Feb 212012
 

The Contax G2, Travel Companion by Ibraar Hussain

Dear Steve, I thought I’d write in again, just to relate some of my experiences with the Contax G2 around Northern Pakistan and the Punjab. I’ve been there a few times over the last five years and have had my trusty Contax G2 with me at all times. I know most people shoot with Digital, and finding an almost full time Film shooter is quite a rarity.

In Pakistan, my Contax was a rarity – people were constantly wishing to view the image on the rear panel, and much to their chagrin they were disappointed. The strange thing is that even in the most remote parts, the most remotest and rustic people expected digital cameras and an LCD screen! I was surprised at first and then realised that it’s been over a decade since digital cameras became popular, and many years since Film has ceased to be in use in places such as Pakistan.

Pakistan, as Flickr will show you, is rife with native photographers, and I’ve yet to see ANY photographer anywhere in Flickr, of Pakistani descent, using Film. In Pakistan and India I think Film IS DEAD, you may find the odd mini-Lab but trying to find a lab of any sort which develops E6 or even sells E6 Film stock is impossible in my experience. In 2007 I had to be driven all around Islamabad and Rawalpindi before I found the Headquarters of Fujifilm Pakistan – the only place I could pick up a few rolls of Fujichrome Sensia 100 – rolls which had been sweltering in the heat for Christ knows how long. in 2009 and 2011 I made sure I was well stocked up BEFORE I left England! :)

So I felt a bit privileged in a way, sure, it’s foolish feeling, but it was a feeling which had much of pride in it. I had to rely on the characteristics of the Film stock and my rudimentary ‘experience’ to try and grab the shots I wanted, with a long wait to see my results. I know digital gives a higher resolution and pixel peepers will probably get annoyed at the fact that I don’t care, I don’t think that’s important, I’m more concerned with contrast, colour and latitude, and trying to be more creative and artistic. (note the word ‘trying! :) )

I also use B&W and the Zeiss G lenses give fantastic results, though they are sometimes a bit too contrasty and sharp for nice gradual BW tone!! :) haha! I prefer the look of Film, and the fact that I’m beholden to the Film stock and have the option of choosing what I’d like to load up to fit the occasion. For example, trips to Pakistan always ensure my G2 is loaded up with either Kodak e100vs or Fuji Velvia, so I know what to expect from my Slides. I’ll get heavy contrast, vibrant colour and will have to be careful with exposure. That’s where I reckon experience comes into it, experience with the Camera in use. I tend to use Exposure lock on the G2 very often, and can judge the correct exposure by looking at and locking the shutter speed after noting the difference between shadow and highlight in a scene, and I never have any focus problems, any blurred shots are the result of camera shake (using slow film is a pain at times).

But ultimately, the Film stock gives me the results I want, the tone and graduation, the gentle granularity, the pop of colour and it’s all so pleasing to the eye. The colours also add to the ‘exotic look’ of the places, the dust, the red earthy tones, the dress – everything.

I use both Film and Digital, I currently own a lovely Olympus XZ-1, and am looking with lust at the OM-D (I like Olympus colour) I’ve been using a mix of cameras over the years; from Canon, Nikon and Konica Minolta DSLR’s to various Compacts, 35mm SLR’s and 35mm Compacts, but one thing has remained constant: when I wanted to capture something important and special I always resort to using my G2.

It’s about as perfect a travel camera as you can get, it’s solid (I’ve knocked it, dropped it many times and it has survived!), well-built and is fairly compact. Battery lasts a good long while – in heat and cold,, focussing is quick and accurate, it has a really good meter, ergonomics are as sound as you can get and the lenses are stellar! With the G2, I find I can lift the camera focus and shoot in a quick movement, and if I wish i’m able to zone/pre focus using the (crappy but effective enough) Manual focus.

I have a couple of manual focus cameras, and a manual focus RF – I’d love to own a Leica and perhaps one day I shall, but to be honest, it’s the AF which gives the G the edge when travelling, as time is usually of the essence.

FLAWS.

Firstly, the smallish VF, it’s not bad, things are clear enough, but one always wishes for a larger brighter VF. It’s a bit silly, as Kyocera put a perfect VF in the Contax T2, why couldn’t they replicate the size and brightness in this? Filters, using Polarizers can be a pain, and the thing about mountain environments, a Graduated Filter is a MUST, but square filters are a pain to use on a Rangefinder. And finally, the G2 is so quick with a nice snick and zippy shutter that it’s easy to blow your way through Film! So have got to slow down a bit!

