Kodak Tri-X Film

Kodak Tri-X Film

Matthew Osborne Photography

Kodak Tri-X - The Film of Champions! :)

For anyone who has followed my work for a while will know, for black and white film photography I normally use Kodak T-Max 100, especially for 35mm film.  I have tried various black and white films and will continue to experiment but I am finding I am now completely hooked on Kodak Tri-X 400 film.  The modern T grain T-Max films have very little visible grain so can look a little too much like my Leica M9 black and white JPEGs which have a slight filmic look despite being digital.  I was an easy convert to medium format 120 Tri-X as grain is less apparent with the larger negative size.  For 35mm Tri-X I was a little worried the the classic grain structure might result in too much visible grain for my film wedding photography and portraiture.  I shot a roll of 35mm Tri-X when I was out in Florida covering a wedding and was pleasantly surprised. Samples below.

What do I like about Tri-X and what is it that made me convert?

Broad lattitude – I can (and do) shoot Tri-X at anything from ISo 200 (-1 stop) to ISO 1600 (+2 stops).  It can do it all and will even go to ISo 3200 and beyond (not yet tried this but others have with success).  This means that for available light photography it is perfect for my needs.

Contrasty – Other than the grain structure, the biggest difference I notice when comparing Tri-X to T-Max is the beautifully contrasty mid tones.  The deep shadows are rich blacks, the highlights retain their detail and the mid tones are what makes it for me.

Price – I am now starting to use quite a lot of film, both 35mm film in my Leica cameras (M3 and M2) and 120 Tri-X in my medium format Mamiya 645 Super, Rolleiflex SL66E and in my 6×7 Horseman 120 roll film back for my 4×5 large format cameras.  I need a film that I enjoy using yet is also affordable.  120 Kodak Tri-X 400 5 packs can be bought in the UK for £20 a box if you shop around. £4 a roll is competitive at today’s film prices. Calumet are currently offering 120 Tri-X 400 for £20 a box and free postage so I stocked up!

Calumet UK, Film – http://www.calphoto.co.uk/category/film-darkroom/film/

Developing – I develop my own black and white film at home and favour the R09 Rodinal stand developing  / semi-stand developing method.  I am still fine tuning my times and temperatures to develop Tri-X at box speed but also pulled 1 stop to ISO 200 and pushed 1 stop or 2 stops to ISO 800 and ISO 1600.  Depending on the lighting conditions I shot in I can then adjust my times accordingly.

Sample Images (various)

Kodak Tri-X 400@200 (135 & 120)

Kodak Tri-X Fashion

Happy New Year Everyone! :)

4x5 Speed Graphic + Aero Ektar Portrait

Leica M2 + 35mm Kodak Tri-X

Leica M2 Portrait - Tri-X 400@200

Leica M2 + Tri-X 400@200

Mamiya Sekor 80mm f1.9 C

Kodak Tri-X Love!

Leica M2 + Zeiss ZM Biogon

Saint Augustine Fort - Tri-X

American Trucks - Tri-X

The Lightner Museum Saint Augustine

Kodak Tri-X 400@200 - American Truck

Kodak Tri-X 400@200

Kodak Tri-X 400@400 (120)

Retro! Luna's Converse

Kodak Tri-X 400@800 (120)

Home developed 120 Tri-X - 400@800

My Bro

Leia with ARAX/ Sonnar -Self developed

Old John, Bradgate Park, Leicestershire

Kodak Tri-X 400@1600 (120)

