I am a full time barista

Here is a new post with a roll dating from a few weeks already. During a very long walk (12.5 km) where I carried both the Leica M4 and the Agfa Isolette. I posted already about the Agfa roll here https://waex99photo.wordpress.com/2020/09/27/when-the-coffee-is-good/

National Aerated Water Co Pte Ltd

The National Aerated Water Co Pte Ltd was the actual goal of my walk. I went there with public transport and walk my way back home via Marina Bay. The old factory is going to be part of a new development, but almost two years after my last visit this is still a work in progress.

Geylang Bahru industrial estate

This is the first time I pass by the Geylang Bahru industrial estate. It looks like a promising area, with small workshops, like here a Rattan Basket factory.

The indian master saloon.

Heading down into town towards Boon Keng MRT, is a very lively areas

I am nearly a full time barista because this is another roll processed in Caffenol. As the Agfa one it turned out very fine with the new Vitamin C. This is a roll of Ilford Delta 400 by the way.

She had a spring in her steps

The roll was shot with the Elmar 50 mm F3.5 on the Leica M4.

I took a close up on this little paper flag used for prayers or offerings and I am very pleased on the sharpness and overall rendering.

Opposite Jalan Besar stadium are a few workshops creating tarpaulins. I made many shots over the years but this is one off the best.

Vietnam the world tour mural

Opposite Jalan Besar food center the mural is still there, read more about this amazing work there http://vietnamtheworldtour.com/

Moving Ladder

Following are a few portraits in Haji Lane / Arab Street area.

Finally in front of the Marina Bay Sands Apple shop, with fellow film shooter Anthony and his Mamiya Press.

The shop below, shot with the 21mmF4 Voigtlangder.

I hope you enjoyed the trip.

I am a full time barista

Bedok South Market and the Caffenol Delta recipe

Tired of marketing

So everything change and nothing changes. Back on the road this week end for a quick visit to the Bedok South Market

Ciggie break

Bedok is on the east side of Singapore, nearly an hour of public transport from my place, in direction of the airport.

Eggs business

The market is somewhat small and contains the many usual sections of other local markets. Unlike some others it is on ground floor level and has just one level so the light is quite ok.

Vegies stall

People are reasonably photo friendly, maybe because they are a bit out of the center, or they are just friendly.

At the fish stall

Now the technical bits you are all waiting for : so I decided to try the Delta recipe (which actually is not very different from my usual Caffenol CM):

Delta
Water0.75 l
Washing Soda18 g
vitamin-C15 g
coffee32 g

The recommended processing time is 9 to 10 minutes at 20 deg, so with the help of the Massiv Dev Chat converted I processed 4’40” at my 28-29 degrees. (I start the clock, start pouring the developer and poured out the last drop at 4’40”)

The dry fish corner

The negatives are good I would say, maybe slightly over, but very little dust or crap of any kind, no fogging. I am quite happy.

The right price

I also innovated by using bulk film. I bought a roll of HP5+ locally in the hope to save a bit of money and to roll custom size rolls. For this test Delta roll, I used a 12 shoots roll. And rolled two other 24 shots roll for later.

Fishy business

Without entering in too much details, a roll of 30.5 M (100 ft) provides 18 roll of 36 shots, making a gain of nearly 20% if you consider a roll here is 12$. Of course as there is a fixed loss per roll, if you make shorter rolls your benefit can go down, or cost you more per frame actually is you only make 12 shots rolls. Lets see how many frame I can shoot with this roll and make the math’s again at the end.

Jack fruit

Bedok South Market and the Caffenol Delta recipe

When its so bad it s almost good

Today’s roll of film has been perfectly ruined, the experience showing that I am not yet the master of Caffenol.

Busy

This was a roll of Fuji Across 100, shot with the Leica M6 and a mix of Summicron 50mm and then my “new” Elmar 50.

I processed the roll with my second batch of Caffenol which is now 4 weeks old, and my dodgy Fomapan fix expired for 5 years and used for the 9th roll. A recipie for disaster you call it. The only new variable on the batch of Caffenol was the addition of table salt to act as restrainer for higher ISO films, could this cause the problems seen here? It did not seem to improve the processing of the Ilford Delta 400, so I wont try it again.

I decided not to clean the negs in photoshop, but just to enjoy the artistic look after the usual adjustement. I have a mixed feeling, because the processing looks to be working quite well, the quality of the greys and finesse of the grain below is just great to my taste.

