Father’s Day Special

agfa

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?

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Mrs B and Mini-me

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.

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The scene without the models

(You can read some story of this camera here: the Agfa Isolette III is back

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A souvenir from India

A few days later The roll is back, as my last 3 or 4 Panchro rolls they did not turn out great. 11 unremarkable photos of my father’s day family walk.

 

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#15 – my favorite shot

Note there are 11 shots because the marks on the Panchro are very faint and I over roll

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Spottiswoode park back alley
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One of the many mural celebrating “last time”
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No comment

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Taoist temple, Amoy street
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Pho Saigon at the corner coffee shop
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Anderson bridge and MBS

Happy father’s day dad.

 

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Father’s Day Special

THE SECOND ROLL OF BERGGER PANCRO400

Most common activity : posing in from the Mexican style mural

Last week I went out with fellow members of the “Lets shoot film SG” group, in the area of Arab Street in Singapore. The intent was to shoot the crowd : this has became a very popular spot now and there are many opportunities for candid shots.

Second most favorite activity : show your best profile to the camera

I loaded the Agfa Isolette III with my second roll (on 3) or Pancro 400, to see how it fares with a slightly better camera. I must say this was not some precision work, the uncoupled rangefinder is not working so the distances are guestimated and I preset the exposition most of the time. I put the original yellow filter (probably 1/2 stop) in front of the Apotar 80mmF4.5 lens as well as the aluminium hood for good order.

Painting is older than film

The film was processed at the same lab as the first one, I was not told the film need pushing this time, so maybe they worked out how to process it “normally”, go figure!

Small variation : a duo in from of a plain wall

The results : as the first film, this one came fairly flat from the lab and was easy to scan. A bit of tweaking in Lightroom, et voila!

Is it the conjunction of the small aperture used and / or  the yellow filter? The results surely have more contrast that my first roll but still shows pretty smooth tones, and no hard contrasts. Highlights were easily recuperated, underlining the claim to large latitude.

Whats going on there?

Something keep on surprising me ( as I also just scanned my first roll in 35mm format) it is that this film manage to be quite grainy and still preserves an impressive amount of details even in under or over exposed shots (no shown here) or areas.

I will shot the last 120 roll with the Hassie; maybe I’ll try to do some portraits to see if in a more controlled environment something else is revealed.

 

 

THE SECOND ROLL OF BERGGER PANCRO400

The Agfa Isolette goes to the end of the world

Moais quarry at Rano Raraku

A once in a lifetime trip, done for the second time : April – May we went on a family trip from Singapore, to Auckland, to Tahiti, to Easter Island and back. In total more than 30 thousand kilometers or travel. And on top of packing both swimsuit and polar jumpers (Auckland and Easter Island are on the cold side compare to our usual 30 degrees), the eternal question. What camera do I take.

Moais quarry at Rano Raraku

Of course the Nikon D700 is part of the trip, with the perfect travel combo: 50mmF1.8, 17-35F2.88 amd 80-200F2.8, a few filters, several cards in my new Pelican Case CF card holder, a spare battery, charger, flashgun, and Tripod (barely used). For film I immediately settled for the waterproof Heineken Camera loaded with Tri-x for fun and beach and then I pondered what serious film camera I should bring.

Moais quarry at Rano Raraku

Although I have a kind of return of love for the Leica, I think it is too fragile for this trip. The Hassie is too big for the hiking part in Easter island, the Nikons are a bit too unpredictable (although it would have been fun to bring the F3 back there after 20 years). Finally I decided for the Agfa Isolette, it is small enough not to be a pain to carry so I can eventually forgive bad results if any.

Ahu Akivi: the only moai facing the sea

The Agfa still has a problem with the rangefinder, so I have to guestimate the distance and report it on the lens but all in all with Tri-X and bright sun most of the pictures are taken around F11 so focus is not an issue.

Moais quarry at Rano Raraku

I only shot two rolls, all in Easter Island also called Rapa Nui in local dialect.

Ahu Tongariki - Easter Island
One day on the Anakena beach I met a nice Chilean lady with a Rolleiflex taking shots of the beach and the statues who are sitting on its background. I was as so happy to meet a charming fellow film photographer that I offered us a roll of Rollei RPX 400 to try.

On top of Terevaka - Easter Island Highest pic

We stayed at the wonderful Explora Hotel, unforgettable experience there; we made a couple of hikes with the new manager Francisco as above on top of the highest peak of the island.

The Moai Quary - Easter Island

Did I mention that this is our second time there? We went in 1995, 20 years ago for our honeymoon; I was carrying the Nikon F3 then, so this is why I considered bringing it back. I had a couple of old shots on my phone and inquired about people on them. Unfortunately on the three identifiable person, 2 have passed away; but the young boy visible on one, is now thirty and a father of two have I been told. I did not manage to meet him though.

