Film Friday with a Leica M7 By John Tuckey

Film Friday with a Leica M7

By John Tuckey

Hi Brandon

Here’s a few more vintage themed film snaps from last weekend. As usual for me the primary shoot was digital, but here’s the film that we took ‘on the side’. This is predominantly Leica M7P with the Summilux 50mm ASPH (I was using the Sonnar C for the bulk of the digi shots). The film used is 35mm Ilford PanF+, home developed with Ilfosol DDX 1+4 and scanned on an epson v750. There’s been no dodge/burn/levels or other post processing on the film other than to clone/heal the worst of the squeegee marks off – the +10 squeegee of doom is just one of the many joys of home processing and it nearly killed these, but hey, thats part of the fun of home dev as far as I’m concerned 😉

John Tuckey

http://www.jrtvintage.co.uk

http://500px.jrtvintage.co.uk

http://www.facebook.com/jrtvintage

Leica M7, Summilux 50mm ASPH, f2 (Aperture Priority) Ilford PanF+ ISO 50

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Leica M7, Summilux 50mm ASPH, f2 (Aperture Priority) Ilford PanF+ ISO 50

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Leica M7, Summilux 50mm ASPH, f2 (Aperture Priority) Ilford PanF+ ISO 50

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Leica M7, Summilux 50mm ASPH, f2 (Aperture Priority) Ilford PanF+ ISO 50

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Leica M-Monochrom, Sonnar C 50mm, f1.5 1/3000 ISO 320

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Contax 645 and 80mm f2 at f2 (Aperture Priority)Ilford PanF+ ISO 50

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36 Comments

  1. I understand film is different. However I would give up digital convenience only if I could see a clear cut advantage in film. Particularly if scanning I cannot see any.
    I really want to use film but I cannot see the point of it. I understand the challenges of shooting film, and all that is involved with it. But then again I can shoot digital in similar fashion. I do not chomping all the time and PP is almost none.
    But thank you for your insight. It is a pleasure to read your comments.
    Mattia

  2. It is interesting how the monochrom shot and the medium format shot are similar as far as smoothness though the digtal shot is of course far too smooth and perfect and computery compared to the film pics.

    Also the digtal shot sadly lacks dynamic range compared to the film pics.

    The 35mm film pics are wonderful and the grain and textures and dynamic range make them winning shots that digital cannot touch yet.

    It is because of this roughness and grain and lower resolution look that I love my Nikon V1 for digital.

    It is the closest to film for my so far in a digital camera, though the A7s is looking like a great idea.

  3. So Ilford still make better and cheaper black and white sensors than anyone puts in any digital camera. No surprise there. Keep up the film Friday 🙂

  4. Beautiful shots. I used to be frustrated by squeegee/cloth marks. Switched to photo flo for final rinse and never touch the strip anymore. Dries perfect and no risk of marks. Can’t recommend it strongly enough.

  5. Lovey shots.. It just reinforces that shooting B&W film is still the way to go. The M is technically better but lacks soul…Convenience will always be worth less…

  6. The Monochrom shot is really outclassed in this field.

    p.s. Never use your fingers to squeegee film.

  7. Hey John, nice shots. An idea: squeegee with your index finger and middle finger together, they NEVER leave marks. I was taught that in photo school in the 80s, and never once used or owned a squeegee, and… no squeegee marks. Hope this helps 😉

  8. John T – i could look at your film images all day! Love the Pan F / DDX combo. I had great results scanning my B&W negs with an Epson 2450 (cold cathode light source, like your V750), then rotten luck with a Canon 9000f (LED light source). Gonna get me a v750! (PS – instead of the Squegee of Doom, I dip my index and middle fingers in the Photoflo solution used as the final rinse aid, then gently run them down the film while it’s hanging up. Works great and no scratches!)

  9. B&W is the most used format of the film age because it went from film to print by your own hand, yes there was color, but it was to hard to develop and print yourself. The killer is even if you process your film yourself, are printing it? Are you just scannig in. But for how ever far you do it with film, it is a whole new world. I live in an apartment now, it is just too hard to do all that I did before. But for the younger photographers, try film as an art form. Not for pixel peeping or looking better, but for looking different and exploring the world of light writing.

  10. I love your work, John. You seem to be able to create a certain “look” that I have not seen before. Very inspiring. Please promise me I don’t need to buy a Leica to achieve it! All joking aside, I can tell these results are all about your “craft” not just the hardware you are using.

    Best wishes

    David

  11. in case anyone was wondering how I got a squeegee run through the mono shot – the mono and contax shots are labelled the wrong way round – i suspect that was my bad 😉

    • Ha! I thought there was something funny. I like all the shots, but I can’t decide whether I like the film or Monochrom better. Just sent my M6ttl in for service so I can shoot more film. Can’t afford an MM yet.

