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

Cho Cau Long market Hanoi

2019-39-M6-24-20

This is a follow up of the first roll shot in Hanoi (here). On the way back to Sapa, we stopped in the area from Hanoi which is close to the lake for a single night, lucky enough thee was this nice market next door.

2019-39-M6-24-6

Best shot of the roll was the first one, on the evening of the arrival, this man was barbecuing meet outside of the market.

2019-39-M6-24-12
Mother and son breakfast before school (I just imagine)

This also is a roll of Tri-X 400 shot with the Leica M6, and the Summicron 50mm v5.

2019-39-M6-24-14

 

2019-39-M6-24-15

2019-39-M6-24-16

The market is small but large enough to shop with your moped.

2019-39-M6-24-17

2019-39-M6-24-19

2019-39-M6-24-18
Toufu stall

The market though small has several entrances making for interesting lights (not that I may have used it).

2019-39-M6-24-22

Outside the market the area is very lively with street sellers, small shops and all.

2019-39-M6-24-10
Street fruit seller

 

2019-39-M6-24-23
Street flower seller

On the fringe of the old quarter this is a nice area to visit, a lot of small hotels, shops, an further out you can walk to the lake are.

 

Cho Cau Long market Hanoi

Christmas in Vietnam (Roll 1)

2019-38-M6-23-4
I think this one  is a great cover.

So off to Vietnam for Xmas 2019, for a bit of chilling time over Christmas. In the bag, the usual kit, M262, M6, 28,35 and 50 crons and of course a couple of Tri-x rolls.

2019-38-M6-23-5

Hanoi is a great place to shoot. People are friendly and generally not photo  adverse. There are so many pictures to take, that if you cannot take one, just walk to the next.

2019-38-M6-23-7

As usual, the M6 is most often mounted with the 50 cron, that ensures a reasonable distance for candid shots.

2019-38-M6-23-9

Street side food vendors and their patrons are still a great subject.

2019-38-M6-23-10

I was last in Hanoi 10 years ago and the traffic has not changed, crossing the roads still feels like an adventure and motorcycles are omnipresent.

2019-38-M6-23-11

We arrived late on Christmas eve, so our first outing was a walk to Saint Joseph Cathedral on Christmas day. The mass was already going on when we reached and people were standing outside of the church. 2019-38-M6-23-12

After the service an orchestra was playing outside.

2019-38-M6-23-13

2019-38-M6-23-14

A good opportunity for selfies.

2019-38-M6-23-16

We walked down to the Metropole hotel, where the two Citroen below are standing guard. I stayed there 10 years ago, and at that time  they could be sent to fetch you from the airport in style.2019-38-M6-23-17

2019-38-M6-23-20
Grab delivery men are ubiquitous through the city

We then walk north in direction of Long Bien bridge, going through the old quarter.2019-38-M6-23-21

Among many, I met these local photographers and we took shots of each others.

2019-38-M6-23-23

2019-38-M6-23-242019-38-M6-23-252019-38-M6-23-262019-38-M6-23-282019-38-M6-23-312019-38-M6-23-322019-38-M6-23-33

Finally we made it to Long Ben bridge.

2019-38-M6-23-37

Where I met the two young film photographers below.

2019-38-M6-23-34

Hey this was a long post. Be reassured the next roll is not as good.

Christmas in Vietnam (Roll 1)

Australia on slide (Ektachrome Leica M6)

Holidays are (were) here, once again I was very excited at the perspective of having something different to shoot (or just something extra, or just something). Something different this time was Australia, a family trip to the Coral Reef and Ayers Rock

2019-31-M6-20-7
This is the … err the rusty stuff in the sea

As usual now I picked up the travel kit in my travel bag (3 year old Wotancraft scout) : The Leica M262 and Leica M6, plus a few lenses, 28 / 35 / 50 Summicrons and also the 90mm Elmarit. I know that’s a bit too much, but hey you don’t travel these places every week.

2019-31-M6-20-2
Green Island jetty

I was quite excited to shot a roll of Kodak Ektachrome. This is my third roll and I quite like it. I an not a great landscape photographer, but I had to give it by best shot.

2019_30_M6_19_36
Seascape with dead wood

Most of the shots here are done with the 28mm Summicron Asph V1.

2019_31_M6_21_15
The models

I could jest by saying my recipe to shoot slide is : load the roll, removes the lens cap, aim, shoot. But that’s pretty is actually, the M6 meter is accurate (I changed the batteries before the holidays).

2019_31_M6_21_16
Chinese tourists at the beach

100 ISO is great for full daylight, still it was very bright, I cannot recall exactly, but a lot of shots where around 1/250 and F11.

2019_31_M6_21_28
Dive boats at sunset

The next best thing to shooting the the seascape is looking at sunsets. I often mock shooting sunsets, a bit cheesy, yeah yeah, but when its nice, its nice.

