THE NIKON F3 : DOES IT FOCUS OR NOT

2020-11-F3-2-6
The Big Buddha is a work in progress

Before moving to the focusing bit, lets start by a few shots from Phuket. My eyesight for short distances is becoming quite bad so I cannot read the markings on the camera, so when I loaded this roll of Kodak Pro image 100 I put the speed selector to 1600 instead of 100. 2020-11-F3-2-4

So the pictures from Phuket are underexposed by 4 stops, but end up being quite exploitable , the colors are still pleasant. Nice job Kodak.

2020-11-F3-2-3
Inside the shrine

 

2020-11-F3-2-12
Karon football stadium
2020-11-F3-2-13
Karon football stadium
2020-11-F3-2-14
A resort in Karon
2020-11-F3-2-15
Karon beach scene
2020-11-F3-2-19
Phuket airport

I realized my mistake at Phuket airport and changes the speed. Above the colorful planes at the airport terminal; I quite like the colors of this film.

2020-11-F3-2-22
Apples in Chinatown

Back in Singapore, I had my black and white film processed and as the results were OK (See last post), so I decided to finish this roll with the F3. I changed the screen to the Split screen model K as its easier to focus, so it will give a better indication of the accuracy of the camera focusing.

2020-11-F3-2-23
Lost in Chinatown

Of course the shot above is a hip shot where distance has been guesstimated, so it does not prove much.

2020-11-F3-2-24
Taoist ceremony in Chinatown

The two following shots are related to a Taoist ceremony in the center of town, the afternoon weather was quite bright so the shots were done with a small aperture, balancing potential focusing problems.

2020-11-F3-2-25
Flags in Chinatown

I think this ceremony is held by one of temples situated in the nearby habitation block. The place were the tent is set, often hosts funeral wakes, and even a medium ceremony after Chinese new year.

2020-11-F3-2-26
Inside TWG tea shop

In TWG tea shop at raffles hotel, the lens was nearly wide open and the focusing on the letters quite easy, it looks the picture is in focus.

2020-11-F3-2-27
Yellow throat lizard

The lizard also is is focus, though small.

2020-11-F3-2-302020-11-F3-2-31

2020-11-F3-2-32
Tiong Bahru Monkey God temple

The shot above  was done probably at F4 and quite close, looks reasonably in focus as well, I really love the warn tones or the film.

2020-11-F3-2-35
Next table

So far so good until the last shot, wide open (F1.4) , the light was a bit dim, I focused on the glass at the front where it seems the actual focus is on the middle of the table (or the Asahi beer logo), so 10 to 15 cm back. So this is not very conclusive then.

  • Nikon F3
  • Nikkor AI-S 50mm F1.4
  • Kodak Pro Image 100ISO
  • Epson v800

 

THE NIKON F3 : DOES IT FOCUS OR NOT

The Nikon F3 gets out the closet

It seems to be a tradition to write about the F3 magically getting out for a spin (You can read the 2012 post ANOTHER OLD FELLOW BACK FROM THE MAGIC CUPBOAD – NIKON F3 ) the last picture I put on Flickr with this old fellow dates back from 2015 so it had time to gather dust inside the magic box. When I took it out the mirror foam was all gone but I have some spare foam, maybe a bit thick, so I replaced it in a 5 minutes. The 5 years old batteries were dead (not stored inside the camera), but I found some for 4$ at the convenience store of my condo. I fiddled a bit to find the correct direction for the batteries and of we go! The meter is metering and shutter is shutting. Attach the 50mm F1.4 AI-S, load a roll of H5 and lets roll.

2020-11-F3-1-7

I will start with my favorite images, above two tourists wondering the streets of Chinatown, a rare hip-shot, I have not used a SLR for years i am not sure about using it for street shots.

2020-11-F3-1-31

A friendly man in Karon (Phuket Thailand) building a new extension to the local temple (Wat Karon), he is molding cement Buddhist wheels to decorate the wall outside the building.

2020-11-F3-1-36

Russian lady with a tambourine humming to Buddha while fiddling with her instrument I say : she a Shaman.

