Summer is almost upon us by Ibraar Hussain

Summer is almost upon us by Ibraar Hussain

The weather has been pants lately, but there is hope, our weather forecasters are telling us that the extended April Showers are at an end! I absolutely love the summer, school holidays are a time of fun, country loafs, beach trips and generally chilling out and enjoying the British weather (when it’s fine). I tend to take out my smaller cameras, my Contax G2, especially my Contax Tvs III and Contax T2 which are both adorable things.

The Contax Tvs III I have has a lovely Vario-Sonnar T*30-60mm f3.7 to 6.7 lens. The lens is contrasty and sharp, not the fastest, but it sure renders slide film nicely as the Meter is spot on! it’s absolutely beautiful, built like a little sleek black tank with the coolest of lens flap mechanisms. The View Finder is on par with that built into the Contax G2. It has Aperture priority, exposure compensation and a Manual Focus mode – but I use it with Flash off, set to A priority AF and it nails the images every time! If you haven’t handled one, I recommend it, as just by looks, feel and handling alone it’ll put a smile on your face! It’s the type of camera you can use for just about anything, but great for Family days out and snap shots.

The Contax T2 is slightly more rotund, and more geared towards ‘serious’ photography. It is very fast in use, turns on almost instantaneously, and has a BIG Viewfinder, big and bright – much bigger than that on the G2. It also has a pinsharp fast Zeiss Sonnar T* 38mm f2.8 lens, faster and sharper than the Tvs III, AF which is very rapid, built-in flash, exposure compensation, Aperture priority and the usual to be found on a quality compact from this era. The Aperture is changed using the lens barrel and feels right (The TVS III uses buttons on the front of the camera).

Many people prefer the T2 to the much more expensive and sought after T3, I’ve never handled a T3 so cannot comment. The T2 is very special indeed.

I think both cameras are worth having, seeing as they’re to be found for bargain basement prices these days! The T2 is comparable to the Fuji X100, whereas the Tvs III is funky – like an original Contax T or Minox perhaps? The only downsides? Well, no facility to add filters to these! (whereas the T3 and Tvs I and II have!) In summer I tend to go completely nuts with super saturated slide film such as my favourite Kodak Ektachrome e100vs, and Fujichrome Velvia 50 and 100 and Sensia. I used to use print film such as Fuji real – but don’t touch print Film any more, too difficult to scan, and who likes scanning?

I also chuck on the Polariser (on the G2) and have fun with clouds and skies! Love em or hate em, saturated summer pictures sure as hell put a smile on my face, and I hope they do the same thing to you – reminding you of summer, blue skies and inspire you to go out and take some proper summer photo’s – unlike my snaps!

I’ve included some more shots here taken with the peerless Contax G2 as well for you to love or hate or troll! – either way, Summer’s here, go out and shoot some!


Durdle Door, Dorset Coast. Contax Tvs III. Fuji Velvia 50.

Summer chilling, Stourhead. Wiltshire. Contax T2. Fuji Velvia 50

Cliveden, Berkshire. Contax T2. Fuji Velvia 50
Kid playing by a lake, West Wycombe park, Buckinghamshire. Contax Tvs III. Fuji Sensia 100
Poppy field, Wiltshire. Contax Tvs III. Fuji Sensia 100.
Church Steeple. Pitstone, Buckinghamshire. Contax G2 90mm Sonnar T*, Fuji Velvia 100. Hoya MC Polariser
Wheatfield, Pitstone, Buckinghamshire. Contax G2 21mm Biogon  T*, Fuji Velvia 100. Hoya MC Polariser.
Walk, Pitstone, Buckinghamshire. Contax G2 21mm Biogon  T*, Fuji Reala 100., (old print scan) Hoya MC Polariser.
Triplets. Bales of Hay. Wiltshire. Contax G2 21mm Biogon T*. Kodak e100vs. Hoya MC Polariser.
From Mount Snowdon, Wales. Contax G2, 21mm Biogon T* Kodakchrome K25 (my last roll of Kodachrome) Hoya MC Polariser.
Swan lake on Fire. Virginia Waters. Surrey. Contax G2 21mm Biogon T*, Kodak e100vs. Hoya MC Polariser.
Golden Summer Afternoon. Turville Village. Chiltern Hills. Berkshire. Contax G2 90mm Sonnar T*. Kodak e100vs.
Polarised Clouds. (old scan from print) Contax G2 28mm Biogon T* (sold the 28 a while back and bought the 21) Fuji Reala 100 Hoya MC Polariser.


