Tag Archives: Paris

Two Quick Colour Shots


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When I received my Nikon FM, the eBay seller was kind enough to send along two rolls of old film she had lying around and (probably) wouldn’t need anymore. It was two 24 frame Fujifilm Superia 200, expired along ago. At the same time I had an old Lomography Color Negative 400 sitting in the fridge that had expired a while ago as well. As a result I didn’t expect much and (unlike normally) finished them over the cause of just a few walks around town.

The first one is the expired Fujifilm Superia 200 which to my eye shows no sings of having deteriorated. I couldn’t tell you why it was all about shooting blue skies, but at least the houses vary a bit. I like Before and After for its colours and the difference in the trees, and Versus for the variation in clothing and again the colours. The blue sky in Rooftop Monster is splendid and not what I expected from this film.

Second film is the Lomography Color Negative 400 of which I bought a three-pack years ago. However, I was never too happy with the result it gave when shot on the cheap Lomography cameras, and as a result it was allowed to just sit in the fridge until it apparently expired a year or two ago. Wanting to get rid of it, it was the perfect follow-up to the expired Superia.

Now, it seems clear that the film is of lesser quality, yet its much better than I remembered and in particular like its rendering of for instance Square, Lighting Cracks, Sunday Crosswords, Spotlight, and Three Kids (which is more like what I’d expect from the Superia actually). For the latter, note that there were actually three kids up in the tree, with me waiting patiently for one of them to move into the light; in the end they won though and I had to settle for this.

Finally, while I would like to have that the composition and expression in each photo I take is at least at the level of Skatboard Admiration or Sunday Sun, I have to admit that once in a while it’s not too bad to just shot a film without being too picky. The average quality is higher than I imagined it would be, and still find a pleasure in most of the shots.

Film #15


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Another black and white night film finished, push-processed at ASA 800 up from 400. Underexposed but with a few good results.

I consistently get the exposure wrong for night scenes, shooting around EV3-5; with a fast f/1.4 lens and a Kodak T-Max 400 shot at ASA 800 this should give me a comfortable minimum of 1/30s shutter speed to compensate for shaking. Yet looking at the negatives, most scenes on this roll required at least another stop to be properly exposed. As I’ve mentioned before though, it’s mind-boggling how much information is still in the negatives, and how much of it can be extracted by my mid-range Epson V600.

I like Midnight Hook-up for the empty atmosphere and corner romance; being underexposed is perhaps even adding to the picture here. Likewise, the sharp contract needed to pull anything from Piggyback fits with the blur and mood of the picture (this was not what some might call an artistic choice; I simply did not want to stop walking while taking the shot). Finally, I also really like Midnight Metro, and wonder if I did not get a fair amount of mood for free here by using an analogue camera.

First AgfaPhoto CT Precisa 100 (in E6)


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It’s my impression that the AgfaPhoto CT Precisa 100 these days are mostly used for cross-processing, yet after having seen what it can do there I got curious to see it’s true colours as well — not least after having seen the beautiful blues of another positive film, the Fujifilm Velvia 50.

Overall I was hoping for more, yet to be honest this is likely to be because the film requires more accurate exposure than I offered it.

In some cases, e.g. City Beach, Rinck, and especially Rain Clouds, we did a great job and got what I wanted. In other cases, e.g. Under the Bridge I’d like to think that the result could have been better on a higher quality film; however, while Stripes and Circles also falls in this latter group not all mishaps are actually that bad.

Verdict? At less than half the price of Velvia 50 it’s still a candidate for nature/post-rain scenes like Rain Clouds.

July Shots


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July has been a busy month with work and visits, but perhaps because of the latter I also managed to finish three films with a mix of your typical tourist photos, and whatever kind of photos it is that I tend to take when out on my own.

The first one is a Kodak Portra 400, and as always it’s the forgiving hero delivering great colours even when the exposure is sure to have been a bit off. Skin tones, greens, sky — all is good. All but one are from Paris (Fête Nationale and Le Tour), with the last one being from my brother’s gymnasium graduation (congratulations again!).

Next up is an Ilford Delta 100 Professional. I still can’t tell the difference between this one and the Kodak T-Max, not least because so much is determined during scanning, but perhaps this will change when I eventually make prints.

And last but not least, a Lomography X-Pro Slide 200. Although surprisingly the colours are quite different from the first one (perhaps because I used a different printer) the result is still pretty good when the exposure is right — take Educating or Hanging Around for instance.

On the other hand, it is clear that the film is not nearly as forgiving as the Portra, and both underexposure (High) or overexposure (Expensive District, Wineyard, and Blue Shades) leads to an unpleasant purple tint — the best example perhaps is Scholastique (Smiling) and Scholastique (Looking) where the latter seems to be correctly exposed, and the former was deliberately given one stop more.

First Fujifilm Velvia 50


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My first roll of Fuijfilm FujiChrome Velvia 50 invoked mixed feelings. At first I was tempted to say that it was a bit disappointing, yet in reality it’s perhaps more a question of finding the right scene for the film.

