120 Fomapan 100 Film

120 Fomapan 100 Film – Hasselblad Portraits

Matthew Osborne Photography / Mr Leica

November 2015

Firstly sorry for the lack of new blog posts recently. There are a lot in the pipeline when I find time!

Fresh film. Perhaps the cheapest 120 B&W film in UK. Great for camera testing or for that softer classic look. #fomapan #fomapan100 #120film #blackandwhite #mediumformat #ilovefilm #ishootfilm #filmrocks www.MrLeica.com

120 Fomapan 100 Film

Fomapan 100 Classic is a traditional panchromatically sensitized black and white negative film made in the Czech Republic.  To my eyes it is as sharp as B&W films from Kodak such as T-Max but had a more classic grain structure more similar to Ilford FP4+ or perhaps Kodak Tri-X.  Again from my experience, Fomapan 100 prroduces low contrast negatives in normal lighting conditions.  Some of my Fomapan 100 photos are higher contrast due to developing or lighting used.

Fomapan 100 film is my current favourite / best value for money black and white film in 120 format. I enjoy using various B&W films from the likes of Kodak, Ilford and Fuji but Fomapan manage to price their film below the competition and the results are actually quite nice. I pay around £3 a roll for 120 Fomapan 100 film and the next cheapest would be I think £4 a roll for the likes of Kodak Tri-X 400, Kodak T-Max 100 & 400 and Fuji Acros 100 and then £5 for Ilford Delta 100 and 400. I try to find the lowest prices!

What I like a lot about Fomapan 100 is I can shoot it at ISO 50-400 and develop it at box speed. This may be true for other films but I have not noticed it. For medium format film photography shooting in available light ISO 400 is normally the go to film speed for me in the UK. In the studio I shoot ISO 100 films more. Fomapan gives me both. For ISO 800 exposures I would rather shoot Kodak Tri-X 400 or T-Max 400 films and push them
one stop in developing.

I constantly swing between the different film stocks trying to find a favourite but as yet there is no clear winner. Kodak Tri-X has some of the nicest tones and Kodak T-Max also. Ilford Delta 100 and Pan F 50 are amongst the sharpest films I have used and can look almost digital in 120 format. I would say I prefer Fuji Acros to T-Max 100 especially for portraits but both can create nice images. At this stage I prefer Kodak Tri-X to HP5 for the tones and overall look of the pictures.

Since getting my Hasselblad 501C I have been shooting much more medium format film and 35mm film is currently on hold!  Here are some examples of me shooting 120 Fomapan 100 film.

Hasselblad Film Portraits

Firstly a sneak peek from Poland! Full post to follow.. 🙂

Fomapan 100 Fashion

Next, more 120 Fomapan 100 film portraits shot in the UK

Hasselblad Sonnar 150mm

Zeiss Sonnar + Hasselblad

Fomapan 100 Classic

Hasselblad Zeiss Distagon Portrait

21mm Hasselblad extension tube

Hasselblad Zeiss 50mm Portrait

Fomapan 100@400

I am also using Fomapan 100 4×5 sheet film in my large format cameras so those results are to follow too!

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Fuji GA645 Portraits

Fuji GA645 Portraits

Matthew Osborne Photography

September 2015

Fujifilm GA645 Professional

Now that I have owned the Fuji GA645 Pro 645 medium format camera for a few months I thought it might be nice to share a few images.

All the following photos were taken with the Fujifilm GA645 Pro

Laura – 120 Ilford FP4+ film

Fuji GA645 Pro Portrait

Fuji GA645 Model Photography

Fuji GA645 + 120 Ilford FP4+

Fuji GA645 Model Photography

Iris – 120 Kodak Ektar 100 film

Fuji GA645 Pro Fashion

Fuji GA645

Fuji GA645 Fashion

Holly – 120 Kodak T-Max 100 film

Fuji GA645

Fujifilm GA645

Fuji GA645 + T-Max 100

Fuji GA645

Emily – Expired 120 Ilford Delta 100 film

Fujifilm GA645 Pro

Fuji GA 645 - Testing

Fuji GA645 + T-Max 100

Fuji GA645 Starburst

Fuji GA645 in Auto

Thoughts so far

The Fuji GA645 is I think my smallest lighter and noisiest medium format film camera. It is super sharp wide open at f4 and can create a pleasing soft OOF background. I enjoy the portrait orientation 645 frame (vs the horizontal 645 frame of the Mamiya 645). I tend to use the camera on manual mode with autofocus. The light meter seems pretty accurate but I tend to meter myself and dial in the settings. It is the perfect camera to pack to travel when you want medium format resolution yet can’t pack a more bulky Mamiya RZ67 or perhaps Hasselblad camera. The Mamiya 645 Super as actually quite small and light. The Fuji GF670 is slightly larger and heavier than the GA645 but it does offer 6×6 and 6×7 formats.

