The sprint is over, I finally reached my goal of using 52 different kinds of film. Not in the 52 weeks planned, but shit life happens. Most of it was developed by myself. Except maybe 1-2 rolls, I also scanned everything myself. I think I now – after 2,5 years of doing this – have a better understanding of film photography, developing and scanning.
I want to write a “Lessons learned” article, but this will take a bit of time. Until then you have some new images to look at. The Pentacon framing problems are back, time to get them under control again.
If you have questions, feel free to contact me as well. Either via comment, or email@example.com – a reply won’t be instantaneous though.
Thanks for sticking around, or just discovering this blog. We’ll see eachother again…
Leipzig–Reudnitz, Germany / April 2017
Medium format (120), black/white, roll film, 12 exposures (6×6), ISO 100.
Film has a clear, very thin base and curls quite a bit.
The film is Kodak Eastman Double-X – a motion picture film, usually only available in big cinema reels. It was used for films like Schindler’s List and Casino Royale and several stores/projects re-roll/package the them for use in 35mm film cameras.
Sounded interesting, I checked some stores and found out that these are quite expensive. After some looking around I settled on a 5-pack from CameraFilmPhoto. So far I only shot one roll, but the results are quite good-looking, I think. Will save the other 4 for special projects/occasions.
The images were taken at Cospudener See (a lake), on my way home after the sun went down (I played a bit with long exposures) and then at home to finish the roll.
Leipzig, Germany – Aug 2016
35mm, black and white, motion picture film, ISO 200, 36 exposures.
Praktica LTL 2 + Helios-44-2 f2/58mm + CFP Double-X B&W
Film bought for ~9 EUR via CameraFilmPhoto.
Developed by myself @ Mühlstraße e.V. Community Darkroom.
(Developed: Ilford ID-11 / 1+2 / 10min 40sec @ 20.3°C)
Scanned with Epson Perfection V550.
During the HGB workshop meetings we came to the conclusion to shoot this project in color. I looked into “ORWO Color NC” – the film stocked used by my parents – but it’s hard to get (only sporadic auctions on eBay) and you can’t develop it in standard C-41 chemistry. So instead I settled on Adox Color Implosion. It should provide an old / expired film look, without the hassle. In theory!
I made a map of when I lived where, from birth to now. Turns out I moved 10 times, everytime within Leipzig itself. For this project I’ll only focus on retracing my steps until 6th grade (age 11) though.
It was a very warm saturday, I packed my bag (see above) and went to Leipzig-Grünau, which is a neigborhood dominated by Plattenbau (industrialized apartment blocks). There were a lot of pensioner and young families around. Trees and flowers were planted in mass during the last years.
I didn’t have any memory flashbacks, shot moderatly interesting frames, filled a whole roll in ~2–3 hours, wanted to rewind the roll and it ripped in the middle. With no second camera around the shooting day was over.
Now I have to wait for darkness, so I can try to rescue as much as I can. Not a great start. But hopefully all the mistakes will happen in the beginning instead of kicking me in the ass at the end, when it’s too late. Fingers crossed!
There will be no film images this week. Two rolls of Lomography Color Negative (Medium Format) are done. But the new local “lab” I’ll be testing, is out of chemicals. It’s a small operation for development and scanning film, that’s getting ready to start its service in 2016. On the plus side: after developing, the images will be scanned with a Nikon Coolscan film scanner!
So instead I’ll be sharing my thoughts and images made with the Fujifilm X-T1, which I was able to test during the 500px Fujifilm Photo Walk for ~3 hours. Not enough time for a “review”, so here are just a couple of thoughts.
Originally I was looking for a small, lightweight digital camera, that I could carry around all the time. I looked at the Fujifilm X100S/T, but the fixed lens is a 35mm equivalent and with the tele conversion lens on top the camera is big again.
Size / Weight
The size and the weight of the camera were a little bit higher, than I was expecting, but still completely okay. The kit lens made it quite a bit bulkier. If I should ever use a X-type Fujifilm camera in the future, it will be with a prime lens anyway.
Handling / Electronic Viewfinder
You often hear other photographer say “The camera is just a tool.” and that’s the main thing I had to think about, while using the X-T1. No idea if that’s a good or bad thing. It only takes pictures, it’s not a magic box. You still have to do, what you always do. What you have to do with any camera.
The electronic viewfinder was confusing. I could see pixels, the colors were wrong (blue tint to everything), it was dark, it was strange. Maybe there are better settings. I’m used to big optical viewfinders and this was my first time using an electronic one. I didn’t like it that much. Maybe it was just the difference I didn’t like, not the viewfinder itself. Lets see how they improve in the future.
Lens / Focal Lengths
The kit zoom lens was okay, but I really missed having a prime lens. Looking at the used focal lengths afterwards was quite surprising. Most of them hovered around 35mm. Multiply that with 1.5 (the APS-C to full frame crop factor) and you end up at around 50mm – the focal length I usually shoot with. Seems as can take the 50mm out of my hands, but not out of my brain.
I would have loved to try the camera with the new Fujifilm XF 35mm f/2 attached. Well, maybe another time…
I found out during the test, that I actually prefer a wheel dial to an aparture control ring on the lens. Old habits, I guess.
Image Quality / Colors
The only digital files I can compare them with are those of my Nikon D7100. Image quality is good. Colors are better, than the “unprocessed” Nikon files. But since I use film emulation for almost all my digital files anyway, in the end it doesn’t matter.
It’s a good looking black box that takes pictures, like any other camera. There’s almost religious hype around the camera, that I couldn’t understand while testing the camera for 3 hours. Maybe it takes more time. Maybe it takes being a photographer, that I’m not.
I’ll keep an eye on future camera developments from Fujifilm. Until then I’ll stick with what I already have and focus on improving myself, instead of changing gear.
500px Fujifilm Photo Walk Leipzig, Germany | September 2015
Last weeks film (shot during the NOLEGIDA counter-demonstrations) is not developed yet. But since I want to keep the “every friday” schedule here’s a film interlude from last month.
The following images are from 3 different rolls – it’s fascinating how diverse the same film, shot with the same camera, can turn out.
Medium format (120), color negative, roll film, 12* exposures, ISO 400.
Yashica Mat 124G (Yashinon 80mm f3.5) + Kodak Portra 400
Film bought for ~5,70 EUR via Amazon.de (Partner-Link)
Developed @ FotoStudio 80 (Leipzig, Germany).
Scanned with Epson Perfection V550.
*) exposures depend on the format you are shooting. Using 6×6 it’s 12 exposures.