Cameras on camera

I recently purchased a desktop light tent, light box thingy. You know a box you can put on your tabletop, it has various back ground colours and led lighting so you can take product and other photos. I have a few indoor projects in mind for it.

I figured before starting any projects I should probably practice to see how images come out and what pitfalls there are. So I thought I would start by taking some photos of my film cameras.

I originally planned to take these on film but I started with my digital camera (Fuji X-T1 with a zoom lens )to get an idea of the settings and look. It quickly became apparent to me I would need to think more about how to use this when using film. Thus this whole set is shot on digital with some post processing

Before sharing the images the main things I will need to consider for using film are white balance (although can adjust a bit in post). What camera and lens to use to get the right framing that works and with the required focussing distance. Anyway this was just for practise and fun so please enjoy my film cameras on camera

Olympus OM1n

Olympus OM2n

Nikon 35Ti

Hasselblad 2000fcw

Fuji GF670

and a couple of randoms on the black background but ran out of time at this stage

6×6 lunchtime photochallenge

Earlier in January I had some time over one lunchtime where I knew I would be able to get out and about with my camera. During the week lunchtimes are the best time for me to get some photography under my belt. The one downside of this is that I know my area well so it can become a bit monotonous. So I thought I should shake things up a bit and make it more interesting for me. I asked my followers on Twitter to suggest some photography themes for my lunchtime walk. As always they did not disappoint and there were many good suggestions. I decided then that I would pick 6 themes and try and do 6 shots on each theme.

These are the following themes I choose:

– Shadows suggested by Parminder Matharu (@psmatharu81)

– Lines suggested by Jason Avery (@_JasonAvery)

– Sandwiches suggested by Duncan (@silverpanlab)

– Impermanent suggested by Duncan Waldron (@ozalba)

– Glass suggested by Duncan Waldron (@ozalba)

– People on phones suggested by Matthew (@Twinlensreflux)

I loaded my Olympus OM1n with a roll of Ferrania P30 and headed out. I had no real planned route and thought I would see how it went. I was also careful not to try and shoot all of one theme and then all of another in a sequence but just be sure I got them all over the time. I had fun doing it and it was great to be challenged and think outside of my normal safe photography. I struggled with sandwiches and eventually had to throw in the towel with that one. The results were not important to me, this whole exercise was about trying to interpret themes and along the way it also taught me that maybe I take them to literally and I need to think more conceptually. Anyway enough words here are the results. Btw I needed more than one lunchtime to finish the roll, a combination of the sandwich theme and failing light meant I had to go out for a second time.

Shadows



Lines

Sandwiches

Impermanent

Glass

People on Phones

The Hoff – Learning to use a Hasselblad 2000fcw. Rolls 1&2

Back in November 2018 I picked up a Hasselblad 2000FCW. I had been looking for a Medium Format camera for a while. Having shot/owned a Holga, a Zeiss Ikon Nettar, Yashica Mat124G and Fuji GA645 all great cameras in their own right I still felt I hadn’t found ‘the’ MF camera for me.

I knew I didn’t want a rangefinder. Shooting the Fuji in 38 degrees centigrade in Cyprus for 2 hours only to realise the whole roll of Velvia 50 was shot with the lens cap on pretty much convinced me of this. The Zeiss Ikon Nettar was fantastic but a little too slow and more importantly lacked flexibility in terms of other lenses, using filters etc. The Holga, to this day some of my very favourite images were created with it but it was a real love/hate relationship.

Thus to cut a long story short, I have ended up with the Hasselblad 2000FCW as next on my list to see if it is the one. A little side note about me, in 35mm I use an Olympus OM1n, I know this to be the one for me and have zero interest in any other 35mm SLR. I want this ‘feeling’ for an MF camera, I like the simplicity of one camera choice for each format.

Thus I am now embarking on a 52 rolls project to learn the camera and see if we are going to be long term partners. 52 rolls (as opposed to 52 weeks) so I do not pressure myself to shoot for the sake of it.

I do not intend this to be a camera review. That has very recently been written by Emulsive with his fantastic love letter to this camera.

https://emulsive.org/reviews/camera-reviews/hasselblad-camera-reviews/the-ultimate-guide-to-the-hasselblad-2000fcw-a-focal-plane-shutter-unicorn

This is intended as a record of my thoughts, successes and failures as I take a journey to learn it.

It took me over two months before I loaded my first roll of film in it. Part of the reason was I had been very busy at work and also got hit by a chest infection but if I am honest another part of it was I felt a bit intimidated by it and probably spent a lot of those two months overthinking it. I guess I was a bit overawed by the reputation of the camera but in January, I, with the help of a couple of people on Twitter, pulled myself together and remembered it’s just a camera, chuck some film in and see what happens. Thus film choice was my first decision.

As you can see, I seem to have quite a bit of slide film. Normally when I first shoot a new camera, test a lens etc I end up doing something stupid like loading it with some weird film stock or heavily expired film so I am adding so many variables that the test becomes a bit irrelevant. Thus this time I did the sensible thing, I loaded Ilford HP5 Plus.

