So here we go, back from Ruby here are some shots of the last roll of the year shot exclusively on the last day of the year. This was an initiative of Low Che Ng from the FB group Lets Shoot film SG.
I loaded a roll of Kodak Colorplus 200 in the Leica IIIc and Summaron 35mm F3.5. This has been my walkabout set for 2018 so it was justice that I used it for the last day of the year.
I am not posting all of the 38 shots of the roll; shooting a full roll on a single day on my own was a bit challenging, but good fun.( I did four shots of the view from my flat to finish the roll). So given the constraints here is my (wide) selection, not art mind you.
Happy new year everybody, happy film shooting to all the film photogs. If I looks around me in Singapore it looks like more and more people are shooting film. I see young kids buying film at the shop and carrying around some analog point and shoots, SLRs or rangefinders. I met fellow film shooters in Japan, Laos and Thailand this year and at the big dismay of my family I (nearly) always go and talk to them, and take their picture sometime.
In my own opinion 2018 has been less exciting that 2017 in term of the film industry : Cinestill is now part of the landscape, KodakEktachrome is said to be available but I have not tried it yet, Film Ferania is still nowhere near the shelves. The only new film I tried is the Rollei variochrome positive film, which is quite gimmicky.
Below is a breakdown of my film rolls:
Rollei Retro 80s
Kodak Tmax 400
Rollei CR 200
Fuji Reala 800
Kodak Gold 200
Rollei Superpan 200
Kodak Portra 400
Kodak Ektar 100
Kodak Tmax 100
Kodak Portra 160
Kodak TMZ 3200
Agfa APX 400
And by Brand
The first thing to notice is that I shot a bit less that last year (I did 63 rolls then), I think I also shot less digital, I spend some time in a couple other projects. But still I am holding the one roll per week rate.
I shot 17 rolls of Ultrafine that I hand-rolled myself : this is a first for me. This is a quite good film : I told the lab it is Kentmere 400 and had no problem. I liked the experience of hand rolling shorter rolls, but as I don’t process myself there is a balance to reach between the cost of processing and not having to throw away the last shots of a roll (or shoot meaningless pics with them).
Kodak is a mix bag of black and white and the cheap color films like Colorplus and Gold 200. I tried the new TMZ 3200 once again this year and I think a good performer. I am a Kodak fanboy.
On the disappointment side are the Bergger Panchro and the Rollei Superpan, they lack contrast and have too much grain to my taste (or maybe I lack the skills to make them shine). I cannot make them out of my fridge fast enough, so I will still have some to shoot this year. I finally finished my two years expired Fuji reala 800, both shot with the Leica IIIc, I don’t really like this film (but it was so cheap) and also I have problem measuring for 800 Iso in daylight, so results were not great.
Finally the Rollei Vario ( you can read the full review here ) : it is very gimmicky so one roll is enough. I think if you are a pro and shoot a wedding, you can have a nice couple of pictures with a very different look, but apart from this the tint makes its usage very limited.
Camera N.5 : Agfa Isolette with Bergger Panchro 400
Now let’s look at the gear.
Agfa Isolette III
Kodak Autographic Jr
Minolta Himatic 7s
Once again Leica’s are on top of the ladder, I am still investing in my Leica Kit, so the M system is set to shine for a while. My travel kit now is the M262, the M6 and 3 or 4 lenses in the shoulder bag.
The Leica IIIc paired with the 35mm F3.5 Summaron is my walk around camera, as a consequence the M4 lags a bit behind.
I only shot 7 rolls of medium format, the Hasselblad has a problem now and only takes 11 shots per roll, and stays at home during holidays; the Agfa still cannot focus but I like taking it out a couple of times a year (exactly two times)
I kept on my decluttering habit this year, so I got rid of my broken Olympus Mju1, the EOS 1N, the Kiev and some Nikon Zoom lenses.
Finally my v500 scanner died in the first week on 2018, so I upgraded to an Epson v800. Frankly the difference is not that visible but it is a lot faster and the Silverfast software is quite better than the Epson one, although I must say I still have some work to master it.
If you are curious you can check the past reviews : 2015, 2016, 2017.
Last Sunday Mini Cooper sponsored a “street art” event in Joo Chiat area in East Singapore. I thought it was a good opportunity to go and burn some film.
I did not really read what it was about, but let s say that it brought some art in the streets and back alleys of Joo Chiat.
Windows of pastry shops got all rainbowed.
Best work in my opinion was the above by AikBeng Chia, a local photographer. Streets shots of the area print on T shirts set on the local version of drying lines.
The set-up of back alley sized sports facilities was also quite interesting.
While the lady above is responsible for the discreet weeds growing from the concrete pillars.
Finally the giant hopscotch above seemed to have been quite popular. I ran out of film when I got to the Tea bar. But I shot some 35mm with the M6, so it will be on a next post.
