May 272016


Friday Film: Mamiya RB67 Pro S

by Hafiz Kamsadi

Hi Steve & Brandon,

Firstly, thank you so much to you both for everything you’ve done for the photographic community so far! Such fantastic passion and commitment to all things photography has really made this my daily site to visit for inspiration and fresh ideas and opinions.

I am a 24-year-old Singaporean based in Perth, Western Australia and I started photography 8 years ago shooting for my school’s media club. Understandably, I started off with DSLRs (Canon) but it was never more than just a hobby at that point in time. Fast forward 8 years (and MANY cameras and lenses from GAS) and I recently started a side business 3 years ago, as my hobby turned into my passion and love for photography.


My point is, after going through Canon, Fuji mirrorless, back to Canon, and then Sony A7r system, I felt that I needed a change from digital and decided to make the jump into FILM! I had ZERO experience with film cameras or different film types and it was all new to me. After a few weeks of reading and after finding a pretty sweet deal secondhand, I purchased my very first film camera, which also became my very first MEDIUM FORMAT camera – the Mamiya RB67.

All I could say was WOW! Addressing the common perception with this camera: Was it big and bulky, heavy, slow to use, hard to focus, not that many fast lenses? Yeap, all that and more. But there’s nothing you can’t do without PATIENCE and PRACTICE. Here was a 1970s camera used and abused by so many professionals from that period and here I was 40 years after production still learning how to make the most out of this wonderful beast.

The Mamiya RB67 shoots 10 images from a 120mm film in a 6×7 format which in itself was a big change from the 3×2 ratio that I was used to from Full frame digital. My deal came with 3 lenses, a 50mm f4.5, a 127mm f3.8 and a 180mm f4.5. In full frame 35mm terms, that’s roughly a 25mm f2.2, 64mm f1.9 and a 90mm f2.2.





The thing I enjoy most with the RB67 from the very first shot till now is still that HUGE mirror slap that probably causes tremors. Shaky photos? Yes sometimes but I practice good form and technique so it has improved tremendously. That bright and big viewfinder was like going to the movies every single time i look down into the waist-level viewfinder. The all mechanical machine with zero electronics meant that every single motion and action I did was all up to me. No autofocus, no metering, no auto film winding and I found it a JOY and a breath of fresh air from all the digital settings that we are all too accustomed too.





With all the comparisons with different digital sensors from different manufacturers, have a look at the insane options of film! Each film stock has its own unique characteristics and strengths and weaknesses. It was wonderful to try various film to learn and experiment. The smooth tonal range of 120mm film, the grain (or lack thereof), and the HUGE latitude you get with film that is still unsurpassed with digital (Portra 400 has 19 stops of dynamic range!!).

Ultimately, it was the experience of re-learning photography from scratch that tugged my heart to film. Any error in the final photo was noone’s to blame but mine. I understood how to meter by looking at the quality and intensity of the lights and shadows and I appreciated composition and the quality of a scene more than anything since I only had 10 shots per roll. I purchased an Epson V700 scanner to minimise the high costs of lousy lab scans to maximise the beauty and quality of each roll I had. Till this day, NOTHING beats the feeling I have when I get back my film negatives and slides (especially my Fujifilm Velvia slides!) and popping it into my scanner, make adjustments and make the final test print as the final product.












After 6 months with the camera, it felt like digital was too easy. Yes digital was convenient and efficient and I still use it mostly for my work. But every chance I get, I go analogue and I shoot film because it refreshes my soul.

I think I could go on and on about film so I shall stop here! xD

I am still new to film and am learning new things everyday. I normally use Kodak Portra 160, 400, Ektar 100 and Fujifilm Velvia 50 & 100.  I occasionally shoot TMAX 100 and Delta 3200.

I hope my story and my images below will be a source of ideas and inspiration to a few, just as the countless previous posts on this website have been an inspiration to many.

