2018 – The year I still shot one roll of film a week.

La mort subite
Camera n.1: Leica M6 with Rollei Vario

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, Kodak Ektachrome 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.

Camera N.2 : Leica IIIC with Kodak TMAX 100

 

Below is a breakdown of my film rolls:

Film Rolls
Ultrafine 400 17
Cinestill 50D 3
Rollei Retro 80s 3
Bergger Pancro400 3
Kodak Tmax 400 2
Rollei CR 200 2
Polypan PF50 2
Cinestill 800 2
Fuji Reala 800 2
Kodak Gold 200 2
Rollei Superpan 200 2
Kodak Colorplus 2
Kodak Portra 400 2
Kodak Ektar 100 1
Rollei Vario 1
Kodak Tmax 100 1
Kentmere 400 1
Ilford hp5 1
Kodak Portra 160 1
Kodak TMZ 3200 1
Agfa APX 400 1
Grand Total 52

And by Brand

Brand Rolls
Ultrafine 17
Kodak 12
Rollei 8
Cinestill 5
Bergger 3
Fuji 2
Polypan 2
Agfa 1
Ilford 1
Kentmere 1
Grand Total 52
A tough one
Camera n.3: Leica M4 with Kentmere 400

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.

An angel on the wall
Camera N.4 : Hasselblad 500CM with Cinestill 50D

 

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.

#15

Camera N.5 : Agfa Isolette with Bergger Panchro 400

Now let’s look at the gear.

Camera Rolls
Leica M6 21
Leica IIIc 11
Leica M4 10
Hasselblad 500CM 4
Agfa Isolette III 2
EOS 1N 2
Kodak Autographic Jr 1
Minolta Himatic 7s 1
Grand Total 52

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.

Chinese new year 2018
Camera N.6 : Canon EOS 1N Kodak Portra 160

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.

 

Artist at work
Camera N.7 : Minolta Hi matic with Ultrafine Xtreme 400

 

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.

2017-29-Dacora-1-006
Camera N. 8 : Kodak Autographic Jr 6×9 with Rollei retro 80s.

 

If you are curious you can check the past reviews : 2015, 2016, 2017.

Happy shooting in 2019 !

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2018 – The year I still shot one roll of film a week.

Around city center with a 1970’s Minolta Himatic 7s

The Himatic 7s

Beginning of the year and excitement to try the Ultrafine Xtreme 400 that I am bulk loading, I am taking the odd camera from the treasure box.

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The painter (who is also a photographer)
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Major checker competition
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Back alley

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A couple of weeks back it was the turn of the 1970’s Minolta Himatic 7s. Actually the 7s was released in 1966 same year as me. The Himatic is a rangefinder camera with a sharp, fast 45mm F1.8 lens, and in-camera metering.

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Ok I don’t quite like the the Himatic too much : it is heavy feels clunky compare to the German rangefinders; it is not that fast to operate, and also the metering died on mide during a bike tour.

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I also the viewfinder to be not that bright and having too many signs inside; there are just three visible sides of the frame, so I always wonder how to frame the fourth.

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Shoe locker outside Mustapha

BUT when I got the roll from the shop I must say that I am impressed by the result, the lens is fast and sharp and the 45mm give a bit of air to the shots.

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This is my 3rd roll of the Ultrafine Xtreme 400 bulk and I quite like it. I am new to handrolling, the picture below is the last of the roll, so the first from the bulk that I attached to the canister and I think it was exposed to light. Pitty I like this shot.

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Upside down nap

I think I like the film, it is now 3 rolls I shot this year and 2 last years, it is on the contrasty side but nothing too extreme, so it makes a good replacement for TRI-X or TMY 400. The shot below is quite smooth as I like it. Actually tones quality reminds me of a proper wet paper print.

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Mmm also I fell the Epson v800 gives immediately better results that the v500, but this may be just because I paid so much for it.

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There will be no declugging for the Minolta, it belonged to one grand uncle, so that’s a keeper even if it goes out of the box only once a year.

Around city center with a 1970’s Minolta Himatic 7s

The return of the Hi-Matic (2)

So the Minolta Hi-Matic 7s, is out of the box. I find out a suitable Duracell battery in my magic cupboard and a roll of TMax from the fridge and off we go. As I said elsewhere I am not a mass shouter, I picked up photography in the old days of film when we were taking one shot at a time because well it costs. I don’t care too much about the cost nowadays but still I kept the habit, so unless there is a special event it takes me a few weeks to shoot a full roll of film. This is something I like with the Hasselblad or 120 film cameras in general, 12 shots per film is pretty good for a week end if nothing special happens. Hey also remember that this is not digital so ISO is fixed; there’s just so much time in the day where you can use your camera. Back to the cost, 1 TMax = 8 SGD, processing 6.5 SGD, 4 bus rides to the shop 3 SGD = 17.5 SGD for a roll so 50 cents per shot; 4 shots per EURO.

We are the rrobots

A Robot in a toy store (N’gee Ann City, Orchard Road, Singapore), shot wide open (F1.8) probably 1/30s handheld

Shark Aid 2012

There is always something happening on Orchard Road, that day it was the Shark Aid 2012 campaign to save sharks from Shark Fin soup

Walter by Dwan Ng

This is WALTER: A Big Bunny by artist Dawn Ng, in front of SAM (Singapore Art Museum)

Low Kee Hong and Jeremiah Choy,

Singapore Arts festival 2012 presentation in Kinokuniya bookstore by Low Kee Hong and Jeremiah Choy, interesting and funny.

Shot wide open F1.8 at 1/30s handheld, a bit blurry… duh!

Ok that was funny, but I’m not  sure my practice of photography have made a big leap forward. I think I have to get rid of the leather case whose strap comes in the middle when framing vertically,  also the  shutter-release button is not that soft, you have to press it with some strength before it actually fire, causing some shake; very unlike my Leica M4.

The return of the Hi-Matic (2)

The return of the Hi-Matic

Two years ago my dad gave me this excellent condition Minolta Hi-Matic 7s, this camera belonged to a deceased grand uncle of mine.

Minolta Hi-Matic 7S

The fellow is as old as me, and onece loaded with an Alkaline battery and a roll of film it worked like a charm and the meter is spot on.

See the camerapedia page camerapedia.wikia.com/wiki/Minolta_Hi-Matic_7s

I try to shot a couple of rolls a year with this kind of poor man’s Leica and got some nice shots like this one I called “envy” (Film :Fuji Accross 100ASA)

Envy

Or this summer shot in Cagnes sur Mer in France


Le port du Cros

(Film :Kodak Gold 200ASA)

Earlier this month I dug it from the dry (tupperware) box, cleaned loaded and shot a roll of Tmax around town; that will be for the next post

Meanwhile you can see a few more shots on flickr

The return of the Hi-Matic

Singapore – Esplanade MRT

Esplanade MRT

Finally a bit of Film after the Digital orgy of Myanmar. A couple of nice shots in this film that last from September to November.

Photo: Singapore – Esplanade MRT
Camera: Minolta HiMatic 7s (circa 1966)
Film: Fuji jAcross 100 ASA
Scanner: Epson v500
Retouches: Depoussierage avec Photo Shop, balances dans Lightroom 3.2,, retour dans PS pour le cadre et voila le travail.

Singapore – Esplanade MRT