Joo Chiat is extraordinary even without Mini, an easy place to burn film
One roll of Cinestill 50D, shot at 50 ISO with Hasselblad 500Cm and Planar 80mm F2.8. I managed to get only 11 shots my Hassie back has a spacing problem.
The 50D is quite nice, fine grain, can pack a bit of punch even in this overcast weather. I used my old Gossen Bisix 2 meter (bought in 1989) which proved to still work quite well. Scanner is the Epson v800.
I shot the last of my Cinestill 800T 35mm rolls during the last holidays in Japan. This is the last roll from the batch I ordered from UK a few years back when it was first released. I must say that I am quite satisfied with this one.
The roll was kept a couple of years in the fridge but had also traveled by plane in many occasions, because it is not so easy to make up your mind to shoot a 18$ roll of film rates at 800 Iso and specified for Tungsten light.
The roll was shot with a Leica M6 camera and one my Summicron lenses, 35, 28 or 50mm.
Based on my former experiences I rated the film at 640 ISO on the M6 ISO dial and off we go lets shoot happily.
The first few shots are taken at night in the popular area of Dotombori in Osaka. Neon lights, restaurants and people, that works great for the 800T.
When shooting at night the M6 meter, which does center averaged measure, will have a tendency to overexpose : your subject is bright surrounded by a lot of darkness, so the reading will tend to overexpose. I generally underexposed by a step of diaphragm or the next speed to get the balance right.
On the next day we were off to Nara to visit its park and temples and the 800T was still not finished. The following shots were done without filter.
The above shot has tints that reminds of Portra 400, so it is not that bad. I tried to shot as open as possible which explains the softness. The M6 speed is limited to 1/1000 second so shooting in daylight with a 640 ISO film does not always give you a lot of latitude in term of aperture.
But shots taken in the shade allows a wider aperture and to play with out of focus.
The next few shots are taken in restaurant in Takamatsu the main city in Kagawa prefecture.
The south most part of our trip was Hiroshima where we visited the peace memorial.
At this point I played it old school and rewind the film which was about 28 shots and store it aside. I loaded a roll of Rollei CR200 slide film and when back in Osaka, I loaded the Cinetsill back again, put the cap, turn the aperture rint to on F22, set the speed to 1/1000 and fires 29 shots to find more or less the point where I was last and use my last 8 frames below:
These are pictures taken during the LUGS (Leica User Group Singapore) outing in August to the area of Redhill in Singapore. Redhill area is accessible by MRT. Places of interest are the newly renovated market (dried goods, meat and veggies, but also religious artifacts) and the soon to be demolished Redhill close estate.
Picture were taken with the Leica M6 classic (mine is black but that does not affect the pictures) and my new, Summicron 35mm Asph v2. In my opinion this particular version has not a big added value on film, but it seriously kick ass on digital.
I used the two rolls of Ultrafine Xtreme 400 film. This is the first time I hand roll film myself (I bought a 100ft roll and a bulk loader, for 100$, this is about 18 roll of 36 shots for roughly 5.5$ a piece). I shot 14 rolls of it so far this year, this is quite a good film, with fine grain and good contrast. I don’t develop myself, but my local lab does a good job with it.
Summer holidays have been over for a few weeks, and it is time to go back to this blog. As usual I did not shoot as much as expected during the holidays. One poor roll of medium format Rollei 80S with the old Kodak Autographic, and with the M6 a roll of Kodak Gold and the present roll of Rollei Vario Chrome.
The Rollei Varichrome is a reversal (slide) film, claimed to have high latitude and can be shot between 200 and 400 ISO, 200 being recommended for scanning. Although introduced in 2017 it seems it is a “new old” stock that will have a limited availability. some reading suggest this is altogether expired material already. Note this film can be cross processed in C41 as well.
My complete roll is a bit over exposed, in particular those of the Atomium, generally the dark areas are not dark enough.
Above shot of the botanical garden in Brussels is very pleasing, the lack of contrast gives a great mood.
The following street shots taken during the FIFA world cup final also work quite ok. The vintage look is overall quite nice, except maybe the picture of the two young ladies, but it may just be the exposure being off on that one.
I like very much the first shot and the one above taken in the vintage café “La Mort Subite”.
All in all this looks too much like an Instagram filter to me, some shots are very satisfactory, but it will become very gimmicky to use. The experience is quite expensive as well, I think the roll was like 18SGD and the processing 13 SGD, so more or less 1SGD a shot. Shooting a roll of Kodak Gold would cost half of this and Instagram filters are free. In conclusion it is worth giving it a try, but then it’s better have a subject on which you will shot your whole film, the gimmick effect being lost in the consistency of the subject. For instance I imagine a wedding photographer may like to shot a roll of this as a special feature. For me I don’t think I’ll use this again.
Finally two shots below on quite different subject :
All shots at 200 ISO with Leica M6 and one Summicron or the other (28, 35, 50) and scanned on Epson v800.
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?