  1. I have not shot film in awhile, usually MFDB or M9. I am going on a 50 mile trek in the
    sierras. Either of the digital cameras is too heavy to carry 50 miles, but I have a Contax TvsIII that is like new and lighter, so I thought I could shoot film with it. Does this seem like a crazy idea? Should I buy another light digital PS instead or would this camera be a good choice for shooting around Lake Tahoe in the digital age?

    Would appreciate your thoughts! Thanks, steve

  2. A great pleasure to view, Ibraar.

    The two boys in the wheatfield, and on the gate above Turville, were inspired placements.

    Well done.

  3. ps. kyocera service all contax cameras here in the UK. I had mube serviced 2 yrs back by kyocera uk

  4. Great work. I have the TVSIII and I love it. A great everywhere camera for film and they still service it in japan! The autofocus is fairly slow but very usable. I am looking for a Contax G2. Is the G2’s autofocus similar or quicker to the TVSIII? Thanks in advance

    • hi mate, the G2 is very fsst to focus and is able to do so in virtual darkness. it really is fsst. the omly awkward lens is the 90mm sonnar, its as quick as the others, but some people have problems when shot wide open, its cos on that lens you need to be sure focus is on what you want it on by checking the distance scale in the VF, but I’ve never had problems and check just to be certain on that particular lens as. all in all the g2 is a speed demon and ss perfect a RF as you can get, read my review on this site

  5. no high ISO required for this type of photography, and can be done with a small sensor if digital.

  6. Since i have the NEX7 i’m using my nikon arsenal less and less. With an adapter i can use all lenses (Nikon/Zeiss) and the focus peaking is overkill on NEX7. I miss it on all DSLRs it’s so amazing. I was very interested in D800, but while i have N7 i calmed down about the upgrade.

  7. I wanted to thank everyone for the wonderful comments, they’ve really left me feeling worthy!
    I have always been reluctant to share these pictures as I assumed they’d be viewed as snaps and not much liked, so it’s all been a pleasant surprise!

    thanks again!

  8. Breathtaking images sir! You are the reason I am getting back into film and I just bought a Contax G2 with 28,35,90 lenses :P. I have my trusty om2n with 50mm f1.4 and 135mm f2.8 but I am looking forward to the G2. I was going to buy a second hand m4p or m3 as their classics and would complement my m8 very well however I got my G2 set for the price of one pristine condition m4p.

    • Leonard,

      Congratulations. A very good move. My only suggestion would be to sell the 35 while it is commanding a premium thanks to M4/3 and Fujifilm XPro1 buyers adapting it, and get yourself the Planar 45 (a bit too long for most APS-C sensor users). On eBay the 45s are trading less than the 35s and the 45 is a much better lens.

      28/45/90 is the classic combo ; having a 28 and 35 may be less useful.

      • nice one Leonard and thanks for the comments.
        I tend to use the 45 and 21, both are astounding lenses!
        If you could save or justify the cost of the 21 you wont regret it, it trumps the 28 and is more versatile., the the 28 is a superb compact lens

    • daniel, I spent AGES enjoying your galleries full screen! Superb work! brilliant stuff!
      Thanks for sharing!
      The colour and latitude is top notch!
      Colours, look and feel, texture – – wow, so much character man! Lush!

  9. down south we are in winter, and these are a delight to see, beautiful colours indeed.
    wonderful set Ibraar.

  10. Your Mount Snowden shot is epic. Makes me want to get into some wides. I am a 50 and 28mm man with film but I also carry a D700 with 17 – 35 which also gets some amazing shots. Love Summer for sure. Hot day in London today. More please sir!

    • Thanks Stephen!
      I had the 28 which is a lovely lens and length, but the 21 is so special that it adds an extra dimension to wides

      I tend to use the 28 on my other cameras though, including a 28 equivalent on my Rolleiflex 6008i which is lush!

