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Film Corner - JUST film, not digital.

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Posted on 6 Feb 2011 16:40:59 GMT
Last edited by the author on 6 Feb 2011 16:52:24 GMT
I came across this review of Delta 400 by Jay Abend. here is his conclusion (using ID11)
"While I still think that the base 400 speed Delta is lacking a bit of magic, I do find some magic in the film at 1600. The client and I chose several of the 1600 speed shots to use in the catalog for the jewelry, preferring the creamy highlights, inky black shadows, and smudgy details to the near perfect 400 results. Go figure."
"Today, with digital running over nearly everything in its path, it's not only refreshing to see a new black and white film stock, it's essential. Film like this gives you a look and a feel that you just can't get with pixels and Photoshop. While all of these images were eventually scanned for reproduction, we never could get the D30 images to reproduce the film noir look of the 1600 speed Delta. In many respects the reformulated Delta 400 isn't surprising at all. It's a logical improvement of the fine existing film stock. I loved the increased exposure latitude, the slightly finer grain, and especially the improved pushability. It's time to set up the enlargers again!"

Posted on 6 Feb 2011 16:56:15 GMT
B. G. Eager says:
I have put a small bid on the Ihagee Rods - so thanks Doc

Posted on 6 Feb 2011 20:15:56 GMT
Graham H says:
Right. That's DEFINITELY the last bit of film kit I buy for a while!

Just acquired a mint condition OM-2n. Yay! Now I can carry both bodies in my little bag if I want to. OM-2n for B&W and the manual OM-1 for colour print, where exposure is not so critical and I can select from the camera's range. The OM-2n will adjust automatically with its OTFP metering system in Auto.

Going to sell of my OM40 now to pay it off so I don't feel too guilty. I got it cheap and mended it for free, and I doubt I'll ever use it now.

Posted on 7 Feb 2011 14:24:33 GMT
If anyone wants to know about film cameras, I've owned and used 100's since the late 1950's. I started with a Baldixette when I was 11 and moved on
to Prakticas, Zenits, M42 Pentaxes, Minoltas, Canons and finally Nikons. I have owned just about every Nikon SLR ,my favourite being the F2. I resisted
autofocus for many years, but eventually bought an F50, an F60, F90, F100 and F5. In between all these, I've owned models by Fujica, Miranda, Olympus, Yashica, Rollei and Konica. I also used medium format Rolleicords, flexes, Mamiya RB67, Mamiya 645, Bronica ETRS and a Pentax 6x7. I also had a dozen or so old folders. I nearly forgot the Leicas, both M series and screw thread. It got to the stage when my cupboards were creaking under the weight and I was spending more time fondling and dusting the things than actually taking pictures. Two years ago I made the decision to sell the lot (I
kept the Pentax 6x7 and an old grey baby Rolleiflex). I feel almost ashamed to say that I replaced them with a Nikon D300 and D700. I have to admit
that I miss the sheer beauty of the precision engineering of some of the old film cameras. My new digital SLRs just don't have the same appeal and I
could never become emotionally attached to them, but I use them for the purpose that they were intended i.e. taking pictures. I regret to say that I could never attain the quality of prints from scanning my slides than I can from my digital cameras. (may be the scanner and not the medium). However, what I like about slides is that they are tangible; I can pick them up and handle them. I have 1000's of them stored away, dating back to the 60's and
none of them have shown any signs of fading or mould. I have also 1000's of digital images stored on my hard drive and I'm acutely aware that I could
lose the lot if my hard drive packs in. I still don't think that you can beat the quality of a projected colour transparancy; the digital projectors look dull
in comparison. You will have gathered that I was a slide photographer and as such everything had to be spot on before you released the shutter. I use
the same philosophy with my digital photography and don't prat about on photoshop. One of the reasons that I left my camera club after 30 years was that it had become more of a computer club; the competition winners were now the photoshop whiz kids who were producing images that bore no resemblance to what they'd seen through their viewfinders.I suppose it's what's called progress and I'm an old stick in the mud, but I don't care.

Posted on 7 Feb 2011 14:42:11 GMT
Last edited by the author on 7 Feb 2011 14:49:29 GMT
Graham H says:
Welcome to the forum Michael!

I have the distinct feeling that your knowedge of the really old stuff will be a goldmine for several of us on here. That really is some history you have.
I take it you made your living from photography? Certainly sounds that way.
I'm a great believer in getting it right the first time through the 'finder too. Not that I always do of course, but since using film I've found that my digital pictures have become better. And like you I love the solid mechanical feel of the old manuals.
Not that there's anything wrong with digitals. I have the Nikon D90 and I'm very impressed with it. But it's still a plastic piece of consumer electronics and I'm no more attached to mine than I am to any other appliance really. They lack the magic of the film cameras somehow.

