Hi I'm Martin Smith, a amateur photographer that likes to shoot solely film. I use black & white with the odd colour image thrown in and mainly use a Leica M4-2 & M3 with Summicron 35mm, 50mm plus I now have a 90mm f/2.8 Tele-Elmarit-M lens. I tend to shoot anything I like, objects, scenes, landscape or street life. My film of choice now is Fomapan 100 Classic.
Morning after Storm Darcy, aka ‘The Beast from East 2’ a cold front eastern Europe and Russia. I’m going start a new club called the ‘Frozen Leica Society’ because oh boy was I so cold my hands started to hurt in the -7°c wind chill …We English are not use to this sort of thing you know!
Anyway I shot this picture purely because of the pattern of the snow fall along the seawall. Later on, further along the front in the distance you can see the waters edge looks very white and as it turned out the sea was starting to freeze.
Leica M4-2, Summicron 35mm f/2 ASPH and taken on Fomapan 100 Classic film at an ISO of 800
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
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.
All images taken on my Leica M3 with the Summicron 50mm f/2 on Kodak Pro Image 100 film in October of this year.
I am pleased with this shot, it was taken from the hip while walking past this couple eating their lunch along the seafront on what was a very hot day in August. This negative had to be cropped in Gimp 2.1 to straighten the composition but that was about all this picture needed to complete the final image.
Leica M4-2, Summicron 35mm f/2 ASPH and taken on Kodak Tri-X, rated at 800.
Bright sunny morning and I came across this bench with the empty bottle and can from the night before. There is something to be said for empty streets during this lockdown for photographers, it’s either easy to find shots like the one below or harder because you work to a image that is going to work for you.
Leica M4-2, Summicron 35mm f/2 ASPH and taken on Fomapan 100 Classic film pushed to an ISO of 800
I took this shot back in 2013 on warm autumnal day. Taken at Leybourne Lakes Country Park in England, this image for me summed up this lazy afternoon and was one of the pictures at the start of my return to film photography.
Taken with a Praktica BX20, Prakticar 50mm f/1.8 on Kentmere 400 film.
Shot at Sheerness Beach, England along the seawall. I was interested in the structure of the bench and it’s shadow in the morning sunlight but then also noticed the snail trails on the wall glistening in the light.
Nikon FE, Nikkor 50mm f/1.8Ai on Fomapan 100 Classic film with a Photax yellow filter and developed in Kodak D76.