Searching around I found high praise of the film online, not least some great shots on Flickr. However, the film is among the most expensive so it wasn’t until I found a good offer on a batch of almost-expired films that I went for it. Add to that a more expensive development and it really has to be worth it, slide film or not.

Perhaps the mistake I made was to shoot it as a general-purpose film, including scenes with city-scape, street, and nature (sky at least). For instance, based on Old English it doesn’t live up to it’s price tag: the print is okay, but not something you couldn’t get with much cheaper film. Hogwarts likewise, though here there might also be an element of poor metering on my part (however still showing somewhat poor latitude). In general, for most photos on this roll my guess is that I would have preferred them on Kodak Portra or Fujifilm Superia.

But, and this is key I think, when it comes to blue (and to lesser extend green), the film is unmatched! Look at Sunny Side for example, or Hôtel de Ville, A Green SpotFit, or Scholastique (In the Rain) — I would not expend to see that from the above mentioned films, not at that level of saturation.

I’m guessing of course, but for the next roll of this film I’ll focus on nature, with plenty of sky, and a mix of greens and reds.

A Newfound Love of Kodak Portra


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A few weeks ago I was heading for a week-long conference in Copenhagen and figured I’d only bring the Nikon FM as my only camera, and the practical 28-70mm lens as my only lens. And since this is a slow lens I went with a fast film: a Kodak Portra 400.

It had been a while since the last Portra, and even though I’d halfway declared it my general-purpose go-to film, I’d also kind of forgotten how good it is, perhaps thinking it a bit boring even after all the adventures into Lomography films and cross-processing. Fortunately the prints brought a very happy surprise! Perhaps it plays a part as well that I’ve switched back to my old (and more remote) printer after the inconsistent prints from the Precisa 100, but in the end I really like the result.

While the above film was shot within a week, I also recently finished a Kodak Portra 160 that’s been in my Olympus OM-1 since last autumn. And although it’s apparently against recommendation to let a film in a camera for that long due to light leaks, radiation, heat, and what not, this indicates that the advice should be balanced against the increased quality of the photos when you are more picky about releasing the shutter!

 

First AgfaPhoto CT Precisa 100 (in C41)


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In my on-going hunt for a Lomography X-Pro Chrome substitute I’ve heard the AgfaPhoto CT Precisa 100 mentioned on a few occasions, and it finally became time to try it. It has done a decent job, and moreover illustrated that a step might have been missing in my process so far.

As you never really know which film is actually inside the Lomography canisters (rumour has it they were using old Kodak film in the beginning and has since gone through several manufactures, including unknown Chinese brands) it is also non-trivial to tell if it’s actually a negative or a positive film — and apparently it isn’t just me who’s confused: for the first time my developer charged a special cross-processing feed, even though I’ve given her Lomography films before that were supposedly also meant to be cross-processed. But this time I’m absolutely certain that I have in my hands a bona fide cross-processed film!

As mentioned, I think the film has done a decent job. Scholastique (from Above) for example is exactly what I was hoping for, and also like the toning in House.

However, most prints are quite a bit off in terms of colour balance, as for example Behind the Park, In Time, and Cornershop. For some it works out nicely, e.g. Scholastique (In the Rain) and Goth Metro, while for others I felt the need to cheat and colour correct in Photoshop afterwards: Pearl of the Quartier, for instance, was shot seconds after Scholastique (from Above) using exactly the same exposure yet completely green.

I’ll be asking my developer the next time if it’s really a question of exposure or not, but at this point my suspicion goes in direction of the printing process simply not being as standardised as I believed it was. More specifically, that asking the developer to either scan the film or make prints is still not enough to achieve the “real” colours of the film.

First LomoChrome Purple XR 100-400


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After coming across the astonishing Infra photos taken by Richard Mosse using the now discontinued Kodak Aerochrome, I kept an open eye when Lomography last year announced their new Aerochrome-inspired LomoChrome Purple XR film. I didn’t buy into it for the first batch, but in a weak moment I put down the order for the minimum of five rolls when the second batch came up for pre-sale, at a price of around 10€ each. Here are a few photos from the first roll.

Overall I’m a tad disappointed, but perhaps was so even before putting the film in the camera: the key, I suppose, is that the film is inspired by Aerochrome and does in fact produce results quite different from this old professional film apparently developed for the military. And this became clear when the photos from the first batch started showing up online.

However, paradoxically as it may sound, picking up the prints from the first film was actually a positively surprise; while they are not amazing, it does work better in some situations than I dared expect from following the film on Flickr.

For instance, the total submersion in purple in English Garden and Purple, Dog is not too bad. And although at first a bit skeptical about how the film renders blue sky, Dome and Collage are among my favourites on this roll.

Finally, since the film is rated ASA 100-400, and since there has been some talk online about making sure to overexpose, I also did a few test shots to see if there would be any difference: one correctly exposed according to an external light meter and two respectively over- and under-exposed by one stop.

And here perhaps was the biggest surprise, namely how very different the results are.