A bit of a follow-up on the previous post, with some more on my adventures back into film photography.
In February I upgraded the TLR, buying an MPP Microcord. Unfortunately it turned out that mine was faulty so it went back to the supplier.
The first images on it were taken during the heavy snow we had – I wish I could claim that I was trying to emulate the soft look of some of the early photographers, but no – the shutter was slow and it also had issues with winding on. It did take some slightly sharper shots on a visit to Aust for the spring tides, and at the SS great Britain, but it wasn’t good enough so back it went.
This left me with the dilemma about what to try next. In the end I went for a substantial upgrade and succumbed to a Hasselblad, having lusted after them for many years. I found one on Ebay at a pretty good price and went for it. When it turned up, I have to admit I was astonished – the 500cm was launched in 1970 (replacing the 500c, which dated back to 1957) and for the price I paid I expected a 70s model. What I actually got was an absolutely immaculate 1993 model – not a mark on it. It’s gorgeous.
I put the first films through it on a wander round Clifton and then down to the Harbourside in Bristol – it exposes properly and of course the lens is so sharp. It’s a whole world away from what I was getting from the Lubitel and MPP, even with the same idiot using it.
The other main use of the ‘blad so far has been a trip out to RAF Chedworth in Gloucestershire, an abandoned WWII RAF base, with an old photography friend. The plan had been for us both to shoot film on our Hasselblads, but she managed to picked up the wrong camera bag and only had a DSLR… Still, a great location for those of us that like a nice bit of dilapidation.
In other film adventures, I used a couple of rolls of my dad’s Ilford Delta 400 in his Contax G2 during a lunchtime wander near work. Considering he died almost 10 years ago, the film was slightly expired – and I managed to under-expose one roll by a stop, so it’s all quite grainy.
I also used the G2 at RAF Chedworth, with some similarly expired Fuji Neopan 400. Given the age of it, I tried developing this using the “stand” process – Rodinal 1+100 for 1 hour, with a single agitation after 30 minutes. As you can see, it worked well!
One final bit of film use, and that was at Aust shooting the high spring tide. Moderately successful, and not helped by forgetting that my lightmeter nowadays is an app on my phone – which I’d just set up on a tripod to capture a time-lapse film. So I had to transfer the settings from my Fuji T-T20 onto the large format camera, which mainly worked OK. The one exception is the last shot – this was on Imago Direct Positive Paper, and I wish this was an attempt at a minimalist composition but it is alas simply a cock-up.
One other thing to mention – I started using Ilford Ilfosol 3 film developer, but have moved onto Rodinal – and my word, doesn’t that work well with Fuji Acros? It gives negs that need pretty much no tweaking in Lightroom after I’ve scanned them. Lovely. Just a shame they’re discontinuing Acros this year…