September on film

I’m burning through 35mm film like it’s my job lately (a job for which I pay, rather than get paid, apparently). Maybe it’s the lure of all the beautiful colors and the changing season? I’m not sure, but I’m fairly obsessed. I’m not picky, though–I’ll put anything in my camera(s). I’m learning the particularities of a few different cameras, which film the cameras like, the results I like. For instance, I learned in August that I like Agfa 200 in the Olympus Pens–a lot. It’s cheap and the colors come out a little gawdy, which I like for the half frame format.

It’s also a nice film (because of its price) to test new cameras with. In August, I picked up a Minolta SRT-102. It’s so clean I’m not sure it was ever even used, maybe just bought and used once or twice and then tucked into a box for 40 years? I’ll never know its story.

Last week I sent three rolls of film from mid-late September to early October to The Darkroom for processing. I’ve used them for a few years and have recently tried some others, but think I need to stick with The Darkroom–they do a bang-up job, have great customer service, and get my stuff back to me pretty quick considering they are in California and I’m across the country in Michigan. These images aren’t edited at all–just processed and scanned by The Darkroom (I only added my watermark in Lightroom).

Minolta SRT-102

Small pond in a marshy area at a local high school, SRT-102, Agfa 200
yellow wildflower (I’m kind of in love with the color)
goldenrod in sun

The SRT-102 is an interesting camera, though, with a bit of a learning curve–in the viewfinder, you match one needle to another needle with a circle on the end to get the right exposure. It’s a little awkward for me and will take some getting used to and I wasn’t convinced the meter was working accurately, but the test roll seems to show otherwise, which makes me happy because it’s a really beautiful camera, heavy and solid in hand. In fact, I was so hopeful that the camera would work that I ran a second roll of film through it before I got this test roll back. I shot most of the rest of the first SRT-102 roll in October, so I’ll get back to September’s film…

Pentax K1000

I popped a roll of Kodak Ektar 100 into my trusty Pentax K1000 in mid-September. That Ektar might just be my favorite film right now–I mean, look at that red! And even though I’m really digging the SRT-102, I’m not giving up the Pentax. It’s a joy to use, fun and easy and not the least bit finicky. Again I’ve not made a single edit to these, which may be more a credit to the processing than my ability to pick the correct exposure.

I just love a blue sun spot
the Brookwood again, this time on 35mm film
because there just are never enough goat pictures
Lake Michigan, dunegrass and clouds

Olympus Pen

I also ran a roll of Ilford HP5 through my Olympus Pen. 400 speed film may simply have been the wrong choice, or I need more work on my settings with this all-manual camera, or probably a little of both, but the results were mostly too blown out. I’m still getting the hang of both black and white film and the Pen. I don’t care–I love it all–even the complete failures.

barefoot in Lake Michigan in late September
pine forest

Right now the colors are really getting intense across Michigan. The next few weeks are going to be busy for me, but I’m hoping to capture as much color as I can on both film and digital before it’s gone, and learn more about working with the cameras I have now in my arsenal.

August on film

I know it’s September, but one of the many things about film photography that interests me is that I don’t generally get my film developed immediately. Since I like to save money by getting several rolls developed at once, I have to wait until I have several rolls to develop. Which, depending on several factors, could take a month or so. So by the time I get film developed, seasons can change, new things are blooming (or drying up), etc. etc.

I tried a new lab for four rolls, one of which was shot on a Minolta X700 I recently acquired. The price and timing was right, but the color saturation seemed off, and everything appeared over-exposed and washed out. I may still use this lab as I can muck about with some of that stuff with the digitized image. But one of the other things I really like about film is the fact that you get what you get, and even that depends on who’s processing your stuff–and even the same lab can process each roll different than the next, at least in my experience.

So, I got what I got on these four rolls and I don’t mind that one bit.

These first four shots are from the newly acquired Minolta X700, which after shooting one roll I decided a) to keep, and b) to take in to repair, as it has a “sticky gasket” (that’s what the shop said–I just know the aperture ring sometimes worked and sometimes didn’t). Anyway, this was a cheapo drug store roll of Fuji 800 speed film, which I intended to use in New Orleans at night when I was there last May but didn’t.

And the Pentax K100, with Kodak Ultramax 400 speed film, produced these:

These next images were shot with Agfa Vista 200–a cheap film that I love for the half frame. I am crazy about the half frame format. Have I already mentioned that? I used my Olympus Pen EE3, which I’m so excited about because I got it for only $10.50. I don’t know why that makes me so happy, but it does. This is a fun point and shoot, just easier to use than the all-manual original Olympus Pen that I have (but I love that one, too).

A local farm stand, shop in barn
The farmers here have a small shop in their barn, antiques and such
Headless chicken (front, right)! Not really. No chickens were harmed in the making of this photograph.
Peach orchard
The EE3 has a fixed focus (obviously farther out than my wine glass and hand)