Equipment

...now browsing by category

 

Large format film test

Saturday, March 18th, 2017

I recently bought a batch of expired large format 5×4 sheet film that I’m unfamiliar with so I made some test shots during my lunch break to see what they would look like. The film expired in 2005 and as I have no idea of how it’s been stored since then I decided to rate the film at ISO64 instead of 100. The camera I used is my smallest and most portable 5×4 camera which is a Polaroid 110B that I had converted by Randy at holgamods.com. It’s a thing of beauty and a joy to use.

[Tech info:] Polaroid 110B, Mac 100 UP b&w film (expired 2005), rated at ISO64 and developed in Rodinal 1+25 for 8mins in a Jobo.

Gear: Kodak Retina test with colour film

Saturday, February 11th, 2017

I’ve enjoyed using my Kodak Retina camera since I got it recently and I wanted to test it with some colour film to see what the lens is like. This is the first test roll which was expired Kodak Color Plus 200 film which I bought in the Oxford Poundland shop when it first opened. The film expired in 2012 but I don’t think it’s too bad at all. These shots were made on a short walk around Sutton Courtney so don’t be surprised if this doesn’t look anything like Oxford.

[Tech info:] Kodak Retina loaded with Kodak Color Plus 200 (expired) film. Developed in Fuji Xpress C41 kit, Pakon scans.

Gear: Voigtlander 40/1.4 test shots

Monday, December 19th, 2016

After seeing lots of great shots from other photographer’s that use a Voigtlander 40/1.4 lens I decided it was time to try one myself. The weather recently has been very overcast and the light less than inspiring but you don’t have to always have sunny weather to test out gear. So far I am very fond of this little lens – the size and weight being two standout features – and I’m very pleased with these initial results.

[Tech info:] Leica M2, Voigtlander 40/1.4 multi-coated, TMAX 100 (expired), developed in HC110 1+31, Pakon scans.

Kodak Retina test shots

Sunday, December 4th, 2016

Here are some test shots from the first roll of film through a Kodak Retina camera that I recently got as part of a job lot of darkroom equipment. I don’t know anything about this camera but as it’s completely mechanical it was very easy to figure out the controls. The rangefinder is coupled and the leaf shutter is very quiet. I enjoyed using it and hope to put a roll of colour film through it soon.

[Tech info:] Kodak Retina, Kodak TMAX 100 (expired), developed in HC110 1+31 for 6mins. Pakon scans.

Oxford: Olympus OM1 test, lunch break photo walk

Wednesday, June 22nd, 2016

These shots are from an Olympus OM1 I wanted to test four months ago. I was also testing some expired Ilford Pan F film that I was given inside a bulk film loader but I had no idea how long ago it had expired. Somehow the roll got fogged but I can’t remember how – I need to start making notes.

[Tech info:] Olympus OM1, 50/1.8, Ilford Pan F (expired), developed in Kodak D76, Pakon scans.

Gear: Olympus OM1 test

Monday, February 22nd, 2016

A generous friend of mine (thanks Clive) gave me an Olympus OM1 that he had been given over 10 years ago but never got around to using it. I was very pleased to accept it as I’ve been curious about the Olympus OM1 for a long time. I keep hearing so many positive things about it but I don’t have any experience of Olympus SLR cameras having been a lifelong Nikon user. It turned out that the light meter doesn’t work in this OM1 but fortunately it’s a manual mechanical camera and still works fine without the light meter or batteries. These shots are from the first test roll I put through it during my lunch break.

[Tech info:] Olympus OM1, Zuiko 50/1.8 lens, Kodak TMAX 1oo developed in Kodak HC110 1+31. Pakon scans.

Gear: Pentacon Six TL

Saturday, February 13th, 2016

Here are some images from the first test roll through a medium format camera that I picked up recently. The Pentacon Six TL has been on my radar for the last couple of years because of one particular lens, the Carl Zeiss Jena 180/2.8. As luck would have it I came across a nice condition setup for sale last weekend for a reasonable price so I decided it was time to give it a go.

