in Photography , Tuesday, April 11, 2017
This is just a post about some photos. The Italian border town of Ponte Tresa is but a hop and a skip from my front door. It's not really a tourist attraction, although it gets a lot of visitors on market day. It's basically a working border town, a bit shabby, chaotic, noisy, but all in a good, characterful way. It contrasts quite a bit with its clean, tidy (but also rather run-down) Swiss counterpart. I may have mentioned this before...
Anyway, the photos: just from a hour or so wandering around on Saturday morning while waiting for Saturday morning stuff to get down. They're all "fake film", processed in Alien Skin Exposure X2
, which I really do quite like. I could even stretch to the heresy of thinking that it might even be better than Nik Silver EFX for black & white, but since I don't really have a clue about black & white, I won't.
This first batch has the Exposure X2 Kodak Tri-X 400 preset applied, slightly tweaked.
... and this set has the Kodak Portra 400NC preset applied.
still more film
in Film , Wednesday, March 29, 2017
I'm quite impressed with my first experience with CineStill 50
film. As promised, it is very fine grained, and allows for very sharp results, provided of course that operator issues such as focussing and scanning are carried out correctly. The exposure latitude also seems very good, probably quite similar to Portra 400. The character of the photos is interesting. More saturated than Portra, certainly, but not excessively so like Ektar.
Of course, at 50 ISO, even over-exposing by two stops, considering that the fastest XPan lenses only open up to f/4, hand-held it is strictly a bright daylight film.
This first roll is really pretty much throw away, just trying it out, and I had it developed by a 1 hour lab which does ok, but has no packaging for uncut film, so it ends up scratched and dirty.
And my somewhat interrupted love/hate relationship with Silverfast, and indeed Silverfast's makers, has resumed. Silverfast has had some more half-baked or oddball features added, but major issues remain (for example, why does it not cache iSDR results ? Why recalculate and reapply every single time, even if I just change the display type from "Corrected" to "Original" ? Why can I not add extra frames for batch scanning on my scanner ? And why, for heaven's sake, is their idea of a forum so unbelievably user-hostile ? I don't suppose we will ever know.
Anyway, here's a few more CineStill 50 shots. Up until now I'm using Negafix standard settings and correcting grey balance in Silverfast - one of the things it does exceptionally well. This grey balancing might be actually masking some special attribute of CineStill 50, but I'll think about that later.
Digital’s looking shaky, though
in Film , Friday, March 17, 2017
Just recently as I was contemplating my great gear sell-off, two candidates for the chopping block which got a very late reprieve were my two "operational" film cameras, the Voigtländer Bessa 667 III and the Hasselblad XPan II. It turns out that 2017 was the first year, essentially "ever", that I did not shoot a roll of film. I did actually buy some Porta 400 but it is still on the shelf.
Then, somehow, I remembered reading about CineStill film
, and idly decided to take another look. While their tungsten balanced 800T film doesn't interest me so much, the 50 Daylight film intrigued me, so I bought a couple of 35mm rolls from ars-imago
, and popped one of them in the XPan. And it still works. And even more remarkably, so does my Opticfilm 120 scanner.
My very first shot on CineStill 50, to see if I could still work an XPan, and following a double shot of real espresso
Actually, I've just remembered why CineStill popped back into my head. It was actually because of ars-imago, although I didn't immediately realise it at the time. I recently backed the Lab-Box
film processor initiative on Kickstarter (yes, I know, hardly consistent with my desire to reduce gear and give up film. Did I ever claim to be consistent ?), and that led me to various links about currently available films, and therefore, to CineStill. And then I realised that Lab-Box is an ars-imago project.
Ah yes, films. That reminds me of something. Back in September 2014, I backed another Kickstarter project
. I was hoping to use my first rolls of FILM Ferrania's new product on my 2015 trip to Iceland. Well, my 2015 trip was postponed to 2016, but now, in March 2017, Ferrania's film still hasn't turned up. However, there is some degree of light at the end of the (drying) tunnel, as is evidenced by the following receipt.
I am also not all that interested in B&W film, but since it seems I'll be getting a processor, I need to have something to feed it with. And I could hardly pass up the opportunity to finally buy some new Ferrania film. Forza Ferrania!
So we seem to be heading towards some kind of convergence. Genuinely new E-6 film producers, to be joined by the revival of Kodak Ektachrome, various "niche" negative film producers ramping up production, and real innovation rather than reintroduction with the Lab-Box. I wonder when the camera manufacturers are going to start noticing ? Apart from Lomography, that is. After all, with digital camera sales falling off a cliff, they're going to need new markets to turn to.