Pentax ME Super 35mm film SLR

Nothing to do … but take pictures

Not Forgotten. Pentax ME Super camera. SMC Pentax-M 50mm f/1.7 lens. AgfaPhoto Vista Plus 200 35mm film from Poundland. Developed in Rollei Digibase C-41 chemistry.

I’m incredibly broke at the moment, and I have time off from work.  It’s pretty fortunate then that I have plenty of film, and processing chemicals.  Just can’t afford to go far, and the weather is … British.

We shot some photos yesterday, and I processed them in the Rollei Digibase C-41 chemistry later.  Digitally scanned them on the Epson V500 today.  Really, it was a case of looking for colour, in such dreary grey weather.  I loaded the Pentax ME Super with Poundland film (AgfaPhoto Vista Plus 200).  The ME Super is a classic little SLR built in Japan around thirty or more years ago.  It was an Automatic SLR camera – not as in modern DSLRs, but Aperture priority.  You can simply set the aperture ring where you want, and the light meter will electronically set the shutter speed.  Unlike some Olympus counterparts though, it does have a full manual exposure option.  It also has a 125X option – if your battery runs down at an awkward time, you simply switch to 125X mode, and it shoots at a set shutter speed of 125.  Using the Sunny F16 rule or an external light meter, all you need do is stop up or down the aperture ring.

Processing was ok.  I’m getting there with C-41.  I am already missing my Ilford B/W films though.

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

C-41 Process and Me.

The General Cemetery. Wisbech. Olympus XA2 compact camera. AgfaPhoto Vista Plus 200 35mm film from Poundland. Developed in Rollei Digibase C-41 chemistry.

For crying out loud.  I really do not like this C-41 process game, and it does not like me.  However, I’m sticking with it, but it is fighting me back.  Ok confession time.  First attempt.  Screwed up totally, although sort of salvaged a few sprocket hole images.  I’ve posted on that one before, so I wont go into detail.  Second attempt.  I accidentally poured some used bleacher into the fixer storage drum.  I’ve checked with the swots on an analog forum – the verdict is that it’ll gradually degrade and to use it ASAP.  I did however pretty well process a 24 exposure of 35mm, although it wasn’t a very good shoot.  I took it in my 50p Olympus XA2, and it included the above image, of the chapel of rest, in the disused General Cemetery in Wisbech.

Third attempt – just now.  I processed two 35mm films in the Paterson tank together.  Too early to say how they’ll turn out, I’ll see tomorrow.  However, I accidentally dropped 600 ml of precious C-41 developer to waste.  I wanted this stuff to last 6 – 8 months, but it isn’t looking good.

Maybe I’m just too much of a rush-about klutz to process my own C-41 colour film.  Too much worrying about temperature, too many jugs.  It’s certainly another learning curve.

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Film Dark Room, Pentax ME Super 35mm film SLR, Portrait, Rants and discussions

On the Fiddle

On the Fiddle. Pentax ME Super. SMC Pentax-M 50mm f/1.7 lens. Ilford HP5 Plus film developed in ID11.

I bought another eighteen 36 exposure AgfaPhoto Vista Plus 35mm films from Poundland in Peterborough yesterday.  That’s on top of the twenty that I recently bought from the Poundland in Kings Lynn.  I can’t resist those 36 exposure films for a quid each.  It’s ridiculously cheap.  Thing is though, I’m not totally happy with cross processing them all in b/w Ilford chemistry.  It’s sometimes cheap and convenient, but it’s not HP5.  All of these colour 35 mm films begging to be used.  I’m increasingly tempted to have a go at C41 colour film developing.  Just the film mind.  I’m looking at the Rollei Digibase C-41 LT20 Midi Kit 1L to start with.  A C41 chemistry kit sold online at FirstCall Photographic Ltd.

It claims to be sufficient to develop 20-24 films (presumably 35 mm), and depending on post & package costs, will cost me somewhere around £3 a film to develop.  I can actually get my film commercially developed locally for only £2.50, but I hate having to wait, and accepting his quality.  So, I’m thinking it over.

 

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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.

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

The 50P compact Camera keeps producing…

The O2 Arena captured with 50p film camera. Olympus XA2. Ilford HP5 Plus film, developed in ID11.

The above photo taken with my awesome little Olympus XA2 that I bought at a car boot sale for 50p (circa USD 70 cents).  Seems to produce well on Ilford HP5 Plus.  Other news?  I’ve now home developed over thirty films.  This evening I cross processed two 35mm C41 films with Ilford b&w chemicals – in the same tank together, another first.  I’ve really got a hang of simple straight forward b&w film developing by now, although reeling 120 film can still be a curse.  Anyway, another new photo from the XA2 below:

Child’s Play. Olympus XA2 camera. Ilford HP5 Plus 35mm film, home developed in ID11.

 

I think that the Olympus XA2 has proven itself by now.  What do you think?  I know, I know, it’s not a Canon or Nikon full frame DSLR, but I think it’s a cooler camera.Other news?  I bought a 135 film of AgfaPhoto from Poundland today.  The box had been opened, and it was reduced to 75p HA HA ha hah hah….

Cheapest Cheapskate Film. Sony A200 DSLR. Sony DT 50mm f/1.8 SAM lens.

 

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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

 

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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.

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Dogs and animals, Olympus XA-2 - 50p camera project II

The Calling

Tun Dog Run!

Taken with the ickle little Olympus XA-2 zone focus 35mm compact camera. This one bost me 50p (GBP £0.5) at a local car boot sale. The film? Quid roll of AgfaPhoto Vista Plus 200 from Poundland. Stuff that EXPENSIVE Canikon DSLR, see what £1.50 can do Hah hah hah hah!

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

Sunset using a 50p camera and Poundland film

Fenland Sunset with Poundland Film. Olympus XA2 compact 35mm film camera. AgfaPhoto Vista Plus 200 film from Poundland

Another success with the little compact Olympus XA2 loaded with AgfaPhoto Vista Plus 200 35mm film from Poundland.  Caught this one on the way home last week, as I drove out of Downham Market towards Wisbech.  Sunset over the Fens.  Film, including this Poundland film, really does seem to render skies better than do digital sensors, at least in my eyes it does, but I’m just a cheapskate amateur.  Landscapes are not really my forte, but living in the Fens, I cannot help sometimes capturing a big Fenland sky.  An 8p exposure on a 50p camera.  That’s low budget photography.  How low can I go?

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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?

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