50p camera

Looking back at the 50p Camera Project

Some of my favourite black and white film results from the XA2.

All captured on home developed, then scanned 35mm b/w film.  All in the Olympus XA2 camera that cost 50p (USD 70 cents) from a car boot sale.

50p camera

Strange things

Darth Vader eats Wisbech citizen. Olympus XA2, Adox CHS 100 II film, developed in Rodinal.

Caught during a heritage day in Wisbech.  I have no idea what Star Wars has to do with local heritage.  Lucky though, I had my 50p camera in my pocket.  You never know what you might bump into.  I quite like the lady in the background.


Black and white photography

Kings Lynn Harbour buildings. Agfa Isolette I. Shanghai GP3 film. Developed in Rodinal.

Shooting in home developed b/w film for the past three years, I’ve grown incredibly attached to the grey tones.  There is something addictive about black and white photography.  It grabs you.  Suddenly, colour photography looks rude and vulgar.  What would I do, if I could no longer shoot in monochrome film?  I’d have to shoot in digital, and convert all of my images to b/w.  I don’t have to worry bout that yet though.  Still plenty of 120 and 35mm monochrome negative in production.  Long may it continue.

medium format

My Girl from the Fens

My Girl from the Fens. Bronica SQ-A, PS 150mm f/4, Ilford HP5+ film, developed in Ilford LC29. Scanned on Epson V500.

Taken a few months ago, with the wheat still green.  Emneth church tower in the background.  It was on a film in a spare film back for a while.  I had no idea of where I had used it.  I prefer LC29 to develop any ISO 400 films at the moment.  The field made a pretty cool back drop to Anita’s new electro bass guitar.

50p camera

I can do a handstand

Olympus XA2 compact camera. Ilford HP5 Plus 35mm film. Home developed with Ilford LC29.

I think that the 50p Camera handled the above photo quite well.  Taken on a recent visit to London, in Leicester Square of a group of street dancers.  Yeah, it has a tilt, but I think that the tilt works quite well on this sort of scene – I like the other dancers and legs sticking caught on the edge of the photo.

I’m quite liking the Ilford LC29 developer, although at 1:19, I’m not sure if it is that a great value.  I might perhaps use LC29 on my faster films, and use a Rodinal solution on slower films.  Does that make any sense?


Different schools, different budgetary requirements.

This could read “I’m a multinational Corporation, Feed me”.  At least for the sake of this post, inspired by Ian.  When I first started this blog, I was using a cheap used DSLR fitted with an old manual focus prime lens as my number one camera.  I guess that is why I felt entitled to use the name “tight fisted photographer”.  I had no idea how tight fisted I was to become, after I started to use car boot sale film cameras, peaking with the 50p Camera Project.  The message of this blog has always been very simple:  you do not have to spend lots of money in order to enjoy photography.  You do not have to spend a lot of money in order to make interesting, aesthetic images.  I felt that this message was important, because the markets, and the magazines that they control, deceive many enthusiasts into believing otherwise.

Now I feel that I need to refine my message slightly.  I do very much concede that some schools of photography are more cutting edge technology driven than others.  For example, I can fully understand the hefty budgets of a digital wild-life photographer, or a macro enthusiast.  Even some forms of landscape – such as Ian’s example of an incredibly sharp and detailed panoramic.  A sports photography enthusiast is going to want a digital sensor that is fast and smooth, with a lightning speed electronic shutter, burst modes, and a fast zoom lens with shake reduction to boot.

However, in my opinion, this madness extends into schools of amateur photography do not benefit in terms of value, from market driven gear acquisition.  We are not professionals.  We are amateurs and photography enthusiasts.  We do not need that upgrade.  If you want to create imagery like HCB, then you can do that equally well on an ancient 35mm film camera – a full frame sensor will not help you iota.