I'm looking forward to seeing the results from my negative scanner. I'm not under any illusions that it might beat the technical quality of the D90's output, but I wanted it so that I can share my 35mm with friends and family online. If I wanted a print from any of them I'd have it done from the original negative.
I still feel that my limited knowledge and consequent lack of a high percentage of "keepers" is not up to using slide film yet. It's a bit too expensive a mediium for me to go blasting off several rolls on a day out like I do with C41 Fuji Reala. One day I'll get around to it when I improve.

Thanks again for posting. I'll look forward to hearing more!


Posted on 7 Feb 2011 14:59:50 GMT
B. G. Eager says:
Michael..Yes I can sympathise with all of that; I haven't taken to Photoshop and doubt now that I ever will, I have tried GIMP and like the freebie PAINT.Net which together with some HDR freestanding software does me okay. I love the tactile side of the the old lenses/cameras/ which have an old world charm.........I do think that the people of today have a head start in mainly numbers of people taking a picture on a phone or a digi camera whether or not they will ever understand the aperture settings vs speed of the shutter and EV +- values is debatable; in the anolog world not everyone was a camera user/owner and of those that were - not everyone fully understood the relationship of the above nor even what the film-speed on the side of the carton actually told you in camera terms. So it might just be that they learn these things by a roundabout route involving a computer or joining a club which starts them back on the film trail for the beginning of their education.

In reply to an earlier post on 7 Feb 2011 15:07:47 GMT
Very interesting Michael.
You may be amused to hear what our old adversary Nick Harman made of slides in a previous thread: "Dr G I recall my parents always took 'slide' film with their instamatic. For some reason most holidaymakers did in the 1970s, preferring the all in one price that had the film developed by Kodak and the fun of sitting around the slide projector.
The pictures I have in front of me now (126 format) seem fine and well exposed. Given the simple cameras then slide must have been reasonably forgiving." Patronising git. I did try to tell him off.
Graham, I wonder what happened to all those other nutters like Zelazowa, Froggeh and (non nutter) Vendemiaire. Froggeh thought that film chemicals would destroy the world - but all the nasties used to make digital gear and batteries won't, I suppose. And then there was my special favourite X, or Ed. I wonder what happened to him - nothing bad I hope.

Posted on 7 Feb 2011 15:33:38 GMT
Have a look at this and drool. EBay Item number: 320652113703. Its a Canon with the f0.95 lens - fantastic!

Posted on 7 Feb 2011 15:38:45 GMT
Last edited by the author on 7 Feb 2011 15:57:36 GMT
Graham H says:
You know Doc, I have no idea what happened to any of them.
I don't harbour any animosity towards any of them. It's the internet after all, and open to everyone. Although I do recall that Vendemiaire used to have it in for me especially! I could say nothing without he/she jumping on it with self-righteous and patronising indignation. Whilst all the time skilfully avoiding contributing anything useful to the proceedings!

In my imagination I see her/him out there in France somewhere knitting free-range sandals out of Muesli and thinking he's saving the planet by driving his Nissan Leaf to the shops to pick up his week-old copy of The Guardian. Never mind the fact that the petrol-free car has 48 lithium batteries and still needs mains power to recharge. of which something like 80% is still produced by fossil fuels!

I don't miss that bit of the old forum at all. X was a contributor of some interesting stuff though.

tell you what though Doc, this old camera business is contagious. I've been chatting with my brother about my exploits and he's now gone and bought himself a lovely old Nikon FE to go with his F100. Mainly because all his expensive Nikon lenses for his D700 will work with it.
He regards it as a test of how his skills are improving because as he says, there's nowhere to hide with film. You can't P-Chop it into something it isn't. You get it right, or you don't. He's made a page on his website where he posts his scans for all to see:

That Canon? Wow! That's something isn't it? Not sure I'd want it even as a museum piece in that state, but interesting nonetheless. Wonder how many of those lenses they made? Not many I'll wager.

Posted on 7 Feb 2011 18:22:51 GMT
Last edited by the author on 7 Feb 2011 18:25:50 GMT
Graham H says:
Just found the best camera straps. And I already own some...

Ernie Ball Polypro Strap - Purple (4045)

I was looking on Fleabay for another Olympus strap and I thought "hang about. These things are never long enough. I wonder if anyone does an extra long one. Something like a guitar strap...Eureka!"