Fun Factor

In my eyes it is not a ‘proper’ camera as such so there is no real emotional attachment for me. It doesn’t excit like the Hasselblad 501C, or Mamiya RZ67 / 645 Super or even the Leica M3s. The slow and noisy autofocus is not for every situation but it does focus accurately and get the subject in focus.

I think the Fuji GA645 is a keeper but more for when I cannot carry my other larger medium format cameras and where I want more resolution than 35mm film can capture

Related Posts

Expired Kodak Portra 160NC

Zurich Photography Workshop II

Zurich Photography Workshop II – August 2015

Matthew Osborne Photography / MrLeica.com

Model Photography Workshop

Back in UK after another fun three day photography workshop in Zurich, Switzerland. The workshop content was specifically female model photography using digital Leica cameras and a range of film cameras including Leicas. We shot with mostly available light but combined some strobes and daylight also. All photoshoots were in Central Zurich, outdoor on location and we tried to minimise travel during sessions so not to waste time.

I managed to pack five cameras in my hand luggage to take but then realised my bag weighed 11 kilo so had to leave the weighy yet compact Fuji GF670 behind.  Zurich has amazing architecture so I wanted to take some wide angle lenses but also two 50mm lenses, one for each Leica camera body.  I packed my latest lens purchase,  the light and compact Zeiss ZM Sonnar 50 for the Leica M3 instead of the  Leica Summicron 50mm f2 DR I normally use.

Camera Gear

Leica M Typ 240 digital camera
Leica M3 single stroke – film camera
Leica Noctilux 50mm f1.0 v2
Zeiss ZM Sonnar 50mm f1.5
Voigtlander Color Skopar 35mm f2.5
Zeiss ZM Biogon 25mm f2.8
Voigtlander Super Wide Heliar 15mm f4.5
Nikon F4 SLR film camera
Nikkor 60mm f2.8 Micro
Fuji GA645 medium format film camera
Film & Filters

Camera Film (135 & 120)

Ilford Pan F 50 B&W
Ilford FP4 125 Plus B&W
Kodak Portra 160
Kodak Portra 160VC (Expired)
Kodak Portra 160NC (Expired)
Kodak Ektar 100
Fuji Velvia 100f (Expired)

Models

We worked with different models each day.  Some agency models, some not, some familiar faces and some new ones.  We did two shoots where we had two models with us at the same time so that gave us the oppotunity to pose the girls together.  Nadja and Joelle where good friends so planned for matching outfits for each of the four looks we did.  Laura and Stephanie were also close friends but most of their photos were individual and styled very differently. Big thanks for Joy, Nadja, Joelle, Laura, Stephanie and Sarah for helping make the workshop possible.  Lots of fun and I hope we get to meet again some day!

Digital Photos

A few sample images using the Leica M 240 camera from the photos I have gone through so far –

Leica Noctilux Portrait

Leica M240 + Noctilux

Model Photography Workshop

Zurich Photography Workshop

Film Photos

First of the black and white film negative scans I develop at home.  Colour film photos to follow at a later date once lab developed –

Leica M3 SS + Zeiss ZM Sonnar

Leica M6!

Fujifilm GA645 Professional

Fujifilm GA645 Professional

                         ..Like an noisy ugly slightly overfed Leica!

July 2015

Matthew Osborne Photography

Fujifilm GA645 Pro

Fuji GA645

The latest addition to my camera bag – a 20 year old Fuji GA645 Pro medium format film camera.  Released in 1995, the Fujifilm GA645 Professional is a 6×4.5 format autofocus medium format film camera. The GA645 is fitted with a fixed lens, a Super EBC Fujinon 60mm f4 with a minimum focus distance of 0.7m.  The camera has a leaf shutter lens that operates at upto 1/400 with apertures of f4-f9.5 and at 1/700 with apertures of f11-f22.  The camera takes photos in a portrait orientation when held in the standard horizontal position.  The GA645 has a pop-up flash, LCD display for camera settings, autofocus, auto film advance and auto rewind, auto exposure with centre weighted metering and imprinted data of camera settings onto the film.

Basically the Fuji GA645 is a heavyweight medium format P&S (Point and Shoot) camera!

