Expired Ilford Delta 400 Film
Matthew Osborne Photography
I was recently gifted a mixed batch of unrefrigerated expired camera film and some of the rolls were medium format 120 Ilford Delta 400 film dating back to 2006. I thought I would try a shooting a few rolls to see how I got on. I decided to expose the first film at 400@200 and developed in Rodinal. Some of the photos were a little dark so for the next roll I exposed at 400@100. Here are the results from recent model photography shoots in my Coventry studio. Cameras including my Mamiya 645 Super, Mamiya RZ 67 and 4×5 large format Pacemaker Speed Graphic with a 120 roll film back.
Mamiya 645 Super + Vega 28 MC 120mm f2.8 (Freelensing)
Model – Tegan (400@200)
Mamiya RZ 67 Pro II + Mamiya Sekor 110mm f2.8 + RZ 6×6 Film Back
Model – Charlotte (400@100)
4×5 Pacemaker Speed Graphic + Kodak Aero Ektar 178mm f2.5 + Horseman 120 6×7 Roll Film Back
Model – Harriet (400@100)
The next expired film I tried was 2006 C41 black and white film 35mm Kodak BW400CN in Rodinal.. coming next.
Big thanks again to Richard who gifted the film to me.
35mm Ilford FP4+ 125 Film
Matthew Osborne Photography
35mm Ilford FP4+ 125 film was the first film I ever tried, in my late Grandfathers 35mm Yashica MG-1 back in 2012. FP4+ film has a classic grain structure and negatives often have a vintage low contrast grainy appearance. I find the grainy appearance of FP4+ and Kodak Tri-X 400 can sometimes be too much for my female portraits shot on 35mm film so I wanted to try to minimize grain when developing.
I bought 3 rolls of 35mm FP4+ last year to try it again (vs the Kodak T-Max 100 film I used mostly in 2013-2014) and last weekend I decided to load a roll in my 1950s Leica M3, with Leica Noctilux 50mm f1.0 v2 lens at f1. I developed the FP4+ film at box speed in 1:100 Rodinal, semi stand developed for 45 minute at 21 degrees. Negatives were scanned with my new Epson v800 scanner at 2400dpi using an Epson v600 35mm film insert (placed on the v800 glass). Please see the results below. I think this film has a lot of character and it is up there with my favourites.
Here is some of my early film days photography with Ilford FP4+ 125, both 120 and 135 formats – Part 1
Kodak Tri-X Film
Matthew Osborne Photography
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 400@400 (120)
Kodak Tri-X 400@800 (120)
Kodak Tri-X 400@1600 (120)
Mamiya 645 Super – First Thoughts
Medium Format Film Camera – Matthew Osborne Photography
I recently bought myself a Mamiya 645 Super medium format film camera. When I wrote the last post “Contax 645 vs Mamiya 645” (link below) the camera had not yet arrived. Now I have had chance to run a roll of film through it what do I think?
My first observation is the 645 format is in horizontal orientation in the camera rather than vertical. As a portrait photographer I tend to shoot in the portrait orientation. For anyone used to a digital camera such as a DSLR you might think so what? Well I bought this particular camera as I wanted a waist level viewfinder (“WLF”). To focus you look down at the top of the camera and it will show a horizontal image on the glass. To take a portrait photo I have to hold the camera on it’s side and it is not quite as easy to compose when working quickly. You don’t have this problem with say my Rolleiflex SL66E or a Hasselblad as they are 6×6 format. I don’t have the issue with the Mamiya RZ67 either as it has a rotating film back. That said the WLF makes the camera smaller and lighter than with a prism view finder so I am happy to compromise.
The modular design of the Mamiya 645 Super means I can remove and replace the film back. For wedding photography it is good practice to have multiple film backs, for both speed and efficiency but also so you can load perhaps one film back with colour film and one with black and white. For that reason I bought myself a spare 120 film back.
The Mamiya 645 Super comes with a Mamiya Sekor 80mm f2.8 lens as standard. It is small and lightweight but the reason I bought the camera was to make use of the fast Mamiya Sekor C 80mm f1.9 lens. I have this lens as it came on my Mamiya 645 1000S (link below) so the first task was to transfer it onto the M645 Super camera.
I bought the camera to use for analogue wedding photography as I can get 15 photos per roll and the 80mm f1.9 lens lets me photograph in low light conditions. I now plan to use it alongside my Leica M3s and other cameras for film photography weddings.
My first chance to use the Mamiya 645 Super was in my Coventry studio for model photography with friend and model Roisin. Above is an iPhone photo of my first 645 Mamiya negatives drip drying above the bath. Below are a few samples of the resulting photos once the negatives had been scanned.