I hope my, as well as others use of Film, and such tools as the Contax G2 encourages people who use or have been brought up on Digital, taken up photography fairly recently, during this last 10 to 12 years and others who long ago abandoned the medium and ‘went digital’, to use this beautiful medium and utilise fantastic Film cameras which are at bargain prices these days; such the G1 and G2 and T series, Contax SLR’s, Olympus OM, Nikon F’s and others including Yashica/Rollei TLR’s, and MF gear (and Olympus Pen Half frame – I have a splendid Pen F which I have bought recently and am loving using it) , and I hope exposure on your superb site encourages photographers to use Film, enjoy and create using the characteristics of this medium along with their usual Gear.

Keep up the excellent site, the reviews are brilliant, as are the offerings and contributions from Site users! Love it!

Local lad with striking eyes. Minapin, Nagar Valley, Gilgit-Baltistan, Karakoram mountains. 2009. Fuji Velvia 50, 45mm Planar T* @ f2.8
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A local lad trying to sell me some snacks, Malam Jabba, Swat Valley. NWFP Pakistan. 2007.
Fuji Sensia 100. 45mm Planar T* @f2

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The strain and tension of life shows in the eyes of this young lad from Swat Valley. 2007. Fuji Sensia 100. 90mm Sonnar T* @ f2.8

 

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Mulhon, Kalash girl, Grom Village, Rumbour Valley, Hindu Kush. 45mm Planar T* @ f2, Kodak e100vs. 2009

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Man with firewood, Chitral Gol national park, Hindu Raj range is in the background. Hindu Kush mountains. 21mm Biogon T* Kodak e100vs.
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A guy on horseback at sunset. Sarai Alamgir, Punjab, Pakistan. 2009
21mm Biogon T* @ f2.8. Fuji Velvia 50.
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Villager collecting firewood and fodder. Rakaposhi base camp trek, bang-e-das, Nagar Valley, Gilgit-Baltistan. 2009.  21mm Biogon T*@ f2.8 (I think) Fuji Velvia 50.
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Shepherds and their Dog. Swat Valley, NWFP. 2007. Fuji Sensia 100. 21mm Biogon T*
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Mystic/ Fakir at the Shrine of Pir-e-Shah Ghazi, Kharri Shareef, Kashmir. 2009. 45mm Planar T* @ f2.8  Fuji velvia 50.
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Two Kalash Girls, Grom, Rumbour, Hindu Kush. 2011.  45mm Planar T*, Kodak e100vs
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Rabi Gul, young Kalash girl in traditional dress. Grom, Rumbour, Chitral, Hindu Kush. 45mm Planar T* Kodak e100vs

  128 Responses to “The Contax G2, Travel Companion by Ibraar Hussain”

  1. Superb photographs and a fabulous camera – long live film!

    • Yes, but film involves killing animals to get the gelatin used to coat film. For some of us who want to eliminate cruelty to animals, not a good thing.

      • I think you will find most comes from the animals used for food. This is a good thing, it is using the whole animal, not just the good meat. This means that they did not waste any, this is a good thing, it means the animal was bred and died for a good reason and was not wasted. ;)

      • so you’re a vegetarian? awesome more meet for and film for us!

      • Oh brother…..

          • many plastic and rubber and other parts in digital cameras are derived from animal products. Tyres on cars etc etc ad infinitum.

          • And all the more reason to be vigilant and do the best we can to try and minimize the way we hurt animals. Ibraar is correct that so many things we wouldn’t even imagine, many kinds of paper, ink, etc. often needlessly (but in the interest of profit) include the use of cheap animal products. Some of us work hard to minimize our ‘carbon footprint,’ and it’s also socially responsible to seek ways of minimize hurting and killing non-human animals. I’m simply suggesting that we be aware and draw our ‘lines in the sand’ according to our social and ethical conscience.

      • What abot digital products? So many toxic (cancer-cuasing) chemicals are used to make digital sensors in digital cameras or semiconductor chips in computers and electronics. Have you ever seen these prcess before? There are more than 40 Korean workers who suffer from lukemia or cancer from Samsung (semiconductor). I don’t know how these product would ever affect our life in the future. Comparing analogue era, this is totally different game. Peope upgrade their digital camers every few years on average, we consume way more than the past.

        Yes, protecting animals are very important. I totally agree to that. But we are too far away from being innocent at this moment. It is not a simple issue.