  11. Durdle Door…. definitely need to go there again to take some snaps. Last time I was there I had still my old lovely Nikon D40 🙂

    • hexx, be sure to check out Lulworth and Golden Cap too! gorgeous places.
      Any chance of seeing your Durdle door pics?

  12. Ibraar, I love you photographs. You have beautifully captured the English (and Welsh) landscape which although beautiful, can be quite hard to capture in an engaging picture. You’ve done this beautifully while being really true to the subject and really conveying the feeling of being there. Congratulations. Simply beautiful.

  13. Ibraar,
    What can I say – your shots brought on the most incredible nostalgic feeling from long walks with my Mum and Dad in the 1960’s and 70’s. Your work really inspires people, as I can see from all the other comments above, and I think I’ll be digging out my ancient Vivitar rangefinder, buying some film, and go out and having some good old fashioned fun, not the least of which will be the anxious wait for the postman to deliver my efforts back from the developing lab. Fantastic stuff, and if you ever visit Clevedon to get our great sunsets let me know – beers are on me!

    • Simon! Thanks ever so much for the comments my friend, the fact that my pictures have stirred happy memories in itself is a huge compliment and makes it so worthwhile, thanks again, you honour me too much!
      Do dig out the Vivitar and shoot some old skool film, after all these years of digital overload, ironically film looks so refreshing and has so much character.

      And is that Clevedon in Somerset? It’d be brilliant to hook up, thanks so much for the invite!
      Drop me a line and keep in touch Simon!

      Thanks again!

  14. Ibraar’s work speaks to us from a different time and place, when photography really did mean capturing light waves like insects in amber. The fact that he keeps the faith of Contax Zeiss alive really makes me smile as well. Just look at how those Biogons draw!

    These slides are a great reminder that for real colour and resolution we still have to go for film positives; this side of a MF Hassy or Leaf-Mamiya anyway.

    I particularly enjoyed the fact that not one of your beautiful images has anything in the way of “bokeh” which has become devalued to the point of being the last resort of the scoundrel.

    Business sense aside, who needs to keep up with new gear when there is so much classic kit to work with.

    Keep it going Ibraar, this is great!

    • Anais, thanks man, Ive noticed an obsession with shallow depth of field lately.
      But there’s a time and a place for that, in my knowledge shallow depth is solely to isolate a subject, and that’s it.
      For scenics you’d want maximum depth of field, and in my opinion, if it’s colour you want, shoot saturated E6, instead of Portra or Ektar or C41.

      • Thanks Ibraar. Do you know anywhere that still develops E6? I have a stock of Elite Chrome & Ektachrome and I would hate to leave it sitting on the shelf. Is cross processing the only option nowadays?

        • Are you in the UK Anais? I have used genieimaging dotcodotuk for years for my E6 + C41. They do a superb job and best of all only charge an incredible £2.29 a roll (unmounted).

          They are a good Pro lab just outside of London with a very efficient mail order service and quick turnaround. Their website is a bit naff but that aside I cannot fault their service and after trying many labs for my colour would not dream of going anywhere else. Hope this helps. 😉

          • Anais, I use who are really good and do Mail order, and I also use Fuji Film’s own Lab in Leeds (Mail Order) which are also very good!
            Mail order with Fuji if you’re out of London is the way to go I think, as both Forest and Fuji have pretty good rates for developing.
            Other labs such as silverprint and Metro are very expensive.

          • Great, thank you Ibraar.

            Silverprint are excellent – never had a complaint – but definitely pricey! With the way film is going, its becoming painful…

          • Gents,

            I’ve also had excellent results with Bayeux in London, though your recommendations look a lot better value.


  15. Boy, most of that color is so old appearing. It would take a lot of fiddling in Photoshop to get that far off reality…

    • Yes, I shot some stuff on the Essex coast a few years back on Velvia (similar colours to Ibraar’s swan lake on fire photo) and recently the same evening scene using digital. I have tried everything in Photoshop to try and match the Velvia shot but there is no way on earth I can get it even remotely close and still retain the tonal depth and look of the film.

      Taught me a big lesson and why I am now shooting colour film a lot more now.

