“Paris est une fête” as goes the say (Paris is a party) ; I am not 100% sure about it but Paris in summer surely put me in a great mood, and I enjoy shooting in the streets that I am rediscovering after so many years.
— Asian tourist checking a Korean restaurant —
This is summer 2022, probably my 5th or 6th trip in a year, carrying the M6 (The old one) and the Summicron 50v5 and a roll of Kodak TMA100, my favourite film very appropriate (I think) to the summer time. This is my 16th film of the year, so I am now far from my past One-roll-a-week diet, but ok this is not a competition.
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.
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.
But back to reality, Tuesday before our version of the lock down kicked in, a lot of moving around happened, people pushing office chairs, …
… or waiting for a ride with piles of paper.
But otherwise there was a lot of business as usual.
and above all it was a beautiful day.
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.
It is a bit more difficult to shoot people in the street when there are less of them. But still i tried.
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.
Taxis stand for taxis, everything is still in order.
Oh yeah nice light as well.
Construction of a new MRT station still ongoing at Keppel Road
Saturday streets were very quite.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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)
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.
Or when you are close to buildings and want to put them in the frame as above, this is a great ultra wide angle.
I did not do many “street” shots on this roll, but the 21 gives an amazing dynamics to the shots like above.
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.
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.
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)
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.
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.
The first market has a first floor hosting a few stalls and giving a nice view of the ground level.
The reluctant model (I will print and bring her the picture in order to appease her)
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.
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).
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.
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.
A lot of sitting and waiting it seems.
And playing with phones
At the back was a small shrine attended by the lady with the green hat.
And finally a stall selling the king of fruits : Durian.
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.
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.
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
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