        • It’s interesting that whenI, on occasion, someone raises an issue about awareness related to the intended or unintended emiseration or killing of animals, another typically says “but what about —(fill in a diferent cause). I certainly did not anywhere imply that there are no other things to worry about–I simply raised the issue because often we choose to ignore how we hurt, exploit, kill animals for our use. Of course we ought to be concerned about other effects–environmental, human rights, etc.–that our hobbies, actions, work have. Why does your post implicitly judge mine for being inattentive to other human causes?

          When animals are involved predictably one gets defensive critical responses such as yours; that, it seems, is a reaction worth examining.

  2. Ibraar, these documentary set is excellent, the young lad with the eyes is striking, the tense look of the kid, the old gentlemen, top notch. Thanks for sharing.

  3. at first the pictures are beautiful. i love film and i am wondering how did you scan the film, it’s so sharp and well colored.
    thanks for sharing your pictures. it will encourage me to do more photography :)

  4. Lovely portraits man! great work!

  5. That is the real thing. Lovely.

  6. Excellent images. The G2 was my favorite film camera….liked it more than my Leica M6.

  7. Wow. Amazing work. I own a G1 and love it, but you get something truly special out of it. Well done.

  8. the next time you go to pakistan. i’m coming with you.

  9. Your time spent learning your tool as paid off. These photos are wonderful.

  10. Amazing pictures, some off the best I’ve seen on this site. I think the Fuji X-pro 1 gets a lot of M9 comparaison but It’s actually much closer to the Contax G2. Remains to be seen if the lenses will be as good as those Zeiss

  11. more of this travel articles!!very pleasant read

    • I wish I had written more, but didn’t know Steve would publish it! I’ve a few more lined up so will do. Thanks!

      • Congrats. We are proud of you. Had written a very informative and interesting post and I love all the photos you had taken. The colours are so vibrant, the result of the photos is excatly what i like and always want. Keep up the great work. Cheers

  12. Great work, I never saw better portrait work on this site, thank you for sharing them

  13. Amazing portraits and great colour, well done.

  14. Simply superb – both images (i.e. photographer) and in quality (equipment).

    Just when you have convinced yourself that modern digital gear has surpassed film, a great set of images, on equipment like Contax/Zeiss … or Leica …. proves there is still some way to go!

    Thank you – once again – great images!

  15. Great pictures! I also love using film ( and digital). It’s unfortunate that you cannot easily get film developed in Pakistan. In Canada where I live you can still get film developed at the local pharmacies and photo stores. I am just crossing my fingers that this will continue for a long time and that the number of film users will not decline any further so that we can continue to enjoy it as an alternative medium to digital photography.

    • thanks man, I’m actually from the UK, and that’s where I get my film developed (BW I do myself).
      But I hope people don’t abandon this medium and make the most of it.

  16. Yes indeed, I also love (slide)film. Great job! Must be a pleasure to watch these on a slide projector.

  17. It is great to hear from you again Ibraar. I miss your work after the ContaxG site went down. You may remember me: Steven Norquist. I am also a Contax G2 user. The G2 is really an amazing camera, it never fails and the Zeiss lenses are some of the sharpest and most moody ever made. Looking at your pictures reminds me that digital still has a long away to go before it sheds its clinical-scientifically-sharp-video-like-cleanness and begins to capture with a rich tapestry like film. (Imagine if “Gone with the Wind” was shot with one of Lucas’s HD cameras?! eesh)
    I have recently been using the G2 with 45mm Planar for my model pics with Ilford Pan 50 film. I am really liking the results I am getting. I always shoot digital also during these model sessions but I have yet to get digital pics in B&W that can match real B&W film, even after lots of processing in DxO filmpack or SilverEFX. It is just not the same. It still looks fake.
    I have my pre-order in for the OMD and I am hoping for the best. One trick: I have found if I put older lenses on a digital camera then it can take away some of the perfect cold digital look and give more richness to the pics.
    Check out my G2 model pics here: http://www.modelmayhem.com/portfolio/2385455/viewall

  18. Excellent photos !

  19. Love the photos. You also did a great job scanning the film and translating your photos to the screen. Can you share your scanning process?

    • Hi man, I scan with an Epson 4990, using Epsonscan most of the time, or Vuescan at times. I scan (for the web) at 2400 dpi, with sharpening on medium and then load it up into Photoshop CS 4 and resize, sharpen, or if there’s too much magenta I tweak it to make it look like the original slide.

  20. Beautiful. I want one too! :`[

  21. just love these. 1, 3, 4, 6, 9 and 11 are what (for me) film is all about. Even though these are scanned there is almost no trace of fakeness in them. They just look real, like I could step into the picture and the person’s face would look exactly like that. That is what I love about film and slide film in particular. What a talent! Just superb.