You can find more of my work on my online portfolio at

Please also support me if you like my work:

Instagram: @hkamsadi

Facebook: Hafiz Kamsadi Photography

Thank you Steve for this avenue to express myself and happy clicking and snapping to you all :)

Your film photographer,

Hafiz: Mamiya

May 202016

Winter Day… Resolve

by Dirk Dom


Last month I spent €1,400 on prints. That’s crazy. I have credit card debt, and I want to get out of it. So, I told myself to spend no more than €300 a month on projects etc. I’m really, really serious about it.  Main thing is that I’ll stop black and white photography for eighteen months. Black and white, for me, needs to be postprocessed and printed in very high quality, and with €300 a month, that’s not possible. When I have images, I can’t resist printing. If I don’t generate images, I won’t have the urge to print.

So, goodbye Linhof and Mamiya 7, for a while.

Will I be miserable?

Certainly not. There is so much else I can do with photography. It’s only a matter of selecting what else I will do. I’m going to shoot the Hasselblad Xpan and my Canon F1. (Lost all interest in digital a year ago) Color neg, prints cost only a quarter of black and white. A 6 by 18 inch Xpan print costs me 3 Euro’s.  Today, I’ve been looking around my Xpan shots, just to get an idea of possibilities and potential.  Here are some which I like, but be warned: with me, anything goes in post.

So, I said, no black and white. Well, that’s going to be tough. A few minutes of post on this Fuji Superia 400 color image yielded this:

Note the nice silvery greys of the Cathedral and the great grain in the skies. I don’t often convert color to black and white.


Looking a bit further in my files, I found a shot of a sidewalk in San Francisco.

Popping saturation up to 50, made it into this


Cropping and converting to black and white:


And saturating red:

I shoot just about anything that shows potential. Not that I take many pictures: I give every shot careful thought.


The silver screen behind a windshield, solarized and made it high key:

I got less and less frustrated with my resolve not to shoot black and white for 18 months, but I got a little worried I’d start printing.


I fooled around with solarisation and converting to negative, and I found this image of a box full of oranges:

Now, isn’t that cool? Images which convert in such a nice way are extremely rare.


I can even shoot normal stuff, the 90mm is very nice for close ups:

My son, with the Golden Gate, 90mm.



I’m going to walk around with the Xpan and have fun. In a more serious way, I’m going to shoot Antwerp for a year and a half. This Summer, I’m bicycling from Antwerp to Benidorm in Spain and I’ll also take the Xpan, with the 45 and the 90 and a batch of Ektar 100. That’ll cost me less than staying home. At first I wanted to take the Mamiya 7 with the 43 and 150mm and do masterly black and white, but it’ll be for another time.




May 202016

Film Friday: Rolleiflex w/ Ilford Delta 100

By David Patris

I am from Belgium and I have been a frequent reader since a few years now. Recently I discovered my father’s Rolleifleix ( 75mm, Tessar 3.5), which was left a long time in a closet, with this camera I am enjoying to go 6×6 cm.
I use the Ilford Delta 100, a long favored film of mine, scanning them with the Epson V750 and processing the files with lightroom.

Thanks for your work with this site. I hope you will appreciate the following pictures.

David Patris

Blankenberge, Belgian coast 1.

Blankenberge, Belgian coast 2.

Colorado provencale. Lubéron, France.

Lubéron forêt des cèdres arche 2

Lubéron, forêt des cèdres. France.

Arc de Triomphe. Paris.

Congressiste, porte Maillot, Paris.

Parisan Trip.

May 132016

40 years of flower shooting in the Zevenbergenbos, Ranst, Belgium

By Dirk Dom

I got my first camera, a Canon FTb, 40 years ago, when I was eighteen. It was a present from my mom and dad because I had graduated athenaeum.


It came with a 50mm f/1.8 lens, and for little bit of money I bought a set of diopter lenses and I started shooting flowers. I had extremely little money then, but two years later I had a real Canon FD 100mm f/4 S.C. macro lens, with which I would take tens of thousands of shots. Some were even good!

The Zevenbergen forest in Ranst I knew since birth, and there I went back again and again. Especially in spring, this little forest has spectacular flowers. This is how it looks in March:


And this is how the meadows near it are in high summer:


Both shots with a Mamiya C330 TLR, Fuji Velvia of course. So, plenty to shoot.  After 40 years, I still go back there often; I know every square inch of it, so I know exactly where to go.