      • Dr Nick, mmmm is that meant as a compliment or criticism?
        I suppose it’s whatever floats ones boat innit?

  16. Ibraar,
    You sure cover a lot of ground here. Some great shots. I particularly like the Snowdon shot.
    The Stourhead, Stourton shot, it takes me back a long time. I lived a couple of miles away in Dorset and several of us would ride our bikes there and leave them down a lane that is on the left and further along out of sight in the shot. We would then fence hop and go visit the grotto and the grounds. Later in the 60s I took quite a few shots there with my Minolta SLRs (SR7 and 101) when I was home on leave between sea voyages.

    • Jim, that’s really interesting to know, it’s such a beautiful place (as is Dorset) you’re a very fortunate fellow!
      Have you ever been back?

      And what are the chances of seeing your photos?

      I’ve only visited once, last summer and it was a scorching day!

      • Last visit was 2006 and prior to that 2003.
        I have been sorting out my old slides and negatives to scan, I have them sorted into groups but the house got invaded by a long term family stay and its now a project on hold. Maybe later this year.

  17. I’ve been on a B/W kick recently (Fuji Neopan Acros 100 has been my film of choice) but this inspires me to get some color. Thanks

  18. You always post the best articles here. I am starting to used film and you are an inspiration to persevere. Keep posting please!

    • Agreed, I always go away learning something or seeing ideas worth trying in my own work when Ibraar posts …. as well as enjoying some fine photographs of course.

      Most other articles here these days are just DPReview on steroids and aimed at buying stuff as opposed to IMPROVING one’s photography. I wish to learn, not waste money by buying the latest camera X or Y.

      • thanks fab and Cider! Appreciate the positive encouraging comments guys!
        I’ll be writing another article on photographing tree’s next! hehe!

  19. Hi Ibraar, I always enjoy your contributions to this site. Thank you.
    Knowing your love of film, I was wondering would you like 6 rolls of ‘out of date fujichrome’ film?
    Been in the fridge for years (expired 2005!).
    All my research points to the film being fine to use as it keeps for years.
    I’ve got 3 rolls of Fujichrome Velvia/ daylight and 3 rolls of Sensia 200, slide.

    Let me know if you’d like them. Yours for free.
    All the best, M

  20. Great colors. I especially like the photo with the two boys on the fence. Very homey looking. Thanks for sharing.

  21. Fantastic shots. 2 questions: 1) where do you have your slides developed (it seems like every descent local lab in my area has disappeared); and 2) when you scan the slides, what equipment and software do you use.

    • Hi Jordan, I use who are really good and do Mail order, and I also use Fuji Film’s own Lab in Leeds (Mail Order)

      I scan using a Flatbed Epson 4990 using generic Epson Scan. I tried Vuescan but couldn’t be asked with the tediousness of it all.

      • Funny you should say that Ibraar as I use a V700 and have tried all other scan software like Silverfast, VueScan etc and always come back to Epson Scan in the end because it is so darn simple and just plain works.

        I guess Silverfast is good for someone who doesn’t want to do much PP but the only way (IMHO) to get the best from a film/slide scan is to scan it with almost all the settings turned off and edit the resulting scan in PS or LR. I do see some really nice scans from people who have really mastered VueScan though so I still haven’t given up all hope with that software quite yet.

        • Vuescan is good, don’t get me wrong, it has a multiple exposure setting which gives the pictures that extra depth and they look better – but downside is that sharpening is minimum, so need to sharpen some (on a flatbed theres no focussing mechanism so it uses USM) and it’s damn slow! And basically needs a lot more post.
          Whereas with Epson its a case of scan and go, quick easy and sharp! All I need to do then is play with levels so it matches the original slides

  22. Wow. You get amazing stuff out of those contaxes.

    Nothing compares to slide film.

    • Slide Film has it’s own look, it’s difficult to get that vibrancy in digital I think, but I may be wrong.

  23. LOVE your pictures, thank you Ibraar for posting these!
    I will now go out with my M3 and some expired rolls of Velvia 50 and guesstimate exposure values… no guts, no glory!
    Super saturated slide film rocks.

    • 🙂 It was a lovely day today, so went out with my Kodak Easyshare Max Z990 – love kodak digital colour!

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