Matthew Osborne Photography
I stumbled across the Rolleiflex SL66 E when looking to buy a Hasselblad 500C. I was weighing up whether the 500C (and it’s lenses) could do what I wanted from the camera and the answer was no so I settled for a Mamiya M645 1000S with a fast Mamiya Sekor 80mm f1.9 lens. I got the Mamiya 645 then only days later I discovered the Rollei SL66 / SL66E. On paper it appeared to be the holy grail of cameras and unlike most others I knew of. The two striking features for me were (1) the lens could be tilted to give a tilt shift style look and more similar to what is seen with large format cameras and (2), every lens can be mounted in reverse to become a macro lens! Brilliant! I couldn’t believe my luck on this discovery and bought one from eBay just hours later. Vintage film cameras hold their value quite well so if I didn’t like it I could just sell it again.
The Rolleiflex SL66 E was manufactured between 1982 and 1992 and is a 6×6 format medium format film camera that comes with a Carl Zeiss Planar 80mm 2.8 HFT lens. It has a waist level viewfinder (which I prefer) and also a light meter though it doesn’t work on my camera. This is fine as I prefer to meter manually.
My first chance to use the Rollei SL66E was with model Nella. Here I used 120 Fomapan 400 film and developed in 1:150 Rodinal. I tend not to read manuals but once I had shot 12 exposures and it continued to take pictures I got a little worried. It turned out that the gearing in the film back was not always turning as I cocked the shutter resulting in an film overlap issue. Here are some sample images
I was gutted about the overlap issue and had big ideas for this cameras so got myself a spare Rollei film back. The next shoot was a 3 day London portrait photography workshop with models Gina and Katie. I was counting the exposures and no more overlap problem. Great! I still await the colour film to return from the lab and have only developed one roll of B&W film so far but here are a few sample images. Katie on 120 Kodak Tri-X 400@1600 in 1:150 Rodinal.
The Rolleiflex SL66E is much heavier than my 6×6 ARAX-CM (Kiev 88) but I love the ability to tilt the lens. At last I can do selective focus photos again and it takes me back to my freelensing days with the Nikon D800.
Colour photos coming soon!
Hasselblad 500C – https://mrleica.com/2014/10/28/hasselblad-500c-camera-pinup/
Mamiya M645 1000S – https://mrleica.com/2014/10/28/mamiya-645-1000s/
Rodinal Semi- Stand Developing – https://mrleica.com/2014/10/22/rodinal-semi-stand-development-2/
35mm Black & White Film Photography
Good news! I am back shooting 35mm film photography after my recent purchase of a 1958 Leica M2 film camera. I already had a Voigtlander Bessa R3A but the shutter has jammed so I decided to treat myself to a Leica film camera. I love my Leica digital cameras (M8 and Leica M9) but the older Leica M2 has exceeded all expectations.
As the Voigtlander Bessa had jammed mid roll of film I decided to rewind the film in camera then load it into my Leica M2. I then fired off 15 shots with the lens cap on to advance the film (the Leica M2 film advance lever motion is to die for!). I then fired off some shots around the house to finish the film and to check the M2 was operating aswell as it felt in my hand.
As I still had a roll of undeveloped film from last year in the fridge, I decided to develop both rolls of film at the same time. Both film spools were 35mm Kodak T-Max 100 exposed at ISO200. I developed my black and white film in a Paterson tank using semi-stand development and Rodinal + water. My thermometer was not working so I just used a temperature that was warm to the touch. Luckily film is very forgiving! I stood the film for 35mins and then checked the results after fixing. All good. Both rolls of film were exposed correctly. Phew!
Here are a few samples of the negatives I have scanned so far
Voigtlander Bessa R3A + CV Nokton 40mm f1.4 – Monika
Leica M2 Test Shots (Please excuse the subjects!)
M2 + CV Nokton 35mm f1.2 ASPH ii
I will try to add more photos to this post as I scan them.
There will be plenty of new Leica M2 film photography example images coming soon. It really is a beautiful camera and my new favourite to operate of all my cameras. (Examples will include me using the Leica Summicron 50mm f2 v5 lens on the Bessa R3A in London that can be compared to the Leica M9 B&W images).
(The header image was shot in Edinburgh in 2013 with model Emma using the Bessa R3A + CV Nokton 40mm f1.4)
MatthewOsbornePhotography.co.uk – UK Leica Photographer
Medium format film photography model shoot with Nella and my Mamiya RZ67 Pro II. For this shot I used the Mamiya Sekor 65mm f4 WA lens which is super sharp. No sharpening needed in PP.
Photo is a Epson V600 scan of the Kodak TMax 400 negative home developed in a brew of 3:1 Xtol and Rodinal at 20 degrees standing for 23 minutes without agitation.
The medium format Mamiya RZ67 film camera is currently my go to camera for any key shots whether wedding photography or model photography. My Nikon D800 gets the rest and light meters for the Mamiya.
Here more examples with Nella:
Some shots taken with Agnieszka:
I will add more to the blog as I edit the scanned negatives.