And yes well spotted, I did the sensible thing and purchased a copy of the instruction manual.

Now if you have never loaded a Hasselblad before, even with the instructions it is slightly different. You have to loop the film the right way round through the rollers. My first attempt.

The above was my first attempt and completely and utterly wrong. Luckily I realised before it was too late. FYI the film side should be facing out.

Once loaded, out I ventured to take pictures in an area I was very familiar with to take test shots. Because of the light I rated the film at 800 when metering. I found the camera surprisingly light and straightforward to use. Everything felt quite effortless, even the waist level finder. With my Yashica I used to get motion sickness, but not so much with this camera, not really sure why. All was going very well until the 6th frame and the shutter would not fire. I tried everything I could, but was worried about breaking something so took it carefully. Emulsive came to rescue here and we spoke and he talked me through various options as to what the problem could be. Ultimately I managed to wind the film on to the end to save the few frames I had taken. Here are a couple of the shots from roll 1.

I loaded a second roll and as the light had faded by this time, I rated it at 3200. Another short interlude, I was using the lightmeter app on my phone for metering.

This roll went really well in terms of I enjoyed shooting it and got 12 frames. The camera felt good to use and intuitive. It was only when I got the scans back I realised there was a problem.

There were no spaces between the frames, in fact they overlapped in many cases. This could easily be and most likely user error i.e. me winding the crank too quickly. I guess I will know for sure with the next roll. Anyway here are a couple of shots from roll 2

The issues I have had with the film, has not put me off the camera. These are teething problems and precisely why I am committing to 52 rolls before making a decision. There will be many quirks and challenges but this for me is the only real way to learn.

Thus this has been Roll 1 & 2. Time to get on to the next one.

Oh yeah one final thing, yes I have given this camera the name ‘The Hoff’

New York Snow Storm

I was working in New York recently and got caught up in the first snow storm of their season. The traffic was at gridlock and the subway rammed with people trying to get home. Thus I did what any self respecting Brit would do. I enjoyed happy hour (3hrs) in a bar to pass the time. Whilst sitting in the bar I suddenly thought, I don’t know when I will be back in the city, let alone when it is covered in snow. Thus I decided to sacrifice the last 4 exposures that were left in my camera and load a roll of Ilford Photo HP5 and shoot it in the snow on my way back to my hotel.

Thus here are the results of my walk. Ilford Photo HP5 shoot at 3200 and thus pushed 3 stops in development. Olympus OM1n.

E6 cars

I have not posted a blog in a few months due to being very busy so I aim to start posting regularly again.

I took my trusty Olympus OM1n to an American car show recently and shot a roll of Velvia 50 and a roll of Provia 100F. Below are some of my favourite images of the cars on show. Hope you enjoy viewing them.

Let’s get lunch

I was kindly sent a bunch of Kodak Vision films from @Dizd (Dizzy Cow on twitter). Some 250D and some 50D. I am a big fan of these Vision films especially when they are processed in their native chemicals ECN-2. Nik and Trick in the UK sell the developing kits for this.

I finally had a chance to try a roll a week or so ago, so I wanted to shoot one as practice. All shots are taken on an Olympus OM1n loaded with Kodak Vision 250D developed in ECN-2.

A little side note before sharing the images. Every single roll of film I shoot I see as a practice roll, even if I am going for a specific project. It’s all about learning for the next roll and the next roll and so on. I am never disappointed if I get things wrong in a roll, I am only disappointed if I don’t learn from it. With film photography I firmly believe I will be practising for years and years to come and thus only the last photo I ever take before putting my camera down will be ‘The Shot’

Anyway all this talk has made me hungry, what shall we have for lunch?

First try with Rollei Ortho 25

I purchased this film on a whim as it was sitting staring at me in a shop. I quite often like to try a current film stock that I have not shot before.

At ISO 25 it had been sitting in my draw at work for a number of months due to London’s grey rainy days coupled with the fact I was feeling too lazy to drag along a tripod.

So last Friday I knew I had sometime free time at lunchtime and the weather was particularly bright so I thought I would finally give it a go. The challenge I had was that I needed to finish all 36 exposures that lunchtime as I was out that evening with the camera and it needed to be loaded with a film for night shooting (Kodak Vision 500T in case you were interested)

Thus out I ventured. The camera was the Olympus OM1n with either the 50mm 1.8 or 28mm 2.8 being used for shots. There was no filter for the reason that at ISO 25 I needed all the light I could get. All shots are handheld with the OM and unless I specifically want blur I don’t tend to shoot under speeds of 1/60 without a tripod.

I really like the results I got with this film, it reminds a bit of the Washi S but with a bit more control. I will definitely shoot some more of this including in 120. One interesting thing to note is that this was Rollei Ortho 25, there is a Rollei Ortho 25 Plus also, which through my completely unscientific research and assumptions I think is a newer version.

Anyway enough of my wittering, here are some of the images (lab developed and scanned, some tweaks in Snapseed).

This building is near my office, here is an interesting fact (for some) it was recently used for filming the latest Mission Impossible film and is the one Tom Cruise damaged his ankle on jumping across the roof. He was back here the other weekend filming those scenes again.

