Ilford Pan F 50 Film

Ilford Pan F 50 Film

Matthew Osborne Photography

June  2015

Ilford Pan F 50 film is super fine grain, slow speed, black and white film produced by Ilford.  I bought a roll of 35mm Pan F 50 to take on my trip to Zurich for a model photography workshop.  It was my first time using this film and I was interested to see the results.  I often use ISO 100 speed black and white film such as Kodak T-Max 100 or Fuji Acros 100.  I had not shot with slow speed film before but I was in luck as we had bright sunny weather for the shoot.

I shot the Pan F 50 film in my 35mm Voigtlander Bessa R3A rangefinder camera on the first day of the workshop.  (My Leica M3 was loaded with Kodak Portra 160 and my Leica M2 was loaded with 35mm CienStill 50D film).  The first model we worked with was Joy, kindly supplied by Option Model Agency.  The second model was a local dancer, Julia.

Here are some sample images shooting Ilford Pan F 50 at box speed in my Bessa R3A camera and developed in a soup of 1:3 diluted Xtol solution + 1:400 Rodinal.  I realise other developers may give sharper and finer grain results but I wanted to use the developers I know best at this stage.  Most photos were taken with a Voigtlander Nokton 35mm f1.4 lens.

Model – Joy

Ilford Pan F 50 Portrait

Bessa R3A + Ilford Pan F 50

Bessa + Ilford Pan F 50

Ilford Pan F 50 Model Shoot

35mm Ilford Pan F 50 Fashion

Model – Julia

Voigtlander Bessa R3A

35mm Film Sharpness

Ilford Pan F 50 Fashion

Ilford Pan F 50 in Xtol + Rodinal

35mm Ilford Pan F 50

Conclusion

I was really impressed with the amount of detail captured with the 35mm Pan F 50 film.  The resolution was something closer to what is achieved with 120 medium format films.  My next test will be to shoot 120 Ilford Pan F 50 film in my Fuji GF670 stopped down for my sharpest possible negatives.

Would I buy this film again?

Ilford Pan F 50 film is certainly not an everyday film as it requires 3x more light than say the popular Kodak Tri-X 400 film.  I believe Pan F 50 is more suited to my 35mm film photography than my medium format cameras as 35mm lens are often much faster with the likes of the Leica M mount Leica Noctilux 50mm f1.0, Voigtlander Nokton 35mm f1.2 ASPH and Leica Summilux ASPH 50mm f1.4. I am also interested to try this film with my latest purchase, a 35mm Nikon F4 SLR with perhaps the Nikkor 50mm f1.2 Ai-s lens.  Most of my medium format camera lenses start at f2.8 (x2 slower than f1.4) or smaller with the exception of my Mamiya Sekor 80mm f1.9 C for the Mamiya 645 Super camera.

I plan to shoot Pan F 50  when I can during the brighter summer months of the UK and for some strobist work.  Price wise Ilford Pan F 50 can be found for under £5.00 a roll in the UK making it cheaper than Fuji Acros 100 and a similar price to say Kodak T-Max.  I invested in a 10 pack of 35mm Ilford Pan F 50 film to get a slightly cheaper price and to keep me going over the summer months.

35mm Ilford Pan F 50 :)

Matt

Related Links

Other Black and White Films

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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/

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35mm AGFA Vista Plus 200 Film

35mm AGFA Vista Plus 200 Film

Matthew Osborne Photography

35mm AGFA Vista Plus 200 Film can be purchased in the UK from Poundland stores for only £1.00 making it the cheapest camera film available (to my knowledge).

#AGFAfilm #filmphotography on a budget. £1 a roll #Poundland. www.MrLeica.com

Find it here – http://www.poundland.co.uk/agfa-photo-camera-film-20024

Even when considering C41 film developing costs of £2.99 per roll (I use AG Photographic  film lab in Birmingham) the cost of AGFA Vista film plus developing is still approximately the same cost as a roll of cheap black and white film developed at home in low cost Rodinal film developer.  For those film photographers that do not develop their own film AGFA Vista is the cheapest option for 35mm film photography (that I am aware of!).