I like to have my camera slung very low, ideally about waist height. Because when I'm walking around with it I can slide it behind my left hip under my jacket out of sight and keep it there by walking with my left hand in my trouser pocket (Pockets also known as "American Patrol Gloves" in military parlance!)

These straps cost about six quid, can take the weight of very heavy guitars and basses and come in a selection of attractive plain colours for the nylon webbing. I just make a 4" double-ended loop of black nylon paracord to attach the strap to the rings. Perfect!

In reply to an earlier post on 7 Feb 2011 19:40:19 GMT
Graham, No I wasn't a professional photographer and other than the odd calendar shot and a few weddings, never made any money from it. I do have a cupboard full of trophies from
competitions and exhibitions though, mostly through film as I've only been into digital for a couple of years. I did enjoy owning and using film cameras; the modern digital cameras, even the 'professional' models (I also have a Nikon D2hs), don't
have the quality feel of the film cameras. I wish that I'd hung on to my first M42 Pentax, a Pentax SL which I bought new in 1972 for £44.00. It was still mint when I sold it on ebay last year.I loved the quality and engineering of the old Takumer lenses. The focussing mechanism was silky smooth and
couldn't be matched by anything from Leitz or Nikon. Having
said that, I could have cried when I parted with my set of
manual focus Nikkors from 20mm to 200mm. The manual Nikkors were so solid and performed beautifully. My favourites
were the 24mm f2.8 and the 105mm f2.5. Lovely lenses.
However, one of the finest lenses that I ever owned, was a
40mm f2.8 SMC Pentax 'pancake' lens, which I had on a little
Pentax MX. You could point the thing directly at the sun and
it was almost impossible to induce flare.The modern plasticky
zooms that you get these days just don't have the same feel
or pride of ownership. To be fair though, the ones I've got do perform well. I've now started again and I'm trying to build up
a collection of prime auto focus Nikon lenses for my D700, not
easy when you're retired. Thanks for replying, Michael.

Posted on 7 Feb 2011 20:03:32 GMT
Graham H says:
Oh no!! Wouldn't the old Nikkors mount on the D2hs then? I was under the impression that the AI lenses worked okay, albeit in manual focus only of course.

All my 35mm kit has been built up from Ebay finds. But only when I've won them cheaply, which has been the case so far. What I can tell you for certain though is that the prices of film gear has been going up over the last year or so. I've bought pretty much everything I'll ever need now. Luckily!

In reply to an earlier post on 7 Feb 2011 20:44:04 GMT
Last edited by the author on 7 Feb 2011 22:39:41 GMT
Cookie says:
I share your comments regarding camera clubs, they tailor their pictures for the Judges with pictures that are unreal to say the least. I don't take part in club comps anymore as they are infested with button pushers.
You will no doubt remember the mono Publication "Best Of Friends" I had one of my pictures published in edition 12. I think it was the last quality competion for B&W wet prints. An oldfriend from the Contax circle Brian Ross always called digital ink prints dead digital. Brian had quite a few of his prints published in BOF. It was Brian that influenced the wider use of incident readings not just for studio work but for landscapes. His methods of dev.,and printing was a master class, after 50 years I admit to learning more in 3 years from rubbing shoulders with Brian.
He was still walking the Lake District fells at 79 with his 6x9 Agfa producing 20x16 prints that looked like contact prints. If you entered comp that Brian was taking part you knew the best you could hope for was 2nd. A great friend and a master of his Art. we all miss him
I think we may have a lot to offer some of the members of this forum, pity to let all the experience go to waste.
Brian was always open to anyone with his methods which is not found in camera clubs now. So let's see what happens with this group of film users. we may work in the dark but I think we could switch a few lights on.

In reply to an earlier post on 7 Feb 2011 20:45:00 GMT
Graham, The manual Nikkors would mount on a D2hs, albeit
with loss of metering functions and auto focus, but unfortunately, I'd sold them all before I bought the digital
Nikons, partly to fund them. It's no good feeling regrets; the
decision has been made. There are some advantages to digital.
I can shoot a picture, download it and have it printed within
minutes. I've just acquired three more old film cameras whilst
clearing out my late father in law's house today. A Zorki 4
which we gave him in the early 70's and which probably hasn't
been used for decades, but which still looks like new, an Agfa
Sillette and an ancient Ensign Pocket 20 folder from the 1930's
which used to belong to my mother in law.
Probably not worth much, so I'll hang on to them.