  22. All my film development and scanning is done by “North Coast Photographic Services.”
    They scan all 35mm negs/slides at 16 megapixels using a super high res Norica Scanner. The results are stunning, you can zoom in forever into your pics and see the real resolution of film. I recommend trying them out, everything can be done via mail: http://www.northcoastphoto.com/

    • If you can get your hands on a used Nikon Coolscan LS-50 (LS-V) I would highly recommend it. Takes film strips with up to 6 frames and slides one at a time.

      Just another options which may be cheaper in the long run, but also requires a little more work and takes time. But while you scan, each picture that appears after scanning is like getting a small christmas present :-)

      • +1

        • Hi guys, thanks, and course I remember you Steve! :)
          Well, I use an Epson 4990 flatbed with the tranny adaptors.
          It’s ok, my scans are pretty quick, as I use Epson Scan rather than the (better but slower) Vuescan, and only scan at 2400 dpi then resize and sharpen.
          Epson scan and the 4990 has a tendency to give nasty magenta hues to some scans and I’m forced to adjust the colour to match the original slide at times, at other times it’s fine.

          I’d love to get a better scanner, but to be honest I can’t afford to at this moment, and would love to get one of those Nikons mentioned (or a Minolta, or if I have a lot of cash to spare a Hasselblad)

  23. Wow! I love taking portraits of people on my travels and I get so jealous when someone nails it like you have. Superb photos! Absolutely superb!

  24. Great work. Inspirational!

  25. Owned a G2 with the 45mm and 90mm for a while but, even after a tuneup, neither focusing system, auto or manual, worked to my satisfaction. Loved the lenses, great resolution contrast (I only shot Tri-X) but could never get used to the focusing quirks. To each their own, I will stick with what works for me.

    On your images, I wish the compositions were a little more varied. Just a little too much centering for my tastes but, again, to each their own. What works for me doesn’t work for everyone. Enjoy the Contax glass, it is superb!!!

    • Cheers man, I’m not much of a street shooter to be honest, too self conscious I think. And as regards variation, you’re quite right, I reckon I’ve broken into a habit of trying to get some eye contact, and hence most of my stuff consists of people and is fairly one dimensional to some.

      I will try something different next time

  26. Just beautiful images, great work. As someone who shots 90% film I agree with you 100%, nothing like film in this world.

  27. One of my all-time favourite cameras. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and your wonderful images! That Ektachrome really pops!

  28. incredible photos with an incredible camera.

  29. Excellent images and it is so nice to see real film again.
    I really miss it.
    Ross

  30. Cheers Ib, great to see your work here after enjoying it for many years on the Contax G site! Wonderful images as always, I hope you’ve found a steady venue here for sharing more.

    (Must dust my G gear off and pull some film from the freezer. Last roll through it was my last day shooting Kodachrome, back in December ’10.)

  31. Ibraar, riveting story and amazing images!

    Cheers,

    Michiel

  32. Ibraar, these are fascinating pictures and one of the best series I have seen from Contax G cameras. It is obvious that you are talented. Do you have more? How about posting some of them in the Rangefinder Forum too?

    Salaam,

    Bob

  33. Just world class images

  34. Wonderful work. The clarity of your shots creates some sense of actually being there.

  35. I own the 45mm and the 90mm lenses for my G1, I really want to get the 21mm… and seeing these photos just makes me want it even more.

  36. Ibraar, just curious about your background – are you based in Pakistan? My wife’s from Hasan Abdal and I met her just before embarking on the Rakaposhi base camp trek (in 1998). I love the place, especially its craziness!

    • Hi Don, no man, I’m English, my parents are from Pakistan and I have friends there and I also love trekking and Mountains so i tend to go every couple of years.
      It is a crazy place, some parts more so than others.
      Did you manage to trek? I’ve a funny story to tell about my ‘attempt’ at it :)
      Beautiful place, my friend Tarik owns (well his dad does) the Diran Hotel in Minapin – where most people go for the Rakaposhi base camp trek.

      Your Wife’s from Hassan Abdal? wow man! you met her in Pakistan? Have you been to hassan Abdal? I did in 2007, well, drove through it en route to Swat.

      Did you or have you ever been back or have a gallery of photos? would love to see and hear your experiences!

      • Okay, we stayed at a guest house in Minapin in 1998, and I’m thinking there’s only one? I was with a school group we took trekking from the UK. Yes we did the trek up to Rakaposhi base camp (most welcome cup of chai I’ve ever had), and others up around Ishkoman/Yasin. Also took a Gilgit jeep over the top to Chitral (and Kalash).

