Foma Fomapan film

Zenza Bronica SQ-A camera. Zenzanon PS 150mm f/4 lens. Foma Fomapan 100 medium format film developed in ID11.

1. Foma Fomapan 100 Classic

Bronica SQ-A. Zenzanon PS 150mm f/4. S-18 extension tube. Foma Fomapan Creative film. Developed in ID11.

2. Foma Fomapan 200 Creative.

Bronica SQ-A camera. Zenzanon PS 150mm f/4 lens. Foma Fomapan Action 400 film. Home developed in ID11 at 1:3.

3.  Foma Fomapan 400 Action.

All of the above examples taken with same camera and lens, and all developed in ID11.  Three examples of three of the Foma medium format 120 films made in the Czech Republic.

Monochrome, Rants and discussions


Disrespect. Walking over laid down grave headstones in Wisbech. Pentax SP500 Spotmatic. Super Takumar 55mm f/2 lens. Rollei Retro 400S b/w film. Developed in R09.

I’ve not posted much recently, because besides recuperating from my injury, and trying to learn to play a musical instrument (for the first time in my life), I’ve been reading.

Recent reads include a few on photography:  The Street Photographers Manual, by David Gibson; The Minds Eye, by Henri Cartier Bresson; and presently, Henri Cartier Bresson, by Clement Cheroux.

What can I say?  I’m in awe of some of these works.  Inspired?  Sure.  Cartier Bresson photography, it doesn’t get much better.  A range finder, 35mm film, no colour, no set ups, no flash or artificial light – not even a reflector, no darkroom post process edits.  Yet brilliance in un-posed b/w 35mm film photography.

Other news on the photography front?  I’m presently trying out some Foma Fomapan Action 400 film in 120 roll.  It’s cheap, but reports by others suggest that it isn’t the best, and suffers from stains that appear to originate in the backing paper.  I did recently have this problem myself, while using the slower Fomapan Creative 200 in an Isolette.  I developed it in R09, so with this 400 stuff, I’m trying to develop it in dilutions of ID11.  The first trial is presently drying.

On the subject of cheap medium format film, I’ve ordered some even cheaper and perhaps nasty b/w film from China to try out.  It’s called Shanghai GP3, and even with delivery works out at a mere two quid per roll.  Apparently it is rated at ASA 100, but can be a little slower.  I’m also told that I’ll need to keep a roll of sticky tape with me, as there isn’t any at the exposed end!  But two quid per roll!

I’m also using a different fixer chemical – FirstCall / Agfa AG Plus Fix.  I made up a litre last night, but I’m sure that’ll be fine.

I recently found my first car boot sale Olympus XA with an A11 flash unit at a booty – the range finder, as opposed to the much more common XA2.  I’m suspicious that it’s not a worker though, and haven’t yet had the interest to fit it with a battery.

Now I’d better get back to making awful noise with that mandolin.


Monochrome, Street and Protest, Zenza Bronica SQ-A


Cambridge. Bronica SQ-A. Zenzanon PS 150mm f/4. Foma Fomapan Creative 200 film. Developed in R09

While I was busy travelling back and forth to Cambridge, to buy then return that dodgy DSLR, I at least had a chance to have a few stalk around walks with the Bronica, on the streets of Cambridge.  Mission was to try and to capture the atmosphere of Cambridge – colleges, students, tourists, and … class.

It’s not so easy to stalk street photography with a huge and very slow Bronica by your side – but it is fun.  There is definitely an element of looking down that is less confrontational than holding up an eye level camera.  No light meter used other than eye and brain – I apologise for the poor exposures.  Still, did Vivian Maier always have a light meter with her?  Film media at hand were some rolls of cheap Foma Fomapan Creative 200 in 120 medium format.  To be developed mainly in FirstCall R09.  Foma Creative is described as a traditional, no frills B/W film, and is manufactured in the Czech Republic.  Although I do try to support Ilford, and their materials are a higher quality, I do actually like Foma, and I like to have some in the fridge.

So, here you are …. Cambridge.


Olympus XA-2 - 50p camera project II, Rants and discussions, Uncategorized

Cross Processing 35mm Poundland Film

Looking Down. Olympus XA2 35mm compact camera. AgfaPhoto Vista Plus 200 film from Poundland. Cross processed in Ilford b&w chemicals / process.

Looking Down. As above image.

Looking Down. As top image.

Looking Down. As top photo.

Looking Down. As top image.

Looking Down. As top image.