Okay so appart from these 3 shots that I really like, the rest of the roll is pretty good as you can see there after  (I spared you those of my family by the pool)

2020-11-F3-1-1

First stop was in Singapore Chinatown, a few days before flying to Phuket, one of the reasons why I stopped using the F3 was because I keep on thinking it is not focusing properly. Indeed the distance on the lens always looks off compared to the actual distance. But the shots of this roll seems to prove otherwise.

2020-11-F3-1-2

I used the original B screen (micro-prism) which is more difficult to focus than the split screen (model K  on top of my head).2020-11-F3-1-8

I have loaded a second roll now and will try to split screen on the second half of it just t try to assert where the issue is.

2020-11-F3-1-9

Also I used the A mode for aperture, so the speed adjust automatically to the aperture you select. I never use it on the Leica, as I always found the speed to be too low and result in camera shake, but again it proved to work nicely here.

2020-11-F3-1-10

Then we flew to Thailand for the week-end, which was the reason to resurrect the F3 ; I did not want to bring the M6 or the M262 to the beach. Oh but I did in Australia last year. Well OK, that’s just how it is.

2020-11-F3-1-13

A rickshaw in front of our hotel, close focusing seems to work, I am not sure I actually focused on the horn, but that sounds (ha ha) realistic.

And off to the beach .

2020-11-F3-1-142020-11-F3-1-202020-11-F3-1-21

Back light as the sunset if approaching the metering works great.

2020-11-F3-1-22

Street / beach scene, another nice action by the F3 meter.

2020-11-F3-1-16
Speeding in speedos.

 

2020-11-F3-1-15
Back to USSR

On the next day we walk from our hotel to Katong center town, very bright light. All shots were done at F11 with 1/1000th. The shutter of the F3 is limited to 1/2000th so I could not use wider apertures with a 400 ISO film.

2020-11-F3-1-23
Asoline ?

And we reach Wat Karon the local temple.

2020-11-F3-1-242020-11-F3-1-252020-11-F3-1-332020-11-F3-1-34

Inside the temple we just missed the lunch of the monks , normally no later than 11am. Pity.2020-11-F3-1-262020-11-F3-1-32

From the seaside at Karon we took a taxi to visit Phuket Big Buddha,  a seated Maravija Buddha.

2020-11-F3-1-27

It is big indeed, like 40 meters high.

2020-11-F3-1-28

Here as well the light was very powerful, so maximum shutter speed and min apperture.

2020-11-F3-1-30
Family praying the Big Buddha
2020-11-F3-1-35
Another quite big statue at he back of the main one

I  spent 30 minutes at the shot yesterday discussing with other photogs of the potential focusing issue of my body. This roll seems to prove me wrong, but on the other hand most shots were done at very small apertures, so the focusing may not matter much.

A quick comparison with the M6 ? The F3 is slightly bigger, but just a sexy, the weight is probably very close, actually the M6 is 200 grams heavier. Both cameras have an integrated meter, but with slightly different methods, teh F3 is 80% center weighted the M6 is roughly spot metering, I actually quite like the exposure of the shots above.

The Nikon F3 gets out the closet

FilmNeverDie.com – Shirokuro 400 film

Give me a hand – Wide Open, a bit OOF, quite smooth

One of the pleasures of shooting film is trying different films when you come across some. When I was last in Melbourne, I stumbled by complete chance upon the shop / gallery of FilmNeverDie.com.

Thai Smile – very grainy probably under exposed

These are die shard film fans, with a collection of vintage cams on display, a fridge well stocked with various emulsions but I was also told by Gary, who looks to be the guy in charge, that they will soon launch their own film. Soon being very soon, Gary sold me two rolls and here are the results of the first one. I also bough a JapanCameraHunter JCH StreetPan roll, that will be for another day.

Sungei Road Golden hour

 

Apart from the label saying C41 and the indication “made in Belgium” the label of the lab and myself were not able to decipher what film it is. I am not aware of C41 films made by Agfa, the only Belgium factory, so this is news for me. But I am just an amateur so who knows.

Stacking up – Sungei Road

The film turns out quite grainy and the negatives show low contrast (I mean there are no white areas, the lighter areas being 30% grey), the scans are looking quite ok though and maybe the exposition was not so great. I used the Nikon F with one of my prisms that does not meter and an old Goosen meter. I will shot my second film more carefully.

Standard Ti Shaw
Trishaw handle bar close up. Grainy but quite pleasing

The result is quite interesting and will probably appeal to the crowd of street photographers that  like grain and “gritty” look.