        My wife (to be) was teaching locally – we got married in Wah Cantt in ’99. We went back with the family (ie addition of two small children) in 2005, but to the Eagle’s Nest Hotel in Hunza that time. I have my POC! Used to go to Pakistan once a year but we’re now miles away in NZ.

        I’ve got a few images from Pakistan online but they’re not titled and are mixed up with a load more from Nepal (I taught in Kathmandu for two years before we came down under):

        http://www.digitalbreakout.com/Himalayan%20Journeys/index.html

        I’m strictly digital these days and have carted a 1Ds2 on a trek in Nepal: never again – I love my Panasonic GF1. If we go to Pakistan next year (more weddings in the offing) I’m going to try and budget for something like an XPro1, or whatever 4/3 has to offer.

  37. Fantastic. I used to lurk at contaxg.com as well but only posted a few images from the G1 when there. I often directed people there for inspiration. It was a incredible collection of talent, skill and the resulting photos.

    Still got that film in the freezer and the G1 still works…. thanks for brings in the inspiration (to dig out the G1)!

    Kevin

  38. Stunning!Thx.

  39. Really excellent pics.

  40. Best travel photodoc I’ve seen for a long time on this site!!! Simply stunning photographs! Also thank you for making me want to go back to film photography my self! :)

  41. Awesome! I have been loving shooting film again myself. It is quite an experience, something that digital, being so instant will never replicate. :D

  42. Hi Ibraar
    Absolutely fabulous portraits!
    I am facing the exact problem you mentioned about lack of film availability in India. I live in Mumbai and shoot a lot of film. Can’t find tri-x anywhere so decided to shoot colour. Bought the last 15 rolls of porta nc 400 from this lab and now can’t find any more. The lab said they would not be ordering any more film. Sad:( But the good news is Kodak have said they will focus on their film business only http://kaushalpar.wordpress.com/2012/02/10/film-lives-great-news-from-kodak/.
    Hope film becomes more easily available in India. Anyway I plan to stock up on my next trip out of the country.
    Film rules!

    • Hi Kaushal. I can imagine, luckily I live in London so Film isn’t a problem, but if it’s bad in Pakistan i;d imagine it’d be similar in India. I suppose you could always mail order Tri X and dev it yourself. I’m sure loads of places deliver/ship to India.

      Anyway man, keep shooting! and thanks again!

    • Whilst film is readily available in Australia (most supermarkets sell c41 consumer film still) the cost is high. I buy my film over the Internet from the US. Even with postage it is much cheaper . No tax if you buy less than $1000 and no Import duties as we have a free trade agreement with the US. May be that is an option for you. However tax and import duties might be an issue in India which would put the cost up. So far no fogging from X-ray scanning.

  43. Even after some 40 congratulations, let me add mine: These are truly excellent photographs!

    I restarted slide photography with an M7 recently – for very much the same reasons: unparalleled nice grain, deep and bold colors, fantastic contrast. And there’s another element: the emotional aspect of holding photographs of people as a slide in your hands. This is no nice, especially if these are photos of people to whom you have a close relationship and of whom you’d like to keep memories.

    • So true what you say man, and I can’t but encourage you to use Film as much as possible. The M7 ah! I look forward to seeing your stuff!

  44. Ibraar,

    Thanks for sharing your wonderful pictures. I also have my feet in both worlds of photography. Film still has the aesthetic edge. I treasure my two G2s and those wonderful Zeiss lenses.

  45. Ibraar, wonderful photos. I was in that same area in 1987 and as soon as I saw your first photo it immediately took me back there!! And in 1972 my dad was in an expedition to climb Rakaposhi led by the famous Eric Shipton. I was shooting with an Olympus OM-1 on that Pakistan trip, so it’s funny you should be mentioning the “digital OM” now. 14 years on from that trip I got my Contax G1 and 28, 45 and 90mm lenses. For the next 10 years I was deliriously in love with that camera and its lenses, buying and selling a G2 along the way as well. I still am in love with my G1/Zeiss – the results never cease to inspire me. Now I’m hoping that in the Fuji X-Pro1, my dream of a “Digital Contax G” might be becoming realised! That is, assuming the day comes when I can mount my Contax G lenses on the X-Pro1, and I expect it will. Thanks again for waving the Contax G flag and reminding everyone what an amazing body/lens combination it was…and still is!

