Friday Film: One lens, One roll by Ibraar Hussain

Friday Film: One lens, One roll

by Ibraar Hussain

Hi Steve,

It’s been a good year, 2013 has almost rushed past and Christmas is on its way now, so need to get the shopping done and make do the preparations! 🙂

I’ve been out and about and have thoroughly enjoyed my (limited) photography this past Summer, and am looking forward to the Winter being a short one.

I’ve thoroughly enjoyed most of the reviews and contributions on your site! Been absolutely Great!

In response to many people who assume is solely a ‘Gear Site’ – I’d like to stress how wrong they are! Steve, your site is The Best photography related on the Web, by a huge margin, and sure it involves Gear and new stuff people want to read about, but it’s all encompassing – showcases older Film stuff, Art, technique and lucky for those to be published – some great photography of all sorts! (Thanks Ibraar! – Steve)

I’d like to finish off the year with a sort of Inspiration. The 23rd of November was probably the best time to see some Autumnal Fall colours here in Epping Forest in Essex on the outskirts of London.

So I took an afternoon stroll through my favourite woods armed with a Rolleiflex 6008i, a Rollei 80mm HFT Planar lens and one roll of Agfa Ultra 50 with 12 Exposures to see whether I could give myself a One Lens, One Roll Challenge to capture the colour, flavour and atmosphere of the passing of the year and the last display before the leaves vanish and Winter takes over.

I had a great walk and needless to say every one of my 12 exposures were ‘keepers’ (well, keepers to me anyway) and I have a nice set of 4×4 inch prints in small square frames which I’ve mounted – of the following 6 pictures I’d like to share with everyone here and perhaps inspire others to take a similar walk with similar intentions and equipment – or a challenge for Digital shooters to shoot with 1 lens and to shoot 12 pictures and ALL 12 have to be keepers! Let’s see how people get on 🙂



Ps. I’d include the other 6 here but you’re probably bored stiff of trees! 🙂

1 6 3a 6 11 5


  1. Funny, I’ve just posted all 12 from a roll on my blog (not sure I’m allowed to quote it here so I wont unless anyone asks) although they were not taken all on one trip I was making a similar point about keepers ratio to shots taken.

    Mine were with a £10 Franka Solida folding 6 x 6 which whilst perhaps not having the best lens in the world is a great camera to carry around in a pocket all the time.

    Great shots of Epping Forest, haven’t been there for the best part of 50 years since my misspent youth!

    • Had a look at your blog – excellent stuff and had a good look see!
      And the thing about digital photography is that it is simply that – Digital Photography and has almost developed into a discipline by itself distinct from Photography or Film photography – delete – shoot – check – shoot – shoot etc etc ad infinitum – followed by hours trawling through shot after shot clogging up drive space and tedious as the picture’s have already been seen! How boring.
      Epping Forest has it’s own magic, where are you now?

      • Yes, totally agree regarding digital photography, I now find that I get very little satisfaction from shooting in that medium and now really only use it for snapshots and do all my serious work with film. Nothing, absolutely nothing wrong with digital but I find so much more satisfaction from all the extra steps of film, including the processing and the satisfaction of looking at a roll of negatives as they come out of the developing tank.

        We now live in North Suffolk but spend a lot of time travelling on our narrowboat and I’m planning to put together some details and images of those travels and hope that Steve might be interested in showing them on this site.

  2. I’d like to see more 1 lens 12 shot submissions here, from Digital shooters – and no cheating!
    That’s 12 shots, with 1 lens to capture a place, occasion or setting at one visit or outing.

    • “I’d like to see more 1 lens 12 shot submissions here, from Digital shooters – and no cheating!
      That’s 12 shots, with 1 lens to capture a place, occasion or setting at one visit or outing.”

      Does 12 shots in 2 seconds count?


    • Thanks guys.
      It helps with the fact that I have only 12 shots so need to really take my time and only shoot if 100% sure.

      Such challenges I think are really good – 12 shots to say capture the flavour and atmosphere of a place with one lens.

      • The price of 120 colour film these days you have to make sure they count eh’ Ibraar? 🙂

        When I use my Mamiya 6 I always make sure I also have a Ricoh GR in my pocket too, anything I’m 99% sure about goes on film and anything else goes on “disposable” digital.