For anyone that has followed me for a while might be thinking, the list above is everything I said I don’t like in a camera.  For example I sold the Contax 645 as I said it was too ‘DSLR like’ and too automated.  That was almost 2 years ago.

So why did I buy a GA645?

I am still in search of my holy grail camera.  As my photography matures my desires list changes.  In the past I would be attracted to the fastest lenses with the most shallow depth of field possible.  For example the Leica Noctilux 50mm f1 lens.  I did not consider camera size, the film format, the speed of the camera use, the reliability and to an extent the cost if it was of good quality.

Today the most important aspects of a camera for me are compact size, maximum resolution, sharp lens, speed of use and reliability.  Tomorrow this may change.

Compact camera –

Leica cameras are compact hence I love them but I want a larger negative for maximum resolution in an image.

Maximum resolution –

The Mamiya RZ67 Pro II 6×7 and Rolleiflex SL66E 6×6 have sharp lenses but they are too big to take on my trips overseas.  The Fuji GF670 is a folding 6×6/6×7 camera so is compact but I wanted 645 format.  To me 6×4.5 format is the perfect mid ground between being 3x more resolution that a 35mm Leica film negative and giving 15 photos per roll of film vs, 50% less resolution than a 6×7 negative that only gives 10 images per roll of 120 film.

Sharp lens –

Many of my cameras are said to have sharp lenses but when a camera has a fixed lens the lens sharpness is a must have.  The EBC Fujinon lenses are well regarded for their sharpness even wide open.

Speed of Use –

The more I do model photography and fashion photography the more I realise that as a creative team we just don’t have time to work at a slow pace such as with my large format cameras, Pacemaker Speedgraphic and Sinar F2.  This was one reason for buying the autofocus Nikon f4 SLR 35mm film camera.  I want to shoot film but do it at the pace of a modern photoshoot.

Reliability –

Reliability has two meanings.  The perhaps obvious one that is mechanical reliability and the camera continuing to operate as designed during a shoot.  I cannot afford to take a camera to Ukraine for a week only for it to stop working on the first day.  Luckily this did not happen but I have a growing pile of film cameras needing some attention and are therefore not suitable to take away on trips.  The second meaning and one that bugs me a little is reliable photo taking.  I might have the perfect model in the perfect setting and the image looks focused through the viewfinder yet when I get the film back it is mis-focused due to a misaligned rangefinder or other camera related issue.  My Mamiya 645 nearly always mis-focused beyond a certain distance and even up close the hit rate is not acceptable regardless of the lens.

Fuji GA645 – Recap

So to recap the Fuji GA645 is very compact considering it is a medium format camera so perfect to fit in my hand luggage.  The lens is sharp and it has autofocus and auto film advance to allow me to work quickly if needed.  The 60mm f4 lenses is roughly equal to 35mm f2.8 on a 35mm camera such as a Leica.  With my recent film photography I often stop the lenses down to perhaps f5.6 to get maximum sharpness and also try to back up more to get an environmental portrait in my location rather than a tight head shot that could have been taken in my garden or studio.  If I am to travel to these different countries I need to help myself in capturing some of the city in the photo and a 35mm lens is better suited to do this than my usual 50mm favoured lens choice.  A good example of this was my model photography workshop in Zurich where I tried to capture the model within her environment for some photos.

As mentioned I already own a Fuji GF670 camera but I prefer the older Fuji GS645 camera due to the 645 format.  I love the GS645 but the shutter often sticks so I decided to buy the more modern more automated Fuji GA645 that is a similar size and same format, but with a 60mm f4 lenses rather than the 75mm f3.4 lens.

Creativity with an F4 lens

An easy way to take a beautiful traditional portrait is to use a very shallow depth of field.  The Fuji GA645 will not give me this so it will make me work harder for my photograph.  I need to consider the background as the detail will be visible in the photo and then I need to somehow make the picture interesting without using shallow DOF.  It will make me chose my light and composition more carefully and how they interact with the model .  I think at worst an f4 aperture lens can only improve my photography and my work may benefit when I am using fast lenses on other cameras.

Time will tell

I don’t really enjoy taking photos with the Fuji GF670 as it is so quiet and soulless.  That said the photos produced can be beautiful.  In contrast the Fuji GA645 is very noisy so I just hope it is a little more engaging despite being so automated.

Size is key

Even though I am mainly a Leica shooter when I come to pack for model photography trips in Europe I find I have to pick my very smallest Leica M lenses.  I like to take both a film camera and a digital camera.  Film is for me and digital to give something to the models for their time.  I hope to be able to take the compact Fuji GA645 on my next trip and return with high resolution sharp in focus images of stunning models in the city they live in.  That’s the plan anyway!

