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Category: nikon f3

Lightbox Monday #8 – Tate Modern (Pushed Neopan)

Nikon F3 + Nikon 24mm f2.8 Ai + Fuji Neopan 400 pushed 1600 (London, 2011)

Nikon F3 + Nikon 24mm f2.8 Ai  + Fuji Neopan 400 pushed 1600 (London, 2011)

Nikon F3 + Nikon 24mm f2.8 Ai  + Fuji Neopan 400 pushed 1600 (London, 2011)

We’re spoilt for choice for world class art galleries in London. The Tate Modern is an excellent free modern art gallery in a repurposed power station on the south bank of the Thames. The main Turbine Hall (pictured above) is a vast enclosed space that really gives you a sense of being small. Its a space thats used for large installations of sculpture. This series of images from a visit in 2011 captured the Ai Weiwei Sunflower Seeds exhibition which consisted of more than 100 million individually handmade ceramic replica sunflower seeds. Originally the exhibit was interactive – visitors could roam about and pick up the seeds. However in a good example of modern health and safety fears the dust created from the ceramic seeds was deemed to be too big of a risk to allow this and the section was promptly roped off.  

I really enjoyed revisiting these images some 6 years later whilst categorising my library of film photographs. The first thing that stuck me was how much I liked the contrast of pushing the now defunct Neopan 400 to 1600. I don’t think I’ve pushed a roll of film since then and I don’t really know why. I intend to do this again soon. This series of images were also captured with a recently acquired 24mm wide angle lens and it does a good job of capturing the vastness of the space. Now I have the 20mm f4 and 24mm f2.8 and I’m toying with the idea of selling one of them. Originally it was going to be the 24mm but these images have given me pause for thought. Finally the last thing I took from looking at these negatives is how I must have been pretty careless in developing them. There are chemical marks peppered throughout the rest of the roll but also visible on these images particularly on the image with the wall text. It serves as a good reminder to make sure I spend enough time washing the negatives after fixing!

Lightbox Monday #3 – Underground

Nikon F3 + Nikon 24mm f2.8 Ai + Kodak TMax 100 (London, 2011)

Whilst Canary Warf is a place I almost never go, its tube station is pretty impressive. It was designed by British Architect legend Norman Foster and was opened in 1999 and is worth a visit if you can think of any other reason to goto Canary Warf. The tones of TMax capture it well, however I can’t believe I scanned it with so much dust on the negative. Its certainly a candidate for a rescan when I get time. Also its one I developed myself, probably with Ilfotec HC, in the Imperial College darkroom. I’m about to start developing my own black and white film once more in my new flat. I don’t think I ever mastered the process before and got relatively inconsistent results but I’m going to focus this time on trying to get better. I think as well I’ll try to settle down on one B&W film to use as I’ve never really got into the habit of just using one for more than a few rolls. I haven’t fully decided which one yet but the tones from this TMax scan are making me lean this way.

Lightbox Monday #2 – Snow on Hackney Road

Nikon F3 + Nikon 50mm f1.8 Series E + Kodak Ektar (London, 2013)

It was a cold snowy start to 2013 in London. I’m a big fan of photographing in the snow – its effective at removing distractions and helping you to see scenes that you see every day with a new perspective. This scene I saw almost every day walking from my flat into work. The road is popular for graffiti artists, but this piece in particular was my favourite from during the time I lived in the area. Its a cartoon skull on its side, with a great mouth that wraps around a doorframe. I captured a few shots of this street art from different angles, but I quite like this one with the eye peeping over the snow capped hedge (although the chromatic aberration around the tree branches and the busyness of these branches does detract a little from the poignancy of eye looking over). I chose this image after stumbling across it on an old Facebook album, but upon searching my photo library in my library it appears that I had lost all of the scans from this roll of film. Luckily I had recently been sorting out my negative storage so I could quickly rescan. It just shows that multiple backups are so important in general and its pretty handy to have a physical one as well as digital!

Ploughing Match

Nikon F3 + Nikkor 80-200mm f2.8 AF-D + Kodak Ektar (Shropshire, 2017)

I have seldom used telephoto lenses with my film cameras, usually really as a novelty, as the situations that require a telephoto tend to have me reaching my my digital. Whether its wildlife or sport generally the need for fast focusing and rapid fire generally mean I feel like its a waste of film. However the Whitchurch Young Farmer ploughing match provided a good opportunity to try out my reasonably new Nikkor 80-200mm f2.8 AF-D on film with some slow moving targets. One of the things that is great about the Nikon system is the great interchangeability of lenses and bodies, and this lens works great with the F3. It does however feel a little unbalanced due to the weight of the lens and the lack of full handgrip like on later SLRs. I particularly like the colour rendition of this lens with Kodak Ektar (especially the brown of the soil). As for the manual focus, 3/4 of the shots from here were keepers, which I didn’t think was too bad.

Nikon F3 + Nikkor 80-200mm f2.8 AF-D + Kodak Ektar (Shropshire, 2017)

Nikon F3 + Nikkor 80-200mm f2.8 AF-D + Kodak Ektar (Shropshire, 2017)

Memories of Rio

Nikon F3 + Nikon 24mm f2.8 Ai + Fuji Provia (Rio de Janiero, 2012)

In 2012 I took  a vacation to Rio with my F3 loaded with Fuji Provia and a FM with Ektar. By this point I was fully enamored with shooting film, so much so that I decided to exclusively take film cameras on this trip (my first time doing so). I was also very much enjoying using these two manual focus Ai Nikon Bodies and took a lens selection of the 24mm f2.8 (non-ai version Ai’d), 35mm f2.8 Ai and a 50mm f1.8 Series E. I find this to be a decent travel set-up (so much so I took almost the same gear on my 2017 trip to Utah save for the 24mm which I decided to swap out for a 20mm), although the bodies are made out of metal, the lenses are so small and relatively light, that overall its less weight then I’d have normally taken with digital gear.

