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Category: black and white

Lightbox Monday #1

Cosina CT1A + Cosinon 50mm f2 + Ilford HP5 Plus (Morocco, 2010)

Lightbox Monday is an idea I’ve, ahem, borrowed from another blog I enjoy reading each week. I’ve at least changed the date… Anyway after a crazy few years of moving about (and a brief spell of living in a van the other side of the world), its been nice to go back through my photo library and do a good bit of sorting out. Its cool to see some photos, underrated at the time, become much more interesting with the passing of time.

This is a shot from a roll of HP5 plus I took with me to Morocco. I’d managed to get a standby flight on Ryanair for £25 round trip for me and a mate and this felt like the most exotic place the budget airline could take me in January. We stayed in Marrakech but did an overnight excursion to the northern edge of the Sahara desert, where we did a couple of hours on a camel and camped in a traditional berber tent. I am quite fond of this picture, much more than any of digital shots I got of these camels. For another favourite from this trip check out this one.

Nikon F5 First Impressions

Nikon F5 + Nikon 50mm Series E f1.8 (Shropshire, 2017)

Its been a while since my last post due to moving flat and many other things. In that time I’ve made a few impulse purchases from eBay, one of which being the mighty Nikon F5. Its remarkable that today you can buy a camera that was the best in the world in 1996, today, for a little over a hundred quid.

I’ve run two rolls through it so far, using mainly the 50mm Series E Ai lens, which is of course manual focus. I’ve been pleasantly surprised using my Ai lenses with this camera. The 100% viewfinder is bright and easy to focus with. The metering with these is only spot and center weighted, which is OK, and I wonder if it was a technical or purely a product decision to remove the matrix metering the F4 had with these. As for the handling, its a relatively heavy camera, but coupled with small light lenses like the Series E 50mm f1.8, it honestly doesn’t feel too burdensome to carry round. 

These photos are from a roll of TMax 100 I’ve had sitting in my freezer for years from a short trip up to the family farm. I had them processed by a lab and scanned them myself with an Epson v500. Whilst these shots were pedestrian for a camera of the F5’s spec, the main thing that I could appreciate is the ergonomics of this camera. It fits in the hand just right, is so well balanced, and has controls in what feels like the most intuitive place. They must have got it right, because over 20 years later every camera Nikon has made since then looks and feels pretty much the same as this. 

Nikon F5 + Nikon 50mm Series E f1.8 (Shropshire, 2017)

Nikon F5 + Nikon 50mm Series E f1.8 (Shropshire, 2017)

Nikon F5 + Nikon 50mm Series E f1.8 (Shropshire, 2017)

My first roll of Ilford SFX

iPhone 6s (Arches National Park Utah, 2017)

This B&W film is a near infra-red (i.e. extended red sensitivity towards IR wavelengths) film made by Ilford. I’d wanted to try it out for a while and decided to take a chance on it by taking it on my trip round Utah’s National (Bryce, Arches and Zion) and State (Snow Canyon) parks. I’d been somewhat inspired by the completely black skies in this post and thought I’d be able to get some good detail in the foreground and some silhouetted rocks with a completely black sky when using my Nikon R60 red filter. Reading more after the fact a deeper filter such as an R72 may have been a better choice to achieve this effect.

Nikon F3 + Nikon 20mm f4 + Ilford SFX 200 + Scanned by Bayeux (Bryce Canyon UT, 2017)

Above was one of the first shots from the roll. As you can see the sky is nowhere near the black I’d hoped, but not too big of an issue on this shot as that wasn’t the focus. A few of the ones below are better. Overall the contrast turned out low which is disappointing, but to be fair logistical reasons in getting to the parks (as being memorial day weekend it was hard to camp near the parks) limited the availability of good light (i.e. early morning and evening before sunset). However I still, perhaps naively, hoped for the images to come out better. They seem grainier than I’d expected and the sky was not as dark (though this may be due to the filter and unremarkable-poor light). In addition this roll of film has made me stop and tell myself I should read up once more on the zone system for better B&W exposures.

Nikon F3 + Nikon 35mm f2.8 + Ilford SFX 200 + Scanned by Bayeux (Arches UT, 2017)

Nikon F3 + Nikon 20mm f4 + Ilford SFX 200 + Scanned by Bayeux (Arches UT, 2017)

Nikon F3 + Nikon 35mm f2.8 + Ilford SFX 200 + Scanned by Bayeux (Arches UT, 2017)

Nikon F3 + Nikon 35mm f1.8 + Ilford SFX 200 + Scanned by Bayeux (Arches UT, 2017)

Nikon F3 + Nikon35mm f2.8 + Ilford SFX 200 + Scanned by Bayeux (Snow Canyon UT, 2017)

Nikon F3 + Nikon 35mm f4 + Ilford SFX 200 + Scanned by Bayeux (Snow Canyon UT, 2017)

Nikon F3 + Nikon 35mm f2.8 + Ilford SFX 200 + Scanned by Bayeux (Zion UT, 2017)

Nikon F3 + Nikon 35mm f2.8 + Ilford SFX 200 + Scanned by Bayeux (Zion UT, 2017)

Nikon F3 + Nikon 200mm f4 + Ilford SFX 200 + Scanned by Bayeux (Snow Canyon UT, 2017)

 

Turbine Hall

Nikon F100 + Tokina 12-24mm + Fuji Neopan 400 pushed to 1600 (London, 2011)

Before my F100 was stolen in Belize, I managed to put a few rolls through it. The lens used for this photo is actually for DX digital, but works on film somewhere past the 20mm mark. This shot is the turbine hall of the Tate Modern, and the exhibition here was Ai Weiwei’s sunflower seeds.

Snake Charmer

Cosina CT1A + Cosinon 50mm + Ilford HP5 Plus (Marrakesh, 2011)

Fog in Frisco

Bronica SQA + Zenzanon 50mm PS + Kodak Tmax 100 (San Francisco, 2013)

Budapest Castle

Bronica SQA + Zenzanon 80mm f2.8 + Ilford HP5 Plus (Budapest, 2012)

Transamerica Building

Bronica SQA + Zenzanon 80mm f2.8 + Ilford HP5 Plus (San Francisco, 2013)

Lloyds Building

Bronica SQ-A + Zenzanon 80mm f2.8 + Ilford HP5 Plus (City of London, 2012)

Beware. Horses may kick or bite! Thank you

Zeiss Ikon Nettar 517 + Ilford Delta HP5 Plus + Scanned with Epson v700 (London, 2011)

So this picture is from the first roll of film I ever put in the 60+ year old folding camera I inherited from my great grandma. I was taken aback by just how much character this camera can give to photos. This was my first introduction to medium format, and quickly showed me the benefits of the shallower depth of field (for given aperture).

What I like most about this photo is how serious the guard and horse look with the deadpan sign to the side.

Relics

Cosina CT1-A + Cosinon 50mm + Ilford HP5 (London 2011)

I first tried out film during my first year of university in 2007. I bought this cheap Cosina camera from a london market stall and ran one roll through it. Unimpressed with the results, and skeptical the camera had a fault, I didn’t touch it again until many years later until I was developing my own film in the university photo societies darkroom. The few rolls I put through it are fun to look back on, and this photo specifically is one of my favourites. This was taken in the basement of the British Museum in their South America room. Whilst I’ve pushed the contrast in post, I am still very impressed how the detail and contrast came out. Looking at this image I find it hard not to be absorbed into thinking about where this stone statue came from, who made it, and the things it has seen.

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