    • Ahhh, well that explains it! 🙂 Now I must say, I LOVE the Monochrom! And that’s why the (now) Contax image looks medium format-ish! Great work!

      Ever done any Type 55 work? Would love to see what you do with the New55 thing if their Kickstarter is successful.

      • I hadn’t heard of it until you mentioned it, looks interesting. I’m not looking for another camera system right now … but if they ever do a medium format version i can put in a polaroid back on my contax I’ll be there.

  12. Okay. The image labeled as being shot with the Monochrome has lint and scratches on it. Was that a digital film simulation app.?

  13. Yes the Monochrome looks like you took the shot on a large format with fine art emulsion – it is super clean. Absolutely fantastic.
    I still think I prefer the Ilford Pan 50 if only because of the texture that the grain gives it. I regularly look forward to your posts john and your shoots are always inspirational.
    I was wondering if you ever play or have played with adding some digital grain/simulating grain on your digital black and whites? I generally prefer images to have slightly more texture to them, which is probably why I like the “noise” / grain that film gives us.

  14. Wow…as you may remember from last time, I LOVE Pan F 50, and your work with it is VERY nice. Interestingly, my favorite is the last one with the 645…I wish it was at f/4 or 5.6, so there is more of her in focus but that’s a minor gripe on an amazing shot. The 3rd shot is my 2nd favorite…nothing to gripe about this shot…perfect DOF, everything.

    I really wanted to like the Monochrom shot more, but it just doesn’t have the life of the other shots. The only digital camera I’ve felt can do a proper good black and white is the Sigma’s with Foveon.

    Cracking great images!

  15. These are all delightful shots. The Monochrom image is particularly nice. The MM is an camera which plays well with older style lenses.

  16. Wonderful pics. Let me just ask. I have been shooting film for decades but I am now using only digital. I tried many times to convince myself that film can do some stuff better and go back to film (I stil have an M7). I just cannot convince myself. Simply put I cannot see the point of shooting film and then scan it. What do u do with it? And what is so special about film in your opinion?
    Great work. Thanks. Mattia

    • I’d like to comment on this question. I shot film then I switched to digital and then back to film for my own personal work. For me shooting film and the whole process is just more rewarding than shooting digital. The subtle yet distinct smell of the new film when you open it up to load. The sound and feel of the camera. The character of the grain and colors or tones in the film. At the end of the day I’m just happier after shooting a roll of film than I am shooting a digital camera. I do know why, digital just bores me, it’s too easy…… I don’t really care that digital is better in one way or another. For me it’s not about edge to edge sharpness or hi ISO capability or megapixels, I went down that road for a while and it took me away from what I enjoy about photography, it’s about that frozen moment in time and the journey to get it.

      • Lamar, your comments are confusing. You say digital bores you because it’s too easy. But you haven’t made clear what is easy. Are your eyes more wide open when you hold a digital camera? Do ideas come to you quicker when you shoot digital, and are therefore just too easy? I was under the impression that photography was the art of seeing. I don’t think I would say one writer is better than another simply because he or she writes with pads and pencil versus a word processor. No one looks at a painting and says, oh yeah, he’s using a no.12 sable brush. Yeah, that’s the way to go. You said yourself it’s about that frozen moment in time and the journey to get it. But is sounds like you miss the wet chemical process which is slower and smelly. Why not just shoot digital slower? Or simply be more critical in the editing process and delete all the weak files. At the end of the day, the work on the wall has to speak for itself. No one is going to stand around to tell people it’s silver bromide instead of inkpress metallic satin. And maybe I am mistaken, but doesn’t photo number 4 look scary? She has huge Benjamin Button hands the size of her face. Sorry bro but neither film nor digital can change that.

        • I completely understand Lamar’s comment. And I understand yours, Martin, although I think you could be more open minded. I shoot both film and digital for very different reasons: see Lamar’s post for why film; it’s the process that’s enjoyable. You either get it or you don’t.

          Nice photos, John.

        • Automatic transmissions make driving easier but I only own standard shift vehicles…. that’s what I enjoy. I also develop film because i enjoy it. There is still a place here in town that does C41 for $1.57 a roll but I enjoy the process, the smell of the chemistry. I enjoy seeing the developed film come out of the tank, the anticipation, . It doesn’t have to make sense to you, just to me….

          • I totally agree w ur analogy of of film vs digital and car transmission. I shoot digital if i want a quick turnaround time. However film is for me to be able to sit back, relax and enjoy the whole processs

    • Film is for developing and printing. Thats what I do. An iPhone is good enough for digital on a computer screen.

    • Mattia, film, properly developed and scanned or printed, will always look differenet, even slightly, from digital, and that includes the “film overlays”. Not better, not worse, different. And, both ways of shooting are challenging, nothing “easy” about it. Go and look. Look.

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