OT BW Film - old school

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CaptainFantastic
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OT BW Film - old school

#1

Post by CaptainFantastic »

I posted a while ago that I had bought an old analog camera (a circa 1992 Canon F1) and was going to shoot some film again.

Well, I've now done 4 rolls of Ilford HP5+ black and white. I get them developed locally for about $6 a film which I though was a good deal while I get into it again. Then I scan them with a nifty film holder and a macro lens (actually I borrowed a friends Nikon for this). After that I bring them to the laptop and invert the images to get the positives, with some slight tweaking to get the image where it should be. I didn't crop out the edges of the scan, which I think gives it even more of a retro-feel.

I'm pretty happy - especially as you have a limited confidence the image will be exposed right. However, I am not good at the macro side yet and I can see the resultant digital images are a bit out of focus. Maybe I need to invest in a real scanner...

Anyway, inspired by Mark's thread about his vacation photos, here are some of my BW efforts including from our trip back to our home town in the UK... mixed in with Swiss mountains, Zurich city, Monet's Garden, Dijon and Troyes in France.

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This one is an accidental triple-exposure at the last frame on the roll as I messed up with winding on early in the roll and had large gaps between shots...
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Ian - Looking for these dates 7/82, 7/92, 8/93, 9/03, 11/05, 5/17
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Re: OT BW Film - old school

#2

Post by SteveRetherford »

Well done Ian !!!
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Re: OT BW Film - old school

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Post by Kgam1020 »

Wow those are nice!
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Re: OT BW Film - old school

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Post by Hot_Diggity »

Nice to see somebody still shooting film. Something magical and timeless about B&W photos. Our cruise book from The Basic School was all shot in Black & White and other than uniform differences and some obvious beer can opener changes the pictures are interchangeable with Dad's military pictures from Korea or Grandpa's from France. The faces and situations are all so similar.

Great pictures.
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Re: OT BW Film - old school

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Post by JimL »

Those look great!
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Re: OT BW Film - old school

#6

Post by 1hpycmpr »

Very nice work, Ian. Good on you for going old school and $6 a roll sounds pretty reasonable. I’ve always liked how black and white images seem to capture a specific moment of time with more clarity than color film. I dabbled with BW film years ago but mostly for astrophotography.
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Re: OT BW Film - old school

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Post by Bob1774 »

Nice framing of your shots. Those are very well done and give the viewer an alternate in depth image compared to the obvious "phone snapshots."
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Re: OT BW Film - old school

#8

Post by 1oldfart »

Awesome photos! Doesn't get any better than black & white film! I also like how you show the edges when you scan or print to get that vintage look! I think with the price of the chemicals to develop the roll of film yourself it is cheaper to pay and let them develop the film for you. $6 bucks ain't bad at all! Are you going to try Kodak or Fuji or another Ilford black and white film next? I like Kodak Tri X.
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Re: OT BW Film - old school

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Post by Gunhippie »

[Photo geeking] Ian, to focus with a macro lens, you move the camera, not the focus ring. The focus ring actually changes your focal length at these magnifications. You can use a slider or a rack-and-pinion rig if you want to make it easier.

This is a Novoflex Castell rack-and-pinion focusing rail (ridiculously expensive (I thought I was rich once)):

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The lens on the camera is ridiculous. I just wanted to show how much weight it would bear.

The rail is also great for stereo pictures, if you ever want to go there.

For your use, an old copy stand would be much better--and you can probably find one used for cheap.

[/Photo geeking]

Nice old-school B&W!
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Re: OT BW Film - old school

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Post by Deanofid »

Ian, I admire your foray into B&W film. There is nothing like it. I'm a bit older, so am fond of FP4,
Kodak Panatomic-X, Plus-X and Tri-X and old Efke and Agfa films. Until you develop and print your own photos on Agfa Bravura or old Kodak paper, you will never see the beauty of B&W photography in its fullest glory. Ansel Adams, Henri C-Bresson, Edward Weston, Diane Arbus, etc. Nothing like it since their time. Digital can make beautiful sterilized images, but it cannot make photographs.