About four years ago, I got tired of shooting flowers. I had reached perfection and I shot absolutely beautiful and absolutely boring flower pictures. I upgraded to making interesting flower photographs, like this one:


I had bought an Olympus PEN and I had a 200mm macro lens and I experimented a great deal. I learnt to look and how to get the picture the way I wanted it. I don’t think I could have ever reached the level I’m at now without those three years of being digital. Two years ago I got fed up with the limitations of digital, and I stopped shooting flowers again. The limited processing potential, the burnt out whites and colors and the color noise, the absence of surprise. So, about a year ago, after looking back in detail at my film flower shots (scanning and opening them up myself) and discovering the potential, I went back to film. I had also gotten into medium format shooting Fuji Velvia with a Mamiya C330 and of course that totally smoked my PEN. I experimented with film, found out it was what I looked for, got more confident and now I’ve started doing a new kind of flower shots, using a 85mm f/1.2 wide open and a Petzval lens. You can find the explanation on this site, I posted a few weeks ago.

These are the first shots I took with the 85mm and a 50mm extension tube in the Zevenbergen forest. My 58th birthday was April 16th, so, forty years! I shot one film in about two hours and got seven good shots. When I shot with the PEN, I usually came home with about 400 images. At first I was a bit fed up because it was the same routine all over again, but after ten shots I got interested and started really searching. Unlike digital there is a very big surprise factor here.

All shots Fuji Superia 800, overexposed two to four stops, scanned on an Epson V750, not that much post processing because the film look is kind of delicate. Well, here they are…








I hope these shots won’t get boring, I’ll diversify, maybe I’ll use the 200mm macro again and see how my old techniques look on film, but now I enjoy this.


May 122016

Blast from the past – Kodachrome 25 revisited

by Jerry Melcher

Brandon and Steve,

Believe it or not I have been playing around with a select set of Kodachrome ASA 25 slides from a series of vacations taken in 1984. The images that pop out at you in a small slide viewer or on the screen from a Leica projector are very difficult to capture in a display monitor much less print.

Little Yosemite_from Glasier Point

So about 10 years ago I began a journey to process my old pics. I cannot tell you how many articles I read, how many types of scanners I’ve tried and services I’ve paid for. On top of that every time a new piece of imaging processing software showed up I had to pull out the set of Keepers and rerun them. Anyway I hope you find these 3 shots from Yosemite enjoyable. I will also provide over the coming months examples from Ireland and England also from 1984.

Three Brothers Yosemite Valley Oct1984 Sentinel Dome Jeffrey Pine 1984

All shots taken with a 1982 Pentax ME Super with 28mm lens. The last two images scanned at West Coast Imaging on a Heidelberg Tango. Kudos to them.

” . . .Momma don’t take my Kodachrome away.”

Jerry Melcher

May 062016

Film Friday: Paris ‘Les Halles’ in 1962′

By Dierk Topp

Hi Steve and Brandon,  in 1962 I made my first trip to Paris. At that time I used an Edixa Reflex with Kodak TRI X for my photographs.  I visited ‘Les Halles’, at that time an incredible market in the center of Paris. This market does not exist any more, Paris built a new one.

Here are four images from that visit. I never saw something like this before.

Edixa Reflex, Kodak TRI X

Edixa Reflex, Kodak TRI X

Edixa Reflex, Kodak TRI X

Edixa Reflex, Kodak TRI X

Edixa Reflex, Kodak TRI X

Edixa Reflex, Kodak TRI X

Edixa Reflex, Kodak TRI X

Edixa Reflex, Kodak TRI X

And just for fun the last image is the very first image, that I ever made. I made it with the Agfa Box of my mother during vacation with my school class in 1955 on Perutz film. To be honest, it is ma second photograph, the first one on this roll is just to bad

hörnum 1955

hörnum 1955


my images are here at flickr:

Digitized with Sony A6000 with enlarging lens on a bellows and Nissin Di700A TTL flash. Works perfect!

May 062016

Film Fascination

By David Adams

Hello Steve and Brandon,

I thought I would send along a few images taken with a couple of different cameras and film. I am hopeful that you will find them of interest for a Friday Film feature. I appreciate your feelings and observations and the spirit of your site and writings. I was fortunate to find your site a few years ago when my interest for photography was exploding and I was looking for a new kit to help in my exploration and learning. I moved from a Canon DSLR to an Olympus OMD EM1 with a number of prime lenses and a few Pro lenses. I have been extremely happy with the gear and thank you for introducing me to the M4/3 world.