    • Hi Martin, it’s so nice to hear from someone who has experienced the wonders of the Karakorams, I wish I went there again last year but didn’t have time. Have you your OM shots from there ? Would love to see them.
      The X pro will be no doubt superb, and it does look like a G2! But it’s still digital I suppose, so will lack that certain chutzpah! ;)

  46. Awesome pics. I’m also using more film (E6) these days than shooting digital. Nikon F4s and Bronica ETRSi. Love the Contax.

  47. Absolutely wonderful post. Amazing images, perhaps even more so because they are film…thanks for sharing these.

  48. Beautiful images Ibraar, and, as usual, leave digital in the dust by a wide margin. No X100 can match Velvia, Provia, or Sensia for serious photography.

  49. Beautiful images, made the real way.

    I have just bought a bessa R2 rangefinder film camera to use out of the studio. I’ve had a nagging need for a while now to get away from the monitor and pixels and back to the soulful basics of the art of photography.

    For which, your work is truly an inspiration, Thank you.

    • :) thanks man! I was the same, I was shooting digital and then thought “Film, let me give it a go” and from then on I’ve been hooked, there are so many emulsions to try, different film stocks, effects, styles, colours, and it makes life easier I reckon, and more about making the picture rather than gadgetry. Apart from that I do LOVE the feel and use of old quality crafted mechanical cameras. I’m looking to get myself a Rolleiflex TLR

  50. Wow!

    Ernesto

  51. I loved reading your article and viewing your wonderful photos… beautiful!

    • Amy, absolutely fantastic site you have with brilliant brilliant photo’s, I have spent ages perusing and enjoying them! Thanks for the comments too!

  52. Very inspiring.

    Great job. You’ve taken some beautiful timeless pictures.

  53. Almost every photographic chemical which as ever been produced commercially includes compounds which are known to be hazardous to human health and/or the environment. With the capabilities of modern cameras, how can anyone with an environmental conscience shoot film any more?

    • Darrell, EVERYTHING we use in this day and age damages and has caused severe damage to our environment. the manufacture of every single component in a digital camera, the use of plastics of a massive scale; LCD screens, rubber, silicon chips, the constant updates and new models being whizzed through into the market; the manufacture of parts en masse in factories in China and the far east with poorly paid workers and poor environmental control, rather than Japan or Germany or USA or UK with our regulations. The waste and constant throwing away of products and packaging. the factors involved in transportation, basically Capitalism on a MASSIVE scale. Cars, aeroplanes, OIL – where do you want me to stop?

      To be honest, having ONE nicely crafted metal camera and keeping it for years, and some Film causes far less environmental damage than mass produced plastic gadgets for the masses – massively disposed of with new ones every few months.

    • Are you serious? – don’t you think there are a lot of other things in this world, that are a lot more hazardous and needs a lot more attention than using film? And what about the production of digital cameras? Is this production totally free of any bad environmental influence – I doubt it.

    • “Almost every photographic chemical which as ever been produced commercially includes compounds which are known to be hazardous to human health and/or the environment.

      This is simply not true.

      Please provide citations demonstrating that the common developer/stop/fix compounds are dangerous. I don’t believe you can.

  54. I have a mint G1 with full set of lenses. I am now using an X100 but think I need to get the G1 out of its box and use it.

  55. Thanks ever so much for the encouraging and positive comments, thank you, I cannot say that enough as I had no idea any of my photo’s would be liked, I mean that. I always want to try something new and to be honest I see myself stagnating a bit and a tad one dimensional. I suppose I’ve been lucky enough to come across such exotic interesting and beautiful people who I befriended built rapport with and managed to photograph.

    My aim was to promote the use of Film, and 35mm film especially as these days it seems to be seen as a non entity or something inferior to massive resolving digital camera sensors. But Film has a beauty and look which bypasses any resolutionary (is there such a word?) factors, as Kodak Ektachrome e100vs as someone put it ‘pops’, it has a contrast, colour and feel to it which is ever so pleasing to the eye, same goes for Fuji Velvia and other emulsions with their distinct look and feel.

    And the G2 is one of many superb Film cameras which have been bypassed by the digital age and are available cheaply, and will serve the user for years and years still matching the best and beating the best of digital in many ways. I mean why upgrade cameras every year or 6 months when you can get an old reliable model with superb lenses and use the film to create some nice photographs for years and years?

    Digital is great, there’s no denying that, but so is Film, and I reckon people serious about photography should live in both worlds and take advantage of each.

