Jan 22 2017

Canon A1 and Cinestill 800T a continued pairing

CanonA1_Cinestill-3936
As I have posted previously I really like using the Canon A1 for taking long low light exposures and I also like the halo around light sources that Cinestill 800 provides. So I keep pairing these two up like they are a couple.

One issue that has come up for me is the remnants of the ramjet removal has reared its head several times. It’s primarily seen in darker images. For this reason I will need to rethink the way I expose and scan this film. I’ve tended to perhaps under expose at times with the intention of highlighting lights in the scene but when scanned this seems to reveal the residue of the remjet. I had a particularly egregious example of this that Cinestill remedied by sending me replacement rolls

As I haven’t seen this issue from other users of the film I now have to conclude it is something I am doing. No other film is effected this way during my processing so it leaves me to believe that it is always there to a degree its just a matter of the ratio of it to the recorded image on the negative. If during scanning your trying to extract details from a thin negative then it is likely going to show. Because I still want to continue to use it for nocturnes I am going to increase the amount of exposure I do and see if I get a better result.

CanonA1_Cinestill800_Fall2015_002

It can be much worse than shown in the above image as well. But when it does work out I have been pleased with the look.

CanonA1_Cinestill800_Fall2015_024

Some more images from the same roll


Jan 14 2017

Really really really expired Kodak 100


While I often shoot with expired film I rarely will use a roll of film found inside an old camera. Who knows how many times its been exposed or the camera opened up just to look at the film. For some reason though I just thought why not with this roll that came inside my Canon A1. I knew that the front end of the roll had definitely been exposed to light as I had opened the camera myself with the film in it. So I skipped ahead 8 frames and started shooting it in my Pentax MZ6. Not wanting to commit too much time to a roll of film that in all likelihood wouldn’t result in a single image I used them all up during a short walk. Wow what a strange result. I’ve never seen such a strong colour shift, let’s call it violent violet or malevolent mauve. It reminds me a little of Lomochrome Purple but in this case it lays that purple blanket over everything rather than shifting colours around. In case your wondering if it was possibly the processing, this roll was done at the same time as another one that did not have any colour casts.

Lomochrome Purple gives results more like this.

OlyXA_LomochromePurple_Feb2015_035


Jul 31 2016

Developing film on a BBQ

I wanted to demystify the developing of colour film. It really is a matter of time and temperature…oh and keeping the film in the dark that’s important too. The film was some very old 110 Kodacolor II that I found in a thrift store camera and it turned out to not have any images on it but the processing itself wasn’t at issue. I’m not actually advocating using a BBQ for film developing but the point is that its not as hard as it seems. I used a Unicolor C41 kit which includes all the necessary instructions.

I shot the video with the Pentax K-3 in timelapse mode. The K-3 was set to take a picture every 2 seconds it then builds the sequence into a video clip in camera which is very convenient.


Jun 24 2016

Polaroid Spectra P-11

Jan2016_Polaroid_SpectraThis leaves me with 10 frames of Polaroid Spectra remaining although the quality has started to deteriorate.  This one is of an abandoned house  out in a rural area behind Mission BC.  Driving around I started to noticed that there were a lot of ‘Bavarian’ looking older houses tucked away here.  I’m not sure what the connection is other than houses on a mountain side.

 

 


Apr 28 2016

Canon A-1 with Ferrania Solaris

CanonA1-2633

This post is more about the film than the camera (Other Posts about the A-1 can be seen here).  I came into possession of two rolls of Ferrania Solaris via a thrift store.  I don’t know the age of it but it has to be outdated simply for the fact that Ferrania isn’t currently making film and haven’t for a while.  They are at this time making an effort to restart production in a new smaller plant  Film Ferrania.  I didn’t hold out that much hope for this film with its unknown provenance but unlike so many of my odd film experiences this exceeded my expectations it has a graininess to it similar to but more subtle than Adox color implosion while keeping the colours more realistic.
Grain
It ended up being quite contrasty but still retained details in the darks unlike many other outdated films I’ve encountered. I shot this roll on a drab dark day so maybe I will wait for a nice bright spring day to shoot the second roll. I wish Ferrania much success with getting their plant up and running whether they ever produce Solaris again or not.


Mar 3 2016

The state of film 2016 (Emphasis on 35mm colour negative, C41)

35mmFilm-1615

Between the time of writing this and posting it the world of instant film photography has been dealt a massive blow. Fuji has said they are discontinuing production of fp100c instant film. This was the last peel apart instant film available for use in pack film cameras like the Polaroid 300 series I use. This is the reply I received from Fuji when I voiced my displeasure.

