Oh my Oh my. We are in March already and here is my last B&W roll of 2021, where was I? Well not shooting for sure, as I just brought my first roll of 2022 to the lab. Well time flies, photography is one of the losers in the adjustment to my new life.
Anyway, last roll of 2021, shot in December in France, first 4 shots in Paris, next 5 in Cannes, the others in Antibes.
This is a single roll of Ilford HP5+, still hand rolled from the 30 meters roll I bought last year in Singapore. Pictures were taken with the M6 classic with the Elmar 50F3.5 or the Summicron 35 Asph v2. Oh by the way that’s not my last roll of 2021, no no no sir, I quickly shot a roll of expired Portra 400 at the end of December, but I am not sure there are enough shots to share on that one, or maybe yes I ll do next week.
I am a slow shooter and a slower poster. So here is a roll shot in late October / November 2021 in London and in Paris for the last few shots.
I am sure the film was from my 30m meters roll of Ilford HP5, and shot with the Leica M6. I cannot se so sure about the lens.
The roll was processed by AnalogueFilms in Shoreditch again. I had to explain a bit that the film was not what was said on the canister, but I think the message passed across. They were also very kind and gave me a handful of empty canisters that I will replenish with more HP5.
The first three shots were taken during a long walk from Knightsbridge to Borough Market, the one above and the one below were taken another week around Covent Garden. The guy above was having some kind of practical joke with friends.
Then we went to Paris for the last week of November, from now on I used the Elmarit 50 only on the M6.
We are all kids in front of the Galleries Lafayette Christmas display.
After leaving Paris, I travelled to my hometown of Cannes, famous for its festival, the beaches and its beautiful weather.
Cannes also boasts two main harbours, filled with oversized yachts but also with fishermen’s boats as in the two pictures above showing some traditional fishing boats called “pointus”.
The end of the bay on the east side is called la Pointe Croisette and hosts the casino named “Palm Beach”, whose name is sometime used to designate the area. The casino is under renovation, and for those with a culture in French cinema, the crane you see is located where the famous swimming pool of “Melodie en Sous Sol” was located.
Cannes is not just for stars : locals still play the “petanque”
And not all drive Rolls Royces.
A tiny Autobianchi can be found on the harbour (in excellent condition)
There was a lot of activity along the beach this year. Some relax, some have to work, thats life.
All shots with Leica M262 and 35mm Summicron Asph v2 or Elmar 50mmF3.5 ltm, what else do you need?
If you read the last two posts, you get that I fell in love with Paris for the second time (or the third maybe, one shall not count when it comes to love).
So this is my last post of the digital shots made with the M262 and the Elmar 50 or the Summicron 35.
You guess by this last sentence that there are indeed some analogue shots of Paris but that will be for another post.
Goldilocks’ car a pre WWII Citroen Rosalie I think
6 or 7 weeks after these pictured le M11 is out and the M262 really feels like an antique. But I still really like it, faithful device, my goto camera.
I did not go camera shopping in Paris. Err, ok I went to the Leica shop on the Faubourg Saint Honoré, to check on the film MP prices in France. This camera is a beauty, but do I really need it? Ah let’s wait a bit longer…
Probably translate literally to “Boss pour us a little one, we are thirsty”. Paris and its bistro’s could fill a life of photography.
I travelled to Paris in November last year for the first time in more than 10 years, the main reason being that I left the last 14 years on the other side of the planet. We were blessed with nice weather for the first part of our stay.
It was real fun being a tourist in a city I leaved for in the late 80’s. Like London, it takes me a little time to adjust and turn my eye to the local subjects and actually press the shutter, but there are really plenty of subjects here.
I carried my usual set in Paris, the M262 and the M6, but due to some luggae constraints I only carried two lenses : the Summicron 35mm Asph v2 and the vintage screw mount Elmar 50mmF3.5.
The Summicron is as always a great performer, and the Elmar is very pleasant. I must say the aperture adjustment at the front of the lens is a pain on a film camera without meter, but with the M6 or even better with the M262 set on auto mode, its no longer a problem.
Yes subjects are plenty in Paris, the sites, the people, the tourists, there is always something to shoot. I found there are also a lot of smaller shops that in London, which are making nice subjects.