Rollei SL66E = Smiles Allround

Rollei SL66E Tilt Portrait

Rollei SL66e Tri-X Portrait

Rolleiflex SL66E Tilt + Tri-X 400@1600

The Darker Side of Modelling

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Sinar F2 Large Format

Sinar F2 – Large Format Camera 4×5

Matthew Osborne Photography

After my purchase of my first large format camera, a 1947 Pacemaker Speed Graphic, I now have a better understanding of perspective control and parallel lines.  The Speed Graphic lets me adjust the vertical tilt and rise on the front standard to a small degree.  I want to be able to control horizontal tilt or “swing” on the front standard as well but also be able to tilt, raise and swing the rear standard.  The Speed Graphic movements perhaps give me 10-20% control vs none when using a fixed camera lens such as a Leica rangefinder camera.  I used to use a Lensbaby Edge 80 lens on my digital Nikon D800 and Nikon FM film camera to create tilt shift effects.  My Rolleiflex SL66E also has a tilt option but for all of the cameras mentioned so far the amount of control I have is limited.

The Sinar F2 is a Swiss made 4×5 large format camera. SINAR stands for “Still, Industrial, Nature, Architectural, Reproduction photography and the cameras were popular for advertising, architecture and product photography due to their high resolution and high degree of perspective control.  The Sinar F2 is an ‘improved’ version of the Sinar F1.  Originally I was going to buy a cheaper Sinar F but my reading suggested I should pay a bit more and get an F2 so I did.

Sinar F2

sinar f2csinar f2b

My Schneider Symmar-S 180mm f4.5 lens is already on a Sinar F lens board so I bought a camera without a lens.  To get the maximum benefit from perspective control I also bought a 90mm f4.5 Rodenstock Grandagon lens with a Copal 1 shutter for a wide angle lens option.

90mm f4.5 Rodenstock Grandagon

90mm_f4.5[1]

Sample images using the Sinar F2 to come in 2015.

*The Kodak Aero Ektar 178mm f2.5 lens has been modified to fit the Speed Graphic so I will keep that as one setup then use the Symmar-S 180mm and Rodenstock 90mm on the Sinar F2.  Exciting times ahead!

Related Posts

 

Large Format Photography

Large Format Photography – Pacemaker Speed Graphic – Thoughts & Samples

Matthew Osborne Photography

Now I have had my 4×5 Pacemaker Speed Graphic large format film camera a few weeks I thought it was time to recap on my progress so far.

Schneider Symmar-S 180mm f5.6 4x5

Operating a large format camera

Size – Well it’s bigger and heavier than my Leica M cameras for sure!  Yes it is big and heavy and with the lenses I use attached the camera cannot be folded for carriage.  I also use a heavy study Manfroto tripod that adds to the weight.

Focusing – I use an 8x magnifying loupe to focus the image on the rear ground glass and find it very easy from f5.6 and smaller, sometimes even without a hood.  I currently pull my coat over my head if it is too bright to see the glass.

Speed of use – It is not as slow as I perhaps expected.  I bought the large format camera for 4×5 portraiture rather than landscapes so I knew I would have to work fast.  If you have a good rapport with a model it doesn’t cause any difficulties.

Image quality – If you nail the focus, then as you would expect the details captured by a large format camera far surpass 35mm and medium format.

Large format in the studio – I have done two large format shoot in the studio so far,  with model Roisin and Karla.  All the equipment was already on hand making it relatively stress free.

Large format on location – I did a location shoot with model Elizabeth in a local woodland and I then realised I had quite a lot to carry.  That said it was possible but the camera suits locations closer to the car (10-15min walk max perhaps) rather than being a trekking camera.

4×5 Instant film – So far I have been using colour instant film, Fujifilm FP-100C and black and white instant film, Fuji FP-3000B. As the names suggest FP100C is ISO 100 film and FP3000B is ISO 3000 film so that needs to be considered before a shoot.

6×7 120 Roll film – I have shot one roll of 120 Kodak T-Max 100 in a my Horseman 6×7 roll film back and they were perhaps my favourite images so far.  They are far from perfect but the negatives are much sharper than when using instant film (photo scans and reclaimed negative scans).

4×5 Sheet film – Coming soon for 2015.  I will be developing my own black and white 4×5 film negatives in house.

