Camera test: Contax G1

Written by Nasir Hamid on October 7th, 2015

These shots were made during my lunch break yesterday, all from the same roll of film that I used to test a Contax G1 camera I recently bought. The weather has been very wet the past two days but fortunately there was a break in the rain just long enough for me to shoot this roll. In a few of the shots I was also testing an external flash (TLA 200) that I got with the camera body. It’s very simple to use as it only has two modes, manual and TTL. I left it on TTL. The light from it seems nice and balanced and it’s small enough to keep in the camera case without noticing it. One thing I did notice is the AF doesn’t seem to lock on very well if you try to focus on something that is low contrast or backlit. Some of the shots on the roll were slightly out of focus. So far I’ve been enjoying using the G1 as a point and shoot camera.

[Tech info:] Contax G1, 45/2 Carl Zeiss lens, Ilford FP4 film (expired) developed in Kodak HC110 1+31 for 9mins. Pakon scans.



Oxford: Endeavour 3, episode 4 – part 3

Written by Nasir Hamid on October 5th, 2015

Continuing on from the previous post, here’s the second set of my selections from the same roll of film that I shot during Endeavour filming on Merton Street back in July. This was quite a big sequence and the road needed to be kept clear which meant I ended up being quite far back from a lot of the action. I prefer to stick with using only a 50mm lens for my documentary style photography hence the wide shots in this set. Whenever possible I zoom with my feet and it saves me fumbling around with changing lenses instead of photographing. Yes, I could be carrying around a 70-200mm zoom but I much prefer the perspective I get with a fast 50mm along with the size and weight benefit. Not looking like a paparazzi is a bonus!

[Tech info:] Leica M2, Voigtlander 50/1.5 Nokton, Eastman Double X motion picture film developed in Kodak D76 1+1.


Oxford: Endeavour 3, episode 4 – part 2

Written by Nasir Hamid on September 29th, 2015

This was going to be a bumper post but I’ve decided to split the selections from this roll across two different posts because of the number of images. Please be aware there may be the odd spoiler in these shots, I can’t say because I don’t know anything about the storyline and I just photographed some of what I saw on the street. What I can tell you is this episode looks like it’s going to be exciting! Lots more images to come from this episode which was a lot of fun to photograph.

[Tech info:] Leica M2, Voigtlander 50/1.5 Nokton, Eastman Double X motion picture film developed in Kodak D76 1+1.


Oxford Beard Festival 2015

Written by Nasir Hamid on September 22nd, 2015

I must admit I’m not a huge fan of shaving and usually go a few weeks between shaves whenever possible. When I found out about the Oxford Beard Festival my first thought wasn’t about entering, it was to make portraits of some of the competitors in a formal portrait kind of way. It took me a while to decide on which camera to take and in the end I opted for my Graflex Super D which is a large format SLR allowing me to shoot 5×4 inch sheet film. For this event I packed 12 sheets of film and used one sheet on each person below so making mistakes wasn’t an option. After arriving at the venue (The James Street Tavern) I scoped out a place to set up that would be both out of the way and would also give me consistent lighting during the afternoon and managed to find a nice shady spot in the corner of the beer garden. It was a fun event and I enjoyed photographing such a variety of beards but this was more than just about beards, I could appreciate the thought that had also gone into the clothes and styling for a lot of these guys and that made for better pictures in the end. My thanks go out to all of these guys for being so patient and for sitting very still for me.

[Tech info:] Graflex Super D 5×4, Pentac 8inch f2.9 lens, Ilford HP5 film processed in Kodak HC110 1+31 for 6 mins.

Behind the scenes shots of the camera I used and some of the sheet film hanging up to dry.


Oxford: Endeavour series 3, episode 4

Written by Nasir Hamid on September 17th, 2015

These shots are from the first day of filming in Oxford for the fourth and final episode of Endeavour series three. As luck would have it, I had booked a day off work to develop colour film in the darkroom and while taking a break for lunch I managed to find the Endeavour crew who were finishing up a scene before also taking a break for lunch. After I had finished developing more films in the afternoon I returned to the set and managed to photograph one more scene before packing up for the day. The schedule suffered an unforeseen delay when a huge truck decided to reverse down St Johns Street (which was clearly too narrow with parked cars on both sides) right as the Endeavour crew had set up the camera and were about to rehearse the next scene. The crew moved all of their equipment out of the way and watched many failed attempts by the driver to turn the truck around a corner that was so tight you’d be lucky to get the truck around if it was half the size. Eventually the driver admitted defeat and parked the truck further down the street. It was while all of this was happening that I made the small group shot of some of the guys so now you know why they have the puzzled expressions.

[Tech info:] Leica M2, Voightlander Nokton 50/1.5, Agfa APX 100 film pushed 1 stop in Rodinal 1+50.