We understand the disappointment you have regarding this product being discontinued. The decision to stop the manufacturing of the product wasn’t easy to take. Based on today’s market conditions, we had to stop production of the film.

We sincerely hope this information has been beneficial to you. If you should have any further questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact us in the future.

Thank you for choosing Fujifilm digital cameras

I’m not sure if they were pouring salt in the wound with that last line or they wanted to make sure I knew they make digital cameras.
Sigh now back to the original post.

As I write this there are about 25 different 35mm C41 colour negative films available which is not that different than it was 30 years ago.  That may seem surprising but at that time colour slide film was the gold standard and negative film was for snapshots and amateurs. Now slide film has all but disappeared. Some manufacturers have also left the market over the years 3M,Scotch,Polaroid, Konica and others leaving Fuji and Kodak and a few smaller niche producers and resellers like Adox, Agfa, Cinestill and Lomography.  While film doesn’t feel like it is in imminent danger of completely disappearing as it once seemed a few years ago there could still be more changes to come.

Fuji Film has consolidated its 35mm negative film into Pro400h and Superia 200/400/800 they also have announced a further price increase.

The demand for film products is continuously decreasing and the cost of production, such as raw materials stays at a high level and cost increase associated with lower volumes becomes much serious. Under such circumstances, despite our effort to maintain the production cost, Fujifilm is unable to absorb these costs during the production process and is forced to pass on price increases.
To sustain its photo imaging business, Fujifilm has decided to increase the price of photographic films.
Fujifilm remains committed to photographic products despite its price change.

Something that may surprise people is that in this world of digital cameras Fuji Film actually made more profit from their film business than from their camera sales in fact its not even close.
Untitled-1

It makes sense if you think about it.  You sell a digital camera once at a small profit margin but if you sell a film camera that you provide the film for at a good profit your going to do better. And if you expand the market as Fuji has then you will make even more.  Most of this income though is from Instax cameras and their instant film not 35mm film which continues to be a declining market. If your wondering optical device refers to things like cell phone camera modules.

So Fuji has emerged as the victor when it comes to instant films with The Impossible Project providing an alternative for those using existing Polaroid cameras.  What about Kodak?  In early 2016 Kodak has announced a new Super 8 movie film camera.  Yes that’s right a super 8 movie camera.Kodak-Super8-camera

Before you dismiss this idea consider the fact that Kodak will be supplying the film as well as the camera much like Fuji and it’s Instax.  The big question is will Kodak create a large enough market for this segment to sustain itself.
Kodak_super8

Getting back to 35mm film for a moment Kodak Alaris has vacated the consumer film business and now only sells its professional line of films such as Portra and Ektar as well as Tri-X and T-Max for Black and White.  This is a nice lean line up of film and I hope to see it continue indefinitely as Ektar 100 is my favorite of all films.KodakFilms

Agfaphoto seems to exist as a brand name for Lupis Imaging in Germany producing only 2 colour negative films now their Agfa Vista Plus 200 and 400 .  They also produce one slide film and one black and white film in 100/400 ISO.  Personally I use their Agfa Vista 200 for testing cameras because of its affordability and its actually a really good film.

Adox is another German company that produces a single color emulsion the retro looking Adox Color Implosion film.  If there ever was a film that was the antithesis of digital this is it.

COLORIMPLOSION_web

Rollei also makes Digibase CN200 which falls into the niche category as it is a color negative film with no orange mask.  It is designed to be scanned rather than optically printed.  I can’t pin down who actually makes this film but it seems to be German.

Based in France Film Washi claims to be the worlds smallest film company they have some very unique products but offer one colour negative film they call ‘Film X’ which apparently was developed for traffic surveillance.  Honestly this film sounds a lot like the Rollei Digibase

Film Ferrania  has had some delays but they continue to work towards restarting a film production facility in Italy with some modifications and downsizing.

Cinsetill film  produces two films or more accurately takes two Kodak movie films and processes and packages them for 35mm camera use.  The films are 50 Daylight and 800 tungsten.  I love how with the ramjet layer removed 800T produces a halo around bright light sources.

Then there is Lomography they sell much of what I have already described as well as a few more like limited edition films from Kono and some that are unique to them like Lomochrome Purple

So in 2016 there are a variety of colour films available that run the gamut from Some of the best emulsions that have ever been available to 800 ISO movie film or even film with an ISO of 6 and films that create unique random effects.  It’s actually a great time to be shooting film however it is more expensive than ever and the choices for developing have shrunken.  If your willing to pay the price and find or do the developing there is a lot of versatility available, enjoy.  May we shoot film for many years to come.