Marina Barrage

Finally the Elmar is working just fine, focusing and all seems good as you can check below. This is a great addition for my LTM kit, lets check the next roll.

Sri Senpaga Vinayagar Temple

Dont worry I have taken good resoltutions: I binned both the Caffnol and the Fixer and will shop for some new fixer this week. I also ordered some pure ascorbic acid to replace my lemon flavoured vitamine pills.

A mundane shot to show of the Elmar quality

On this note I whish you a good week, happy shooting and maybe next week a good roll for a change?

When its so bad it s almost good

Did I fix the Agfa Isolette rangefinder?

2020-24-Agfa-02-11
The young film photog and his model

So a few weeks ago, after the last roll shot with the Agfa Isolette, I decided that  something must be done with the rangefinder. My easiest solution was to order a second Agfa from Ebay. But actually when he finally reached home, the camera was in very good condition but the rangefinder was stuck and so was the lens focusing ring. So I took  step back and decided to leave it alone (for the moment) and try to fix the rangefinder of my original Agfa.

2020-24-Agfa-02-10
Potato head

I think I mentioned earlier this is a family camera bough in 1958 in Germany by my dad who was in the French forces there. It was my first medium format camera, I used it for the first time in 1990 (30 years ago already). I looked at this link and proceeded to fix my rangefinder : The Classic Camera Repair Forum: CLA’ing an Isolette III.

 

 

2020-24-Agfa-02-8
The photographer’s wife

I don’t have much to add to the procedure, this precise camera has other issues so I think I will proceed with repairing the other one soon, or maybe send it to repair, depending on the time I have at hand.

2020-24-Agfa-02-7
A chair’s story

Once again I used a roll of Rollei 80s because I have a few hanging around and because I love it. Shot at 100 Iso, this is a slow film for the weather conditions so some shots were taken at 1/50s F4.5.

2020-24-Agfa-02-6
Public transport

I processed the roll in my second batch of Caffenol, so this is my Caffenol roll #7. The results are good I think, but there is a lot of dust or particles compared to the roll#6, I am not sure where it comes from and I am  bit disappointed as I took care to filter both the Fixer and the Caffenol before using them. I also added 1 minute to the fixing time, just in case.

2020-24-Agfa-02-5
The chess players #1

It also seems there is some unevenness on the processing. I will have to reach out for some advice.

2020-24-Agfa-02-4
The chess players #2

2020-24-Agfa-02-3

Ah yes so what about the rangefinder ? Well see for yourself, but it looks to me that it may not be spot on but it surely can focus.

Did I fix the Agfa Isolette rangefinder?

The new normal

2020-23-iiic-17
The usual Shake Shack long queue

The title of today’s post is a trap. It should be called Caffenol week 6, but it starts to be boring. Saturday I finished a roll of Ilford Delta 400, and processed it as soon as I was back home.

2020-23-iiic-18
The uncle just score

This is my second brew that I kept from last week. I have been careful today to limit the time of processing to 5 minutes at 28 degrees, plus 10 seconds for pouring out.

2020-23-iiic-20
Back Alley BBQ

The negatives  are still a bit thick but on the better side I would say. I also filtered my fixer before using it. As a result I have very few crap on the film.

2020-23-iiic-05
Fishing in the shadow of the tower

Another innovation this week is that I cut the roll in two before processing to squeegee. Less chance to scratch by carrying dust over with my fingers, less residual water at the bottom of the film. Unfortunately I did not  count he frames so I ended up with an odd number of strips.

2020-23-iiic-08
A catch like that

The result : this is my best Caffenol film of these past 6 weeks. I must say it is the best film altogether and choosing a small number of shots from it was difficult.

2020-23-iiic-09
Chef of wheels

But back to the processing, there was very little dust on the film, and I did only  minimal spot cloning in light-room after processing. I also added 1 more minute to the fixing time, this is the 7th roll with the fixer (It should do 17), it cannot harm.

2020-23-iiic-22
Sometime we feel we are so small

This is shot again with the Leica IIIc, but with the Summaron 35mmF3.5, which is quite a sharp lens. I measured the light with the handheld Sekonic L-308-s, and used my 35mm Leica finder. The finder shoe was bent during my last move and I think the shot above really shows it.

2020-23-iiic-23
Reserved

The first three shots were taken around Chinatown last week, while the next three where taken around Marina Bay, where I met some friends by complete fluke. Friends are great picture subjects, lets remember this.

