About 2000 Youtube videos around film photography later, I finally found the kind of film which I really like. The Kodak Portra 400. I could link roughly 200 videos just about this film alone. If you are familiar with film photography, you know the fame around it. The Portra 400 is a very common and well established film for all type of mediums (35, 120 etc.). I really like the rather soft look.
There are around 20 rolls now in my fridge and I tried my first 120 two weeks ago in our garden. We have this little red “sweden house” which was build by our landlord for his kids. It is a good object to play with. Have a look. All shots done with my Yashica Mat.
Somewhere around 2008 I got my hands on an old Pentax K1000. A fully mechanical SLR camera which can be used with a light meter. I shot two films with it, developed them in a lab, got the prints and was done with this topic. They were not bad but the process of analog film development was just not interesting enough at that point. I sold the camera shortly after.
Fast forward to 2018. My wife is interested in the actual process of film development. How is it done? What happens between inserting a roll of film and having a print/developed photo in your hand? We got a Pentax K1000 again, because this thing was still pretty cheep back in 2018. We bought some black and white film and a basic development kit for our DIY home lab experiment. The process of developing the roll is very easy and fast (15min) and everyone who ever did that is rather laughing about our excitement. But it was our first film and we learned it the hard way: Youtube. After we got the first rolls done, we were pretty exited to look at the negatives. At that point you would place them on an enlarger but we made a turnaround here and got our hands on a film scanner (Epson V550) instead of a film enlarger due to space and baby reasons. Again, the results were cool, the process was fun and we learned a lot but then it stopped right there.
It was a year later when I picked up a very tiny Olympus 35rc in near mint condition for like 30€. I took it with me on our summer vacation with a hand full of black and white film. Again I developed them on my own and then scanned them with my Epson. This time it was different. This time, it was really about photography, composition, light and frame and not so much about the process of developing film itself. It was fun. It was so different.
You see the bad quality of the rather poor lens, the huge amount of dust and the sometimes over/under exposed images. They are far from perfect (shot and developed) but I made them from start to finish and that is the part which makes them work for me.
So what is the status today?
I still shoot film in addition to digital. I also bought a medium format 6×6 which I really appreciate at the moment. There were some shots posted before so have a look there. Also stay tuned for more film photos soon because I have a ton of negative and positive film still to be scanned. In addition, I bought a real 35mm film beast and a summer vacation is right ahead. It will be very different again.
The beauty of the current Fujifilm cameras is not only the retro design and usability (manual aperture, time and ISO dials) but also the very nice JPG and colour quality of the out-of-the-cam JPGs. You can go further and make the real good looking camera presets look more retro (or shitty in my case) with dedicated settings. https://fujixweekly.com/ offers a variety of settings and examples to give your digital Fuji camera an old film look.
I bought this camera a year ago and it is the third Fuji X100(x) camera I own. The first one was bought right after the release in 2010 and the second one a few year later. The X100 was always a camera I really liked for its features, usability and size and of course the retro design. But it could never compete with my Nikon or Sony main cameras during that time. I can not even say what the reason was but they all ended up on ebay.
Now the X100F is currently the only camera I use on a regular basis. The main reasons are simple: size and JPG quality. Yes, I shot JPG at the moment because I have zero time for any post-processing or fancy lightroom presets. All is out of the cam, straight to the web and I really like the results. I couldn’t bother carrying my rather big A7III around. And that camera is already pretty small!
Since the last post, a lot has changed. We live outside the city now and we have plenty of green and animals right around the house.
I bought both during the corona lock down here in Germany to support my local dealer. The original plan was to buy them in August but now they could use it more, I guess.
The lens is much heavier than the Sigma 150-600C but the quality is something else. And the focusing! Oh my god the focusing. Even with the 1.4 teleconverter! It is amazing and works so well on the a7III.
The following shots are all made around 840mm, handheld with a very bright sun during noon time.