Is AGFA Vista 200 film suitable for professional work?

I took some AGFA Vista 200 to Poland to test for my portrait photos / model photography, to a location model shoot in Birmingham and also shot some AGFA Vista at a recent wedding.  Results below.

Ryanair Flight to Poland!

Gdansk Old Town

AGFA Vista plus 200 Fashion

Agfa Vista Plus 200 24 Exp

Leica M3 + AGFA Vista Film

London City Life

Leica M3 Fashion

Leica + Agfa Vista 200

£1 Agfa Vista Plus 200 film

AGFA Vista plus 200 Film Wedding

AGFA Vista Plus 200 Wedding

Analogue Film Wedding Photography

AGFA Vista Plus 200 24 Exp

(Photos taken with Leica M3, Leica M2 and Nikon FM SLR cameras)

AGFA Vista Plus 200 vs Kodak Portra 160

AGFA Vista film gives more saturated colours than Kodak Portra film but has a similar bias to yellow and red tones (from my personal experience).  Portra films have more latitude and can be overexposed (and underexposed) more without losing highlight and shadow detail.  For Portra I tend to overexpose by one stop or more but for Vista I tend to shoot it at box speed or slightly over. AGFA Vista 200 vs Portra 160 gives me almost half a stop more light which can be useful in low light conditions even when using a slow shutter speed and a fast f1.4 aperture lens.

AGFA Vista Plus vs Fujicolor C200

I have used Fujicolor C200 film in the past and to my eyes the colours of AGFA Vista are quite similar to C200 in certain conditions.  I think C200 has a similar ‘Fuji’ look to Fuji Pro 400H with greens and pinks but for reds and yellows it is similar to AGFA Vista.  I think C200 has slightly finer grain and ‘better’ colours (from my examples) and I don’t believe AGFA Vista is rebadged old C200 stock as some photographers have considered.  To me, AGFA Vista has grain more similar to 400 speed film whereas C200 has finer grain closer to Ektar (I think).  I have yet to use AGFA Vista when we have leaves on the trees so spring will be the real test for that.

Fujicolor C200 example photos as a comparison –

AGFA Vista the same film stock as Fujicolor C200?

Leica M2 goes on Holiday

Leica M3 + Noctilux Engagement

Leica M2, Soller Mallorca

Fujicolor C200 looking more like Fuji Pro 400H

Fujicolor C200 Skin Tones

Fujicolor C200 Portrait

Would I use AGFA Vista film again?

Yes. I just bought another 10 rolls of AGFA Vista 200.  At £1 a roll I really cant go wrong!  I think for wedding photography film portraits I will continue to use the less saturated Kodak Portra 160 and 400.  For fashion photography Kodak Ektar 100 has stunning fine grain and more saturated colours vs Vista.  For low light / night colour film photography I would use the new CineStill 800T (examples coming soon) but for anything in between such as holiday snaps, detail photos or colour film street photography in good light AGFA Vista Plus 200 is fine.  Lastly, if you ever buy a 35mm film camera and want to test it works OK AGFA Vista is the perfect solution!

Large Format 4×5 Pacemaker Speed Graphic

Large Format 4×5 Pacemaker Speed Graphic

Matthew Osborne Photography (Mr Leica)

After a few weeks of waiting and many hours of reading finally my first large format camera arrives!  It is a 1947 Pacemaker Speed Graphic 4×5 format film camera but with a few modifications.  The guy I bought it from in the US, Paul, specialised in refurbishing Speed Graphic cameras. More details below.

Purchase Decision

I knew large format photography was just a matter of time for me.  I have been tempted in the past but managed to resist the temptation until now.  As I am really into my film photography it seemed the natural progression to push me to learn something new and to challenge myself to master the art of large format photography.  When I was researching large format portrait photos that I liked on Flickr there seemed to be a general theme appearing.  Regardless of the camera body being used I kept seeing the words “Aero” and “Ektar” in the tags.