After much learning, I became interested in film photography. My lovely sister gifted me an Olympus OM1 and 50mm f1.8 lens and I immediately bought some film and set out. This first image is with this camera, which I adore, using Ilford XP2 Super ASA 400 film. I really enjoy the camera and the images have been much to my liking. Helps that my daughter is always a willing subject.


Earlier this year my lovely wife and I stayed at a Bed & Breakfast for a little relaxing getaway. Had a great time and the icing on the cake was that the husband of the proprietor was a photography nut and a Leica camera lover. We connected immediately and I was infatuated with his 1959 Leica M3 with cold shoe light meter. I fell in love with this camera and was excited that it was manufactured the year I was born!

Our host was so gracious and let me use the camera while exploring the area. He gave me a roll of Kodak Panatomic-X 32 ASA film that expired in 1978! I had my doubts that any images would turn out very well but I had a riot using this manual camera and separate light meter. Talk about slowing down and focusing on all the little things before pressing the shutter button. It was freezing cold but I managed to keep my shutter finger warm enough to work that camera. I was pleasantly surprised by the images I captured, this is a camera I’m now dreaming of owning one day. The lens was a 35mm, Voigtlander I think. Here is one of my favourites with this camera and film.


Once I used up the roll of B&W Kodak film my new friend gave me a roll of Kodak Ektar 100 ASA film. The combination of the Leica camera, relatively good prime lens and this film really impressed me. The colours are beautiful and the image quality is really nice. What a camera!

Here is one of the colour images I particularly like and want to share with you.


I am happy to share my adventure in film with you and hope, if you post my images, that your followers do as well. Perhaps I will be able to share some of my Olympus EM1 images with you next. Wishing you a day full of wonder and fulfilment,

David Adams

Apr 282016

My Pentax 6×7 Experience

By Fahad A.


Hi Brandon,

I would like to share my limited experience with film. Sometime in 2010 I decided to try medium format, after a quick research I bought myself a Pentax 6×7 along with the 105mm lens. that one the heaviest camera I have ever held!

After purchasing the Pentax and exposing the films I bought (Ektar & Pro H 400), I needed to develop the film and scan it. i could easily find places that would develop the film, but couldn’t find someone to scan it. so I had to buy a scanner, ended up buying the canoscan 8080.

I like the outcome, however if you asked me today about developing and scanning, I would have preferred sending the film to a pro lab to do it. It’s obvious my negatives were dirty and my scanning skills are not the best.

Pentax 6×7, 105mm 2.4 lens



Pentax67 Ektar 100 2

Pentax67 fuji pro 400 01 s

Pentax67 fuji pro 400 05




Apr 272016

Flower shots on 800 ASA film with a canon FD 85mm f/1.2 and a Petzval lens.

By Dirk Dom


I have somewhat mixed feelings sending this write up about shots, taken with 40 and 100-year-old gear, and which aren’t even remotely sharp. This is not at all for pixel peepers and gearheads. I hope you enjoy the shots as much as I do, and, who knows! Maybe you’ll get a roll of film out of the fridge and try it too!

The Story.

About ten years ago, I tried to do macro shots of flowers with the 85mm f/1.2 and a 50mm extension tube, to see if ultra-shallow DOF shots of flowers looked like anything. I used 400 ASA Fuji Superia film which I overexposed some four stops. (Had no choice). I discovered that compositions had to be extremely simple which made for very intense searching and the least bit of wind made the flower wiggle and made focusing very difficult. Over the course of two weeks I managed three nice shots.

About a year and a half ago I looked at the scans of these shots and I discovered something I had ignored before: grain! While digital grain (“noise”) is random in color and ugly, film grain comes in the same color as the subject and is, to me at least, gorgeous. I bought a three stop grey filter and Easter of 2015 I made macro shots on Fuji Superia 800, with the 85mm wide open, overexposing 4 stops.

For some reason I had no more trouble finding compositions and the shots came out extremely nice. I’ve put them on this website, you can find them back.

This Easter I went to the Costa Blanca, Spain, where I did more of the same. I introduced a 100 or 150 year old Petzval lens.

The Gear.

Canon F1 new, FD New 85mm f/2 L, Speedfinder, 50mm and 25mm extension tube, 3 stop ND filter.


