My Last roll of Polypan 50

Summer holidays are just a memory now and after much procrastination, here is one of the rolls shot in this happy time (12th Roll of the year)

This is a roll of Polypan 50 shot at 100 ISO with the faithful M6 Classic and some Cron or another but most probably the 50mm v5. I have asked the lab to push one stop as this roll was given to me quite a few years back now by a friend in Singapore.

The street scenes are shot in Ai- en-Provence where I spend a couple of days with my family in August. The sun was hitting pretty hard which is quite ok for a low speed film.

You already know I am not too technical, but here we go for the techie moment: The Polypan 50 lacks a anti-halation layer ( I think it means no protection from the light bouncing from the back of the camera); this makes it glow in some areas, making the images a bit old time and dreamy. I also quite like the rather profound blacks, although not as much as in the Rollei retro 80s.

The edges of the fountain are really glowing here you see what I mean.

Aix is quite picturesque, but the next day we went to Chateau Lacoste, a magnificent estate 40 minutes drive from Aix, with Michelin starred chef restaurants, a vineyard, an entrance building made by Tadao Ando and dozens of art works spread in the garden.

Yes the music pavilion was made by FRANK O. GEHRY

Oh no that’s just a barrel.

A beautiful tractor

The olive tree
Yes that’s a Richard Long

More trees
A dirty spaceship
Art work in progress

Really worth visiting, I ll post more shots in the next posts.

Oh I lost track of the Polypan roll, well I think it aged a bit it seems there are marks here and there that are not common to processing issues, so I guess this is a bit of an experimental roll. For such a slow speed film it is a bit grainy, but all in all I really like it.

My Last roll of Polypan 50

Biarritz in Black and White

So holidays were not over by then and I was still in Biarritz with the Leica M6 and a couple of Summicrons (35 and 50) when I loaded my second roll of Cinestill XX ( purchased in Aperture UK shop in London).

The Market

I think I changed the roll around the market, so some pictures of this place can be found on my previous post.

Markets are different that in Asia a Singaporean friend told me, Same same but different I reply. Goods, people, food, money,… all the same.

I found this set a bit flat to my taste, although the light was great that day, and it was still reasonably early.

I made the mistake not to ask the lab to scan in high res, so this format is the one at which I got my negs. I will have to rescan them but probably not immediately. I think the low res scan adds to the grain, but maybe I am wrong.

To go or not to go that is the question

Biarritz has a market and also a seaside famous for surfing.

Nah not enough waves
Baywatch

It has sometime a bay watch vibe.

Surf is family thing here
Cal look

Biarritz in Black and White

Last black and white shots of 2021

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.

Hope you enjoyed watching…

Last black and white shots of 2021

LONDON 2021 ROLL#3

The painter

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.

She was there is the sunlight

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.

Planking

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.

Select your Chanel (Harrods London)
Martin Margiela window
Back from another later afternoon walk

Then we went to Paris for the last week of November, from now on I used the Elmarit 50 only on the M6.

A vigil for Virgil Abloh in front of Louis Vuitton

We are all kids in front of the Galleries Lafayette Christmas display.

Inside the Galleries Lafayette
Good Bye, two more rolls to process to finish 2021!

Hope you enjoyed the reading.

LONDON 2021 ROLL#3

On the French Riviera

After leaving Paris, I travelled to my hometown of Cannes, famous for its festival, the beaches and its beautiful weather.

It did not disappoint its son. The weather was perfect, mostly bright blue skies all the time and a far warmer climate that Paris (or London).

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)

And a 1950’s Peugeot 203 can be found driving around (slightly less good condition).

There was a lot of activity along the beach this year. Some relax, some have to work, thats life.

The sunsets on these winter days were often breath-taking.

All shots with Leica M262 and 35mm Summicron Asph v2 or Elmar 50mmF3.5 ltm, what else do you need?

On the French Riviera

Bye Bye Paris

Paris by night

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).

Palais Royal

So this is my last post of the digital shots made with the M262 and the Elmar 50 or the Summicron 35.

Goldilocks was here

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

To each his (her) own

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.

The model and her phographers.
False hopes?

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…

That week Josephine Baker made it to the Panthéon. A bit of history captured here.
Patron un p’tit coup on a soif

Probably translate literally to “Boss pour us a little one, we are thirsty”. Paris and its bistro’s could fill a life of photography.

Paris by night again and again
Bye Bye Paris

Bye bye, but don’t be sad I will be back soon.

Bye Bye Paris

Paris – November 2021

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.

Paris – November 2021

So long old friend

Or how I parted from my Nikon D700.

My beloved and trustworthy D700 on his the day of his departure

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.

Kolkata (50mmF1.8D)

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.

How An (Angenieux 70-210 )

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.

Seoul (17-35 F2.8)

Of course I lugged around big amounts of heavy glass, this is what you get using a DSLR, and spare battery and multiple cards.

Singapore (Angenieux 75-210)

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.

Varanassi (80-200F2.8)

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.

Nepal (80-200 F2.8)

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.

Burma (50mmF1.8D)

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.

Udaipur Rajastan
Sri Lanka (80-200F2.8D)
So long old friend

THE NIKON F3 : DOES IT FOCUS OR NOT

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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.

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Inside the shrine

 

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Karon football stadium

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Karon football stadium

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A resort in Karon

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Karon beach scene

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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.

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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.

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Lost in Chinatown

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Yellow throat lizard

The lizard also is is focus, though small.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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)

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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 .

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

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

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Speeding in speedos.

 

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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.

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Asoline ?

And we reach Wat Karon the local temple.

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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.

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It is big indeed, like 40 meters high.

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

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Family praying the Big Buddha

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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