Oxford: Endeavour series 3 – night shoot

Written by Nasir Hamid on September 16th, 2015

It’s nice when you find shots on film months after the fact. These shots are from 16th May (easily identified thanks to a handy shot of the slate) when the Endeavour crew were filming late into the night in Oxford. Unfortunately for them it didn’t start to get dark until very late so their shoot didn’t end until 2am. I stayed around until close to midnight and  left when I felt I had the best of what I could get in the can. The nice part of this shoot was seeing Radcliffe Square lit up like never before. Those of you that know that part of town might notice something about the phone boxes.

[Tech info:] Leica M2, Voigtlander Nokton 50/1.5, Ilford HP5 film developed in Kodak D76 1+1. Pakon scans.


Oxford: St Giles’ Fair 2015 – part 1

Written by Nasir Hamid on September 15th, 2015

St Giles’ Fair rolled into town last week and this is the first of what will probably be quite a few blog posts of pictures shot over the three days (including setting up). This year I only used black & white film for a change. It was nice to see some familiar faces again and as usual there was lots going on and plenty to photograph. I missed the fair last year so I was crossing my fingers for nice weather this time which we were fortunate to have. In the second shot down you can see Tommy Noyce who has been visiting St Giles’ Fair since he was 6 years old. He is now 73. The well known galloping horses carousel has been in his family for three generations and takes five trucks to transport. Sadly it no longer comes to St Giles’ Fair. The last frame below was made on the way back to my office during my lunch time visit to the fair – two of the tailors from Clements & Church on Little Clarendon Street.

[Tech info:] Fuji 6×9, Neopan Acros 100 developed in Rodinal 1+50 for 14 mins.


Oxford: Endeavour 3, episode 2 – part 2

Written by Nasir Hamid on September 4th, 2015

Behind the scenes photography during filming of Endeavour series 3 episode 2. It’s not very often that I use colour film when photographing Endeavour filming but the previous day I had been photographing the summer eights rowing competition on the river and the roll was only half used from that. This particular camera has a quiet mode that you can switch to which makes the camera virtually silent – perfect for behind the scenes photography – so I had to take it with me despite it having colour film loaded.

[Tech info:] Konica Hexar AF, Fuji Superia 400 (expired), developed in Rollei Digibase C41 kit, Pakon scans.


Oxford: BMX Jam, 2015 – part 1

Written by Nasir Hamid on August 30th, 2015

This is the first set of my pictures from this year’s BMX Jam that was held at the Oxford Wheels Project skate park on Meadow Lane in Oxford. I always look forward to the BMX and Skate jam’s that are held there in the summer because the events attract a lot of talented riders and skaters. In previous years I have concentrated more on making portraits but this year I decided to focus more on the action. It can be a challenge trying to photograph fast moving action using a completely manual camera (that doesn’t have a motor-drive or a built in light meter) with a lens no longer than 50mm but I enjoy the challenge and my pictures show what’s possible when you put your mind to it.

[Tech info:] Leica M2, Voigtlander Nokton 35mm and 50mm lenses, yellow filter, loaded with Ilford HP5, developed in Kodak Xtol 1+1.


Oxford: Cowley Road Carnival, 2015

Written by Nasir Hamid on August 24th, 2015

I did some photography at this years’ Cowley Road Carnival and here’s a small selection. The weather was a bit of a mixed bag, combine that with more people than you can ever imagine on the Cowley Road and you can see why photography was rather difficult this year. Still, I did enjoy the atmosphere and look forward to going again next year.

[Tech info:] Konica Hexar AF, Fuij Reala 100 film, developed in Rollei Digibase C41 kit, Pakon scans.


Oxford: Endeavour 3, episode 4 – part 1

Written by Nasir Hamid on August 20th, 2015

The Endeavour crew rolled up into town to start filming the fourth and final episode of series three and here are some pictures from when I came across them on the first day of what was to be an exciting six day shoot. I don’t often use colour film when I photograph Endeavour filming but on this occasion it’s what I had loaded from when I was photographing Cowley Road Carnival the previous weekend. This type of film, Fuji Reala 100, is sadly no longer made but I managed to buy a batch of expired rolls from a company that used it to photograph school portrait and group shots before they switched to digital. It’s one of my favourite films that I bring out on special occasions. Lots more pictures to come from this episode.

[Tech info:] Konica Hexar AF, Fuji Reala 100 film, developed in Rollei Digibase C41 kit, Pakon scans.


Oxford: Torpids 2015 – part 2

Written by Nasir Hamid on August 17th, 2015

If you want to see how beautiful Kodak Vision 3 motion picture film can look when used in a still camera look no further. The film stock I used for these shots was 50D and it’s the same stock that was used to shoot Star Wars Episode VII – I purchased some surplus stock left over from the production. This film loves sunlight and does a superb job at retaining detail in both shadow and highlights in contrasty light when exposed properly. I developed this film myself and removed the dreaded remjet layer by using only hot water and a sponge.

[Tech info:] Minolta Hi-Matic 7, Kodak Vision 3 50D film, developed in Rollei Digibase C41 kit, Pakon scan.