The Speedfinder allows shooting up to ground level because it revolves from horizontal to vertical. It allows to see your entire viewfinder image up to 2 ½ inch distant. I used manual metering all the time. The three stop ND filter allowed me to shoot, four stops overexposed, at 1/2000 to 1/250 second.

Canon F1 with Petzval.


I got this lens for free with a large format camera, it covers about four inches image circle. It’s focal length is about 150mm, f/4 to f/5.6, uncoated of course and it’s very soft focus. I made an bronze adapter for it which connects to Canon FD, with a further adapter I can use it on any mirrorless camera. I’ll tell you later about this unique and very difficult to master lens.

The shots:

Pixel peepers should stop reading now.

Over the course of two weeks, during five walks, I shot eight films, 360 images. 59 of those were good. This is a selection, from sort of normal to sort of crazy. First the Canon lens, everything at f/1.2, the Petzval I keep for a bit later.




The images, scanned and post processed, were a complete surprise. In Spain I saw my images through the viewfinder, with shallow DOF etc etc, and I knew it was technically possible, but that was only ten percent of the bargain. Only now I see what the images really are. They have to be thoroughly post processed because they exit the scan with the colors out of whack and rather flat. Fuji Superia 800 clearly isn’t made to be overexposed four stops and still be perfectly balanced. It’s also possible the scanner software (Silverfast) plays tricks. Every shot I need to search how to make it work. But when it opens up, it’s a revelation. I have to be very subtle with color saturation and contrast and levels, because otherwise the delicate grain and image structure gets destroyed. The grain only can take so much tweaking. So, the results you see here aren’t far off from what got on film originally.


My Eizo screen is absolutely essential; it’s the best buy I ever made. The photo’s light up on it. If I had done the processing on my laptop, it wouldn’t have worked: Colors are flat compared to the Eizo and I’d either have given up or way oversaturated and the prints would have been money down the drain. Because, just as with black and white: The print is the only thing that counts. On a screen you can get anything. Everyone sees something different and most of the time, unless you have a really good one, it’s a serious disappointment. Imagine seeing this on a smartphone!


I don’t know if you can see the grain structure on your screen, but it’s I think the most beautiful thing in these shots. Not only are they to be appreciated from a distance, but you can also look at the structure from very close by. They are in fact identical to film black and white, with color as an extra dimension. This is a shot, totally underexposed for a change. Contrast is just about nil, I couldn’t up it more without destroying the grain structure.


Not knowing what will emerge feels very weird to me. Black and white, with its grain and color filters, is partially like that, but there I ‘m confident the outcome will be beautiful.



The Petzval: something different.

This lens is so difficult I almost sold it twice already. It’s a hate/love affair.

It’s a very soft focus lens which has a mind of its own. Sometimes it’s sharp and sometimes it isn’t, and I still don’t know why. A second thing is, that because it’s not sharp, I keep on hunting for focus and don’t know when to press the shutter. This is extremely tiring especially at close focus.

The images it gets are often wildly unlike what I remember was in the viewfinder.




Because of the difficulties, I got fed up with the lens, once again decided to sell it and only shot one film, which yielded these three images.

They exhibit sort of an impressionist look, I think. Will I sell it? Certainly not! I have to learn to control it.

A good ten years ago I went to the nature photo club with a disgustingly high self-esteem. I thought my flower shots were very, very good, while they were lousy, I can show them to prove it. God, I’m still embarrassed about that. The shots I make now make me feel very humble and grateful. I’ve hit photography which needs more searching and control than ever, and yet every shot here is a surprise. I only take images in nature, it’s amazing there is so much beauty there.


What am I going to do with these shots when I’ve reached 200 images or such? Evolve further? Stop it? I can’t just stop this. I have to find a positive way out. Making money on flower shots is almost impossible. Maybe I should offer prints to hospitals. It took me 40 years to get this far. I’m 58 and I got my first camera, a canon Ftb, from my parents when I was 18. I bought a few diopter lenses, two years later I had a macro lens and it started: Shooting flowers has always been my passion.



Apr 222016

Into darkness with Ilford film

cover photo – Pentax MZ-S, SMC Pentax-FA 43mm F1.9 Limited

cover photo

Another day, another film and another report. And yes, I stole name of article from Star Trek.