After some online research I found that an Aero Ektar was a 178mm f2.5 lens that created the most beautiful bokeh and out of focus areas.  An aperture of f2.5 is very bright for a large format lens (considering that for my 6×6/ 6×7 medium format cameras that I own the fastest lenses are f2.8 – Mamiya RZ67 / Rolleiflex SL66E etc).  When I then went to look to buy a large format camera body and an Aero Ektar lens it was like stepping into a mind field.  I had absolutely no clue what any of these cameras were, whether all lenses fit all cameras, whether these old camera worked, how to fit a lens to a lens board.. the list went on and on.

All the cameras I looked at had their standard f5.6 lenses included or no lens at all.  This was of no interest to me at this stage.  I then got lucky one day searching for the lens to find a modified Pacemaker Speed Graphic camera listed with a Aero Ektar lens attached!!  It came with a higher price tag but after many emails back and forth with Paul he persuaded me that it was worth it and most importantly I would have a working large format 4×5 camera straight out of the box.

Camera Specifics

Body

The camera I purchased was originally a 1947 Pacemaker Speed Graphic with a rear focal plane shutter and shutter speeds up to 1/1000.  It has a Kalart rangefinder mounted on the body but I will use the rear ground glass for critical focus.  This camera was the standard issue press camera in the US until the 1960s often shot at around f11-f16 using the rangefinder and with flash bulbs for illumination.

Lens

The lens is a World War II Kodak Eastman Aero Ektar 178mm f2.5 millitary aerial reconnaissance lens, hence the wide aperture.  It is a huge and heavy piece of glass but Paul has mounted it to a Speed Graphic lens board so that is not front heavy.  It is also modified to accept 77mm filter and has a custom made hood.  The filter threads will be great on a bright day when I want to use the lens wide open at f2.5 as I can use ND filters and also yellow filters for black and white portraits.

Film Back

My Speed Graphic is fitted with a bespoke 4×5 rotating Cambo film back so I can shoot in portrait and landscape orientation without rotating the actual camera.  This is perfect for me.

Film Formats

  • 4×5 Sheet Film

The camera came with 4×5 double sided film holders to accept single sheet 4×5 film.  4×5 film is more expensive than medium format film and very expensive to develop at a lab.  I pay £3.00 a roll to develop C41 colour film (120 and 35mm).  4×5 film costs £3.00 each to develop!  I have looked into this in great depth and found you can actually develop your own 4×5 film in a mod that fits into a 3 roll Paterson tank.  This cuts the cost dramically and helped my overall decision to buy a 4×5 camera.  I will develop by own 4×5 black and white film in Rodinal as I do for 35mm and 120 film. 4×5 film itself is also expensive, especially colour film such as Kodak Portra.  4×5 Fomapan appears to be the most affordable option so I will try that first.  I have used 120 Fomapan film and it was fine to use.

  • 6×7 Roll Film

A cheaper option is to buy a roll film back to fit a 4×5 camera.  It means you do not get the benefit of the 4×5 film format but it will allow me to practise using the large format camera before I then move onto 4×5 sheet film.  120 roll film is fast and easy to load, cheap to develop and less expensive to buy  (per photo).  My film format options were 6×6, 6×7 or 6×9.  I wanted as big as possible ideally (to make use of the large format camera) but settled for a 6×7 Horseman roll film back as I get 10 exposures per roll plus I don’t use the 6×9 format camera I own very often.

  • 4×5 Polaroid Film

Polaroid no longer make 4×5 film but you can still buy expired 4×5 Polaroid film on eBay, just at a cost.  The next option was Fuji FP-100C45 but again this also has been discontinued.  After more reading I found I can use regular Fuji FP100C in a different Polaroid film back and it will work on the Speed Graphic.  This is perfect for me as I have a stock of FP-100C gloss colour film in the fridge that I bought for my Mamiya RZ67 Pro II and better still I have the discontinued Fuji FP-3000B black and white instant film!!  It seemed a waste to use it on the Mamiya but to get a photo that fills the entire paper from the 4×5 camera is very exciting indeed.  I will practise with colour Fuji FP-100C that costs around £13 a pack (10 exposures) and once I am half decent I will start to use some of my black and white Polaorid film.