    • One more thing, if you go abroad somewhere, (or live in an exotic place) to Africa, Asia, the far East, India, Kenya, or South America, hell, anywhere where the weather’s fine – chuck in a roll of Kodak e100vs, expose it nicely and it’ll put a smile on your face! :)

      • Just came back to see your photos with this Contax G2 and really, those photos are so inspiring. After watching these i went on BH and order 3rolls of BW 400 tri-x and 2rolls of Ekta 100. Already finished one 36BW, i don’T know what it will looks like since i haven’T shooted film for about 8 years. Not to mention my first time shooting B&W film. I don’T develop film myself yet, but maybe one day. I used my old ordinary nikon F65, with a new 35mm 1.8g that i bought for my D7000. Don’t have a clue what it’s gonna look like. Seeing how not too expensive a contax G2 is, i might get one of these for my next trip, which i’m not sure when it’s going to be :D but anyway, thanks for those amazing photos. Just want to tell you that you made me buy film :D

        • Hi Jean, man, I’m so pleased you’ve decided to shoot film! The best bet would be to develop the Film yourself – you’ll get MUCH better results than with a lab (for BW that is) http://www.ilfordphoto.com/home.asp they have all the steps to be taken on the site, and it’s CHEAP and EASY to dev and scan negatives.

          • Wow, that’s a lot of infos. It’ll take me more time to process all of it. Can i use ilford developping products to process all sort of film? Like kodak or fuji, color, b&w? How much should i spend for a starting kit?

          • Jean-Paul,
            Yes, you can use any company’s chemicals to develop any company’s black and white film.
            (EXCEPT for Kodak’s BW400 CN and Ilford’s XP2, which are developed in C-41 color chemicals.)
            That said, each company gives very detailed instructions for processing their own films in their own chemicals, so that might be easier for someone starting out.
            There is a very good essay somewhere on this website, giving step by step instructions, including, if I remember correctly, a list of the supplies you need to start. It was about a year ago. Maybe someone could help with the author’s name. Steve?
            You need the chemicals, one developing tank with reels, a timer, (I’ve used the one on my microwave.) some minor tools like clips to hang the wet film on, and either a changing bag or a room that you can make completely dark. A bathroom or even a closet will work.
            You can find most of it used on eBay. I’d be very surprised if it totaled as much as $50, probably more like $20, if you use your imagination.

          • Found it! “Film: How to develop, scan, and print with no darkroom required!” By Max Marinucci

          • Nice article paris, it’s such an easy process!
            All you need are;
            1 tank, 1 reel, thermometer, 1 gradient measuring cylinder, developer (the ilfotec DDX one is EASY to use) stop, fixer, water supply, Film and IF you want to digitise your photo’s; a Scanner. And Lots of FUN!

          • You need a good, photography-dedicated thermometer, and a developing tank, but other than that, you can get most of the small things at a hardware, or home-supply store. For instance, regular measuring cups in the 500ml or 1 liter size cost 3 to 5 dollars, while graduated cylinders from a camera store can be $10 to $20 each. (It’s easier to work with 3 for developer-stop-fix, so cheaper is better). Same with hang-up clips and other small items.

            Have fun!

  56. That is some great work – thank you for sharing. It feels so alive and real (as it really is).

  57. Excellent portraits of a very lovely people. I just spent a few weeks in Pakistan and loved it. The people were so friendly and open. Your photos capture that wonderfully. Great job.

  58. Hey Ibraar, I can’t stop looking at your shot of the snack seller, very special. I am sure there are guys out there that it would have taken a quadra ranger/softbox/beauty dish/reflector/diffuser etc set up to create what you have done with your little set up.

  59. Absolutely some of the best portrait work I have seen on Steve’s site. Thanks so much for sharing. You really make me want to shoot some slide film (I’m a primarily black & white shooter).

    • thanks Eric, I shoot quite a bit of BW and love it. I might post some to Steve see if he will put em up, next month most likely.

  60. wow, just reading all the comments and the explosion of connections, memories and joy that this series has resulted in reminds me how we are all tied together in our love for photography and wonderful adventures. In this world where so often we sit on trains and don’t even make conversation with those around us, it shows that deep down we all really want to connect and tell our story and hear the stories from others. Websites like these and other forums are a great channel to do this. I am off to Africa tonight for 10 days of shooting, Velvia 50 in my bad with some Ektar 100, so looking forward to it and this series has got me even more excited about the trip (if that was possible). Enjoy shooting everyone and keep telling the stories.