I must admit I felt a little uneasy about not taking my DSLR (which was a D90 at the time). What if the X-Rays fogged my film? What if I didn’t nail the shot and didn’t realise until later? These fears proved to be misguided (the film went through 6 X-Ray scanners to no visible detriment) and my decision was also helped by the fact that the year before when traveling with a friend in Belize we had a load of camera gear  stolen. He had all of his digital gear taken, whereas I lucked out, in the sense that they only went in the top of my bag and stole my F100 and another 50mm Series E lens.  If they’d have rummaged further they’d have found my D90 and lenses. I figured taking older film cameras would make them less desirable to steal and make me stand out a bit less.

One thing I completely misjudged was how much film I should take. I can’t remember exactly how many rolls I’d bought, but put it this way, now in 2017 I still have rolls left from this trip sitting in my freezer. This error I guess was all part of the transition to shooting film. The limitations of the number of shots per roll has made me have a higher value on each shutter press. So naturally I take less photos. But hopefully a better percentage of good ones. I estimated the quantity of film needed based on the digital shots I’d taken on a similar trip which proved a schoolboy error.

As for the photos, looking back on them I enjoy them greatly. The fantastic sunlight of Rio brought out the best of the Ektar, especially around sunset. I love the gradient of how the highlights are blown out as the sun is setting on the mountains of Rio in two of the pictures below. I find this behaviour much more pleasing than digital. As for the Provia – well I’ve had pretty inconsistent results with slide film in general, really down to me not exposing it well (see last picture in the below series). I took it on this trip as a bit of a trial, and to be honest my only regret is not choosing to take some black and white film instead.

Nikon FM + Nikon 35mm f2.8 Ai + Kodak Ektar (Rio De Janiero, 2012)

Nikon F3 + Fuji Provia (Isla Grande, 2012)

Nikon F3 + Nikon 24mm f2.8 Ai + Fuji Provia (Rio De Janiero, 2012)

Nikon F3 + Nikon 35mm f2.8 Ai + Fuji Provia (Rio De Janiero, 2012)

Nikon F3 + Nikon 50mm f1.8 Series E + Fuji Provia (Rio De Janiero, 2012)

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)

 

Iguazu Falls Close Up

Nikon F3 + Nikon 50mm f1.8 Series E + Fuji Velvia 100 (Brazil, 2012)

Ah yes, the purple tones of underexposed velvia…

Cambridge Processing

Nikon F3 + Nikon 50mm f.18 Series E + Kodak Ekatr 100 (Cambridge MA, 2017)

This was taken with my F3 hooked up with a waist level finder. I’d wanted to get one for a while because I really like the ergonomics of taking photos with one, and finally got one early this year. Even though the focussing screen is really small for 35mm cameras compared to a medium format SLR, I still find it a very engaging way to take photos. I’ve also not had too big of a problem focusing with it either. And as a final bonus it shaves a noticeable amount of weight from the camera, as opposed to using the normal finder!

Looking out on NYC Harbour

Nikon F3 + Nikon 50mm f1.8 Series E + Kodak Ektar 100 (NYC, 2012)

Cyclone

Nikon F3 + Nikon 35mm Ai f2.8 + Kodak Ektar 100 (Coney Island, 2013)

A highlight of Coney island is riding this sweet coaster.

Toothy

Nikon F3 + Nikon 35mm Ai f2.8 + Fuji Provia 400 (Hackney, 2012)

Door by the canal in Hackney. I bought an old slide projector on ebay to see what this roll of Provia looked like huge. There is nothing like it.

Blue Garage

Nikon F3 + Nikon Series E 50mm f1.8 + Kodak Ektar 100 (Walthamstow, 2017)

Whilst living in Walthamstow in North East London I walked past this garage every day. I found the colours very interesting in the bright spring morning sunlight.

Hydrant

Nikon F3 + Nikon 50mm Series E f1.8 + Kodak Ektar (Cambridge MA, 2017)

Nothing like a sunny day to make you notice interesting everyday colours.

Iguazu

Nikon F3 + Nikon 35mm Ai f2.8 + Fuji Velvia 100 + Processed and scanned by Peak Imaging (Argentina, 2012)

Rio

Nikon F3 + Nikkor 35mm f2.8 Ai + Kodak Ektar 100 + Processed and Scanned by Peak Imaging (Brazil, 2012)

This photo was captured after taking the cable car up Sugarloaf near sunset. I just love the way the highlights of the sunset are rendered on this film, almost like a haze hanging across the back of the city.¬†Most often I scan my film myself on an affordable Epson v500 flatbed, but for the film from this trip I got them scanned professionally by mail order lab Peak Imaging. I regret not getting a higher resolution; I wanted to print this photo A4 in a photobook of my trip, but the resolution of the scan was not good enough (would only really print 5×7 well). So I tried myself (my scan on a v500 below), but it really pales in comparison in terms of vibrance and punch, particularly of the sunlight in the top left.

Scanned by myself of an Epson v500

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