4x5 Speed Graphic + Kodak Aero Ektar Lens

I will do some detail photos of my modified Speed Graphic with Aero Ektar lens together with some sample images as soon as I get chance.  Interesting and exciting times ahead! 🙂

Samyang 24mm f1.4 on D800

Samyang 24mm f1.4 lens

Here are some Fashion Photography / Model Photography example photos using the less known, less raved about, less sharp Samyang 24mm f1.4 lens using my Nikon D800 DSLR in my Coventry UK, studio.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Compared to it’s big brother, the Samyang 85mm f1.4 super sharp manual focus lens, and it’s equally capable siblings, the Samyang 35mm f1.4 and Samyang 14mm f2.8, the 24mm does struggle to compete in terms of sharpness shot wide open. Stopped down a little however, it can produce some very sharp, very rewarding images with a useful focal length for tighter spaces.

I have found it useful for wedding photography when there is not much space and for getting close to your subject as shown in the example below to create a nice shallow DOF.

Here is another example, this time shot at f1.4 using available light

Model Photography

MatthewOsbornePhotography.co.uk

Example with model Georgie

Samyang 24/1.4

Model – Charlotte

Light & Shadows

Rekated Posts:

Samyang 85mm f1.4 Stopped Down

ARAX-CM: Vintage Look Film Photography

6×6 Vintage Look Film Photography

Taken with my Russian medium format film camera, the ARAX-CM 6×6 that is a rebadged Kiev 88 and also known as a Hasselbladski. The Kiev 88 was a Soviet clone of the Hasselblad 1600 F hence the name.

arax-cm

If you want to buy an ARAX camera you should get in touch with Mr Gevorg Vartanian at http://araxfoto.com/ where he will be happy to help. I found the customer service to be excellent and have made several purchases from him.

This photo was shot in an old castle in Ukraine with model Olga on a day trip back in spring 2013. Shot on Fuji Pro400H colour film.

Details and defects as shot. I didn’t clean up the photo as it is slightly mis-focused on the face plus I liked the vintage look despite the light leak.

I have only recently had this batch of colour film lab developed and it was then I noticed the ARAX film back had incurred a light leak problem. Frustrating but it is now fixed with a bit of card and sticky tape!

I love the simplicity of my ARAX. No battery or electronics to go wrong, just a box, a viewfinder, a lens and a film back. It reminds me of my first car, a Russian Lada Niva Cossack 4×4 that also had minimal mod cons! Both can be mended with basic tools and their simplicity make them a joy to use.

I used to use the ARAX-CM as my travel medium format film camera as it would fit in my bag easily unlike my Mamiya RZ67 Pro II which is too big. The huge viewfinder on the Mamiya does makes focusing a doddle but I prefer the 6×6 format vs the 6×7 I think.

I guess they both have their pros and cons! 🙂

MatthewOsbornePhotography.co.uk

Note: If you are looking to get into medium format film photography I have both a Pentacon Six TL (6×6) and Kiev 88 (6×6) both in their original cases with lenses for SALE. Both cameras offer a fantastic cheap way to get into medium format film and the P6 especially would be great for photography students as the cheaper of the two.

Leica M9 Vintage B&W Look

Leica M9 Portraits with a Slight Vintage Feel

Candid shot of model Katie from fashion photography shoot in London yesterday.

Leica M9 & Voigtlander Classic 35mm f1.2 ASPH ii shot wide open.

Black and white JPEG SOOC (straight from SD card) hence no watermark.

I think the soft focus and Leica B&W tones help give this shot a more vintage look.

Here is another example Leica M9 B&W JPEG SOOC which to me also doesn’t look digital. Katie sorting out her makeup in Regent’s Park, London shot with the lens I recently bought in Ukraine (on a FED-2 film camera for under £10), the Industar 26M 52mm f2.8 shot wide open at f2.8.  A nice little lens and very light.  Less contrast vs. modern lenses due to the older lens coating but I like it.

Industar 26M on Leica M9

MatthewOsbornePhotography.co.uk – Leica Fashion Photographer