The first thing that struck me was the size of the front element of the 180/2.8 lens, it’s huge! My largest filters are 77mm but this lens requires 86mm filters. The camera is very nice to use, especially with a prism instead of a waist level finder which makes it easier to balance the big lens. The only camera I have that is similar in size and design is a Pentax 6×7 but two immediate differences struck me about the Pentacon Six TL – it’s a 6×6 format camera so you use it in landscape orientation the whole time, also the mirror in it is a lot quieter than the Pentax 6×7 and doesn’t cause as much camera shake. One thing I didn’t realise about the prism is that the viewfinder is not 100%. I’ve got a lot more image in the frame on the film than I remember seeing through the lens. I’m not sure if this is down to the prism or whether you get the same with the waist level finder (which I don’t have).

So far I’ve enjoyed using this camera and lens combo and look forward to seeing more results from it.

[Tech info:] Pentacon Six TL, Carl Zeiss Jena 180/2.8, Kodak Tri-X (expired 2002) developed in Kodak HC110 1+47 for 8 mins.

Camera test: Contax G1

Wednesday, 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: Voigtlander Bessa 6×9

Tuesday, March 17th, 2015

This set of images were made with what I think is the oldest camera I currently own – a Voigtlander Bessa I 6×9 folder from 1936. It works incredibly well for its age but it is a little quirky (it has separate viewfinder windows for focussing and composing) and it’s not particularly fast to use in a hurry but I do enjoy the size of the frames on the film and it folds down to a very compact size which makes it perfect for carrying around. I’ve only put three rolls through it so far and I think I’ll try a roll with this camera mounted on a tripod to see how much sharper the images become.

[Tech info]: Voigtlander Bessa I 6×9 folder, 105mm Skopar lens, Fuji Acros 100 film, developed in Kodak HC110 1+31 for 5:30.

 

Oxford: Industar lens test part 2

Tuesday, January 13th, 2015

Here are a few more shots from the first time out with my Industar 210mm large format lens. I only took six sheets of film with me and I used two sheets on one of the shots because the light was changing and I decided to try out a greater depth of field on the second sheet. I ended up preferring the light on the building in the first exposure so that’s the one I’ve posted here.

[Tech info:] Graflex Speed Graphic, Industar 210/f4.5 lens, Kodak Plus-X Aerographic film, processed in Kodak HC110 1+31 for 6 mins.

Oxford: Magdalen College

Saturday, January 10th, 2015

This afternoon I visited Magdalen College to test out a new (old) lens I recently fitted to a lens board for my Speed Graphic and here is the first test shot made on Fuji FP-100C instant pack film. I also took some b&w sheet film with me and those shots will follow at a later time. The beauty of FP-100C is being able to bleach the black carbon backing from the back and ending up with an almost large format sized negative. This shot was made late in the afternoon as the light was fading and I used the slowest shutter speed on my Speed Graphic (1/30th) knowing that the print would be a little on the under-exposed side but also knowing that the negative gives you an extra 2 stops of exposure. It’s nice to get two shots for the price of one – the only instant film that does.

[Tech info:] Speed Graphic 5×4, Industar 210/4.5 lens, Fuji FP-100C instant pack film.

Neg

Print

Oxford: Voigtlander Nokton 35/1.2 lens test

Sunday, November 9th, 2014

These shots were made during my lunch break to test a wide-angle lens I picked up for my Leica M2, it’s a Voigtlander Nokton 35/1.2 II. A couple of years ago my friend Benedict Campbell bought this same lens and the first place he went to test it out was the Natural History Museum in Oxford so I thought it appropriate that I should do the same. Not only are the light levels inside perfect to test out such a fast lens but there are also lots of interesting things to photograph as well as lots of people. The film I used was an expired roll of Ilford FP4 but there was no box with it so I don’t know how old it was. The grain seems heavier than I would expect so perhaps it was quite old. On my way back to my office I stopped off at Clements & Church tailors on Little Clarendon Street to use up the last few frames with Ian who is always obliging.

[Tech info:] Leica M2, Voightlander Nokton 35/1.2, Ilford FP4 (expired), processed in Kodak HC110 1+31.