2019_31_M6_21_18
The jetty

And the slide film is doing a good job in this case as well. Mettering was a bit more on the guesstimate side. It was a bit easy for me because I made the guesstimate work with the M240, so I did not lost many shots doing the above and the next one.

2019_31_M6_21_23
The sunset

Final sunset with drinks at the jetty above before heading back to Cairns the next day, and hanging around a couple days there before reading to Ayers Rock.

2019_31_M6_21_33
Uluru in the evening light

Ayers rock is a beautiful place, at that time of the year (late October) but very hot (40 degrees Celsius), the colors are gorgeous. We had a very short stay there, so we did what we could.

2019_31_M6_21_24
Uluru

We walked around the rock at lunchtime and dined under the stars.

2019_31_M6_21_30

Uluru is surely a superb place, beautiful, magic to a certain extent, maybe not as toutching as other places I have been to, but maybe I did not stay long enough.

2019_31_M6_21_31
The rock

And finally before you ask, I was in Uluru after the rock was closed from climbing, and would I have been there the week before I would have not climbed it.

2019_31_M6_21_32
A beautiful gorge along the rock

Finally I shot a single roll during that week. The rest is digital and maybe that would be for another post.

2019_31_M6_21_34
Sunset over Kata Kuja

Meanwhile, visit Australia and shoot film.

Australia on slide (Ektachrome Leica M6)

A tour around Taipei

I am cleaning a bit of my backlog, and found on my work-space some remaining pictures of our Taiwan trip back in Feb/March.

The only day we decided to take a tour with our friendly guide was also the only rainy day of the trip so it ends up being a no so great experience.

L1007152

We took off from our hotel in Daan and headed to the North West, to visit what I believe is the Wufeng Lin Family Mansion and Garden. A historical house and garden from a rich Taiwanese family.

L1007141

This is a very nicely preserved house, a quite interesting visit, not a good as the Lin Family mansion in Banqiao  district but still a nice thing to see.

L1007145

L1007155L1007149L1007148

We then drove down to see the change of the guard at the National Revolutionary Martyrs’ Shrine, but we arrived too late, and the rain started. Continuing further west we stopped in Beitou, a suburb of Taipei known for its hot springs

L1007170

The place made its living through mining and hospitality, including bath and spas.

L1007162

There is a very nice museum is an old bath house, including the beautiful pool below.

L1007178

At this point we headed along the Tamsui River to the fisherman’s wharf for lunch. We did not find anything much exciting, had a sandwich and then a long walk, without rain, before finding our car again.

L1007188

The last stop was Tamsui old street, that we reached after visiting the interesting Fort San Domingo, showing an interesting display of the colonial times. By then the weather started to be very.

L1007194

We nevertheless spent a good hour walking along the Tamsui River and through the old street with a stop at the beautiful Longshan temple, above and below.

L1007195

Finally, after a nice Taiwan beer in a dry place, we happily headed back to the city and our hotel ( probably the rain stopped along the way ).

All shots Leica M262, Summicron 28/50/35, it was another day where the weather was not enticing to pull out the M6 and play with two cameras.

A tour around Taipei

A rainy afternoon at Barbican Estate – London

L1008013One of the thinks I wanted to visit during my last trip to London was Barbican Center.

The estate is an example of Britsh Brutalist architecture built between the 1960s in an area once devastated by World War II bombings. Opened in 1969 and is now home to around 4,000 people living in 2,014  apartments. The residential estate consists of three tower blocks and 13 terrace blocks. You can read more at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barbican_Estate

L1008017

I cant remember having been there in my many trips to London when I was younger, I probably spent most of my time around Camden, Soho and Portobello road.

L1008028

I finally reached the place on a rainy afternoon ; weather and timing were no really photography friendly. I did not take any film shots and I think I only used the 35 and 35 summicrons. I regret not having pulled out the M6 loaded with Tri-x from the bag, but it was really feeling cold and wet at the time

L1008037

The place is really majestuous in its own way, it has been shot many times and its probably great for on location shots. The brutalist style is characterized by the usage of concrete on the outside parts of the buildings.

L1008022

There are a lot of different constructions, passages and angles which can provide a great variety of subjects.

L1008039

How to get there? Easy : Barbican is an underground stop on the Circle line, Hammersmith & City line and Metropolitan line.

L1008033

A lot of details of the architecture and decoration are surely work a look as the lift lobby above (where does this flare come from?)

L1008012

There are plenty of resources online about the estate, even some BBC programs about life in the estate.

L1008045

All shots taken with Leica M262 and summicrons 28mm Asph v1 and 35mm Asph v2

L1008043

A rainy afternoon at Barbican Estate – London

Taoist ceremony in Dihua old street – Taipei – Taiwan

L1007010

I was very lucky last march in Taipei to stumble upon this Taoist ceremony while visiting the Dihua street area with my family and local friends.

