SOFT LOCK-DOWN WEEK 1

So here we are (were) the past week : it officially started Wednesday. Work from Home became mandatory, restaurants were closed and outside activity were, if not restricted advised against, except shopping for food and exercise.

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Part of my time out for exercise I carried my M262 and the old Summaron 35mm F3.5. The first shot is not related to the current situation, but the the closure of Liang Court commercial center. The Novotel is closing, I foresee a big and long construction site in my backyard.

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But back to reality, Tuesday before our version of the lock down kicked in, a lot of moving around happened, people pushing office chairs, …

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… or waiting for a ride with piles of paper.

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But otherwise there was a lot of business as usual.

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and above all it was a beautiful day.

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Well also you could see the take-out, food delivery business start to expand. Actually a lot of my friends running restaurants started messaging their customers about their take away offerings.

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It is a bit more difficult to shoot people in the street when there are less of them. But still i tried.

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Friday was a bit more funny, in a hotel, guests (are there still any?) were exercising (withing safe distance of each others) to the loud sound of a coach talking to them from the 3rd floor.

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Taxis stand for taxis, everything is still in order.

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Construction of a new MRT station still ongoing at Keppel Road

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Saturday streets were very quite.

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Some were praying

 

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The sky was beautiful
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Strange view of the satay club, closed down, with Boon tat Street still closed for the evening nonetheless.
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Easter eggs were early
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Taxis queuing for customers in from of Great World City
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Vintage vehicle, maybe can be reused as deliveroo?
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And finally, a flora picture, very unlike me, so enjoy for one.

I have one finished roll in the in a drawer, I am not sure when I will be able to have it processed. So I think I’ll stick to digital for a moment.

SOFT LOCK-DOWN WEEK 1

You can’t hurry love but you can try (More about the VC Color Skopar 21mm F4)

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One George Street in Singapore CDB

This is a follow up of my first write up YOU CAN’T HURRY LOVE (ABOUT THE VC COLOR SKOPAR 21MM F4) For those who don’t feel like digging back in the archives (pitty, there are a couple of nice shots there and probably my best piece of text in a while), this is about picking the Voigtlander Cosina Color Skopar 21mmF4 back from the dry box and putting it back to work.

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Ice cream parlor near Singapore river

Very quickly, the 21mm had two terrible defects for me: the color fringing in digital and the difficulty to frame in general. I decided in June to invest into a proper viewfinder to try to overcome the second issue : I picked a 21-25 VC metal finder.

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Walk down the bridge

The viewfinder did a really good job, it very bright and accurate, well built and on top of it it is super sexy (I have to post pictures of the Leica IIIc with it).

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Keong Saik road corner with Teck Lim road

All pictures here are from a single roll of Kodak Portra 400 shot with Leica M4 and VC Color Skopar 21mm F4 with the now famous 21-25 VC metal finder. Even vertical framing is accurate now.

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“MY CHINATOWN HOME” by  Yip Yew Chong 30 SMITH STREET

Horizontal framing works as well. As I am a slow shooter these were probably taken over a few week ends in different areas of central Singapore.

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The guitar hero

To shoot portraits the 21mm requires you to get very close to your subject, and still you will get some distracting details in your frame. Also you may get funky perspectives even if you frame correctly your subject (thanks to the perfect new viewfinder)

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Tan Boon Liat Building – a commercial / industrial building

When yout wan to put a lot in the frame as the Tan Boon Liat Building, actually it goes in. Colors with the Portra are quite rich, and vignetting is limited.

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The Monkey God temple in Tiong Bahru

Or when you are close to buildings and want to put them in the frame as above, this is a great ultra wide angle.

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Don’t go away

I did not do many “street” shots on this roll, but the 21 gives an amazing dynamics to the shots like above.

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Sakya Muni Buddha Gaya Temple in Little India

I was very convinced by these first 2 or 3 rolls, and this has slightly changed my photographic practice recently. I use the M262 and M6 with the summicrons for holidays or events, the M4 and IIIc with older lenses for fun( or street, or burning film name it as you want) and recently the 21 is glued to them.

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Sakya Muni Buddha Gaya Temple in Little India

So expect more posts like this one, but as you know that I found love with the VC21 again, so i will have to find out new titles.

