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

Leica M240 – A rented friend for a lonely week end (Day two, Saturday)

So Saturday I woke up pretty excited and checked the dream was true and the M240 was still on my desk : yes it was. I am not a pro and no capacity of doing any technical test; all I am interested is to see how the camera feels and how it fares for my usual type of shooting. So I have planned a kind of tour of Singapore for the week-end, visiting some of the places where I often go when I am free and in shooting mood.

This morning direction Chinatown, in walking distance from my place. I still have the Summilux on the camera and I’ll keep it for the whole day.

First stop at the Tan Si Chong Su chinese temple, to take some pictures of sculptures and decorations. Here comes the first revelation of the day : the original Leitz filter of the Summilux is hazy! This beautiful peace of metal and glass that goes for a fortune on ebay is just no good. I never spotted it on film. So the filter goes in the pocket and I go on with my walk.

 

On the way to Chinatown if the popular area of People’s Park Comples with many eateries like the above roasted duck store. The quality in subdued light is nice and I would day the color rendering is perfect to my taste.

Getting into the Chinatown Complex, I walk to the wet market where you can find a lot of different things, including frogs and turtles. The above is quite sharp with focus on the eye of the frog on the left.

Fish stalls are the most attractive, but for vegetarians you can also find vegetables stalls. The above shot is my favorite, but as someone pointed out lacks of sharpness.

At this point I must give my second conclusion of the day: I messed up with the auto ISO and the Aperture mode. I was happy to find this mode on the M240 and the M9 because this is how  like to shoot in the Nikon world, however here because of my lack of knowledge of the settings, the camera chose some ridiculous low speeds instead of cranking up the ISO. So a lot of my indoors shots are lacking crispness because of minor camera shake.

 

Outside of the Chinatown Complex is an area where older men are playing Chinese chess and checkers. It is always a delight to shoot the game.

 

The Summilux close and wide open

It is quite nice to have such a small camera, people are not afraid of it, it does not look out of place like my D700 would. All in all I look like a tourist with a retro looking compact digital camera.

Back in the Chinatown complex, I head for the food center (In Singapore life revolves around food) for  a drink (Sugar Cane juice) and browse through the stalls of the hawkers. Here again my pictures suffered from the same issue with speed and ISO.

 

Life is not only about photography and I must go on the other side of town to have lunch with a friend and collect my bike. Cycling home, I have a nap and head for a traditional show later in the afternoon. On the way some young dudes are doing some graffiti on Somerset skate park.

 

The pictures of the show are useless but that’s nothing to do with the camera.

This first real day of shooting was great, this is a nice camera for what I am usually doing. There is nothing that I do not like. Some small remarks:

– yes I should have known, but this is not really a camera for close range, the minimum range for the rangefinder is about 1 meter so it is not great for shooting food or firend over the lunch table

– on the Summilux it takes a while to adjust from close to far; I much prefer the quick focus of the Elmarit or the Summicron; I will have to try a Cron 50 or 35

– unlike it has been said in some reviews I did not hit the “M” (movie) button once,

– the On-Off button is very easy to use,

– my half case however press on the live view button and this is a bit annoying

 

Leica M240 – A rented friend for a lonely week end (Day two, Saturday)

Leica M240 – A rented friend for a lonely week end (Day one, Friday)

This is it, I finally found a way to get my hands on a Leica M240 without breaking the piggy bank : I have rented it for a week-end. I never really thought of renting camera gear, but actually that makes a lot of sense. I managed to have 3 days to play around with this expensive toy for a fraction of the cost. I rented a M240 black and an Elmarit 28mmF22.8 here in Singapore at Camera Rental on new bridge road for less than 400 SGD where the combo costs something around 13K. Quite effective, oh did I mention this is my birthday present (the rental).

So this is it, it is nearly 4pm on Friday and on the way to work I collect the beast. As I said in my last post I borrowed a M9 and Summicron 28mmf2 a few weeks back so I am not overly surprised by the first contact. There are however a few immediate differences:

  • the screen in larger
  • the shutter is a loss less noisy (I could not figure out why the M9 had to make so much noise)
  • the Elmarit is so small, the idea of its price makes me laugh, nobody would ever believe it

I have brought my old Summilux 50mmF1.4 and tries it in the shop, it looks to be working well and frankly it will hardly leave the body.

On the way to the office I stopped at the Yueh Hai Ching Temple  and take a few shots, the weather is overcast and sun quickly going down anyway, so nothing exceptional.

I tried a few portraits while in the office with the available light. Wide open the results are a bit soft and probably suffers from some little camera shake due to the slow speed set by the camera. Yes I made the mistake to set the speed to Auto, I did not realize until later that instead of cranking up the ISO the camera lowers the speed until it reaches 1/focal length. But as the Summilux is not recognized by the camera the lower speed is not calculated (I think) so some shots were done at 1/12th and 200 ISO: ridiculous.

Later I go outside for a walk and take some handheld shots of Marina Bay with the 28mm with manual settings, clearly that fares a little bit better.

I have big plans for the Saturday, so I go straight to bed after work.

Leica M240 – A rented friend for a lonely week end (Day one, Friday)