First shots

It’s been a few days and I am struggling a little to get the settings right with my new Leica M-P. Keep forgetting to press ‘set’ on the back of the camera and finding the images are not black and white, forgetting I can change the ISO mid shoot or I’ve not used the manual setting for my Summicron 35mm or my 90mm f/2.8 Tele-Elmarit lenses nether of which is a non 6 bit coded lenses.

Early days I suppose, other than my user errors I cannot fault the camera.

This one of the first pictures I shot Dahlia in our new garden. Taken using the Tele-Elmarit 90mm f/2.8 hand held, with Weston Euromaster lightmeter. I then find out having read in the instruction manual that this camera actually has a spot meter. Think I’ll still carry my Weston lightmeter regardless. You know how it is, your dying to use your new camera when really you should sit down and read the camera instruction manual first. Still all was not lost, my wife likes the image enough it’s now used as a wallpaper on our desktop PC.

When I can get the hang of this thing, it is really something! Think it’s going to make street photography easier, both to shot and post process. Above taken at Minster Leas, England using the Summicron-M 35mm f/2 ASPH.

One decision I have made is to solely shoot JPG files. As I’ve said before, I don’t alter images very much nor use digital manipulation so I cannot see any reason to use RAW files. Most of my work is going to be black and white anyway and reading reviews it’s suggested that JPG files a better for monochrome pictures particularly for street images.

Image taken at Minster Leas, England. July 2021 with the Summicron-M 35mm f/2 ASPH


Leica M3

Just after we moved into our new house my wife was given some flowers, pink and white lily’s to be exact. Having a moment to spare I used the M3 plus the Summicron duel range 50mm and this was the result of my efforts. Not bad considering the Fuji Color 200 was from my late father’s refrigerated film stock and was dated 03/2002.

Natural light and exposure taken with my Weston Euromaster lightmeter. Film development was done by AG Photographic lab.

I suppose I’d better think about changing my blogs name now seeing as I’m using digital as well as film.

Along the Broad

Another image from my archives, taken back in the summer of 2017 from a short holiday break to the Norfolk broads, England. My wife said to me I had taken some nice pictures in Norfolk, I’d found I had taken a couple of rolls of colour print in Norfolk that summer, had them developed, scanned and forgotten all about them. Having found this shot I now use as a desktop wallpaper on my Linux PC.


I haven’t done very much photography of late as we are in the process of moving house. I say moving, we are having work done to the new house before we move in which is Victorian built around 1850’s so a lot of work to be completed. We expect to be actually moving in to the new house end of April, start of May. Hopefully, once settled and restrictions have gone I can get out and about shooting again.

Taken on a Nikon FE, 28mm f/2.8 Ai Nikkor on Kodak Color Plus 200 film.

Fascination

This little fella is a rescue dog from eastern Europe and his previous life was to be tied up outside all day. Now living in the UK, with long walks everyday, everything is curious, fascinating or puzzling for this little dog. He stood staring at us for a good couple of minutes while we chatted to his new owner.

Leica M3, Summicron 50mm f/2 using my Weston Euro Master V meter and taken on Fujifilm C200 film.

Saint-Céneri-le-Gérei

Greetings, on my post Testing, testing, I said…

“I’m coming around to the idea of shooting a little more colour in my photographic life”

Think my memory is getting a little short as I get older!

I shot colour negative film two years ago and this image below is from France.

I’d forgotten that I had taken this picture in the village of Saint-Céneri-le-Gérei, because it wasn’t a very interesting image to me at the time as a street photography image. Now with the all new 2021 lock down regulations in England, I’m unable to go anywhere other than an hours exercise or for work… shopping, that’s the wife’s department! So photography has gone out the window for the foreseeable and so I have been looking though previous negatives to see anything I’ve missed or discounted before. I found these colour negatives from our trip to Normandy in 2018.

This is the near the middle of Saint-Céneri-le-Gérei, Normandie France and it is said to be one of the most beautiful villages in France, small, not over commercialised with a couple small cafés this village well worth a visit. Located in the south of the Parc naturel régional et Géoparc Normandie-Maine and lies on the River Sarthe 13 km from Alençon.

Leica M4-2, Summicron 50mm f/2 using my Weston Euro Master V meter and taken on Fujifilm Superia 400 film.

Testing, testing.

As many of you know I don’t often shot colour C41 or even E6 films, which for the life of me I don’t honestly remember when I last shot slide film. Having taken some colour images in Honfleur, France and watching Youtube videos, like by the German photographer Robin Schimko who sometimes uses colour film for street photography, I’m coming around to the idea of shooting a little more colour in my photographic life.