4×5 Camera lenses – So far I have (1) Kodak Aero Ektar 178mm f2.8 lens than has an aperture ring but no leaf shutter.  I am yet to get the best from this lens but it suits available light photography. (2) Schneider Symmar-S 180mm f5.6 lens with aperture ring, leaf shutter and pc sync port.  This is my go to lens for large format strobist work.

Sample Images

6×7 Roll film

4x5 Speed Graphic

4x5 + 6x7 Roll Film Back

Horseman 6x7 roll film back

Fuji FP-3000B

Schneider Symmar-S 180mm f5.6 Portrait

Fuji FP-3000B Instant 4x5 Portrait

Fuji FP3000B 4x5

Fuji FP-100C

4x5 Speed Graphic Portrait

Speed Graphic + FP-100C

4x5 Fujifilm FP-100C

Speed Graphic 4x5 + Fuji FP100C

4x5 Speed Graphic + Aero Ektar (Test Shot)

4x5 Instant FP-100C

How does a Leica man enjoy large format?

I love my Leica M cameras due to their size, build quality, image quality and simplicity.  Large format is, when you stop to think about it, almost as basic as photography can get.  A big light box where you attach a lens one end and film back on the other.  (Like all cameras really but the size and modular form makes it even more obvious).  Yes the size is a big hindrance and requires forward planning, and yes the time to take each photo means it is difficult to retain a flow during a portrait shoot but the end result is to me worth it.  I like to create images than are different (in camera) and not the run of the mill digital photos.  Almost everyone now owns a camera (on their smart phone or otherwise) so I want to create images that these common devices can’t.  The first two photos shown above are my favourites so far and the second image especially is not something you could create easily with a DSLR (I think).

I took my large format camera to my family home for Christmas and was taking large format family portraits.  I could have easily used my Leica M9 but wanted to do something a bit different.  For 2015 I plan to bring large format photography into all areas of my work, whether model photography, wedding photography or otherwise.

Do I have the large format photography bug?

Yes.  I just purchased my second large format camera and a third lens to use on both cameras.  I will share more in the coming days.. 🙂

Large Format : How To

Engagement: Alex & Andy

Leica Noctilux Engagement – Analogue film and digital images from Alex and Andy’s E-session in London. Merry Christmas! 🙂

https://www.flickr.com/photos/32681588@N03/15903112238

LeicaWeddingPhotographer

Engagement: Alex & Andy

www. MatthewOsbornePhotography.co.uk / www.MrLeica.com

Coventry Wedding Photographer – Location Shoot

Venue for Engagement Session: Bishops Park, Fulham, London

I caught the train from Coventry and met Alex and Andy on a wet morning in November on Fulham Palace Road.  We decided to grab a coffee in a hope the rain would blow over.  It gave us chance to get to know each other and for me to explain the cameras I would be using.  I had the digital Leica M9 to capture the majority of the photos and also my 1950s Leica M3 film camera.  I had a part roll of black and white Kodak T-Max 100 to finish in the camera and would then shoot colour film, Fujicolor C200.  I normally use Kodak Portra but C200 can be quite nice too.

We were in luck. The rain stopped so we took a walk along the…

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MrLeica.com – BLOG

MrLeica.com – BLOG

(Matthew Osborne Photography)

A one stop blog for Leica M cameras and Leica M lenses ..plus an array of film cameras, films and film formats

Leica M cameras are my workhorse tools for all types of photography, both digital Leica cameras and Leica film cameras. I also shoot medium format and large format film and my appetite for analogue film photography is stronger than ever.  The majority of the blog content is either Leica M camera related or film photography.  I am a people photographer, models, fashion, lifestyle and wedding photography so most of my photography is portraits, experimenting with various cameras, lenses and films.  The digital Leica M Typ 240 camera is my current do everything digital M camera but my favourite Leica camera is the Leica M3 film camera.  I am also a huge fan of Hasselblad medium format film cameras and I use them a lot for client film photography shoots.

