Thursday, 25 June 2015

Portraits of dad

Following on from my last post, where I share some black and white images taken on my Nikon FM3a, I thought I would post two more photographs, this time, portraits of my dad. They were taken at roughly the same time, in similar conditions, across two evenings. I wasn't really trying to do anything overly technical, just show the difference between a digital image, and a film image. The settings weren't the same on both cameras, a Nikon Fm3A and Fuji X-T1, but were close enough, I think, to be able to compare the results.

The X-T1 used a Fujinon 35mm F1.4, shot wide open at F1.4, ISO 200, (although ISO 400 would have produced an image pretty much as noise free). The Nikon used a Nikkor 50MM F1.8, shot at about F2.0, with Ilford HP5 Plus 400.

As you can see, and no real surprise really, the Fuji portrait is a great deal cleaner. The image was converted to black and white using Silver Efex pro, and levels adjusted to taste. What is rather astonishing about the Fujinon 35mm, is that it's razor sharp wide open, I think more so than any other lens I've shot with. Paired with the X-T1, it really is a powerful combination.

The Nikon film image, naturally, with a 400 ISO speed Ilford film, isn't quite as sharp, and is far more grainy than the Fuji. But that would be to miss the point as to why you would be shooting with film in the first place. The negative was scanned using my Plustek Opticfilm 8100 with Ilford HP5 Plus setting selected. It is interesting to note that the film image looks quite warm on default scanner settings. Of course, this can be altered to taste during scanner setup if preferred . What you soon come to realise when using film, is that it has a certain feel, it can evoke memory, allow the mind to wander, in a way that digital rarely does. It can create mood, elicit emotion, and used in the right situation, is still hard to beat.

Which do I prefer? Well, both really. As far as I'm concerned each has a place in my camera bag. 

Fuji X-T1 with Fujinon 35mm F1.4
Fuji X-T1 with Fujinon 35mm F1.4

Nikon FM3a with Nikkor 50mm F1.8
Nikon FM3a with Nikkor 50mm F1.8

Tuesday, 23 June 2015

Nikon FM3a with Ilford Delta and HP5 plus film

You may remember sometime ago, I purchased a rather lovely Nikon FM3a... you can read about it here. http://brettgardnerphotography.blogspot.co.uk/2013/09/ooh-you-little-beauty.html

At the time, I was a little bit scared to run a film through it, as the camera was brand new, and quite honestly, a thing of beauty. It sat there, on the shelf, with my other film cameras, which were all being used on a regular basis. I thought, 'this is stupid Brett', you've just got to bite the bullet and try it out.' So I loaded a film into it, Ilford Delta 400, and got shooting. 

As you would expect, it works like a dream. Tactile and solid, it's a pleasure to hold and shoot with, and it just gets on with the job. In the modern era, where digital cameras have dominated for some years, it's nice to see film starting to make a bit of a comeback, and the FM3a would make a great choice, if you are thinking of giving film a go. I use all my film cameras, not only for pleasure, but also for work. Either at a wedding, or to produce a moody black and white landscape print, film still has a place in my bag, and, I'm sure, it will continue to do so, long into the future.      

The beautiful Nikon FM3a
The beautiful Nikon FM3a

Controls
Controls

Scarborough view.  Ilford Delta 400
Scarborough view.  Ilford Delta 400

Staithe Street. Ilford Delta 400
Staithe Street. Ilford Delta 400

Thornham.  Ilford Delta 400
Thornham.  Ilford Delta 400 

Shopping. Ilford Delta 400
Shopping. Ilford Delta 400

Windmill near Burnham Overy Staithe. Ilford  Delta 400
Windmill near Burnham Overy Staithe. Ilford  Delta 400

Big head. Ilford HP5 Plus
Big head. Ilford HP5 Plus