Even in shrinking film world there are choices, possibilities and a lot of things to learn. Last spring I played with slow ISO50 film, and now I went opposite way – picked Ilford Delta 3200 film with incredible ISO3200 sensitivity and went to test it into darkness.

After three rolls I feel that I just scratched the tip of the iceberg in terms of possibilities with this film. Why do I think so? Well, documentation of this film and internet if full of information about possibility to expose it from ISO400 to ISO12800, to make it less/more grainy or less/more contrasty with different development materials and techniques. As for me I don’t develop myself (oh I feel this will change soon, might be very soon, I’m so tempted), and I shoot it at box speed, or to be more precise DX code speed on 3200 ISO. But this film is already in my list of my favorites together with: Portra400 – go anywhere film, Cinestill 800T – low light film, Ektar 100 – film for sun. Ilford Delta 3200 in this list will be film for night.

To sum up my personal evaluation of this film I can say, that it was a first time for me when I had a totally analogue trip, I had a confidence to go for short vacation only with film cameras, one was loaded with portra for day and other with delta for night. Not saying that digital is bad, only saying that its not amount of light decides which medium to use, Its me who makes decision.

And now to list of observations and remarks:

– Its fast film. All shots here were metered at 3200 ISO, some of them were adjusted in PP, with minus half stop EV. I saw quite good or at least acceptable examples of this film shot at 6400, or even 12800.
– Its grainy. I like this type of grain. Read that it could be make less or more grainy depending on developing materials and techniques.
– Contrast is low. I like more contrasty view, so I took advantage from hybrid process and increased contrast in LR. Together with grain it gives me pleasant film noir look.
– Its possible to use this film in daylight as well. Two shots here I made with 3x ND filter. Then its like shooting 400 ISO film.

Thats it. Thanks for reading! Don’t forget to share some tips regarding this film in comments.


Picture 1 – Pentax MZ-3, SMC Pentax-F 50mm F1.7, Marumi ND filter


Picture 2 – Pentax MZ-3, SMC Pentax-FA 50mm F1.4

belgija, briuggė

Picture 3 – Pentax MZ-3, SMC Pentax-F 50mm F1.7, Marumi ND filter


Picture 4 – Pentax MZ-3, SMC Pentax-FA 50mm F1.4

belgija, briuggė

Apr 162016

Friday Film on a Saturday – Leica M5 and Tri-X

by Matt Forsbacka


You run a fun web site – your enthusiasm for photography is infectious. I recently visited Tokyo and Yokohama with my M5 and vintage 35mm Summilux during the iconic sakura season. All of the attached pix are Tri-X pushed to 1600 (developed and scanned by the folks at The Darkroom – I really enjoyed shooting film as an added dimension to my digital picture taking.

All post processing was done in Apple Photos, and I found the scanned files to be pretty forgiving for my amateur photographer purposes. Film or digital? I say both.










All the best,


Mar 182016

Polaroid 195 & Fuji FP100C

by Adam Laws

Evening Steve,

Hope this correspondence finds you well.

It’s been quite some time since I submitted a feature but with the much talked about demise of peel apart film I thought it would be fitting to post my thoughts/images/tribute to the much-loved format.

The below shots were taken on a Polaroid 195 a somewhat rare vintage manual Polaroid camera capable of shooting at an aperture of F3.8.


Unlike many 195’s I have kept the original twin viewfinder. Personally I find this view finder more accurate than the Zeiss VF found on the likes of the Polaroid 250, however I do admit it makes the process of shooting the 195 somewhat slow, yet it’s such a joy to shoot a manual vintage Polaroid I don’t mind savouring the moment.




I generally shoot Polaroids to break up and give some diversity to my portraits. I always get such a great reaction from my models when I shoot with it, and as I’ve described before when you point what might be considered a large antiquated camera at an individual you tend to find your subject all of the sudden takes things rather more seriously, which always makes me laugh as I generally try to keep things as relaxed as possible. It’s still a wonderful experience to have a real tangible image appear after a minute or so, which you can share.






FP100c was always a joy to use. Although the 100 speed film was limiting and future generations will not know the frustration of how a freshly peeled film had a magic ability to attract all dust within a mile radius the beautiful tonality of the film made up for it. In addition the ability of transferring print from the negative to a sheet of paper was always quite fun even if the results did vary considerably for myself.