Then I ventured further along Victoria Embankment

From here I went to the gardens at the Inns of the courts to capture the trees

And finally I stopped at the Dragon, this particular marker is where you cross from the City of Westminster into the City of London (I may be wrong in my specific description here). The Dragon markers are dotted across the City of London (this is the business district in London) and face out from the City so you know when you are entering the City of London.

It was also my signal, time to head back to the office.

The sound of St Paul’s

As followers of this blog are aware, Washi S sound recording film is favourite of mine to try and experiment with. This film really intrigues me and is one I will keep persevering with. It is an extremely high contrast film and there can be very little between the deep blacks and the harsh whites.

The images you will see in this blog have all been shot using my favourite camera the Olympus OM1n using either a 50mm f1.4 or 28mm f2.8 lens with an orange filter.

I generally use an orange filter just because that is what my research told me. Reflecting on this now, I’m not sure this film needs the added contrast of a filter, so next roll will be no filter to see how that goes.

So back to the details. For this roll I picked a subject of St Paul’s Cathedral. Partly because it is very close to my work, but mainly because it is one of my favourite buildings in London. My plan was to start at one corner and walk around the cathedral taking photos. This walking around did not mean I had to stay close, just that I could see it. All images were taken over the course of about one hour.

So enough talking, come on the walk with me around St Paul’s and see what you hear from this sound recording film.

The starting point a bit of artistic inspiration

I dragged myself out quickly as otherwise no photos would have been taken

Then time to cross the road starting with the mystery door

Then the steps

Time to climb the steps and look out from the main doors

Back down and a couple of images from the front

Time to head into Paternoster Square

From here I headed toward a small shopping centre called One New Change

One the roof of One New Change there is a restaurant and a bar, but more than that there is a place to just admire the views

By now it was time to wait for the lift to get back down again

Couldn’t resist one more shot of this view

Now time to get around the other side and see what shots I can get from there

Moving towards the front of the building again

And finally time to reflect on the walk I just did

I hope you enjoyed walking with me, look out for the next in the series of ‘The Sound of….’

The Holiday rolls 4&5:  Kodak Vision 250D

Firstly apologies for the time taken for this update it has been a bit busy recently.

So quick recap I took 10 rolls of film with me on holiday recently to Malta and I have been sharing my results here.   So far we have had

Roll 1: Oriental Seagull 100

Roll 2: Kodak E100VS

Roll 3 : Velvia 50

Roll 8 : Film Washi S

Roll 10:  New Lomochrome Purple 

In hindsight probably should have done them in order.

For this update I shot two rolls of Kodak Vision 3 250D.  This is a cine film designed for daylight shooting.  The film has a remjet coating so is not processed by most labs.  It is also designed to be processed in ECN2 chemicals but can be processed in C41 chemicals once the remjet has been removed.  

I mention this as I was lucky enough that these were processed in their native ECN2 chemistry.

I get my Cine films from https://ntphotoworks.com/ they are also who I use for getting them processed.  They now sell ECN2 kits for those who home develop.  These were developed (and two rolls of Vision 50D) in ECN2 to test the kits, as for Cine film this is not their current standard offering and I was very happy for them to use the rolls as test rolls.   Please contact them directly for any further info.  (This is not a sponsored blog btw)

Thus back to the setting.  At this stage in the holiday my meter had broken on the camera so I was bracketing more than normal.  In hindsight, especially with this film stock it probably was not as necessary as the differences between one stop were not huge.

The location was M’dina Malta.  This is known as the quiet city.  It is full of narrow streets and paths and is set among the hills.  The city was also used for quite a few scenes in Game of Thrones.  All the photos have been taken using an Olympus OM1n.   IMHO the Kodak Vision films are one of the best colours film out there, better than any standard colour C41 films and easier to handle than slide film.  See what you think



The Holiday:  Roll 3/10. Velvia 50

Those of you that know me or follow me on twitter (@givemeabiscuit) will know I am a big fan of slide film, with Velvia 50 a personal favourite of mine.

Thus there was no way I was going to Malta and not shoot a roll of this lovely film.  This time however I wanted to try something different and practise long exposure.  Thus I also had with my Lee Filters (10stop ND & 0.6 soft grad).

I tried some daytime long exposures with both filters and some at dusk with the soft grad.

When writing these blogs I always like to ensure I share both what works and what does not work.  It helps me clarify in my mind how/what to do better next time and hopefully provides you with some insight also.

So here come the images.  

The black slides are unsuccessful evening shots

Some normal exposure, (but I still over exposed!)


And daytime long exposure.  Lesson one get the framing right next time, lesson 2 if shooting into the sun, either don’t or at least have a the lens hood and lesson three read up on exposure techniques for this film more thoroughly


And in case you are wondering what total over exposure looks like, it is a completely clear slide that scans like below

Yes this really is the scan

There are some slides the lab did not scan (understandably) but I can see something is there, so will get them rescanned and check them out.

In conclusion, I really really ballsed up the roll of film.