Updated: May 31
Welcome to this weeks newsletter, and we hope you all are doing well:) The first roll of black and white film has now come to an end. I of course had to document this micro event, as some of you have seen, as a time lapse in our stories. The film is now sitting in the fridge waiting for its departure to the lab in town. The time between shooting and developing the film is advised to be as short as possible. Because from the second you have exposed your film by removing the shutter curtain, the film actually starts to deteriorate. The silver salts that have reacted to the exposure of light will start to fade back into their previous state. I am not very worried about this, as I guess it is all about not overdoing it. You can get a bit stressed by reading about how a film decomposes, but the consideration should probably be developing it within a week as apposed to 6 months:) So my first roll of film since I was 22 in 1996 (the year my first pentax was stolen) is now done. It was shot on my "new" Pentax ME Super and is named Ilford XP2 Super 400. The choice of camera came from it being the exact model I owned at 22, and the choice of film came of the reviews I read of the film. I am not sure yet as if I want to get the negatives scanned and post process them. Feel its kind of cheating, since its all done analog up to this point. Then again with digital you are "cheating" all the way. It just feels a bit awkward in a sense. Maybe it will feel different once I try scanning. I don't know. My initial thought about processing is that I will develop them normally, by getting negatives plus 10 x 15cm pictures, and from that perspective choose the good shots. Though using lots of time now on analog cameras, I still am using my Olympus O-MD E-M mark 2 a lot. The crazy thing is that this camera is now considered old in the Olympus line up. It has bad reviews on battery life and continued focus. The Pentax cameras I have are from late 70s to mid 80s and are considered great cameras in build and use with a shutter hiccup as one of the only flaws(this is a quick fix if you google it). Kind of a paradox isn't it? That a camera is last year is all marketing and we all get a bit sucked in by it. If I check a review of my O-MD in 10 years it will be a real review. Not one based on what the market wants to push for profit. I use my O-MD because it has a fantastic all shake stabilizer that can give me sharp shots at slow shutter speeds and amazingly so. The batteries are like the reviews say, not good. I therefore have 3. Problem solved. This is not a action camera, and I don't shoot football or race cars. This camera fills all my needs with doing portraits to landscape with ONE lens. Yes one. If you know what you want to shoot and in what format, you just need that format. I sold a wide angle lens that was stupid expensive, because I didn't use it. I found out for landscape I want to be closer to it. Not guessing if what I am seeing is people or cars. Thats just my personal view. So with the selling of the one lens I never used(which I bought because I was told I need this lens if I am shooting landscape. Yes I got sucked up in it!:)) Because I found out about what my landscape needs were, I got to change the landscape lens in, and by other cameras and lenses that I actually use. The point of all this rambling is just that when you find out exactly what you need, you don't need a full backpack of gear, and can get rid of what you don't use. If you are going to bring tons of lenses and gear for every occasion I don't think you will ever get a good shot. You need to break it down for yourself, or else you will have too many ideas and just be fiddling about. Its also about patience. Waiting and anticipating the right moment. You will not constantly be seeing what you would like to have in your viewfinder. But when you do see it, you then have the right gear and you're ready to go. We all have been at a place or in a moment we would wish we had a camera. I have since all those times I have cursed my self become really strict about ever leaving the house without a camera. And when I do leave the house, I leave with my Olympus and one lens, and of course one of the analog Pentaxes. Also with one lens. I plan to keep it this way, but I know already there will be one more camera following me on certain occasions as it will be used as primarily a long exposure landscape camera. And yes, that is the Flexaret. It is still awaiting its tools in order to clean out the shutter and timer mechanisms, so we will have to butter ourselves with patience for that one. Well, the issue about how I am going to develop my first film will go on to the decisions of next week, and the newly arrived Fomapan black and white film will be loaded into the "new" Pentax. As mentioned in the previous letter, there has been additions to the camera park, and here is the latest one: The Pentax Super A:
Since the Super A came out 3-4 years after production of the ME Super started, there are of course several improvements. In short, what sets the Super A apart from the ME Super is this:
Wider ISO(ASA) range, wider shutter speed range, electric/digital timer with red light, a digital display on top of the camera and a digital display in the viewfinder. The viewfinder gets naturally lit up by the white window above the Pentax logo on the pentaprism.
Both the ME Super and Super A are aperture priority cameras that have a manual mode where you can control the shutter speed and aperture. Both cameras you can either compensate light by using the exposure wheel or actually changing the ISO(ASA) setting with its designated wheel. There might be some things I have missed, but these are the basic differences.
So as I said earlier, I am loading up the Super A with a Fomapan 400 film. I want to test both the ME Super and the Super A with colour and black and white film. Since I am not using the same black and white film as I used in the ME Super I will of course not get the same result or feel to it. Its more of checking how sharp they are and if there are any problems with either colour or black and white in either camera or lenses. I am going to try to swap the Tokina lens you see on the picture to another 28 prime I have (Soligor) midway into the film to check both lenses and see their difference. As these are both 2.8 lenses I will maybe get to see a difference. After the black and white Fomapan is done, the Super A will get the same colour film, Portra 400, for testing that also.
To kind of wrap up what's been done this week, its been about 20 shots of analog film, 50 shots of digital and post production of previous weeks shots. There hasn't been a lot of time for new pictures, but there have been some good ones squeezed in:) That we also have to thank our weather gods for up here in the cold north. There have been some crazy changes up here the last week. Can you believe that the two pictures below are shot less than 24 hours apart?
The first picture is a snapshot from a video Denny shot driving to work. The second is shot with my iPhone in portrait mode while one the beach with my daughter the day after. Snowstorm or sunshine, we never know up here.
So, I am excited to be loading up the second roll of black and white tomorrow, and bringing the first one in for developing this week. Lets hope they don't have to send it away to a far off lab so one can have instant results:)
This Monday still looks like mid day because of the midnight sun. It is now just past 22:00 and the sun is shining. With this beautiful scenery outside my window I greet you all a good night and thank you for reading:)
Stay safe, Sjur
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