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Looking out on NYC Harbour

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

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)

Bullring

Bronica SQA + Zenzanon 80mm f2.8 + Fuji 400Pro (Birmingham, 2012)

Its not black and white… thats just the sky in the UK…

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)

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.

Cosina CT1a + Cosinon 50mm f2

Summary

I think this is a fun and capable camera, especially suited to someone who is looking an inexpensive camera to try out film. Its pretty light and small (weighing something like 700 grams with the 50mm F2 lens) so good for travel. It also uses the Pentax K mount so I think there are plenty of lenses you could use at reasonable prices. The functions it has are simple, just manual mode and a self timer, which are good in keeping you focussed on the image. Negatives are that the meter didn’t seem all the greatest and the film advance lever broke off mine and was not easily fixable (I sold the camera as spares/repairs for almost nothing on eBay after this happened). The shutter speed is also limited to 1/1000, although I doubt this is a big drawback to most people (it wasn’t for me). The ergonomics and look of the camera are quite standard and simple, but I do think it looks pretty cool.

My Story with this Camera

This was almost the camera that started my passion for photography. However the first roll I put through it came out with a black line across the top of alot of frames, and the rest were pretty badly exposed. Thinking the camera was broken, I didn’t use it again until 4 years later, when I infact realised it worked fine! So it ended up being the purchase of a digital DSLR (a Nikon D40) that set me on the photography path, and not this. Which is a shame, because this was a fun and capable camera. I think what had happened was me not realising there was such a thing as a max shutter speed for flash sync, and so all of the pictures taken with the flash had that black band at the top of the frame. This is one of the few cameras thats broken during normal usage for me, with the film advance lever coming off and not wanting to go back on. It was sold in 2011 as spares/repairs for almost nothing on eBay.

Photos

Conclusion

Its a decent camera for a film beginner, especially as its so inexpensive. Its simple to use, and can get some excellent pictures with the sharp and fast 50mm F2 lens, but I wouldn’t be too reliant on the meter.

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.

Rusty Ladder

Nikon F100 + Kodak Ektar + Scanned Epson v700 (Aberystwyth, 2011)

The Nikon F100 was a fun camera while it lasted (someone stole it in Guatemala later that year). This is one of my favourite Ektar photos – I just love the tones in the sand, rust and wall complimenting each other.

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.

Angled

Zeiss Ikon Nettar + Kodak Ektar 100 (London, 2011)

Walking on the side streets near King’s College in London looking up at the architecture around, this building caught my eye. I’ll be honest, this was a shot I thought nothing of at the time but once developed (by myself at my university darkroom) its been one of my favourite architecture photos since. The contrast of how the light is hitting the different sides of the building, and the consistency in the white border, really brings out the sharp angle of the corner.

Looking back at photos from this particular camera, I’m always intrigued by the images it produces. Whats better is the camera is very light and (relatively) small, so is a great choice to carry around the city.

Iguazu

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

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

Lake District

Bronica SQ-A + Zenzanon 80mm f2.8 + Fuji Vevlia 100 + Epson v500 Scanner (Cumbria, 2016)

I’d not been to the lake district since a child, so I gathered some mates and drove up there with the aim of climbing Scarfell Pike (Englands highest mountain). The scenery driving into the park was magical, there was dense mist and fog hanging off the hills, with sheep sauntering nonchalantly by the side (and in) the road. As we drove further in, along the side of Wastwater lake, I was stunned by symmetry created by the reflection and the mist.

Whilst I enjoy this picture, it highlights to me again how Velvia is not a forgiving film to use. This image was maybe underexposed by a stop and a third, and thats what adds the purple bias in the colours. I think I made the mistake of metering this photo from my Nikon D7100 in matrix mode, when spot would have been much more appropriate. Will the increasing cost of processing E6 and my lackluster results with slide film to date, this may be the last roll of Velvia I shoot for a while.

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.

Pompidou Piping

Yashicamat 124G + Fuji Reala 100 (Paris, 2017)

Here’s a photo of the day (POTD) to get kick started on this new site. After a bit of a break from film photography, the bug has hit again. I have always wanted a TLR, so recently purchased this camera from eBay for probably too much. This was a highlight from the second roll I put through it, I’ve not really ever liked the colours of the now discontinued Reala film, but I had a roll left in the freezer to use up, and I quite like how the colour came out. As for the TLR, maybe it’ll take time to get used to. After two rolls through it I was missing using my Bronica SQ-A. Time will tell.

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