Kodak Pro Image 100 film

So I thought next year on our next trip to Normandy I try and use only colour film, just carrying my Leica M3 and Summicron 50mm. There is a possibility I might have a Leica Elmarit 90mm f2.8 lens as well in my camera bag if I can find a good example. I have both the Summicron 35mm lens plus two 50mm Summicron’s and for a long time now have been thinking about getting a Leica 90mm lens. Don’t not think I’ll be buying a Summicron 90mm non APO or APO versions as although it’s extremely good lens, it is enormous! The Elmarit 90mm f2.8 is far smaller with a E39 filter thread as my other Leica lenses and having seen the specifications on the Summicron 90mm lens I think will be like shooting a rangefinder with a house brick attached to the front of the camera. This lens weights in at 17.1 oz or 484 grams compared to the Tele-Elmarit of 7.957 oz./225.6g

Ken Rockwell review of the Summicron 90mm lens https://www.kenrockwell.com/leica/90mm-f2-m.htm


Onto the results of using Kodak Pro Image film, in a funny way to me this film look reminds me of the old Kodachrome in these pictures below. All pictures have been shot with no filters, shot with different light conditions and where exposed by using +1 stop with my Weston Euro Master lightmeter.

Click to enlarge images.

I used various C41 films over the years, I think mostly either AGFA Vista 200, Fujifilm Superia 200 or Kodak Color Plus 200 but like many I miss the good old days being able to purchase reasonably priced 100 ASA colour print films. There are of course a few options on the market, Kodak Professional Ektar 100 is a great film but the colours look a little rich for my taste, Kodak Portra 160 Film for a pack of five is twice the price of the Pro Image film pack. Another option would be to use a slide film like Kodak Professional Ektachrome E100 but the price at £15 or $19 a roll with the processing cost on top seems somewhat high and to me looks as it would be better used for high end portraits or landscape images as would any of the dwindling offerings from Fuji’s Fujichrome stable. 

Recently I purchase a five pack of Kodak’s Pro Image 100 film and am pretty pleased with the results of this first test roll. I don’t do reviews but this film I found to give a very good render of all the colours I observed when shooting this film. The only issue I found was during scanning with my Nikon Coolscan V scanner was I did find the images appear with a blue cast and never noticed this with either Agfa Vista or Kodak’s Color Plus films. This was corrected easily with Gimp 2.8 and the only other step I had to undertake was a little straightening on some of the pictures.

One simple click of Gimp’s white balance control cured the blue cast.

All images taken on my Leica M3 with the Summicron 50mm f/2 on Kodak Pro Image 100 film in October of this year.

Development of this film was done by https://www.ag-photolab.co.uk/

Robin Schimko website: https://www.fotodesign-rs.de/

Postcard from Honfleur

I took this shot of Honfleur harbour purely for my own use as a desktop wallpaper for the computer, then decided to share with all of you because my wife and I love Honfleur, but not only that to show the harbour town houses which as you see are very tall.

In some case seven stories high townhouses, many of these buildings are very old dating anything from the 16th to 18th century and is a tourist hot spot in the summer. The streets and harbour front are lined with café and restaurants with other street hiding hidden gems like Saint-Catherine’s Church which dated from the 15th century.

If you are find yourself visiting Normandy, Honfleur is a must for a photographers for harbour views, scenes and street photography.

There’s even a very large ferris wheel which my Mrs just had to have a ride on and no you wouldn’t get me on it …I cannot stand heights!

All images taken with my Leica M3, Summicron 50mm f/2 and Summicron 35mm f/2 lenses on Agfa Vista 200 colour film.

Late shadows

As many of you know my work, I very rarely shoot colour film. So when I said to my wife I’m going to shoot some autumn pictures last Sunday, a voice came from the other room ”you are going to use colour?” So frantically looking in my photography fridge upstairs, luckily for me there was one last roll of Agfa Vista 200 colour film left, dated October 2018… Phew.

This shot hasn’t really got much in the way of autumn colour but I liked the late afternoon light and shadows across the cemetery. Only in post processing on the computer did I notice the grave in the foreground, the foot stone is propped up with white bricks!

Late shadows

Taken at Sheppey Cemetery, England on my Leica M4-2, Summicron 35mm f/2 ASPH with Agfa Vista 200 film.

Cafe Dog

Another colour shot, this time with the Leica. My wife and I where in the Barton Coastal Park cafe, Sheppey, England one Sunday morning. While Helen was getting the tea’s, this little dog popped her head up from behind a table. She had such a surprised look, I just had get the shot!

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Getting the picture wasn’t easy though. The light from the windows behind was really strong and while there is some light from the windows and a open door opposite, the room is quite dark. I had to get a reading using my Weston Master V handheld meter. Luckily, the floor is concrete and a suitable grey colour, and with some quick thinking (dangerous I know) I manage to get the picture.

Leica M4-2, Summicron 50mm f/2 and taken on AGFA Vista 200 film.

Charlie

This is my dog Charlie who’s now a year old. I took this picture in the house we stayed at in Vimoutiers, France. I don’t often shoot colour film, mainly because of the subjects I like to take pictures of tend to lend themselves to black and white images really.

Sunlight was coming from the window behind the sofa over his head, and more from the patio doors opposite. The light reading was not easy with my Weston meter to get this shot, so I took the reading from the sofa it self, which is a brown leather and out of direct light. Charlie is a not pure black like when he was a puppy in the first image ‘Welcome’ his coat is more a smoky grey colour now so the image of him looks a little washed out with the light coming from behind, although I am very pleased with the result of the picture.

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Taken on Leica M4-2, Summicron 50mm f/2 using a Weston Master V and taken on AGFA Vista 200 film.