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May, 2018

  1. One Stop Shops

    May 17, 2018 by Daniel

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    I was listening to the Sunny 16 podcast for the first time the other day and it brought up the ‘Free Film’ truprint issue I posted about. It’s funny how the market seems to have split apart and the one stop shops of old really seem not to exist anymore. Paul McKay was the guest of Analogue Wonderland, a new UK online store specialising in film and was talking about how he hopes to someday bring this about.
    You’ve got:

    • Camera Shops
    • Film Shops
    • Development Labs
    • Darkroom specialist stores
    • Digital specialists

    Some crossover and do a bit more than only one thing, but not many do it all, not many have the kind of slick dev+scan+film replenishment ordering that you’d expect. Printing off confusing mail order forms? Seems odd these days.

    The fascinating thing about the industry at the moment to me is how the methods and technology that ‘Digital’ (ugh I hate the use of that term like this, but I can’t think how else to put it) has brought. How the mixture of analogue and digital technologies has combined to produce something different. Digital and Film don’t need to and shouldn’t compete, they are now different things. For many uses, digital has no competition – and that’s fine! But there is still a place for film, and what we have learn and developed with digital technologies can be injected into the old film ways to make it anew.

     

     

    Hmm sorry, got a little waffley there I think.


  2. ‘Event’ Photography

    May 17, 2018 by Daniel

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    One of the things I’m enjoying about exploring analogue photography is how in my mind I have started to plan photos around attending certain things.
    For example, I haven’t really been able to build up much of a stock of film – my excitement means I’m kind of getting through it too quickly, but it’s quite nice to think about something upcoming and how you might want to take photos of it. This is all opposed to just turning up with your phone or the digital camera you have and taking a picture.
    I’ll think about, will it be indoor out outdoor (ie what ISO should I use?), what kind of backgrounds would there be (colour or black & white), will there be interaction? how far away will things be? (lenses, instant film?)
    Because you can’t just go and buy film at the moment I try to think about this stuff in advance so I have time to order some rolls. I guess eventually I’ll have narrowed down what I like using, but for now it’s fun to try out different things and see how they turn out.
    I quite favour the multiple camera + phone approach, I want to make sure I get at least something out of it.

    For example F’s 4th birthday party is coming up, I’m sure it’ll be loud and colourful so I think a mix of instant shots and colour with a 50mm will do the trick, to get in close but also kids are so used to instant feedback with digital that they love to see the pictures you’ve taken.

    I’ve taken to carrying one of my more lightweight cameras around with me in my work bag, this week it’s been the Sprocket Rocket to finish off the roll I started at the weekend. I find it a little tricky to know how much is left on the roll, turns out I’d been carrying it around all week with only one shot left to go on it (it exposes two frames at a time, so you have only half the exposures as normal, plus or minus some inaccurate winding on my part…)


  3. 5 more rolls

    May 2, 2018 by Daniel


    I posted more rolls off on Sunday and yesterday got the email, they’d received them, two hours later they were already processed and scanned! That’s some quick work. It’d probably take me all day to do that. I guess they have some big machine that does it all, which would be fascinating to see.

    So what did I send? I’m trying to get better at taking notes as I go as inevitably I’ve completely forgotten what’s on what roll with which camera by the time it all comes back. Let alone what settings were used for a shot! Oh EXIF data….

    These were the the first rolls through the Centon DF-300 which came from a box given to my Dad at one of his sales of antique toys and a Canon EOS 5000 which I bought from Ebay (along with an EOS 100 which unfortunately only works on full auto as the mode dial doesn’t function – but hey, it came with a decent lens).

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    The Centon is actually very nice, it had three lenses along with it, a 35mm, a 50mm and a 28-70mm of which I’ve pretty much just used the 50mm, a little of the 28-70mm but I didn’t like it as much. Features wise, it’s got more than the Canon 5000 – apetrure control is on the lens, but no autofocus. The metering for exposure length works quite well. The Canon has a fancy winding motor though which I didn’t expect to enjoy as much. It’s pretty cool putting the film into the Canon as it winds through the whole roll and displays on a LCD panel the number of shots remaining. The Canon also reads the DX encoding on the 35mm cassette to set the ISO which as far as I know cannot then be adjusted, whereas the Centon you can set yourself which is good if you plan to push the film (use it at a higher ISO than rated, I’ve not tried it yet but plan to).

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    The rest of the rolls were with the Holga, a camera which I think is actually reallly good. The shots are so characterful but I definitely feel more anguish and jeopardy using it. It’s not an SLR so you have no idea if the focus is right, the exposure and aperture settings are basic – but it all adds to the results I think.


  4. Dev + Scan

    May 1, 2018 by Daniel

    I was thinking about how things have changed in film photography since the last time I was doing it (when really it was the only choice, digital cameras were expensive and far-lower resolution…)

    Used to be that you could get film absolutely anywhere, or at least it seemed like it.

    But how often would you be buying film anyways? You’d send off your exposed film to Truprint or whoever and they’d sent you a new one back, for free.

    I wish I could do a price comparison from those mail order forms, I bet my Mum still has one or two lying around.So anyways, here’s the change, at the end of the halcyon days of film they started to offer the ability to put your pictures on a CD. Which was great, best of both worlds. You’d get the CD, store it somewhere and probably never actually put it into a computer, as you already had the prints or do that once. Save them somewhere and forget all about them when it comes to changing to a new computer. Some of the CD’s had software hiding the images in some program that won’t run on modern OS’s – which is really annoying!

    Compare that to these days – I send off my film (I have to pay the postage and provide an envelope…) They email me when they’ve received it (I do quite like this innovation). They develop them and scan them – I usually don’t ask for prints – and instead of posting a CD with the negatives they just post the negatives and e-mail a link to download the photos with. The magic of the internet! I then save them in my various places and upload to my usual cloud service storage and sharing spaces. From which I can edit, order prints if I like.

    I miss the SAE’s and ‘free film every time!’ but I know that the economics of it all have changed.

    So next up in my plans. I’ve ordered some developing kit. I’m still to order another couple of bits and chemicals and then I can start to process the B&W films myself.Then I will need to buy or get access to some kind of scanner. I think I’ve narrowed it down to two models, both have advantages and disadvantages. The Canoscan 9000F Mark II is able to do medium format as well as 35mm negatives, is a flatbed so it can be used for documents also but is a bit lower resolution than the PlusTek OpticFilm 8100 (or the 8200i SE with built in IR pass for dust removal) which only handles 35mm. The PlusTek also comes with better software, but that can be gotten separately I suppose. All assumes that my aging laptop will be up to the job (I expect so, but may get frustrated – basically it just needs to handle ingesting pictures, I can worry about actual editing later).

     

    Will doing it myself be cheaper? Well…. I guess eventually yes….? I think it will take about 30 odd rolls of film to pay for itself for the kit anyways, the chemicals per roll is a bit trickier to work out.