Of course I was blessed being there during Christmas season where a lot of decorations are making the city even more attractive.
Below a few more random pictures. I have a couple more sets on Paris to come and in a few weeks, some analogue shots will come up.
If read until now you deserve me to whish you a happy new year, keep on shooting and may the light be with you.
Finally after 11years of a fulfilling relationship I am letting him go. If you read this blog regularly you probably wonder where this camera has been all that time because I don’t think it appears in a single post over the last 4 or 5 years. Actually checking my papers, I realized I had it service 5 years ago and did not used it much since.
I have carried this guy all over Asia and took so many pictures that it is difficult to pic some to illustrate what looks like a eulogy. Mind you with 42000 actuations, it has not been abused and his new owner can make a few shots with it.
The D700 has been a beast of its own kind, the first and last, prosumer camera, which could handle most of Nikon lenses. It supported the road well and gives confidence that whenever you press the shutter something at least acceptable will go out.
Of course I lugged around big amounts of heavy glass, this is what you get using a DSLR, and spare battery and multiple cards.
The D700 was quickly outdated though, the usable ISO range was limited to 3200, which by today’s standard is pretty low and the noise or banding in low light was not always nice. Hence the purchase of fast glass, 50mmF1.8, 85mmF1.8, and so on. Ok I must say my current digital camera has the same max ISO so that criteria has not worked much for me.
So why did I stop using such a nice camera? Well first I have started shooting more film over the years, and falling in the rangefinder trap, I purchased a digital M 5 years ago and here we are. I must say I do not shoot that much with the digital M outside of travels, events or parties (so not much recently). I generally shoot film for my casual street photography. The M is in no way technically superior to the D700, they are from the same technological generation, but if you are not a pro the experience and the results are more fulfilling.
So over the last period the D700 has been used only to shoot events which now are becoming fewer and fewer so I came to a point where I had the choice to let it rot in the its box or part from it.
So I managed to find the original box with all the cables doc and everything and even the original bag from the shop, and here in the beautiful gold box goes the D700, 2 batteries, 7 card, and the 50F1.8D in its own gold box. I have already sold last year the 80-200F1.8D, the 17-35F2.8D and the 85F1.8D, all boxed. I only have 2 gold boxes left, one for SB600 flash, that is compatible with the M and one for the 50mmF1.4AIS that I use on the Nikon F3. Don’t worry I also have some AI lenses around a F3 and F bodies, so I did not let Nikon go completely.
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.
So the pictures from Phuket are underexposed by 4 stops, but end up being quite exploitable , the colors are still pleasant. Nice job Kodak.
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.
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.
Of course the shot above is a hip shot where distance has been guesstimated, so it does not prove much.
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.
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.
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.
The lizard also is is focus, though small.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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)
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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 .
Back light as the sunset if approaching the metering works great.
Street / beach scene, another nice action by the F3 meter.
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.
And we reach Wat Karon the local temple.
Inside the temple we just missed the lunch of the monks , normally no later than 11am. Pity.
From the seaside at Karon we took a taxi to visit Phuket Big Buddha, a seated Maravija Buddha.
It is big indeed, like 40 meters high.
Here as well the light was very powerful, so maximum shutter speed and min apperture.
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.
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.
Best shot of the roll was the first one, on the evening of the arrival, this man was barbecuing meet outside of the market.
This also is a roll of Tri-X 400 shot with the Leica M6, and the Summicron 50mm v5.
The market is small but large enough to shop with your moped.
The market though small has several entrances making for interesting lights (not that I may have used it).
Outside the market the area is very lively with street sellers, small shops and all.
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.
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.
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.
As usual, the M6 is most often mounted with the 50 cron, that ensures a reasonable distance for candid shots.
Street side food vendors and their patrons are still a great subject.
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.
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.
After the service an orchestra was playing outside.
A good opportunity for selfies.
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.
We then walk north in direction of Long Bien bridge, going through the old quarter.
Among many, I met these local photographers and we took shots of each others.
Finally we made it to Long Ben bridge.
Where I met the two young film photographers below.
Hey this was a long post. Be reassured the next roll is not as good.