5 Frames - Fresh From The Press

  • Where: A castle garden near a church and a lake.
  • Camera:  Mamiya Press Super 23
  • Lens: Mamiya Sekor 100mm f/3.5
  • Film: Ilford Pan F+

It was an overcast day, right between two rain showers. I was yearning to take the new member of the club, the Mamiya Press Super 23, out into the wild and let her run free. For not very practical, but inherently strategic reasons, I decided to go with a roll of Ilford Pan F+. The 50 ISO film speed made it tricky to get reasonable shutter speeds with the given weather, even with the lens wide open. Thus, I ended up with some camera shake in my shots. And I have no clue as to how sharp the lens actually can be. In addition, I needed to learn how to operate the camera. It is not difficult, but fumbling with the controls while the camera is up to your eye, led to me tripping the shutter accidentally.

5 Frames - A Blast From The Past

  • Where: The garden of a castle next to a church.
  • Camera: Yashica FX 3 Super 2000
  • Lens: Zeiss 45mm Tessar f/2.8
  • Film: Fuji Superia 200

I had just scanned two rolls of expired Kodak Portra 400 VC that was best by 2008. The grain on it was more than I had prepared myself for, and I got the impression that two extra stops of light (one stop for every started decade) were not enough. Thus, my expectations for this roll of Fuji Superia 200 that expired in 2003 were not very high. I exposed the roll with two extra stops of light, just as I did for the Kodak Potra 400 VC, and developed it normally (no pushing/pulling). It was the first time that I gave the Zeiss 45mm Tessar f/2.8 a try, too. The lens feels like it is mainly plastic and air. It is tiny and light, and the focus ring is very easy to turn. I was pleasantly surprised when I started converting the scanned negatives to positives. There were only a few small tweaks to do (less than I remember from fresh rolls of film), and the lens turns out to be surprisingly sharp.

5 Frames - Double X-Rated

  • Where: At a lake in Bavaria.
  • Camera:  Yashica FX 3 Super 2000
  • Lens: Sigma XQ 70-230 Macro f/4.5
  • Film: Kodak Double X

Just a few hours before I developed the first roll of Kodak Double X, I read somewhere that this type of Cine-B&W-Film-Stock has next to no latitude. This, the article said, forces you to get the exposure exactly right. Otherwise, you won’t end up with anything satisfactory. The negatives came out very dense. I guess I missed the ideal exposure by a little bit and over-exposed the images. I scan the negatives “raw” and convert them to positive in DxO PhotoLab 3. Normally, I need to correct exposure by something around 2 stops during conversion. That is just how my process is. In this case, the negatives came out so bright, even an exposure compensation of 4 stops (the maximum that DxO PhotoLab 3 allows in one go) was not enough. I had to abuse the tone curves quite a bit. In the end, I do like the resulting images. The grain is acceptable and they are somewhat moody.

5 Frames - 50 Shades Of Olympic Jumps

  • Where: Partnachklamm, Garmisch-Partenkirchen
  • Camera:  Rolleiflex Tele 135
  • Lens: Carl Zeiss Sonnar 135mm f/4
  • Film: Fuji Velvia 50 (probably)

The Partnachklamm (Partnach-Gorge) is located in the town of Garmisch-Partenkirchen in a valley on the german parts of the Alps. The parking lot near the entry to the Partnachklamm is located right next to the ramp that is used for ski jump events of the Olympic winter games. I shot these pictures during winter on (I think) Fuji Velvia 50 in an attempt to look at the positive side of shooting the Rolleiflex Tele 135. The camera is great, but it tends to eat film when you do not treat it exactly right. Some of the pictures did not come out too well, probably because of the cold weather. Thus, I decided to jump to the B&W filter and turn most pictures into 50 shades of… you know what.

5 Frames - Rotten Apple

  • Where: New York, Manhattan
  • Camera:  Hasselblad 503CX
  • Lens: Zeiss Planar 80mm f2.8
  • Film: Fuji NPS 160 (probably)

A work and leisure trip to the rotten apple. Because I do not shoot film in the pursuit of the dreamy, nostalgic, dare say “vintage” look. I shoot film because I collect ways to unintentionally mess up. And I am getting pretty good at it. These are 5 frames that originally were meant to be beautiful color images from around the Big Apple, but I royally messed up development. This was years ago. Sifting through my archives for things that I could create blog posts with, I tend to stumble over these ugly results and think to myself: “What would that look like with some heavy editing and a B&W filter slapped on top of it?” The answer is: Decent. Not like in “That looks decent.”, but more like in a short reprieve from the descent into the madness that is “shooting film”.

5 Frames - A Cinematic Walk

  • Where: Somewhere in Bavaria
  • Camera:  Nikon F6
  • Lens: Nikkor 50mm f/1.2
  • Film: Fuji Eterna RDI

Another walk near the lake. This is the second roll of Fuji Eterna RDI that I shot in a real-world scenario. The color cast is probably due to under-exposure. I set the camera to ISO 6 + 1 stop (so basically ISO 3). Re-Evaluating my previous experiments, I think the next real-world test will be exposed partially at ISO 6 + 2 stops and ISO 6 + 3 stops. That way I can get a better idea of which exposure I like better. The images are all quite dark. Increasing the exposure in DxO PhotoLab 3 only made the color cast worse, so I left it as is.

Experiments With Fuji Eterna CI

Fuji Eterna CI is another intermediate film stock for cinematographic purposes. Unlike Fuji Eterna RDI, which I tested in a previous post, it is not meant to be written by an Arrilaser. Nonetheless, I wasn’t able to find a reliable number for ISO for this film, so I took another set of test images. Having learned a little from previous such endeavors, I included a post-it with the camera settings in each photo. Given that the scene is mostly white, with a little bit of black from the color chart, I did the following steps after developing the film:

  • Scan with the Nikon CoolScan LS 9000 and VueScan set to directly save the RAW negative (including dust removal).
  • Post-process in DxO PhotoLab 3: Convert to positive Adjust the exposure to get the histogram evenly spread. Level the R, G, and B histograms.

This way I get roughly the same brightness for each image. In addition, looking at the R, G, and B histogram before leveling, provides an impression of how bad the color cast probably will be in real-life scenarios. I then give my unprofessional judgment on the resulting images by looking at the bright and dark areas, with a focus on the latter.

To my eyes, and with my memories of the histograms, ISO 1.5 to ISO 0.75 look reasonable for Fuji Eterna CI. The yellow-ish color cast is partially due to my laziness and roughly leveling the R, G, and B histograms.

5 Frames - That’s Messed Up Yo

  • Where: Somewhere in Bavaria
  • Camera: Nikon F6
  • Lens: Nikkor 50mm f/1.2
  • Film: Fuji Eterna RDI

A short walk around town to get some fresh air and snap some shots. This was one of the first rolls of Fuji Eterna RDI that I shot in real-world conditions. I messed up the development (it was either the Rem-Jet removal overnight or messing up the order of the chemicals when mixing the developer) and the exposure time was a bit too short. In general, the images came out very faint and with a strong color cast. Converted to B&W to see if I can get some kind of interesting image out of this mess. Some frames still have some Rem-Jet residue on them.

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