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The Singapura Club – Little India

 

 

You can’t hurry love but you can try (More about the VC Color Skopar 21mm F4)

Toa Payoh Markets

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Saturday Low Che Ng, the man behind the facebook group “Lets shoot Film SG” organized an outing in Toa Payoh area in central Singapore ; mostly visiting two markets (apparently there are more around there)

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I packed a bit too much gear, but mostly for this post, I shot two rolls of Cinestill 800 with the Hasselblad 500cm and 80mmF2.8. The films were processed in express by one of the labs we still have here : Konota. They were scanned at home on the Epson v800 and Silverfast, using the Portra 400 VC 6×6 profile.

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I never really managed to get perfect exposure with the 800T, but generally I shoot them at 640 and process at box speed, giving it a bit of over exposure. The markets were very nicely lit and indoor and shots were generally done at 1/125 F4.

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The Jackfruit man

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The first market has a first floor hosting a few stalls and giving a nice view of the ground level.

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The reluctant model (I will print and bring her the picture in order to appease her)

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For outdoors shot I did not use any filters. Just a bit of post processing in Lightroom ; it looks like the color rendering is quite OK.

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These two rolls are dating back from the kick-starter project of the Cinetstill 120 format, it appears they survived nicely in the fridge (there are 3 more there).

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The second market (Toa Payoh Lor 7 Market I think)  is a bit smaller in term of food but the hawker center was quite busy and nobody seemed too bothered by six photographer hanging around.

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The amount of detail in the shots is amazing despite of the grain, in the shot above at full size, you can see the cigarette butt glowing.

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A lot of sitting and waiting it seems.

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And playing with phones

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At the back was a small shrine attended by the lady with the green hat.

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And finally a stall selling the king of fruits : Durian.

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As for every activity in Singapore we have a fodd break, tasting an amazing carrot cake at xin ji fried carrot cake (for non Singaporeans you have to google to check what this is, and come around to try it) .

I also did two half rolls of B&W in 35mm so maybe you will hear more about the Toa Payoh markets soon.

Toa Payoh Markets

Outing at Redhill Market with LUGS

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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.

 

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Ciggie break version one
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Ciggie break version two

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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.

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The flower stall
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The market singer
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The chatty veggie seller
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Local vegies

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Egg business

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The shy butcher

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Old style trade

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King of fruits

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.

 

Outing at Redhill Market with LUGS

39 Syed Alwi Road – Singapore

Shop houses 39 to 45 on Syed Alwi Road in jalan Besar Area in Singapore are undergoing a massive renovation.

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Camera::Hasselblad 500CM
Lens:Planar 80mmF2.8
Film::Kodak Portra 400ISO
 

The smallest hairdresser in town and the old bike repair shop are now gone and a boutique hotel will rise in the renovated building. A part of my Singaporean playground is going away it seems.

 

Wild Style
Wild Style

Camera::Leica IIIC
Lens:Jupiter 8 35mmF2.8
Film::Kodak Tri-x400
 

The old repair shop
The old repair shop

Camera::Nikon F
Lens::50mmF1.4AIS
Film::Kodak Tri-x400
 

The old repair shop
The old repair shop

Camera::Leica M4
Lens:Summilux 50mmF1.4
Film::Kodak Tri-x400
 

The trishaw
The trishaw

Camera::Nikon D700
Lens:Nikkor 85mmF1.8D

Image

Chess players – chinatown – Singapore

Chess players - chinatown - Singapore
Chess players - chinatown - Singapore

A couple of weeks ago, I went back to Chinatown to finish my third film roll and make a few shots of chess players you find there. This is a nice subject, I think, people not camera shy, a few other folks looking at them and a couple of tourists. Of course as soon as the last picture was taken I put another film and made this final shot. Now I had a nother film to finish !

Camera Hasselblad 500cm, Planar 80CT
Filmkodak TRIx 400
Scannerepson v500

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Chess players – chinatown – Singapore

Chess players – Toa Payoh – Singapore

Chess players - Toa Payoh - Singapore

The second film shot with the Nasselblad is baack from the shop (Ruby Photo in Excelsior building, Coleman Street Singapore).
Only 12 shots, and this is the best one, surely another 2-3 keepers at least.
This is shot in Toa Payoh neighborhood, older folks playing chess in the entrance of their buildings. You’ll probably see more on these in the future.

I had a quick calculation on the cost of film: 1 Ektar film is 8 SGD and processing 6, a couple of bus rides to to to the shop that’s another 2 bucks, so all in all 16 SGD per film, near 1.5 per shot good or not (1.2 USD or 0.85 EUR). Well film isn’t that cheap after all.

Camera: Hasselblad 500 CM
Lens: Planar 80mm CF T*
Film: Kodal Ektar 100
Scanner: Epson V500
Processing: LR3+PS Elements 4.0

Chess players – Toa Payoh – Singapore