Test photos coming soon once the camera is shipped.

Related Posts

Fuji GF670 Portraits

Fuji GF670 Portraits

MatthewOsbornePhotography.co.uk

Leica M9 vs. Fuji GF670!

(Fuji GF670 vs Leica M9 + Noctilux)

I originally bought my medium format film (6×6 / 6×7) Fuji GF670 Pro (aka “Voigtlander Bessa III”) folding camera to assist my Leica M cameras. I wanted a medium format rangefinder that was both compact and capable to fit in my hand luggage for photography trips away, whether model photography / fashion, wedding photography or travelling.  Since then I have bought several other medium format cameras including my Mamiya 645 Super and Rolleiflex SL66E.  My main photography interest is portraiture so I was uncertain that the Fuji GF670 rangefinder would tick all my boxes.  Rangefinders are not known for close focusing, fast lenses or a shallow depth of field.  Nine months on and I have used the Fuji GF670 for wedding photography, travel and fashion / portraiture. Here are some sample images (some you may have seen before on other posts):

Fuji GF670 Fashion / Portraits

Fuji GF670 6x6

Fuji GF670 Folding Camera

Fuji GF670 + 1:2 Xtol Dilution

Medium Format Rangefinder - Fuji GF670

Fuji GF670 B&W Portrait

Fuji GF670 Pro 6x7 Portrait

Fuji GF670 Portrait

Fuji GF670 + Rodinal 1:200

Fuji GF670 Portrait

Fuji GF670 6x6 B&W

6x6 B&W Film Portrait

Fuji GF670 Medium Format Rangefinder

Fuji GF670 B&W Portrait

GF670 Kodak Moment

GF670 + Ilford XP2 400

GF670 + Ilford film XP2

FUJI GF670 Analogue Rangefinder

Fuji GF670 / Voigtlander Bessa III

Fuji GF670 Pro Folding Camera

Fuji GF670 Pro - XP2 400 Portrait

Fuji GF670 + Portra Portrait

Fuji GF670 Film Portrait

#FilmIsNotDead

Fuji GF670 Rangefinder

Fuji GF670 Wedding Photography

Medium Format Film Wedding

Coventry Wedding Photographer - Film

Fuji GF670 Wedding Portrait

Fuji GF670 Travel Camera

Fuji GF670 Travel Camera

Fuji GF670 Rangefinder

Fuji GF670 - Soller, Majorca

Fuji GF670 6x6

So can the Fuji GF670 match the likes of the Mamiya RZ67, Mamiya 645 Super, Rolleiflex SL66E or even the Leica M cameras for portraits?

Yes and no.  The Fuji GF670 will of course not let me focus as close as my other medium format cameras, being a rangefinder (0.9m close focus) so I am never going to be able to achieve the dreamy look of say Contax 645 portraits.  That said, the lens is sharp, very sharp and it is capable of taking strong photos.  I just need to think more before taking an image.  Hopefully you will see a ‘slight’ improvement with the photos at the top of the portrait list vs those lower down.  A nice model alone is not enough to make a good photo with this camera.  Nice clothes and a good pose in a pretty place is not enough.  I need to really consider strong lighting, composition, background detail and have the help of a great model.  Put those all together and we start to see better results.

You may say I need all those components for every image? 

Again, yes and no.  With close focus lenses (even on the the Leica M cameras) the model can be pretty much anywhere in any light with any background and no experience and with a little direction and a shallow depth of field I can pretty much always get a nice image.  I didn’t realise how much I rely on a shallow DOF until I no longer have it!

I guess it is a bit like getting used to a 50mm f1 Leica Noctilux lens or perhaps an 85mm f1.4 lens for a DSLR camera and then being given a standard f3.5-f5.6 kit lens and someone saying go take some nice photos.  As I normally shoot portraits and weddings at f1-f1.2-f1.4-f2 I have to start approaching my photography differently with the GF670.  It is not a bad thing and hopefully it will result in me becoming a better photographer but it needs to be considered.

The Fuji GF670 camera itself seems well built and has an almost unnervingly near silent shutter sound to the extent that if there is any background noise you don’t know if you have taken the photo or not!  Great for quiet wedding photography photos in a church but I must admit I much prefer the big clunk of the larger camera shutters.  The Fuji rangfinder is OK.  I am spoilt with my Leica M3 rangefinder so in comparison everything else seems poor.  The GF670 rangefinder is not up to Leica standards so accurate focusing wide open and up close is not as easy as I would like / am used to. Stopped down a little the GF670 lens goes from sharp to crazy sharp and has a very modern look (I think).  I now need to use the camera to it’s strengths and see what I can get from the Fuji GF670.  I have just ordered some super fine grain 120 Ilford Pan F 50 film and have some 120 Fuji Velvia 50 film to try.  Coming soon!