    • Have a nice trip Stephen, and I, along with everyone else I’m sure would absolutely love to hear your experiences and see your art.
      Have you tried any Ektachrome e100vs?? It’d work wonders in Africa, though I dare say Ektar is probably a safer bet (latitude etc)

  61. Beautiful portraits! Thank you for sharing it with us!

  62. Hello, I remember you from the Contax G2 website. Your pics were amazing then and still are. It made me buy a G2 then which I sold back because it was too noisy when auto focusing. I bought a used M 8.2 instead but kept the Zeiss lenses which I use on my Sony NEX5. Anyhow, good to see you here.

    I went to see a Gabor Szilasi exhibit a few years ago and they had reprinted 2X3 feet pictures from his 50 year old negatives and they were still stunning. The great thing with Film is that you have full-frame sensor which has no Chromatic aberrations or Moiré and will not have color shift with winde angle lenses. The output, the negatives, last close to foreever and can be reprinted on new media. Even glass plates can be scanned and reprinted. It is also anti-dust since you have a new sensor at every shot. Ah it is lacking live view and video…

    The bug is that good photo scanners are harder to get than they used to be and labs are also harder to find if you want quality development.

    The worst with Digital is that I am losing the confidence in my results. I used to pretty much know what I would get and sometimes get wowed by the results as they were better than I expected. But I also took many useless pictures as I never knew if I would get a better angle of asubject as I get closer or farther from it (Sydney Opera House… you just snap it like mad since you never know if you will be back and you never know if what you see is the best you will get or not).

    Sometimes I look at 10 years old jpegs and for some reason, they look old and I am not sure they will still be relevant in another 10 years hwereas my 20 year-old negatives are just as crisp as when they were developped.

    I wonder where this will all end up, canèt wait to see the new Fuji but apparently some people are disapointed about the AF speed and a few other things. We will see when it ships out but the digital file will have the same limitations: What will be the format in 20 years? Will we be able to read tose files at all? there are no standard (they should all use DNG) so if a company goes belly up will you be able to read the RAW files it produced? Will software companies continue to come out with updates to support everything under the sun or will they stick to a few formats? Negatives are negatives, whatever the film company, format, etc…

    Thanks for sharing,

    • Thanks for the message francis, very true what you say. By the way, have you tried the Konica Hexar AF? it has a larger VF and is quieter than the G2.

  63. To me, the best “daily inspiration” so far.
    Congrats!

    • Thanks Felipe, and thanks EVERYONE, I would love to reply to each message individually, as truth be told I did not expect such a positive reaction, so am humbled.

      Now for some more Film daily inspirations! I hope Steve starts shooting some Film again too, I really enjoyed your G2, Leica and Fuji GF670 reviews, plus others.

      I’d really love to see and read some reviews of various Slide films and BW too, plus cameras like the Konica Hexar AF (a cam I thought Sony, having the rights to, would re-release in digital, as I think a body styled after the Hexar AF looks far far better than the new Nex 7)

      Plus the Contax T2 and T3, there was (is) a guy called Peter Schorn from Austria – a skiier and mountaineer who was on the G site, he also used a Contax T3 (plus M8 and Sigma DP) and took some great shots – I wonder whether he frequents this site – if so I’d love to se your review and shots from the cams you take high up the Mountains!)

  64. Great Article. I personally love the Contax G cameras, though I do prefer the G1 to the G2 because of its overall size. I find for travel the smaller camera is a real advantage. The lenses are the true gems of this camera line and a couple yrs ago the 45mm, 28mm and 90mm were all selling very cheap. I think prices have increased at least 150-200 per lens because of the demand since the digital adapters have come about.

    Thanks for sharing, great images!

  65. Ibraar:

    I used to own a Contax G2 with these same lens. However I was never able to take the superb shots taken by you. Well done. The portrait have a wonderful color to them.
    I eventually sold my G2 and lens and purchased a Olympus E-PL2 which is a wonderful camera. Thank you for sharing.

    H

  66. Hi Ibraar, good to see you again!!!
    I miss not contaxg and contaxg.

    Best regards

    Gui

  67. Hi, I really enjoyed your post. I am curious what you are doing for a flash when you travel? Looks like there is some fill flash?

    Thanks

  68. Fantastic!!!!

  69. These are just superb images. Film photos seem to breath life, and yours more than most that’s for sure!

  70. Ibraar, i wanted to comment on your amazing photos because, among other things, I’m training to be a critic. The problem is, after a lot of thought going late into the night here in Bangkok and 3 coffees later the only words i can honestly think of to describe my thoughts of your portraits are wow, wow and bloody wow!!!!

  71. Still some of the very finest photos ever presented on this site :-)

  72. so lovely, and the reason why i have one in my hand right now:)

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/tomkdg/

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