In reply to an earlier post on 7 Feb 2011 21:00:59 GMT
Cookie, I was a member of Dronfield camera club in Derbyshire for 30 years and had a lot of success in competitions. I was
competition secretary for most of that time and eventually
became disillusioned at the lengths some people would go to
in order to win, including tactical voting (i.e. we didn't use
external judges for most of our competitions but voted ourselves). Some would even try to copy pictures published
by famous photographers by travelling to the exact location
to recreate the shot. Hardly original. I haven't been for a
couple of years now, but may well go back but stay away from the competitions. I don't have anything to prove as I've
already won most of the trophies at one time or another.

Posted on 7 Feb 2011 21:09:30 GMT
Graham H says:
Interesting stuff Michael, thanks.

I'm trying to spend more time "seeing" now rather than playing with more kit. I can reproduce what I want to say with the camera... It's just that 9 times out of 10 I have nothing to say! I find limiting myself to taking out one camera and one lens helps with that. I can't for example do a stupidly-wide tourist-type snap with a 50mm prime, so I have to look at the scene and pick the thing that makes it stand out. Then try to find an unusual angle to snap it from. I'm sure I'll improve given time.

Interesting interview I just found online:

I've never known much about the man or been that interested, but I just googled out of curiosity to see if he actually used the Olympus cameras that he used to tout. Sounds like quite a "Lad" - and I used to think he was quite posh and more of a "Society" bloke!

In reply to an earlier post on 7 Feb 2011 21:31:44 GMT
Last edited by the author on 7 Feb 2011 22:40:16 GMT
Cookie says:
Yes I know what you say. During the short time I lived in the Highlands I was a Member of Dingwall CC, great club great people. A model of the perfect club.
The standing joke was Rannoch Moor and the lone tree. If a member entered a picture of this in the club comps he would be expelled for life and have his cameras destroyed. They say that a MacDonalds will be built at Rannoch with a tripod fixture and carpark for the visting English Digital snappers, you will be able to book your session time at Macs., Film users can apply for a short session with a note from your Doctor.

In reply to an earlier post on 8 Feb 2011 09:47:13 GMT
Cookie, I have to stick my hand up and admit that I've photographed that tree on Rannoch Moor, albeit many years ago. I know exactly what you mean; I'm sick of seeing pictures of it now. Another one is the white cottage above
Glencoe. Decades ago, I won a club competition with a shot
of Dunstanburgh castle in Northumberland. After that just about everyone in the club entered similar pictures and now
it's been done to death by Joe Cornish and others. I envy you
for having lived in the Highlands. I have a friend who lives on the Black Isle, not that far from Dingwall and was up there a
few months ago and climbed Ben Wyvis. I have had many
family and climbing holidays up there over the years and have
100's of photos as a result. Michael.

Posted on 8 Feb 2011 12:00:51 GMT
My Ihagee Auto Ultrix has arrived. I love it. Condition is not bad - the back is a bit of a fiddle and the slow speed cam is sticky - no doubt because noone has ever used less than 1/25! It has a Schneider lens so I shall have to try it. The viewfinder requires the removal of glasses unfortunately. So many old cameras are like that. I love the focusing where the whole lens winds forward on a screw, not just the front element. Quick, hide it, the missus is back.

In reply to an earlier post on 8 Feb 2011 12:08:28 GMT
Graham, It sounds like you have the right idea. Don't make my mistake and collect hordes of unnecessary equipment. Unless
you specialise, you should only need 3 or 4 lenses. Before each holiday, I would spend hours mulling over which cameras and lenses to take. I would end up with a holdall containing several SLR bodies, a plethora of lenses, a couple of Rollei 35's and a medium format outfit. It was impossible to lug around, so I would end up using just one body and 2 or 3 lenses. I'm a landscape man, so I prefer wide angles, but having said that a high percentage of my landscapes are taken with telephotos
to isolate a portion of the scene. Much of my photography is taken hiking in the Peak District every weekend or climbing in
Snowdonia, Cumbria or the Highlands. Although I prefer prime lenses, it isn't always easy to change lenses whilst clinging
to a narrow ridge on the Cuillins, so I tend to use zooms a lot, more through necessity than choice. It's also useful to stick
to one or two films. That way you get to know the characteristics of the film to get the best out of it. It's often down to
the individual. I never got on with Kodachrome; too slow for a start, but some of my friends swore by it and produced excellent results. Ektachrome always gave me a blue cast, so I didn't like that. All my early slides were shot on Agfa CT18,
but I finally settled on Velvia, which suited me. Others at my club hated it.I will have a look at the David Bailey interview,
so thanks for that. I remember the old Pentax adverts showing a really battered screw thread Pentax entitled, 'David Bailey's
Pentax'. I often wondered if that was genuine. Michael.