        Good thing is with the GR range you can shoot 1:1 so if you are also shooting 6×6 in film it gives you a very good indication before committing. Nice addition to the GR firmware update was “47mm” crop mode.

        Like the good old days with using a Polaroid back first but only cheaper.

  3. Thanks guys, and thank you Steve for publishing these snaps and helping me in my goal of inspiring (rather than showcasing Photography – as these are basically snaps)

    The Rolleiflex is a great handheld rig, as it is very comfortable to hold and so ergonomic with the perfectly placed buttons, huge bright finder and the camcorder like hand grip. Mine is round the neck with an Optech neck strap.

    You can see the rest of the stuff at my Flickr:

    I have a Rolleiflex 3.5F too! You can see 6 shots from my first roll on my Flickr 🙂

    @Barry Cook: That’s around Strawberry Hill Ponds near Loughton.

    And I’ve sent Steve 3 yes THREE more articles, fingers crossed that they’re published!
    One in a similar scene/subject (One Roll one Lens) with my Contax RTS II and 45mm Tessar.
    Other with my Contax TVS III and another with iPhone 5 Hipstamatic.

    • I checked out the images on your Flickr. Really really nice. What is uncanny is the similarity in look between your 6008 and my 2.8E for the colour images. Must be the Planar lenses that they use.

      • I think the 2.8 TLR Lens is a better lens than the HFT one on the 600x series.
        No mirror slap for a start. Closer to the dil plane. And the TLR lens has less elements and is in tests sharper and more pleasing than the Hasselblad which is the same as the HFT 600x one. The older 2.8 TLR lenses are also uncoated, flare a lot YET are more pleasing with less contrast on BW.
        The 3.5 is also a stellar performer.

  4. Great work again Ibraar and wish I could use a Rollei, but Rollei /Hasselblad shoulder is an ever present threat at my age esoecially traipsing about! Not to mention the sturdy tripod…

    – I love the square format especially composing from waist level, and wish there was a square sensor @ 30+mb in a small sub 35mm body designed like a Contax where you had a proper aperture ring on the small lens, a shutter speed dual near the shutter and ISO/exposure compensation dial to the top left of the camera. The latest Nikon looks a mess as if someone just added whatever was wanted without any thought…

  5. Shots number 2 and 3 really hit my aesthetic sweet spot. Nice work! I love that you set yourself a goal before you shot. The Rolleiflex is a great camera and you’re putting it to excellent use.

  6. Very nice Ibraar! But why are you using such modern equipment? Lately I have been shooting with a Rolleiflex 2.8E


    And you are right, when you have 12 images, you really make them count!

    Best regards

  7. I.H.
    This is exactly what makes me sad for the loss of a native present day square format. RIP Hassie/Rollie/Mamiya etc. And what’s this “roll” thing you mention? (Kidding)! I commercially last shot with the V series Hassies over ten year years ago. Sniff. Snuffle.
    That said the real charm of this post is as usual, the author. Always a lovely and insightful read.
    Merry Christmas/Boxing Day. Whatever.

      • Those new Rolleiflexes are stunning works of art. And there are some bargains on the Rolleiflex Hy6 package which is utterly superb and a camera I want
        For other TLR I was impressed with the MPP Microcord I reviewed last year

        • Yes. I see B&H has “them” in stock. I’m guessing NOS would be more accurate. But regardless I’ve no clients or much interest for getting my V Series Hassies out and using them. Let alone my Pentax 67lls. I long ago pulled the batteries out and from all of my Sekonix and Spectra meters as well. I kinda miss ’em like I said but philosophically I’ve move on. And so too has most of the world. Darn.

  8. forgot to mention it will be my ancient rollei 35T in case anyone’s wondering how I can run carrying a camera

      Barry – Out of curiosity: What kind of batteries are you using in your 35T? I have one that I got as a gift from my dad in the 70s and I used it exclusively till the early 90s. However, I heard that the batteries that these take are not made anymore. Sometimes I really feel the urge to use it again (and be it only to reminisce of sorts) but I am not clear on what the answer is. Any suggestions? Thanks in advance.

      My apologies that this is off topic!

  9. great challenge …. I spend many hours running round epping and I recognise 3 of the locations….but have never taken the camera … will do it on my next run round in the snow ….

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