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.

Wetlands

I have just received my M4-2 back from Cameraworks having had a very annoying light leak repaired and this was image is from a test roll of Fomapan shot yesterday.

This is another view of the ‘Seabreeze’ Caravan Park, Sheerness, England.

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Leica M4-2, Summicron 35mm f/2 ASPH, B&W yellow filter on Fomapan 100 Classic film.


Fogging marks.

I thought I would share with you what was found to wrong with my Leica. Some of you might remember from a previous post I had to send away my Leica for repair as the camera was showing signs of a light leak.

Leica fogging

One of the worse contact strips with some of the offending patches across the negatives, other films would have little or no fogging marks across the films. So what on earth was causing these marks on my pictures?

For quite sometime this had been going on and I thought to myself it can’t be the camera. If I shot the film straight away, one frame after another then rewind it back into it’s cassette once I had finished, there would be no fogging marks at all. I shined a bright light around the camera body, to fog the film or at lease see some light getting in, nothing. There was some other issue causing this. I wondered if it was user error developing the film, like the film not loading properly on the spool and touching during development, a light leak in one of my Patterson developing tanks, the light trap on some film cassettes had failed or even my changing bag was maybe the problem. It was starting to really drive me mad!

Having tried anything and everything I could think of and then finding that films shot on my Nikon FE had no problems, the Leica was found to be guilty and sent off in disgrace to Cameraworks. Alan Starkie described this leak as a real pain to find, but after a large amount of work and test film strips, find it he did. It turned out to be a tiny gap between the casing and main body.

Alan said ‘using a very powerful light source that is fed down a fibre optic light pipe, I found that if I pressed my eye to the take-up chamber, at a certain spot I could see light. That is bad because the film is just on the take-up spool with no protection

How this came about I don’t think we will ever find out. The camera was serviced by Cameraworks in August this year and some twenty rolls of film had gone though the camera with no problems. Maybe the camera got a knock that I didn’t notice while we were in France either in June this year when this problem first appeared. But there again, there was no new marks or dents on the body. The gap was just big enough to cause a problem intermittently and I think will always remain a mystery.

Suspected light leak
Photograph courtesy of Alan Starkie

Above the point where the light was getting into the film chamber. Alan sealed the gap all the way around with black sealant, which has now solved the problem. I cannot thank Alan and his son James of Cameraworks enough.

Our spot

Plage de Deauville, France. This was the only couple to pick a spot on the sand here by the promenade. Everyone else was down by the waters edge, perhaps they just wanted somewhere quiet and who can blame them.

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Taken on my Leica M4-2, Summicron 35mm f/2 ASPH on Kodak Tri-X film rated at ISO 800.

I’m losing my M4 for a few weeks due to a light leak, so back to the repairers.

Calm water

Sheerness Holiday Park, Isle of Sheppey, England on a very still morning, an hour after dawn. The Military Canal water was like a mirror, which was lucky as moments later after I’d taken the image a couple of Mute swans came to land.

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Leica M3, Summicron 50mm f/2 with a B&W yellow filter and shot on Fomapan 100 film pushed to a ISO of 400.

Yakky Yak

Continuing on the theme of dogs on the street. Deauville in Normandie. Spotted this little fellow on the Rue Désiré le Hoc, looking thoroughly bored to tears as he or she owner was gassing away to someone else on the street.

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Taken on my Leica M4-2, Summicron 35mm f/2 ASPH on Kodak Tri-X film and rated at ISO 800.

Reluctant puppy

We came across this young woman carrying a eight week old puppy by the Place Claude Lelouch in Deauville, France. The pup was very young and it was somewhat nervous about his surroundings. Personally, both my wife and I felt the dog was far too young to be out and about especially as the weather was forecasted to be very warm later that day.

Leica M4-2, Summicron 50mm f/2, taken on Kodak T-Max P3200 film rated at 800 ASA.

Brick & Ivy

Down a nearby alley there this old brick wall looking worse for wear, covered in Ivy that in many places was dying back. I been looking for a subject to use my fathers Summicron 50mm duel range lens and am very pleased with result.

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Taken on a Leica M3, Summicron 50mm f/2 Duel Range lens with Kodak Tri-X film rated at ISO 800.

Dawn view

View one morning over the Military canal, Isle of Sheppey, England. I like this shot for the sky and reflection, maybe I should have moved over more to the right for the composition to get the tree further into the image. Somehow I just could not get the picture to look right.

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Leica M3, Summicron-M 35mm f/2 ASPH, B&W yellow filter and taken on Kodak Tri-X film rated at 800 ISO.

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.