Posted on 8 Feb 2011 12:36:16 GMT
Last edited by the author on 8 Feb 2011 22:20:31 GMT
Graham H says:
Thanks Michael!

Good to know I'm on the right track. With all my film systems (Canon FD, Minolta OM and Nikon) I only have 4 lenses for each system.

A 28mm Prime, a 50mm Prime, a 135mm Prime and something like a 70-210 Zoom.

I only ever carry a maximum of 3, more usually two. Always the 28mm and usually the 50mm or the 135mm. mainly because of the extra stop or two compared to the zooms.
If it's a particularly bright and sunny day I'll usually take the 28mm and the 70-210 zoom as this I find tends to give me the best overall coverage with the least amount of kit to carry. I can live with the "Hole" in the focal length range easily enough as I have two working legs! I can step back a bit with the 70 and have the same coverage as the 50 would have had from where I was standing.

I hate carrying loads of kit.

I do tend to collect bodies though! But only because they're cheap. I probably have two or three bodies which will fit the four lenses that I have for each system, ie: an Olympus OM-1, OM-10 and OM-2n, any of which will work those four lenses.

In the summer I'll probably be taking the OM-1 and OM-2n, one with colour and one loaded with B&W. But as they're only tiny and light I'm fine with that.

Most of my favourite snaps have been taken with either the 28mm or the 50mm, so if I'm just wandering around a city for example I'll usually take just those two. Motor races I'll take the 28 and a zoom. I try and tailor my kit for what I want to do with it rather than be like one of these "Camera snails" who carries his entire "home" on his back.

Most useful thing I've read lately is:

"Trying to be prepared for everything makes you prepared for nothing"

I'd go along with that.

Posted on 8 Feb 2011 14:12:06 GMT
Graham H says:
Film scanner has arrived.

First impressions are very encouraging. The battery was almost dead, and these "Clearance" ones don't come with a mains power supply. Not a biggie though as it's only Mini USB so can recharge from my MP3 player adaptor easily enough, or the computer.

I managed to get enough grunt into it to try a scan and it's not too bad. You wouldn't want to make huge prints from it, but it looks like it should easily be good enough for my preferred snapshot size of 7x5".

They do seem to have an unfortunate colour cast of bluey-green, but this may well be to do with the fact that the battery was almost dead. I'll give it a good long charge then try it again before making any damning accusations of crappy-ness!

In reply to an earlier post on 8 Feb 2011 14:14:59 GMT
Photoshop should get rid of the cast Ho Ho Ho!

In reply to an earlier post on 8 Feb 2011 14:20:20 GMT
Three or four lenses should be fine for most occasions. I have
a 24mm which I like very much and a Sigma 17 - 35 for ultra
wide shots. I also have a Tamron 500mm mirror lens which I hardly ever use. I keep promising myself to take up wildlife photography with it, but never get round to it. The Olympus OM system was one of the few that I didn't have. I tried out
a friend's OM1 and found it a delight to handle. What do you have in Canon FD?. I used to own a Canon FT, an FTb and an
F1, all good solid cameras. I finally settled on Nikon partly
because they retained their original lens mount. Michael

Posted on 8 Feb 2011 15:14:05 GMT
Last edited by the author on 8 Feb 2011 15:16:22 GMT
Graham H says:

Actually, Picasa gets rid of the cast to a reasonable degree, although it's on the limit of what it can do. Still, I'll try it later when it's charged up properly and see what it's like then.

I have a Canon AE-1 Program and a Canon A1. The AE-1 Program is like new. I was lucky to win a freshly-overhauled one on Ebay from the 'states for about £60 UK price.
The A1 looked great when I bought it, but on closer inspection it had a very dusty 'finder and could do with a good service, so I popped it into the repairers. It also has a slightly bent ISO selector dial where someone's banged it into something. I didn't notice it at first, and it still works fine if a little stiff. The repair guy reckoned he could sort it out, so we'll see how it looks when it comes back. It won't be any worse anyway, so I'm not overly concerned.
With the repair/service charge of almosy £70, the A1 will be the most expensive film body I own now. I paid about £40 for it orginally. Still, as I intend to keep it for good it's not really a worry.

I also have a Nikon F90X with battery grip. Actually, I have two, as I picked up another mint one very cheaply thanks to a lucky "Sniper bid" on Ebay. Even the rubber coating on the film door is like new. I think it's hardly been used.

But yes, the Olympus are my favourite so far because of their tiny size and beautiful construction and handling.
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