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
Weeks after I have taken this picture this area is two or three worse still and the grass where we walk our dog, the water comes up around your boots as the ground is so saturated. Anyhow, what with the on going lockdown restrictions, photography is becoming a little harder to do at present especially street photography. So my attention has turned to a little local landscape photography.
Taken last month at Bartons Point Coastal Park, Isle of Sheppey, England. I took this shot not only for the sunlight reflecting in the water but because the different puddles across the fields leading to the horizon.
Leica M4-2, Summicron 35mm f/2 ASPH and taken on Fomapan 400 film with a B&W yellow filter.
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 don’t often do still life photography and this picture has come from an album I found while sorting out my late fathers estate. In the 1950’s he was stationed with Royal Air force in Malta and during that time there he purchased a Voigtländer Vito B camera. It’s a wonderful album full of images he had taken with this camera of the island during the two years he was stationed there.
I used my late father’s Leica M3 with a Summicron 50mm f/2 duel range lens. Shot on the dinning room table using just natural light from a near by window and taken with a timed exposure of f/8 at 1 second on Fomapan 100 Classic film.
These beauties are Newfoundland dogs and are often having a meet with their owners over at Mote Park, Maidstone England. This the second shot from the same roll of Fomapan 100 Classic film but pushed the ISO three stops. This image I haven’t done much other than removing a hair, the usual spots, slight sharpen and framed the picture. OK the Fox Hound in the background is a little burnt out but I think this is to be expected as I did meter for the black coats of the Newfoundlands. This may well be my go to film stock from now on.
Taken on my Leica M4-2, Summicron 35mm f/2 ASPH and shot on Fomapan 100 @ 800 ISO, developed in stock Kodak D76 at 20ºc for 15 minutes.
After shooting my image ‘Only the Bones‘ you can see some old posts in the background which I think maybe part of an old pier or even for a floating pontoon as these old structures are some eight feet in height. Maybe the old barges where part of the pier, who knows?
Taken using my Leica M4-2, with a Summicron-M 35mm f/2 ASPH on Fomapan 100 Classic film rated at 400 ISO and a B&W yellow filter.
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.
Leica M4-2, Summicron 35mm f/2 ASPH, B&W yellow filter on Fomapan 100 Classic film.
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.
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 October last 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.
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.
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.
Leica M3, Summicron 50mm f/2 with a B&W yellow filter and shot on Fomapan 100 film pushed to a ISO of 400.
For all you cat lovers out there… I see this cat laying on top of this shed sunning it’s self near every Sunday morning walking my dog and amusingly, Charlie my dog can’t see him.
I got the surprised look from this cat because to get the picture I had to hold the Leica up arms length, stretched out above my head!
Leica M4-2, Summicron-M 35mm f/2 ASPH, and taken on Kodak Tri-X film and pushed to an ISO of 800.