35mm, Film, 35mm, and scans, Uncategorized, Yashica T2

Losing wind

New World

I tried doing something different.  I tried to give the home developed b/w film a rest, and to concentrate on using up some Poundland C41 colour 35mm film in the Yashica T2.

I don’t like it.  I don’t like the results.  That, combined with the winter light, work pressure, and lack of travel, has killed my photography.  I don’t like the results.  I’m finding myself looking at and appreciating more b/w film than ever.  I lost something.  I’m not going to abandon the Yashica T2 yet, but I’m abandoning the C41.  More Shanghai, Tmax, and Rollei film is on the way.  I miss my medium format as well.  The Bronica SQ-A is a great system camera – I want to use it again.

I’m not happy with my recent foray into C41 35mm.  I need to sniff fixer again.  All that it has taught me is to appreciate the beauty of b/w film photography more.

Above photo taken on the Yashica T2 and Poundland film in Norwich.

Advertisements
Standard
35mm, Yashica T2

Yashica T2 V Olympus XA2

Yashica T2 loaded with AgfaPhoto Vista Plus 400 film.

I’ve been forcing myself to give both the 50p Camera (Olympus XA2), and b/w film a rest.  Instead, the little time that I’ve had for photography, I’ve been using my Yashica T2 AF compact camera, loaded with cheap C41 colour film.  Although I love b/w, the reality is that I have plenty of Poundland film in the fridge / freezer, that I bought a few years ago, for a quid each.  Nice 36 exposure 200, and a few 24 x 400 AgfaPhoto Visa Plus.  I can get C41 processed by a good local photolab for £2.50.  This makes the film/process cost cheaper than any b/w film, at 9p per exposure on the 36 shot films.  In addition, it seems a positive thing to embrace different gear and media on occasion.

The above photo was exposed onto the faster Poundland that was circulating a year or two ago, the AgfaPhoto Vista Plus 400.  I like it so much, I’m going to use up my last few cassettes of it next.

Using the Yashica T2 V Olympus XA2

I have been using the Olympus XA2 (c.1982) for a few years now, for opportunistic, snapshot, street, etc.  How does the Yashica T2 (c.1986) compare? They are very different 1980s 35mm film compact cameras.

Portability.  The XA2 wins hands down.  It is so small, it’ll fit in most pockets.  As my XA2 is so battered anyway, I don’t care too much if it rattles against other debris in the pocket such as coins, even keys.  The clamshell lens cover protects well.  The Yash T2 is very pretty, but actually quite bulky.  I don’t want it bashed, it’s so good condition, so I have to hang it around my neck with it’s wallet on.

Focus.  The XA2 uses a simple 3 zone focus.  You have three fixed focuses to manually select from.  The default is pretty cool for street.  It’s a fast, silent, simple system.  The T2 on the other hand uses an early (1986) Auto-focus system.  It’s slow and clumsy compared with modern auto focus, and pretty crap at a moving subject.  However, when it hits, it’s sharp compared to the zone focus XA2.  Better than the XA2 on still or very slow subjects.  The XA2 wins for quick snapshots at moving subjects.  The T2 makes nice portraits, aided by it’s Carl Zeiss T* Tessar lens.

Street Stealth.  No competition.  The XA2 wins.  I’ve heard the Yashica T series being hailed as stealth street cameras.  Bollocks they are.  They are actually pretty bulky for a compact 35mm.  The AF slows you down.  The biggest problem for stealth however, is the loud film motor drive.  It’s part of the nostalgic attraction of it, but for stealth, it’s like a loud hailer shouting “look at me, I’m taking photos of you!”.  The T2 is NOT a stealth street camera.  The XA2 is.  The XA2 is tiny, and in experienced hands, the 3 zone focus is fast and silent.  In my opinion, a far better street camera than any SLR.  I even once took a candid of two photographers, one a pro, a metre away.  The pro heard the shutter, but looked all around.  The XA2 was out of sight.  Quite funny really.

Quality.  I’m not a huge fan of image technical perfection, but this is where the T2 does finally win over the XA2.  The hipster rated Carl Zeiss lens, and AF makes for better Q.  The scanned negatives are sharper.  The XA2 does, if it hits perfect optimum focus, still make some sharp clear photos, but a lot of the time you are playing in the focus zone out of optimum.

Happiness.  I’m a big fan of what fun a camera brings.  I’ve maybe thrashed and done so much with the XA2, that I need to put it down for a few months, in order to appreciate it again.  For now, I really am getting happiness from the Yashica T2.  I feel that despite it’s failings as a fast stealth camera,  I’m smiling when I take a snapshot.

Either camera, I believe this is what 35mm film was meant to be.  Miniature, portable, point & shoot.  George Eastman’s vision come true.  This is what I use 35mm film for.  How about you?

Standard
Film

Stand / Cross process of C41 Poundland Film in B/W Chemistry

Together in Death. Olympus XA2 (the 50p camera project). AgfaPhoto Vista Plus 200 (Poundland Film) C41. Developed in Rodinal.

I recently asked on a photography forum for a developing recipe to cross process C41 with b/w chemistry.  I was tickled, but a little chuffed, when someone answered by giving me a link to an old post about the subject …. from one of my own posts here on my blog!