The Agfa Isolette goes to the end of the world

Singapore Photo Walk – Jan 2015 – Pulau Ubin (1 on 2)

All the rituals are starting again with the new year and the “Singapore Photo Walks” organized by Bernard Goh are part of them.
My son loves them because of the lunch that follows in local eateries; they are quite informal and Bernard makes his best to bring us to interesting places of Singapore; we go some new places and we also revisit some. This is not very technical outing, but discussing gear and techniques is always part of the outing. I realized I am no more the only film shooter ; some ladies came last summer with some Canon or Olympus SLR and last month Mano turned up with a Leica M4-P.
So January was time to go back to Pulau Ubin; Ubin is  small island at the north east of Singapore, 10 minutes from the cost, in the middle of the straight between Singapore and Malaysia. This is my 3rd or 4th time there but the first with the group. Taking the boat is already an adventure, they are some oldish style motor boats that take a dozen people for the ride from Changi Village.
The walk was actually a ride, as Ubin is known as a cycling place among Singaporeans, there is not traffic apart from a couple of local cars and taxis; the island is flat. This is the first time I cycle there, I normally prefer to walk.
Cycling implied that the gear is kept to a minimum. My son took his Nikon p7100, I took the folding Agfa loaded with TMAX100 and the Leica M4 with some Rollei Slide film.
The discovery of the day was the Wei Tuo Fa Gong Temple ;it really made us feel like being on holidays in one of the surrounding countries.
 
The kitchen inside a village (Kampong) house on the island of Pulau Ubin. The man leaving there is selling drinks to tourists cycling by; I think he cooks just for himself.
Singapore is so small we also managed to bump into some friends I have not seen for a while; we dropped out of the group for lunch back at Changi Village and had some Ipoh hor fun (noodles with chicken) at the hawker center.
The  rangefinder of the Agfa is not fixed nor is the winding knob, but the guessometer works just fine thank you.
Second part to follow with the slides soon as they take a good two weeks to process and this week most business were closed for Chinese new year.
Singapore Photo Walk – Jan 2015 – Pulau Ubin (1 on 2)

The Agfa Isolette III in India

Nearly one month since the last post, unbelievable. And I have since shot some new film (and some more classic ones), been to India and back, I am so far behind on by processing and posting that it is difficult to know where to start. So maybe let’s start by the end: I have collected this week the two rolls I shot in India over the last holidays.

I brought with me the Agfa Isolette III that came back from repair in September; the camera is small and shoot 120 film. I just did two films in 10 days (actually only 20 shots); India is so overwhelming it is difficult to take the eye from the DSLR.

A quick word on the trip, but I will do a full summary later: we traveled from Calcuta to Benares (Varanasi) via Patna, Nalanda and Bodhgaya. These are amazing places, really worth the visit.

Nice encounter on the Ghats of Benares last week, two young film photographers from New Delhi, shooting with Olympus film cameras.


Buddhist monk outside the Mahabodhi Temple – Bodhgaya – India
The monk may be from Sri Lanka or Thailand from the color of his robes.
This holy place of Buddhism is full of monks and pilgrims meditating and a few tourists like us. Ask with a smile and they are all photo friendly.


Guy repairing his boat on the ghats of the Ganges in Varanasi.

Holy cow; there are really plenty of them in Varanasi, beware where you step.


Evening prayer to the Ganges river


Sahu at work; they are plenty in Varanasi as well, but less than I expected, they seems to be far more in Pashupatinath in Nepal.

Black and white pictures with Kodak Tri-x 400ISO, shots at 360 with a yellow filter.

Color pictures with Kodak Portra NC 400ISO, shots at 360 unfortunately still with a yellow filter, but the scanner corrected the colours nearly automatically.

All scanned with Epson V500, corrected in Lightroom.

The Agfa Isolette III in India

The Agfa Isolette III is back

My beloved Agfa Isolette III is back from repair and is (almost) ready to hit the road.

This medium format camera used 120 film (6×6) and has an uncoupled – rangefinder. It means you measure the distance with rangefinder on top of the body and report the measure on the lens. It was build in a series of models in the 50,s and the model III comes with various lens. Mine is a coated, 85mm F4.5 Apotar lens. Spead goes fro bulb to 1/300s.

My dad bought this camera in 1952 in Germany where he was doing his military service at the time. I still have the “never” ready case, the good and the yellow filer and their repective cases.

I used it a fair bit through the 90’s, for random shots, outings with friends, weddings and of course travels. Outside of France, this fellow came to Roma, Madrid, Berlin, brussels and more recently Singapore of course and Burma. (I also brought it to India but did not use it in the end).

A few years back I discovered the lens was stuck and an attempt to fix failed so it lied in the treasure box until I sent it to Jurgen for repair this summer.

I just got the first roll back and it looks the issue if now fixed and the focusing and shutter are all fine.

Still one small problem to fix: the rangefinder does not work anymore… nothing is perfect but you can see above that  the guessometer works fine.

The Agfa is a brilliant camera for travel: quite small, funny enough looking to attract more sympathy that reproach when shooting in the street. looking forward to bring it along.

 

 

The Agfa Isolette III is back

Misadventure in Caffenol – take 2

If you read the last post, you have heard of my issues with Caffenol here is Singapore; the pictures below are taken what I refer to as  film number 3. This is a Fuji Neopan 100  which is supposed to be Caffenol friendly. I shot the film (only 12 shots in Medium Format) in Chinatown one afternoon with the old Agfa Isolette III. Film goes out very dark, but when digitized with the DSLR method, pictures are ok; unfortunately the focusing of the Agfa does not works. The lens was stuck a few years back and I disassembled and cleaned it but could not set the focus properly. There are 3 cool shots however.

Ice Man (1)
Ice Man (1)
Ice Man (2)
Ice Man (2)
Chinese Medical Hall
Chinese Medical Hall

The pictures could not be scanned with the Epson v500, I had to use my DSLR with a 50 mm lens and an old flashgun as a back light to digitize them; that is not improving the result of course.

Misadventure in Caffenol – take 2