I fear after my small stockpile of film is consumed this beautiful camera will be relegated to a shelf queen, and the joys of shooting with FP100c will be a distant memory. I have Lomo instax wide to continue my love of instant film (And an sx70 in urgent need of repair) but instax film feels somewhat cheap compared to the images produced with peel apart film and the lack of a manual instax is somewhat frustrating.

Anyway I hope you all enjoy the images hopefully viewing them with a cup of tea and slice of cake.

Models include the most gracious:

Iesha McLean
Jordan Ebbit
Hannah Owen
Vicky Kozlowska
Filippa Karolina
Charlotte Roffey

Mar 092016

The French Quarter of New Orleans

By Anthony Killeen

The French Quarter has to be one of the best places for street photography. It’s full of interesting scenes and people, and it’s a hive of activity all day and night.

All of these were taken withe a Leica M-A and Summilux 50 mm f/1.4. For the first shot, I used CineStill 800T, which is a relative newcomer to the film market, made by the Brothers Wright. It’s made from film stock produced for the motion picture industry and is color balanced for tungsten lighting. The anti-halation layer at the back of the film has been pre-removed to make it possible to develop in routine C41 chemistry. The consequence of this removal is that the film is subject to halos around bright lights, but in this kind of shot those halos only add to the drama of the lighting.

The other two shots were taken with Kodak Tri-X 400.

Thanks for considering these!

My blog:

 Orleans band


Flying around


Street preacher


Anthony Killeen

Feb 232016

What is cinematic?

By Aivaras Sidla

There is a style of photography where picture looks like a still scene taken from movie. I saw such look in other photographers work, managed to make several pictures myself and I’m drawn to learn how to create such pictures on purpose.

This style is usually called “cinematic”.

After reading a half of internet, going trough lot of pictures of several serious photographers, that use this style (would recommend to pay attention to  mr. Matt Osborne work) and experimenting a bit, I learn that there are several important aspects that helps to create this specific look.

I’m going to share a list of observations and some photos (please remember that looks is very personal and things which I see in picture you may see differently). Thing is that I don’t grasp all of important aspects, so this time I’m trying to make interactive post :) – please share your remarks and observations.

Picture1. Pentax MZ-3, SMC Pentax-FA 43mm F1.9 Limited, Kodak Portra 400


Picture2. Pentax MZ-3 (panorama mode), SMC Pentax-F 50mm F1.7, Kodak Portra 400


Picture3. Pentax MZ-3, SMC Pentax-F 50mm F1.7, CineStill 800 Xpro Tungsten


Picture4. Pentax MZ-3 (panorama mode), SMC Pentax-F 50mm F1.7, CineStill 800 Xpro Tungsten


Picture5. Pentax MZ-3, SMC Pentax-FA 43mm F1.9 Limited, Kodak Portra 400


Anyway, here is a list:

-Aspect ratio. Wider is better, but I dare to say that it is not dead necessary. 3×2 aspect looks OK to me.

-Its better when subject doesn’t have direct eye contact with camera. Not sure why, maybe we are used that there is no operator in movies, he has to be invisible

-There should be tension in the frame. I try to create it by looks, movement, composition, and emotional aspects.

-Depth of field. Limited depth of field works better for me, but it shouldn’t be just pone detail and a splash of bokeh in the rest of the frame. There should be context in the picture.

-Light. Proper directional good quality light is very important. But here I don’t see that much difference from usual still photography style. So looks like that there is no need to go into specific details.

-Lens flare. I didn’t tried to use it. I know that I have to learn how to crate it in controllable and suitable way. Like long lens flare that goes trough all frame.

So this is what I know. Now it’s your turn, readers; what would be your opinion, observations for creation of cinematic look?

O! Almost forgot, that this is gear site. Yes. I just have to get my hands on Hasselblad X-pan II with 45mm F4 lens and center ND filter. Yes, again. That should answer all my questions. He he he. J


Feb 102016

A Return to Film from the Leica Monochrom

by James Suojanen

Hey Steve!