 

Mr Leica – About:

Hi, I started this blog page in March 2013 as my Flickr followers keep asking me to share some of my thoughts. To give you a brief background, my photography began in 2008 after getting a Panasonic Lumix TZ5 for Christmas.  Today I have a lot of cameras and offer Photography Tuition to those who often get paid for their work. Besides teaching, I shoot as a Wedding Photographer and Model Photographer.  I am 100% self taught so thought a blog would be a great way to share some of the things I have learnt so far.  At the end of 2012 I started to develop a passion for Film Photography and in the summer of 2013 I bought my first Leica camera.  I am now officially a Leica nut and use a digital Leica M240 and M8 plus Leica M3s, M2, M4-P and M6 film cameras for most of my photography.  This includes Leica wedding photography, Leica lifestyle photography and Leica fashion / model photography.  I also enjoy using medium format film cameras such as the amazing Hasselblad 501C 6×6 camera (my main medium format film camera), Fuji GF670, Rolleiflex SL66E, Mamiya RZ67 Pro2 to name a few and 4×5 large format film using a 1947 Pacemaker Speed Graphic and Sinar F2.  In 2014 I started to teach portrait photography and lighting in London running monthly group photography workshops. Currently I teach photography on 1-2-1 basis providing 1-2-1 photography tuition (normally with a model) on location, often in London if on location and in the UK, from my Coventry UK studio or overseas such as New York, Zurich and Amsterdam.

Blog Content:

Sample of only. Please use the search box if you can’t see something listed (ie. lenses)

Leica Cameras

Non-Leica Cameras (A-Z)

Film (A-Z)

Destination Leica Wedding Photographer

Leica Wedding Photographer offering desination Wedding Photography both in the UK and overseas. Natural documentary style wedding photography fused with stylised wedding portraits.  As a Leica photographer I like to work quietly as an observer in the background and photograph by available light where possible.  I use both digital and film Leica cameras but my passion is film photography.

Analogue Film Wedding Photographer UK

Film wedding photographer that still prefers film cameras in the digital era.  I use 35mm Leica film cameras, medium format Hasselblad cameras and large format film cameras.  If you appreciate film photography as much as I do then I would be delighted to cover your wedding.  You may have already booked a wedding photographer but like the idea of a few special images shot on film?  I would be happy to oblige!

Engagement Sessions

Engagement photography is very rewarding and I enjoy working with a couple to create natural yet stylised images using a aray of cameras to give you as set of unique looking images.  E-sessions are invaluable for giving couples experience in front of the cameras ahead of their wedding day and it gives us a chance to get to know each other too.

Large Format Portrait Photographer

Large format camera portrait session that gives one of a kind photos.  4×5 format sheet film images and instant Polaroid photos.  I fuse my model photography experience with my passion for film photography.

Leica Lifestyle Photographer

I have realised from how I direct my model shoots that I am in fact a lifestyle photographer.  Posing often everyday people in everyday situations to look very natural.  I have not yet branded myself as a lifestyle photographer but it may be a route I take in the future as this style comes very naturally to me and I find it easy to work closely with my clients to get the best from the images.  If you are looking for new and creative photos for your social media site, blog, website or business then do get in touch.

Model Photographer

Studio based model photographer in Coventry specialising in black and white female portraiture using both digital and film cameras.  I help new models build a model portfolio and regularly collaborate with model agencies and published models in the UK, Europe and the US.

UK Photography Workshops

I provide 1-2-1 photography tuition and lighting workshops from my Coventry studio and on location.  I will help you to understand light and your camera to enhance your photography. Through 2014 I was running London photography workshops teaching small groups of photographers how to work with a professional model on location.  Currently I focus on providing 1-2-1 tuition rather than teaching groups both here in the UK and overseas.

I hope you find the content as enjoyable to read as I find it is to document.

Matt