Looking Down. As top image

Well the one use camera project failed – but while Nita was snapping away with a light leaking dog toy, I was using Poundland film in my trusty little Olympus XA2.  This film costs me a quid a roll of 35mm.  Labelled as AgfaPhoto (to distinguish it from the defunct Agfa) Vista Plus 200, it’s rumoured to be a repackaged variant of Fujifilm C200.  Incredible value colour film.  However, I’m not yet inspired enough to try and develop C41 film.  But I do have plenty of Ilford B&W chemicals and a Paterson tank.  I can get it commercially C41 process developed at a local photo lab or two, but that’s more expense, and I’m trying to be the tight fisted photographer.  To be honest, I could get it developed only (no prints) at one local photo lab for only three quid a film.  Tempting, but it’s nice to DIY isn’t it?

So cross process it was.  In the same tank as the Kodak GT800 that I posted on yesterday.  A dilution of 3:1 water/ ID11 stock at 20C for 22 minutes.  Inversions 10s in each minute.

The negatives are ugly, and you need to tweak the scanner to produce results on digitalisation.  I scan using my Epson Perfection V500 set for color negatives, but saving as 16 bit greyscale images.  A bit more tweaking post scan on Gimp, particularly on Levels.  I think that’s passable b&w film photography.  A quid a roll and cheap b&w home developing.  Cheapskate tight fisted film photography, and with the 50p compact camera!

Other News.

Poundland Film.

Talking about Poundland film, I have recently heard rumours that some stores are temporarily retailing 36 exposure AgfaPhoto Vista Plus 200, rather than the 24 exposure films.

A few years ago, Poundland stores were selling a mixture of colour 135 film types, but shifting to the AgfaPhoto brand.  At first, this was not a problem, as they were 36 exposure films, incredible value for GBP £1.00.  A local photo lab would C41 develop them for me (no prints) for £2.50 a film – regardless of 24 or 36 frame.  That worked out to an incredibly cheap rate of 8p per exposure – cost of film and developing!  I did buy quite a few, but when new supplies reached the stores a year ago, they were replaced by 24 exposure films.  Still great value, but less exposures for your pound.

I recently ran out of 36’s, and started to resort to 24’s, when I heard the rumour.  My local Poundland is still retailing the 24’s.  However, on a visit to Kings Lynn today, I popped in the Lynn branch …. and there sat a box with twenty beautiful AgfaPhoto Vista Plus 200 36 exposure 135 films!!!  Of course I bought the bloody lot.  The box underneath were 24’s.  Sorry Kings Lynn cheapskate photographers, I raided your supply.  Twenty quid for 720 x 35 mm exposure frames.  Now that’s tight fisted.

Film Dark Room, Film, 35mm, and scans, Monochrome, Olympus Trip 35

In Search of the Cheapest Film Photography

The Singer. Cheap colour (color) 35mm film developed in b&w chemicals. Olympus Trip 35 and flash. AgfaPhoto Vista Plus film from Poundland, home developed in Ilford ID-11.

I got this idea from the Flick Group COLOR Films developed in B/W.  Pretty much what it says on the cover.  It turns out that I can save money on expensive monochrome film, by using my cheapskate Poundland colour film, and then developing it using my b&w chemicals.  That’s AgfaPhoto Vista Plus 200 35 mm for a quid a time.  I exposed a Vista film in an Olympus Trip 35 camera.

Unfortunately I haven’t found any developing time guides for this, so simply guessed at 1:1 water to Ilford ID-11 stock, at 20 C for 13 minutes – 10 seconds agitation per minute.  The developed negatives don’t look pretty.  My Epson Perfection V500 software couldn’t see images at first, but a little tweaking and they came out just fine.

So there we are.  If I should choose to do so, I can load a 50p camera with £1 film, and develop it for a few quid.  Who said that film photography is too expensive?

Pick this! Budget colour film developed with b&w chemicals. Olympus Trip 35 camera. AgfaPhoto Vista Plus 200 35mm film from Poundland, home developed in Ilford ID-11


Film, 35mm, and scans, Landscape and buildings, Olympus XA-2 - 50p camera project II, The East English Fens of East Anglia

Back to Tight Fisted Basics with a 50p Camera

Capture the Sunset. Olympus XA2 compact 35mm film camera, loaded with AgfaPhoto Vista Plus 200 film from Poundland.

I’m really enjoying the dark room learning curve at the moment, but I still have plenty of cheapskate colour 35mm film from Poundland, which I take to a local independent commercial processor to run through his mini-lab.  He presently charges me £2.50 for developing negs only – no printing.