IAmCeno2 mural on Funan destruction site. Nice rendering to my taste

shirokuro

Shirokuro 400 – Black and White chromogenic film c-41 process 35mm 27 exposure film

FilmneverDie.com: 2/640 Bourke Street, Melbourne CBD, 3000

FilmNeverDie.com – Shirokuro 400 film

2015 a year of film

Agfa Isolette III in Easter Island

Here is the new year; so first happy new year to all the readers of this blog, and happy shooting. This is the time for a bit of retrospective, and I won’t miss the opportunity. 2015 was another good (in term of fun) year of film shooting. I managed to break the psychological barrier of one film a week, actually getting to 55 films (this is a roughly total of 1500 pics)

Leica M6 + Summaron : A Compression by artist Cesar

I have been shooting both travels and city (or street) , black and white, slides and color print films, both in 120 and 35mm formats, with a total of 12 different cameras.

Leica M4 + Summilux 50mm F1.4 : Lee Kuan Yew Funerals
Camera Films
Leica M6 15
Leica M4 10
Hassie 8
Agfa isolette III 4
EOS 1N 4
Leica iiiC 4
Kiev IV 3
Heineken Toy Camera 2
Nikon F3 2
Dacora 1
Fuji disposable 1
Nikon F 1
waex99-003
Haselblad 500Cm +80mmF2.8 : Artist Mlle Maurice

I had been quite good GAS wise this year, my collection increased “only” by two additions:

  • the EOS 1N, with 50mm 1.8MKII, the body was given by a friend and I purchased a 80$ lens, so hardly any GAS here
  • finally I made the acquisition of a Leica M6 classic, and a 35mmF2.8 Summaron to accompany it. This is a long awaited purchase and the table above shows how much I am happy with it
21858527018_75ba3a3eb5_c
Canon EOS 1N + 50mm 1.8 MKII : my friend Herman

The Leicas are on top of the list as I have now more lenses to pay with. Pity the Nikon F did not get out of the cupboard more I’ll try to do better this year. Some cameras did not get a chance: the F4, the Kodak Autographic, the Canonet, the Minolta Himatic, the Zorki but frankly this last one is not worth using. The Nikon F3, is definitely showing some focusing issue.

21858527018_75ba3a3eb5_c
Leica IIIC + Summitar 50mmF2 : Young fisherman

Plans for the year: do as well next year, maybe some film only trips. Gear wise I promise to be a good boy: maybe upgrade my scanner or do some processing at home.

Kiev IV + Jupiter 35mmF2.8 : Happy Birthday Singapore

Next article I will try to do a small overview of the films  I tried this year.

Dacora Digna : Cannes French Riviera
2015 a year of film

NORTH THAILAND TRIP – PART 5– Phitsanulok

Phitsanulok is a big district 50 km east of Sukhothai; in comparison it is quite a large and busy city. It is famous for its large and ancient temple: Wat Phra Si Rattana Mahathat.

If I may quote wikipedia; it is also known as “Wat Yai” and was founded in 1357.

The temple is very famous because of its golden Buddha image called Phra Phuttha Chinnarat, which is considered by some Thais to be the most beautiful Buddha image in the country. (In the background above)

If you are in Sukhothai visiting Phitsanulok is a nice afternoon trip, one hour drive each way. The temple is quite large  (I think Mahathat means large) and other smaller buildings around are worth a look.

One of them hosts a kind of coffin with the feet of the dead (is it lord Buddha?) going through its side. Very weird.

There is a market area at the back which makes a complement to the cultural visit.

NORTH THAILAND TRIP – PART 5– Phitsanulok

NORTH THAILAND TRIP – PART 2 – WAT PHANAN CHOENG – AYUTTHAYA

The first place we wanted to visit was Ayutthaya an ancient capital, which also happen to be   a very busy industrial city, 90 KM north of Bangkok. We decided to sleep close the the airport (at the Novotel, so actually in the airport), and hire a driver and a guide for the day.

Ayutthaya has many interest, but mostly the Royal Palace and many temples. I have not posted any pictures of the Royal Palace, but actually it is not uninteresting. The vast compound is still supposed to be used today by the Royal Family. Constructions are of varying styles, and if your guide is knowledgeable and chatty as ours this makes for a nice visit.