L1007013

I must admit my ignorance of Taoism, so I will not comment much here. Teh following blog post contains quite interesting information on Taoism in Singapore :

http://weecheng.com/singapore/9eg/index.htm

L1007021

Various groups are parading their idols or images of gods around the area of Taipei Xiahai City God Temple.

L1007029L1007031L1007034L1007038L1007042

Most of the groups as below have musicians, Taoism is noisy and colorful, I learned this a long time ago when I arrived in Singapore.

L1007046L1007049L1007051

This group has gods puppets dance in front of the temple.

L1007070L1007073L1007080L1007094L1007098L1007108

Another group was composed of young people dressed as what looks lie warriors.

L1007125

 

L1007128L1007130L1007133

This group traditionally rock the sedan chair when the image of the god is carried, portraying their struggle with the superhuman force possessing the chair once the god has come to posses its image.

L1007136

L1007085
Taipei Xiahai City God Temple

All shots with Leica M262 and Summicron 50v4 or 35Asphv2

 

Taoist ceremony in Dihua old street – Taipei – Taiwan

London on Film

2019-22-M6-15-12

I spent a week in London recently with my family and brought the usual travel kit (Leica M, M262 and the Summicrons 28mm Asp, 35 Asph v2 and 50mmv5), I brought a nice set of films but in the end I did not shoot much, only a roll of TriX and half a roll of Portra  400. And on digital as we are here I took a mere 300 shots.

2019-22-M6-15-10

Looking at the TriX shots I am quite pleased; as usually they have been dropped for processing at Ruby photo in Singapore and scanned at home ; but when I was there I was a bit puzzled about what or who to shoot.

2019-22-M6-15-05

On one hand I am so used to travel in Asia that I am a bit lost in European cities, I am not sure about people reactions to the camera (I like candid shots), but also I think the whole way the big city works need so getting used to. So a bit of frustration. Maybe also my expectations were a bit too high, who knows.

2019-22-M6-14-5

London as changed a lot since I was last there 14 years ago. The south bank area is so lively now, also packed with tourists and street performers.

2019-22-M6-14-16

Asian tourists selfy-ing themselves are everywhere, but that’s the same all over the planet. Here at the Borough Market, a place that I never saw before, this is definitely a good area to shoot.

2019-22-M6-15-02

2019-22-M6-15-04

There are many food stalls there.

2019-22-M6-15-15

Some attractions on South Bank are using old lorries that are worth a shot imo. I only realized today that the London eye was reflecting on the bonnet of the lorry, I would have framed it better if I have known.

2019-22-M6-15-30

A morning stroll in SOHO, is also a nice opportunity for people shooting.2019-22-M6-15-22

2019-22-M6-15-24

Or just window shopping.2019-22-M6-15-27

In the places I never visited before was Ealing Broadway, home of the Ealing Studios who produce(s/d) cinema and television shows.

2019-22-M6-15-28

Finally another happy discovery was Old Spitalfields Market that I visited the day of the vintage records market.

2019-22-M6-15-352019-22-M6-15-322019-22-M6-15-33

A couple more Portra shots below:

2019-22-M6-14-8

 

2019-22-M6-14-9

London on Film

Not shooting much in Naoshima

L1005254
Kusama Iconic Pumpkin in Naoshima

Naoshima is an island town in Japan’s Seto Inland Sea, it has been a long time project to go there, as it hosts several arts museum built by Tadao Ando as well as a famous hotel made by the same architect.

L1005244

This year we finally made the trip to Osaka and on the way to Hiroshima we stopped at Naoshima. Getting there seems difficult at first, but in the end it is quite easy, you take the train either to Takamatsu or to Tamano and ferry to the island.

L1005267

The Benese house hotel is full 6 months in advance so we had no chance to stay there. We then decided to sleep in Takamatsu and take a ferry for a day trip in Naoshima. Takamatsu is a secondary town, with a big hotel “JR Clement” (a bit expensive for what you get) and a few restaurants where you can manage in english. It also hosts the garden-museum of Isam Nogushi which is well worth the visit.

L1005283

A day is Naoshima is probably enough, the Chichu museum hosts some art pieces made to measure and the Benese house museum has an awesome collection of modern and contemporary art. The Lee Ufan museum is also worth the visit, although less well know if you are not into minimalist art. We took a bus to the Chichu Museum with is the furthest palace from the ferry and walked our way back from there.

L1005285

The subtle architecture of Tadao Ando is beautiful and invite to meditation. All the buildings are no photo, so you will see here no photos of the them. And I must say I did not miss being surrounded by people taking selfies, not that the place is packed though.

L1005274

The rest of the island contains minor exhibitions in some traditional houses and some outdoors installations.

L1005240

We spent a nicely filled 10 hours there and probably enjoyed most of it. Time to take the ferry back to Takamatsu

L1005300

 

L1005210

Pictures shot with Leica M262 and Summicron 28/35 or 50.

Not shooting much in Naoshima