I’ve used so many car boot sale cameras over ther past year, but it might surprise people, that if I had to choose just one to keep, it would by my lovely little Olympus XA2 compact zone focus camera, that I purchased for 50p at a car boot sale.  It is such a fun camera – great for street fun – capturing odd moments or sights.  Discreet, small, quiet.  Close and open the clam shell lens cover and it defaults to a medium zone focus.  It’s not such a bad camera for the countryside neither.  Here are two photos that I’ve recently ‘snapped’ with the Olympus XA2!

Balloon over Fenland Skies. Olympus XA2 and Poundland film. Some post neg scan touch up using Gimp 2.8 open source software.

Click on either image to view a Flickr set that I’m proud of – Poundland film in a 50p camera.

Film, 35mm, and scans, Internet, Olympus XA-2 - 50p camera project II

The Great Flickr Upgrade 2013 etc.

Cambridgeshire Orchards. Olympus XA2. Agfaphoto Vista Plus 200 35mm film.

Pump it Up. Olympus XA2. Agfaphoto Vista Plus 200 35mm film

Man in Funny Hat. Olympus XA2. Agfaphoto Vista Plus 200 35mm film

A little selection of recent photographs captured with my cute little Olympus XA2.  Fits so nice in my handbag.  Hang on, I’m a bloke!  These images captured in glorious cheapo Poundland colour, via the quid a time AgfaPhoto Vista Plus 200 films, on my 50p Olympus XA2 zone focus.

Other news – what the fook has happened to Flickr.  I don’t think I’d mind the changes too much except that I can’t see them half the time due to server hang ups.  Maybe it’s just to my ISP or part of the World, but since the great 2013 Flickr upgrade sneaked up, the already unreliable feed has become horrendous.  A few days after I celebrated my eight year subscription with them as well.  Happy friggin’ birthday Tight Fisted bastard.  Fook you and your lousy cheapskate photos.



Olympus XA-2 - 50p camera project II, Rants and discussions, The East English Fens of East Anglia

Colour Test on Poundland AgfaPhoto Vista Plus 200 35mm film

Fenland Fields. Olympus XA2 compact camera. AgfaPhoto Vista Plus 200 35mm film from Poundland

I’m no bloody expert.  Piss off to a proper review if that’s what you are looking for.  The above photo is a scanned negative of AgfaPhoto (Agfa) Vista Plus 200 35mm film from Poundland.  Rumoured to be a rebrand of a variant of Fujifilm C200 on the great Internet.  My review?  Looks bloody alright to me for a quid per film.  Taken using an Olympus XA2 compact zone focus camera, set to ‘landscape’.  This camera cost me 50p (75 US cents) in a recent car boot sale (sort of a collective front yard sale, that we enjoy on our side of the puddle).  I’m a cheapskate mean bastard aren’t I?  The photo still looks good though don’t you think?  Stuff that up your full frame Canikon DSLR!

Dogs and animals, Film, 35mm, and scans, Olympus XA-2 - 50p camera project II

Who let the dog out?

Who let the dogs out? Taken with an Olympus XA-2. AgfaPhoto Vista Plus 200 35mm film from Poundland.

Woof!  Dirty Dog.  More cheapskate photography.  Ultra cheap dog portrait.  The Olympus XA2, a zone focus 35mm film compact camera from the early 80s.  Cost me 50p at a car boot sale.   Loaded with ultra cheap Agfaphoto vista plus 200 film from Poundland.  What do you think?

Film, 35mm, and scans, Olympus XA-2 - 50p camera project II, The East English Fens of East Anglia

Cheapskate Photography

How we use to do it. Olympus XA2 camera. AgfaPhoto Vista Plus 200 35mm film. Scanned negative.

Not a great photo, and I suspect Nita wont like it, but I’m using this as an example of the quality of ultra low budget photography.  The camera cost me 50p (GBP £0.50).  The film cost me a quid (GBP £1.00).  With film cost and development, it works out 8p per exposure.  There you go, a 50p camera, and 8p photos.  Can you do it cheaper?  What do you think of the colours and rendering?  All of this in a World of photography where the consumer is brainwashed by multinational companies to spend and spend on must-have cutting edge technology and accessories.  You don’t need that to make good photography (not that the above image is a particular good example, with Nita squinting in the sun).

It’s also a good example from the Olympus XA2 zone focus compact camera, and from the AgfaPhoto Vista Plus 35mm negative film from Poundland.  Only post scan enhancement was a touch up of dust and hair using the Heal tool on Gimp 2.8 free open source software.

The Olympus XA2 ande the tight fisted photographer. Taken with a Sony DSLR.