Now more interesting are the temples; as in many big Thai city there are dozens of them; but due to time constraints we only visited 4; each very different.

After the visit of the Royal Palace, we headed to Wat Phanan Choeng. This is a big temple, famous for its (very) large, statue of sitting Buddha. This is a very busy temple specially on week ends; I am not sure if it is permanent but the day we visited the temple devotees were offering new orange robes for the Buddha. A extraordinary occasion to experience the devotion of Thai people.

Next we headed for lunch but nothing worth mentioning.

NORTH THAILAND TRIP – PART 2 – WAT PHANAN CHOENG – AYUTTHAYA

Alms ceremony at Wat Palelai – Singapore

Someone at the photo lab tipped me that Saturday that the next day, there will be an alms ceremony at Wat Palelai, a Thai Buddhist Temple located in Bedok, in the east of Singapore.

Devotees stood around the yard of the temple and gave their offerings to the monks who made a procession around the yard.

Later the monks gathered at their dining room.

There was 30 to 50 monks for the ceremony but I think only 5 are permanently staying  at the temple. Others are going through a temporary monk-hood.


This day was the fiftieth Singapore National Day, happy birthday Singapore. The ceremony was interrupted by the singing of the national anthem at 9am.

It was very nice to discover this temple and be able to attend this ceremony. I also met two people who always hang around the photo lab, so we could have coffee and chit chat a moment after the ceremony was over.

All black and white pics with Leica M6 and either 35mmF2.8 or 50mmF1.4. Film is Rollei RPX 400ISO. Scanned at home with Epson v500.

Color pics with the old faithful Nikon D700 with either the 85mm F1.8 or the 17-35 F2.8.

Alms ceremony at Wat Palelai – Singapore

Lao Sai Tao Yuan – A Chinese Opera – Singapore

Lao Sai Tao Yuan; is said to be the oldest troupe in Singapore performing Teochew  opera or Wayang.

These shows are generally performed for the 7th month or during Chinese thanks giving during the mid autumn festival.

They are particularly friendly and you can go backstage to take pictures while they dress-up and do the make up.

All shots with Nikon D700 and Nikkor 85mm F1.8.

Lao Sai Tao Yuan – A Chinese Opera – Singapore

Moai Galore – Easter island – May 2015

Rano Raraku – Moai quarry

We had the chance to pay a second visit to the quarry where the Moais were carved on a sunny afternoon. The statues were there waiting for us.

The guy above was called “The tattooed Moai” by our guide. He wears a carving of what looks like the westerner boats that came to the island in the 17th century. Was it carved by locals or by un-respectful traveler, that’s another mystery.

Apart from its iconic statues Rano Raraku also offers a fantastic scenery with a view on the ocean and further left the platform with the 11 Moais.

Also the site is beautiful view from a distance.

Camera:Nikon D700
Lens:Nikkor 50mmf1.8 / Nikkor 17-35F2.8 / Nikkor 80-200F2.8D

Most of thee shots make use of circular polarizer, I hope the effect is not too heavy.

Moai Galore – Easter island – May 2015

A Landmark on the go – Lavender Food Square – Singapore


The famous Lavender Food square is now closed and demolition work has began. It will be replaced by a 30 levels commercial and habitation building. At the moment it is the opportunity for street artists to show their talent.

Camera: Agfa Isolette III (85mm F3.5)
FilmKodak Portra 400NC

A few weeks before I happen to be there already; at the right place a the right moment. I just pass by the Lavender food square when the demolition work started, but I was still able to walk through.

This was my first Roll with CineStill 800. It’s not bad, I think I like it. But a bit expensive for casual shooting though. Also the AF of the Nikon F4s seems to be broken so I had to use a manual focus lens which defeats the purpose of having such a huge camera.


A last customer for the Mixed vegetable rice

The olf famous fish ball noodles shop.

The film was shot at 640ISO and processed at 800; colors are a bit funny as it is a tugsten film, but it has its charm.

For those who are interested I bough the film in the Lomo Shop in Chinatown (16 dollars yuck!)

CameraNikon F4s

LensNikkor 50mmF1.4 AIS

Film CineStill 800T

A Landmark on the go – Lavender Food Square – Singapore