An old film buff, and still have my Leica IIIF and early Canon copy of the Leica. And Kodak Medalist. Hardly anyone knows what I'm talking about now...

Love the B&W renditions.
Thank you! From an old film guy, and no longer a photographer type because of the ease of making bad photos good via photoshop. We used to have to do it the hard way. In a dark room, with a yellow or red light, and real silver.

I know you are a great photographer. I can see it in your other pics, not to mention what you show here. Please don't take offense. I'm just really old school. Love your photography!

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Re: OT BW Film - old school

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Post by CaptainFantastic »

Thanks everyone, that's what is great about this place you can post OT stuff and there is always others who share that interest and can provide tips!

@Timm - thanks for that info. In my usual line of photography I don't need a tripod and hence the one I have is not up to par for this job. I'm going to be at a tipping point on investing in a macro lens and good tripod vs a scanner...

@Dean - I know what you mean about printing and maybe I go down that rabbit hole but right now I simply don't have the time. I did get the Ansel Adams book 'The Negative' to study the Zone system and that's what I've been using. The old Canon has a basic needle meter so there is literally no help like in later cameras. And that's what makes it fun too! -1 stop for green foliage, +1 for a face, -2 for shadows, etc.

I've got a few more rolls of HP5+ to go, and a Delta 3200. I'm likely to go for a roll or two of 400 Tri-X to compare to the HP5. I prefer contrast and want to see which turns out best for me.
Ian - Looking for these dates 7/82, 7/92, 8/93, 9/03, 11/05, 5/17
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Re: OT BW Film - old school

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Post by Gunhippie »

CaptainFantastic wrote: Tue Sep 13, 2022 5:00 pm Thanks everyone, that's what is great about this place you can post OT stuff and there is always others who share that interest and can provide tips!

@Timm - thanks for that info. In my usual line of photography I don't need a tripod and hence the one I have is not up to par for this job. I'm going to be at a tipping point on investing in a macro lens and good tripod vs a scanner......
My Epson photo-grade flattop scanner (forgot the model #, but it's 25 years old) will scan at 2,400 ppi, which is enough to easily resolve the grain of the film. It came with frames to hold most any size of negative. I've also used a dedicated Nikon Coolscan, which only does 35mm and 120 film or plates, but scans at 4,800 ppi. It does a better job with color/slide film, as it makes multiple passes on each scan, but I never noticed a difference on B&W.

Of course, now that you've scanned your film, you have a digital image. It's only silver halide all the way if you do it in the dark (room)!
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Re: OT BW Film - old school

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Post by BSAGuy »

Those are some very nice photos. Thanks for posting.
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Re: OT BW Film - old school

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Post by Weirdnerd »

I like black and white, got hooked with it a couple of years ago, when finally got hold of a decent camera (Canon FT), my learning curve was a little steep, but now I can hold well and can take reasonable pictures. Learned to develop them too.
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Re: OT BW Film - old school

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Post by outlawmws »

Nice work Ian, Enjoy yourself! SWMBO just ordered a negative scanner as we have ALL my mom's old negs, and she started archiving them properly - she is having to order some more archival stuff especially for the older larger format negs. I'm half expecting her to get on me to build her a dark room for her enlarger again...
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Re: OT BW Film - old school

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Post by mgmlvks »

Thanks for sharing your trip into B/W photography. Very nicely done!
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Re: OT BW Film - old school

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Post by liteitup »

The bokeh effect of the blurred background behind the whisky bottle is amazing. I spent a ton of money on a lens that *might almost* do that.
Love the detail seen in the group of people under the trees.
Very nice,
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Re: OT BW Film - old school

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Post by DougA »

Awesome photos! I did a lot of B&W stuff back in the day, developing it myself at home in a small darkroom I assembled. I started out with my dad's Argus C3 -- NO built-in metering with that, so it was the handheld light meter routine etc. You learn a lot about photography that way. I haven't done any darkroom stuff in over 20 years, though I still have the equipment.
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