter; I have done none of this and tried to manage the white balance in Lightroom, but I think I’ll get the proper filter next time (quite inexpensive).

My friend Fei, artificial light but I cannot say it’s tungsten
Many Heineken bottles, artificial light but I cannot say it’s tungsten
“Fat leo’s” team; artificial light but I cannot say it’s tungsten

Camera:Nikon F4s
Lens:Nikkor 50mmF1.4 AIS
Film:Cinestill 800T

First try of Cinestill 800T

A Landmark on the go – Lavender Food Square – Singapore


The famous Lavender Food square is now closed and demolition work has began. It will be replaced by a 30 levels commercial and habitation building. At the moment it is the opportunity for street artists to show their talent.

Camera: Agfa Isolette III (85mm F3.5)
FilmKodak Portra 400NC

A few weeks before I happen to be there already; at the right place a the right moment. I just pass by the Lavender food square when the demolition work started, but I was still able to walk through.

This was my first Roll with CineStill 800. It’s not bad, I think I like it. But a bit expensive for casual shooting though. Also the AF of the Nikon F4s seems to be broken so I had to use a manual focus lens which defeats the purpose of having such a huge camera.


A last customer for the Mixed vegetable rice

The olf famous fish ball noodles shop.

The film was shot at 640ISO and processed at 800; colors are a bit funny as it is a tugsten film, but it has its charm.

For those who are interested I bough the film in the Lomo Shop in Chinatown (16 dollars yuck!)

CameraNikon F4s

LensNikkor 50mmF1.4 AIS

Film CineStill 800T

A Landmark on the go – Lavender Food Square – Singapore