Updated: May 31, 2020
Hey guys! Hope you are doing good and welcome to this weeks newsletter:) This week has been so exiting in terms of analog picture taking in the BSP camp. Yes, the first film has been loaded and I am now at shot number 20 with 16 to go according to the numbers on the film box. There was a whole ceremony type event of that loading of film which I of course documented as you see on the picture below:) (I am turning in to quite the film nerd ha ha!) I knew I wanted to shoot black and white film, but when that's all you know, you are in for a big surprise. You would thing that there are few options for analog shooters, but there is a good selection out there. There is also no way to get around it but to see example pictures and read reviews about the different types of film to get your head around what you should get. As the amateur with film shooting that I am, I didn't want to break the bank on my first roll. Still I found a film that has a good reputation. I went with a roll called Ilford XP2 Super 400. This is a black and white film that has very good reviews. The 400 means I chose ISO 400 or ASA as it was called before 1974. 400 is kind of in the middle where you can shoot in daylight, and also shoot in relatively low light situations. I´ll try to brake it all down easy as to what I have learned about film so far: The ASA (ISO) number determines how sensitive the film is to light and the usual range is between 100 to 800. So the higher the number, the more sensitive the film is to light. The light sensitive medium of the film is the emulsion (a blend of two liquids that don't really mix properly) of silver salts stirred out in gelatin. When the shutter curtain in the camera is lifted by taking a picture, the film is exposed to light and a chemical reaction causes the silver salts to convert into metallic silver. The pattern of the silver particles is the films grain. The higher the ASA (ISO) the more grainier the film. A high ASA(ISO) film is called a fast film, and a low AS(ISO) film is called a slow film. A fast film (800) has a thicker layer of silver salts with bigger crystals than a slow film. A slow film (100) has a thinner layer of silver salts with smaller crystals. This is by far the best (and shortest) explanation I have found, and it is here on wikipedia for anyone who wants to dig in deeper in to the historical trail of how light measurement tuned in to ISO:)
So now that we are through todays film lesson, I will elaborate a bit on how my plan has changed for the 4 cameras that I now have. Yes, 4. There has been another addition that is called the Pentax Super A. Thank god that these cameras are cheap and by the plentiful:) This camera came out later than the Pentax ME Super that I have, and I will introduce it in next weeks letter.
The plan is this:
The Flexaret (120 film) will be used for landscape photography with a slow colour or black and white film. The Pentax ME Super (35mm film) will be used with medium to fast black and white films for handheld model or street shots. The Pentax Super A (35mm film) will be used with medium to fast colour film for the same purposes. That way I have an option to do both if the composition asks for one or the other. I will be using both Pentax cameras with a 50mm prime lens. That means its an easy carry around in a camera bag that just fits around the camera and lens:) We will see if I change this setup after some use, since there is a myriad of different ways to use these cameras as well as film type options. I have actually ordered a film called Lomochrome purple which is a whole different kind of thing that can only be explained by this quick google search and their home page.
So as for this weeks shooting. I have gotten some landscapes with the digital Olympus, but as you already know, the analog cameras have held my interest. I have shot 20 shots total until now, and expect to finish of the roll in the next few days. It will be so exiting to see if the Pentax is still all tight after all these years (38) and the pictures turn out ok. All the pictures have been shot looking at the light meter inside within the ranges, so it should be properly exposed. I don't feel it has been difficult to look away from colour while composing shots. This could be because I have taken mostly shots on cloudy days, I don't know. I guess we will see if I am right about that when the film is developed:) Trying also to shoot more people than I am used too. It is challenging, but fun. Not that easy to go into stealth mode without autofocus and a touchscreen, but it is so satisfying to use this small SLR. Feel that Pentax and me have made some sort of bond. It is all about the feel of one of these in your hands. The winding of the film and that gorgeous shutter sound. Some meters of film ahead there may be....
Monday has now just turned into Tuesday, so its another late one from me:)
A goodnight to all of you, and
thank you for reading!
Stay safe, Sjur
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Stay safe, bsp