2020-23-iiic-25
Mannequin

Saturday morning I met some fellow shutterbugs in Haji Lane. The two frames above were shot in a kind of artsy enclave where a  lot of murals can be found.

2020-23-iiic-26
The world’s on fire

The area is far less crowed than usual, but its still a busy place in the morning, with deliveries for local businesses, people having coffee or photographers bringing models to shoot with the colorful area as a backdrop.

2020-23-iiic-27
The dancer

We hijacked the model above, thanks, thanks, one shot and we move, my camera is so old, anyway.

2020-23-iiic-28
Haji Lane usual crowd

2020-23-iiic-33
That time of the year

We have entered the 7th month of the Chinese new year and offerings are appearing outside maybe businesses.

2020-23-iiic-35

Lets all go home safely hop you enjoyed the ride.

 

The new normal

CAFFENOL REBIRTH : WEEK 5 : SAME PLAYER SHOOT AGAIN

2020-22-iiic-4-16
Happy birthday Singapore

Processing film at home is a funny activity, actually it is a very modern one, inline with instant self rewarding of Instagram and phone-o-graphy.

2020-22-iiic-4-12
National Day under surveillance

So after 4 weeks wit the same brew, I decided it was time for fresh coffee. I followed the same recipe but added some table salt, which is supposed to limit the fogging on the negative, specially for high speed film like the Ilford Delta 400.

2020-22-iiic-4-14
National Day Party atmosphere with social distancing

I prepared the mix Sunday afternoon to be ready for processing in the evening, but actually I could not wait and loaded the finished roll I had in an improvised dark cupboard.

2020-22-iiic-4-15
Feels like holidays

I realized that my expired fixer is now all grey and contains a lot of flocculation. I try not to poor the deposit in the tank, but did not think of filtering. I fixed for the usual 5 minutes. Then I filtered the fixer back in the bottle.

2020-22-iiic-4-17
The three bunnies

It looked the film was fixed properly but there is some deposit in places. Next time I will filter before pouring and extend the fixing  time just to be safe.

2020-22-iiic-4-21
Art Science museum with bird

So I used the new mix at 28 degrees for a bit more than 5 minutes. The result is OK, but I would say a bit over done. I cannot tell if the table salt had any effect (I put 10g for a litter of Caffenol).

2020-22-iiic-4-22
Art Science museum with bird II

This time I managed to squeegee the water from the film without leaving dust or hair and let dry in the bathroom. The negatives are thick but scanned ok as you can see. There are some marks due to the residuals of the fixer I think.

2020-22-iiic-4-24
Her (distant) reflection

So this is a roll of Ilford Delta 400, supposed to be a fine grain film (compared to HP5), a bit cheaper than the usual TriX. The film lacks a bit of contrast  in my opinion.

2020-22-iiic-4-25
The photographer’s family

This was shot with the Leica IIIC and Voigtländer 21mm F4. With the 21mm the subject is always so far away.

2020-22-iiic-4-26
Anish Kapoor miror

Unless you come very close

2020-22-iiic-4-27
Martin and his Mamiya

In which case you make friends, or at least you have to engage.

2020-22-iiic-4-28
Social Distancing Ambassadors

I engaged the social distancing ambassadors, as I think they deserve to be remembered for their service to the community and that hopefully one day they will only be memories and we will look back at this picture to make sure this was not just a dream.

 

2020-22-iiic-4-08
Wefie

The shots around Marina bay were made by a very bright day and some are done at higher speeds for which I suspect the Leica III to be a bit lazy, hence the mild darker right side (or brighter left).

I included a few more shots back to my usual habit of burning film randomly.

2020-22-iiic-4-04
Starbucks-nol anybody?

2020-22-iiic-4-33
Soon to go Liang Court / Novotel building

2020-22-iiic-4-34
Good looking lad

I am still not so good at hip shooting, it seems I constantly aim too high. Luckily I realized I am not the only one.

2020-22-iiic-4-03

2020-22-iiic-4-35
Coffee again

I am a bit better at pre-focusing and aiming from the eye level. Particularly with my VC 21-25mm finder.

2020-22-iiic-4-36
The last walk of the Ents

I hope you enjoyed the reading. The next roll is not very far away.

Stay safe.