Matt

See here my analysis and thought process before buying the Fuji GF670 (plus more technical info) – https://mrleica.com/2014/08/10/fuji-gf670-pro/

,,,

Leica M9 vs Fuji XT1!

Leica M9 vs Fuji XT1!

Matthew Osborne Photography

I was teaching in the studio today and the photographer brought his Fuji XT-1 along to use.  I know many Leica photographers use Fuji cameras as a backup camera or as a cheaper alternative but I have never really given them any thought to be honest.  I know they can take nice images but there has never actually been enough interest there for me read up on them.

Today I saw a Fuji camera up close in action and to be honest I was a bit surprised and less than impressed.  The Fuji XT1 camera seemed to have a million different menus that hindered the photographer from being able to do what you want to do with a camera and that is take a simple photo. I was teaching portrait photography using speedlights and in this instance his lens was stopped down to perhaps f5.6 or f8.  He mentioned it was difficult to compose photos accurately as there was no constant image on the LCD (other than a brief preview that flashed on and off).  This was crazy to me.  How can you use a camera when you can’t see what you are taking a photo of?  I realise in brighter conditions or with the lens at a wider aperture this issue would be resolved but they are many occasions when you might be shooting in low light.  At a wedding for example you really do need to have your photo composed ‘correctly’ and in focus so you need to be able to see. (Original paragraph reworded to avoid confusion).

New photographers have absolutely no hope of learning photography with a camera like this.  They just get bambozelled by the menus before they can even start.  I guess this goes for some DSLR cameras but I found Nikon cameras easy to use in the past.

It really highlighted to me how valuable it is to shoot with film caemeras if you want to actually learn photography and improve your skills.  An old film camera only has a few settings to control – shutter speed, aperture and film choice / ISO.  The next best thing after film to me and from my experience is using a Leica M8 or Leica M9.  They share much of the simplicity of film cameras yet they have a digital output.  Learning with only a film camera can be slow as you need to remember the conditions and settings used for each photo for when you get your film developed.  With digital cameras you can see instantly the effects of changing aperture, shutter speed and ISO and the different looks achieved using different lenses or lighting.

In a professional photographer’s hands i’m sure the Fuji XT1 can be a useful tool and I know it can produce good photos.  For beginners however or someone wanting to go beyond a point and shoot automatic camera I highly recommend you try a Leica M8 / Leica M9 or get yourself a cheap film camera to use along side your Fuji camera.  That way you can start to appreciate photography and as learn with the film camera you can then improve your photos with the digital camera too.

*This is only based on my own experiences but I really was not impressed.

Here is a Leica M9 shot from today with model Becca helping me

Leica M9 Studio Photography

Medium Format Wedding Photography

Medium Format Wedding Photography – Fuji GF670

Coventry Wedding Photographer – Matthew Osborne (www.MrLeica.com)

Here are a few sample images from Sarah and Mike’s wedding ahead of the full wedding blog post on my wedding photography blog – http://www.LeicaWeddingPhotographer.co.uk

The following photos were taken with my Fuji GF670 Pro folding rangefinder camera using the 6×6 film format.  It can also shoot 6×7.  I was really impressed by the sharpness, contrast and colours from the Fujion lens and the Fuji Pro 400H colour film combination.  All photos were taken with daylight only.  Wedding venue – Saxon Mill, Warwickshire.

Fuji GF670 Wedding Portrait

Wedding Photographer - Film Camera

Coventry Wedding Photographer - Film

Medium Format Film Wedding

Film Photography Wedding Photographer

I also took my Leica M3 loaded with 35mm black and white film.  Sample images to follow.

I am disappointed I didn’t make the time to shoot some film photography at all my weddings during 2014.  I had planned to for the majority but often ran out of time working as a single shooter.  For 2015 I am going to advise wedding couples that I will be shooting some film at their wedding.  Many wedding clients are unlikely to tell the difference between film and digital photos but I feel I work better using old film cameras.  Film makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside and I get a real buzz from using old analogue cameras, whether 35mm or medium format film.  As long as couples like the end result then they are happy and I am happy.  Win win.  For 2016 I hope to be shooting more film than digital.  That’s the goal!