I hadn’t cross processed Poundland film to b/w for a year or two, and when I did, I used Ilford ID11.  This time I wanted to use a rodinal / R09 developer, and I fancied stand processing.

For the Digital / N00b crowd.  What am I talking about?

  1. Cross Processing.  There are a number of different processes for film, and for printing.  The most common three are a) C41.  This is the process for developing colour negative film.  Some b/w films have also been produced that require C41.   b) E6.  This is the process for colour positive transparencies / slides.  c) True b/w negative.  The oldest process that is usually still done by hand rather than a photo lab.  Cross processing takes place when a photographer uses a process other than that intended by the film manufacturer.  Many Lomo photographers cross (both ways) C41 and E6 in order to get bizarre colours on prints/scans.  I am cross processing C41 Poundland film in b/w chemistry, because it is ultra cheapskate and tight fisted.
  2. Stand processing.  Hand processing film involves agitating or inverting a developing tank filled with a film, and diluted solutions of developer  at set intervals.  Typical dilutions for example for the rodinal developer are 1:19 or 1:25 of rodinal to water.  This moves the diluted developer through the film emulsions at a proven rate.  With Stand processing, you use much weaker dilutions of developer, and instead of regular inversions – leave the tank standing for a much longer time.  It saves on developer, allows you to have a meal or watch a movie, and is similar in some ways to slow cooking.  You can be several minutes out either way without disaster.

The stand process that I ended up using this time was that as suggested by the Massive Dev Chart for XP2 C41 in Rodinal / R09.

The recommendation was 1:100.  Yes, a pathetic 3 ml of Agfa Rodinal for a single 35mm film in my Paterson tank.  The recommended time at the optimum 20C was 120 minutes.  I put my used Poundland film in the tank.  Added the very diluted Rodinal, gave it several inversions, then sat it down with a few taps to dislodge air bubbles.

I then took Anita out to the local flea pit (cinema) where we watched the Pixel movie.  I returned maybe 130 minutes later.  Emptied out the developer, stopped, fixed, and rinsed.  Hung up the slippery brown thing to dry.

The above image is one scan.  I did enhance the levels a little on the scanned image, using Gimp software, but not that much.  I worked out that 3 ml of my Rodinal cost me about 8p (GBP £0.08).  The film a quid from Poundland.  Altogether, film, develop, fix, and scan cost me no more than £1.30.

Tight fisted?

One more thing.  This isn’t just about process and cost.  How does the image look?

Standard
Olympus XA-2 - 50p camera project II

Colour

Olympus XA2 compact camera. AgfaPhoto Vista Plus 200 film from Poundland. Scanned with V500.

I haven’t shown a lot of it on this blog of recent.  I do prefer b/w photography, but at the same time, I am the tight fisted photographer, and I still have plenty of Poundland film (AgfaPhoto Vista Plus 200) in my freezer.  I tried C41 home processing, I did have some success, but I didn’t really enjoy it, not enough to learn how to keep C41 chemistry well.  The nearest photolab is not only incredibly expensive, but on my last film, totally botched up the colour.  I’ve even resorted to cross processing C41 film in b/w process and chemistry a few times.

Still, I recently thought I’d try again.  My faithful Olympus XA2 from the 50p Camera Project kept looking at me from the camera shelf.  So in went a cassette of Poundland film – that Ilford can be so expensive.  It was in there a few weeks or so, I didn’t use it to take any particularly good photos, just snapshots here and there.  I like the above result – it fitted my mood post general election about the future of minimal government – our parish council certainly provides it.  I have a very dystopian view of the future, perhaps I’m getting old.

Anyway, after I used up the 35mm film, I took it to a photolab in Kings Lynn, that I hadn’t used before.  Not a chain, but an independent.  They charged £2.50 for film process only, but had my film dried, cut into strips, and properly packaged in less than a hour!  Colours look good (of course, my scanner will have an effect), and they are clean.  Really pleased.  They did point out that the quick process was a result of their minilab being hot when i walked in, and I got lucky – but it looks like I’ve got a new photolab resource.

Now, that works out at a cost of £3.50 of film / development for 36 exposures.  I don’t think that at the moment, I could get b/w that cheap.  Other than cross processing.  Better get some of that Poundland film out of the freezer.

Standard
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.

Standard
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.

Standard
Film Dark Room

Bad Man! Stop that Cross Processing!

Bad Man. Olympus Trip 35 camera. AgfaPhoto Vista Plus 200 C-41 film cross processed with Ilford B/W chemistry.

Sorry about that.  In future I’ll try to develop my Poundland film, and any other C-41 films (quite fancy trying some 120 medium format C-41) in full glorious colour!  I ordered the mini Rollei Digibase C-41 developer 500 ml  kit in the evening.  It arrived at my door mid morning the next day!  Well done to FirstCall Photographic.  It’s so cute that I don’t want to break the seal.  I already wish that I’d gone for the five litre Super Maxi size kit, but this will do for a tester.  Now I need a bunch of used 35mm colour films!  I have nearly forty AgfaPhoto Vista Plus 36 exposure 200 films from Poundland in hoard.  I just need to find something to photo.  I’m afraid inspiration is a bit short lately.

I took a quick snap with a DSLR of my new Rollei C-41 kit just now, and slotted it into my previous post below.  It seemed more appropriate for that post.

Standard