I began making photographs in the 1960’s using a 35mm rangefinder and developing my own black and white film. I also made contact prints and did some enlargements. But I fell away from photography through college, professional training, career and early family life; no time, no money. And color photography eluded me. But when digital became affordable with the Nikon D70, I began again. Initially I went the SLR route, but as I got older I disliked the size and weight so I ended up back with rangefinders, eventually acquiring a Leica Monochrom to complete the return to my roots; or so I thought.

Using the Monochrom with just about any decent lens produced unbelievably sharp images.

This image was made using a 60+ year old 50mm Summarit during the Memorial Day Parade in my town (Summarit yellow filter, handheld) – Leica Monochrom


I made this image I made at the Military Cemetery in Bourne, Massachusetts. Normally the graves can have NO decoration. But the father of a posthumous Medal of Honor soldier buried there won the right to have flags placed at every grave site for the Veterans Day and Memorial Day weekends. An amazing event in which hundreds of volunteers appear, place the flags and then remove them. (Monochrom with a 21mm SEM on a tripod with a yellow filter) – Leica Monochrom


On a trip to my old stomping grounds in the South, I made this pic with the Monochrom and a 35mm Summilux FLE (UV filter).


I like all of these images. The prints have a medium-format acuity to them. But I just found/find them a bit sterile; they lack(ed) a certain “je ne sais pas” for me. So when I saw an announcement of a Leica Akademie workshop on film photography coincident with a trip to LA, I decided I’d take a second look at film. What I like about workshops is not only the focused time devoted to learning and practicing, but also the people the people I meet. I wasn’t disappointed by the cast of characters who assembled. And I was given 2 36-exposure rolls of Ilford XP2 for a sojourn through Chinatown and environs. Great fun, great instructor and a real adventure! Film DOES make you slow down and think about the images you’re making.

XP2 is a Black & White ISO 400 negative film developed using the C-41 process for color films. The images shown here were commercially scanned at the time of development with a 3,000 x 2,000 pixel resolution. All images were made with my Leica M7 and Voigtlander 35mm Color Skopar, except for Bruce Lee – 90mm macro elmar. I used a yellow filter for about half of them. I post-processed in Lightroom and Nik. I think the color processing gives the files a good bit of latitude for digital post-procesing. The grain is very fine and uniform. For those do-it-yourselfers, I imagine that Kodak TMax would give similar results.

Peculiar – an open but very hostile gate.


Church in Hispanic neighborhood next to Chinatown


Building next to the Church. As I unloaded the second roll at the end of the day, I realized I had not rewound before I opened the camera. Steve can’t publish what I said at that moment, but I quickly closed the camera back up and hoped for the best. This bit of serendipity occurs with film and can make for some interesting images. The light from the sprocket holes provides celestial framing for this otherwise boring composition.



My favorite image of the day. Simple story within a complex image – maybe a metaphor for most of us seeking to find a path through the complicated thing we call life.


Statue of Bruce Lee. The sprocket light made a spotlight for his face. I had a very difficult time framing since I wanted to get his hand in-between the lanterns, like he was balancing them. I had to account for the lens/viewfinder parallax while I held the camera upside down.


A bench. The Voigtlander lens renders very nicely on film. It’s as sharp as a 35mm Summicron (had one a while back) with very nice bokeh. Small and light, I find it’s short focus throw terrific for street photography. I spent about $350 for the screw mount lens and adapter. It also looks great on both my M7 and my Leica IIIf.

For me, I saw these images and knew I was home again – at least for B&W. They just breath more that the Monochrom pictures. I don’t really know what it is. Certainly a lens will interact with a 20µ thick film emulsion differently than a 1µ micro prism at the top of a photocell in a digital sensor. It may also reflect an analog vs digital tonal range. Perhaps some/most of you reading this (thank you for taking the time to read this piece and look at the photographs), will think me deluded. That’s okay. Art is art, and a wise man once said, “There are as many paths to God as there are people on the Earth”. I’ll paraphrase him by saying that each of us has our own path (i.e. camera, lenses, etc.) to making THE PICTURE which we all seek.

Cheers and blessings,

P.S. Given the rapid depreciation of digital cameras, I don’t think there is any significant cost between film and digital for most of us amateurs (except if you shoot action stuff). My Leica IIIf is 60+ years old and works perfectly (I can’t say the same about myself).


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