Links:Fuji Film ,Kodak Alaris ,Agfaphoto,Adox,Rollei,Film Washi ,Film Ferrania ,Cinsetill film ,Kono,Lomography


Jan 21 2016

Kodak Portra 400 with the Yashica T4

_K3_2656I had this film developed at the local store but I think their chemicals may have been weak.  The negatives are much thinner than I anticipated and there is a definite colour shift that I haven’t had before from this camera or film.  That said the images turned out okay and I don’t mind the look but it re-enforces why I develop my own c41 now (Home Developing C41) .  I have no explanation for the double exposure that occurred mid roll other than to say the film didn’t advance between pictures. (Your welcome for that obvious observation)  Of the cameras in the series of Zeiss lens equipped Yashica point and shoots the T4 is certainly the best of the lot.  It’s a pretty easy chain of cameras to follow there is the Yashica T AF with a f3.5 35mm lens then the T2 the T3 and the T4 with some minor variants.    The T4 has better autofocus than the T/T2 and less vignetting than the T3  and its the most compact of the bunch. However the T3 has a faster f2.8 lens and they are more readily available and affordable than the T4.

 


Aug 28 2015

Olympus RC

OlympusRC-6419

One of the cutest little rangefinder camera out there the Olympus RC also stands out for its easy manual operation.  The Shutter speed can be easily selected with the dedicated top dial and the aperture set around the lens barrel or if you prefer it can be used as a shutter priority mode by selecting A (Automatic) on the aperture ring.  Ignoring the fact that I have recently acquired a quantity of terrible film that I am burning my way through the Olympus RC’s 5 element  lens is very good.  I will be trying it again with better film very shortly.   The fact that is camera is smaller than many point and shoots that came later and yet has full manual control with settings indicated in the viewfinder make this a terrific little camera.


Aug 21 2015

Canon A-1 and Cinestill Feb 2015

CanonA1_Cinestill-3936
In previous posts I have covered Cinestill 800T extensively but I wanted to touch on why I have settled on the Canon A1 as my go to night photography film camera. Firstly there are many lenses available for this system and little demand for them as the don’t fit modern Canon cameras. The amount of shutter speeds directly selectable through the dial is fantastic, I can’t think of another film camera that has 30 seconds as a physically selectable option. Then there are the two self timer modes. 2 or 10′seconds, I find that 2 is often enough as it allows the camera to settle after pressing the shutter but not such a long wait that conditions change. The final two nocturnal features are the ability to turn off the Viewfinder LEDs and block light from the viewfinder eyepiece with a small internal shade. Putting all these together makes the Canon A1 a fantastic camera for working off a tripod at night. It’s primary weakness in this area is it’s lack of mirror lockup and that it apparently eats batteries during long bulb exposures, my experiences usually fall within the 30 second range so that hasn’t been an issue.


Jun 28 2015

Ektar 100 pushed to 400

FujiST801-3924

Kodak Ektar 100 was introduced in 2008 and shouldn’t be confused with the earlier Ektar that was available from 1989 to 1994.  Kodak claims that Ektar is the finest grain colour negative film available and I have no doubt that it is.  This is an example of the film shot at its native sensitivity of 100 ISO
Ektar100grain

While the image itself may not be the sharpest there is very little evidence of the film grain itself.
additionally I have found that Ektar has a great degree of exposure latitude that is it can capture a lot of detail both in image highlights and shadows without the need to sacrifice one or the other. This is a feature of film and it’s non linear exposure curve but especially so for Ektar 100.
With all this in mind ‘Fine Grain’,'great latitude’ and its scanability  I thought I would try pushing it to 400 ISO as a test.  What this entailed was changing from the default ISO of 100 to 400 on my camera which is the same as under exposing the film by 2 stops.  Additionally I pushed the processing (Increased the development time) to account for this.  The result is that you have a film that you can use for lower light conditions but what are the trade offs?  Well the result is that the grain becomes more pronounced and there is an increase in contrast, additionally I found a loss of detail in the shadows and a colour shift towards magenta
FujiSt801_Ektar100+2stops_Feb2015_021
So how does this compare to films with a native sensitivity of 400 such as Kodak Portra and Fuji Superia? Well I would say it doesn’t quite match up it’s more like using out of date Kodak 200. Not all of my testing results matched up because I found it necessary to under expose even a little more under the low light conditions that I had but when exposed properly at 400 ISO it’s a viable alternative in a pinch.

The following examples were taken with the Fujica ST801 and Kodak Ektar at 400ISO with a +2 stop push in development.