CAFFENOL REBIRTH : WEEK 5 : SAME PLAYER SHOOT AGAIN

CAFFENOL REBIRTH : WEEK 4 : Errare Humanum est

2020-21-M6-8-15
Happy Birthday SIngapore

Here I am back for the fourth week with my Caffenol. I intended this week to be the last of my first brew. I was encouraged by the last weeks experience and became a bit too bold maybe and alas the issues added to the issues.

2020-21-M6-8-22
Let’s go shopping

First for this last batch I chose to process a roll of Tri-x that I shot over the week end with friends and family. Tri-x is said to be not super Caffenol friendly and my first roll was not a massive success. How to calculate for both the estimates 7.3 minutes leading to over processing and the exhaustion of the Caffenol? I settled to try for a 6.3 minutes (including pouring in and pouring out time). To put odds on my side I also filtered the fixer that seemed to show some flocculation last week.

2020-21-M6-8-31
Tiong Bahru riders

Alas again the gods of the dark room were not with me today, and after fiddling for a while (in the dark) I managed to load the film incorrectly in the spool of my Patterson tank. And the result is here : half of my roll is not processed. As I write it I think  could have put it back in the Caffenol, but actually I just binned it. Well we learn by our mistakes, so I will have to iron out this process. All in all I may only have loaded 10 to 15 rolls in my life.

2020-21-M6-8-27
The Scalper

The film shows a bit of reticulation, but I think it may be the tap water used to rince the film, may have been to warm (tap let on hot after the washing up). Also it i snot as clean as my first negs so on top of it maybe the Caffenol need also to be filtered.

2020-21-M6-8-17

Anyway, I think the point is that my negative looks ok, so 6 minutes 30 seconds in 3 weeks old caffenol is OK for processing Tri-x and also maybe the caffenol can last 4 weeks?

2020-21-M6-8-16
The umbrella academy

2020-21-M6-8-21
Mirror ok my mirror

2020-21-M6-8-24

2020-21-M6-8-32
Refection in Tiong Nahru

2020-21-M6-8-33

2020-21-M6-8-35
The small Tiong Bahru Durian stall

2020-21-M6-8-29
That’s what a partially destroyed picture looks like

CAFFENOL REBIRTH : WEEK 4 : Errare Humanum est

Caffenol rebirth : week 3

I am pushing my luck by trying the my brew from two weeks ago again this Sunday.

First things first, shooting a bit of film. The weather is not improving and I did not had a chance to shoot much this past week. So this morning I loaded the old Agfa Isolette with a roll of Rollei 80s (my favourite film) and hit the road in direction of Arab street with a detour by Little India to finish the roll of Acros I processed last week.

The Agfa uncouple rangefinder is no longer working so distance are guestimated. I also use the EM-01 KEKS light meter.

For processing I used the two week sold Caffenol stored in a green bottle in the shade at ambient temperature (more or  less 28 C). I think it turned out quite well (5 minutes processing at 28 degrees, 30 second inversions then 3 inversions every minute). The negatives are of average thickness, maybe I could have added 30 seconds. The caffenol is now old and this is the 3rd film processed with this batch.

I made a fatal mistake by wiping the film with my kitchen towel, lot of dust I had to clone in Photoshop. I will have to find how to do this properly. The fixer is starting o have some deposit. Maybe it wont last after the next couple of films.

Plans for next roll is to start a new batch of caffenol to see if the process is repeatable.

Caffenol rebirth : week 3

Caffenol Rebirth : perseverare humanum est

2020-19-M4-3-01
We roll models

So what happened since last post and the “Caffenol rebirth” ; well nothing much happened in town nor to myself, so I shot half a roll of Fuji Across, mostly Saturday

2020-19-M4-3-03
Lonely dinner

Last Sunday I pour my Caffenol in a bottle of green glass (Perrier) and kept in just in case.

2020-19-M4-3-05
Gelato

So tonight I was restless and I decide to give Caffenol another try.

2020-19-M4-3-06
Buddha Tooth Relic Temple

2020-19-M4-3-07
Time for a nap

2020-19-M4-3-08
or catching up with th enews

2020-19-M4-3-10
Chinatown is her catwalk

As I did not finish my roll, I opened the Leica M4 in the dark, fiddle a bit with the film and managed to cut a 1 cm lead for the rest of the roll and unload the 22 first shots from the camera. I then loaded it in the Paterson tank and proceed as last week.

2020-19-M4-3-11

2020-19-M4-3-13
The lovely newly weds from China

2020-19-M4-3-14
That way

Massive Development chart give me again 6’44 @ 28 deg, for 100 ISO Accross, the Tri-x was overcooked last week, but that was 400ISO, so I though that I should give it a try, but actually I emptied the tank at 6’14.

2020-19-M4-3-16
Time for a trim

2020-19-M4-3-17
Double ciggie break

The film is still dense, but can be seen through in normal light. Probably some of this is due to the coffee coloration (I can see if is brownish), so for the next 12 shost I will cut the time down by maybe another 30 or 45 seconds.

2020-19-M4-3-18
Social distancing

2020-19-M4-3-19
Orchard back-light

I kept the Caffenol again, I read you can keep for 6 or 8 weeks. Without being so extreme, if I can use one batch for my monthly shooting this changes the economics of it totally, at 2$ a roll this is a no brainer. Plus it is amazing to have all the products ready and go through the motion in about 45 minutes.

2020-19-M4-3-21
My new fav model

Ok so now I’ve been through this roll what is the conclusion. It looks quite good for what it is, no reticulation, reasonable grain, the contrast is quite good.

2020-19-M4-3-22
Walking in the sunshine

This was also measured using my new Keks EM01 ligh meter.

2020-19-M4-3-02
A COVID hero back from work

Caffenol Rebirth : perseverare humanum est

The lock down roll

2020-16-M6-7-02
Banana-ah-ah

This is not actually a full roll of the lock-down, I did not shoot much and probably on the first 20 frames of this roll.

2020-16-M6-7-03
Cooking for take away only

This is a roll of Kodak Tri-x shot with the Leica M6 classic and the Summicron 35mm Asph vII.

2020-16-M6-7-04
Deserted hawker center

The first part of the roll was taken on a Saturday around lunch time in the Balestier area. Shops were half closed, hawkers were deserted and the rare shoppers wearing masks.

2020-16-M6-7-07
The masked shopper

Little traffic rare cyclist allowed not to ear masked while ridding, life seemed to have come to a halt under the scorching sun. We had dreadful weather for a while, but the day I go out at lunchtime with a 400 ISO film, I am forced to shoot at F1/500 and F16.

2020-16-M6-7-08
The unmasked rider

There is always a nice outcome : I stumbled across the coffee shop below, I first stopped to take a shot (the symmetry of the arrangement caught my eye), then the chord bring the entry puzzled me and finally I bought some coffee. I usually use some arabica in my old Moka machine but they sell only robusta. In the end for a bit more than 5SGD for 250 grams that was a ok deal.

2020-16-M6-7-10
The old style coffee shop

Of course life is full of encounters, an sometime you meet fellow Leica Shooters

2020-16-M6-7-13
Another M6 with 50mm cron

I am no sure that Grab food riders made a fortune during the lock-down (my good sense tells me otherwise), but they were ubiquitous during the period and thanks to them we managed to have entertaining food at our table. (Thanks guys and gals).

2020-16-M6-7-15
The ubiquitous Grab food rider

2020-16-M6-7-17
Hawker at work

2020-16-M6-7-18
Tiger’s haunt

2020-16-M6-7-36
The other unmasked rider

As no many activity goes on to finish the film I walked the places where people were going out to exercise or just take a bit of fresh air while respecting the prescribed social distancing procedures. It is funny how here again  you meet some acquaintances.

2020-16-M6-7-23
A well known Leica figure caught during his jogging (hard to resist)

The Singapore river was usually packed with joggers and cyclist, we  will surely do great at next Olympics when they eventually happen. The Marina Bay Area, though not empty was really a lot quieter that it used to be.

2020-16-M6-7-26
Sorry ladies can you get out of my the view

2020-16-M6-7-27
MBS in black and white

Skaters did had much problems crossing big roads carelessly.

The last few shots where taken after the lock down when we entered what was known as phase 1 and now phase 2. More freedom to roam around, retail shops reopening, still as nothing exceptional is happening, back to my usual vice : random shots of people in the streets, preferably with masks.

2020-16-M6-7-332020-16-M6-7-322020-16-M6-7-22

Hope you enjoyed the roll. I manage 38 shots on this roll again, unfortunately the process suffers from reticulation (same as the one I took a couple of month back ), I ll tell about it to the photo shop and maybe i ll try to process the films myself going forward.

 

The lock down roll