Krista Michaels explores Fujifilm Neopan Acros 100 pushed two stops to 400. This is a photoshoot with model Brandy Bryant. Canon AE-1 + Canon FD 35mm ƒ/2 S.S.C. lens.Read More
When I got my Canon AE-1, the seller threw in a free roll of expired Kodak UltraMax 400. I already had some fresh rolls of Fujifilm Superia X-Tra 400 laying about, but I don’t want any film to go to waste. So, I loaded up the Kodak into the AE-1, and decided to overexpose it by one stop, just to be on the safe side (so, I shot the film at ISO 200, and had it developed normally by The Darkroom photo lab in San Clemente, CA at box speed). All photos were taken with the Canon FDn 50mm ƒ/1.4. Enjoy.
Kodak UltraMax 400
With this roll, I was still testing the full capabilities of the Canon AE-1, as well as the FDn 50mm ƒ/1.4 lens. This was only the second roll that I shot with this setup (see the first Canon AE-1 + Fujifilm Superia X-Tra 400 article). I reckon that this photo was taken sometime around 4pm, and I noticed that the moon (however small) was visible in the clear, blue sky. I just found it to be a beautiful sight, and I like how this photo turned out. Never underestimate an expired roll of film. ;)
Here’s another one of the moon. If I had to guess, I’d say that I shot these two photos at either ƒ/5.6 or ƒ/8.
This was taken just outside of my house, looking down the road. I’m fairly certain that I took this at ƒ8. It’s not a perfect photo, by any means, but I was impressed by the various shades of green. Loving the colors here.
For the photo above, as well as the photo below, I was testing the close-focusing abilities of the Canon FDn 50mm ƒ/1.4. It’s closest focusing distance is 0.45m. There were bees all over the place, so it took a few attempts to get this one the way I liked.
I particularly liked the way this photo turned out. Almost exactly the way I remembered it in person, but perhaps even better! Nature is really fascinating to me, and sometimes the most alluring things can be found in the smallest of places. Though, to be fair, after the testing phase of this camera setup is complete, I will more than likely refrain from taking photos of anything floral-related. I think plants, flowers, and alien-pod-like-seeds are beautiful, of course, but I’m not much of a floral photographer. I just happen to find it to be rather boring. My favorite subject, if you haven’t already noticed, is people. I love portraits, and I love street photography. Just my personal preference. :)
Speaking of which, the next three photos are of my lovely fiancée, Jessica. I happened to get a single photo of her on the last roll, but I wanted to take more with this Kodak. And I must say that I was absolutely pleased with the results. I really want to get prints of these made. And, on a side note, I was truly not expecting bokeh like this. Wow. For the record, this first photo was Jessica’s favorite.
Just as I did for the last roll, I wanted to see how this film converted to black and white (which I did in Adobe Lightroom CC). We both really like the way this one turned out, and we joked about it being the cover of her solo album. Sometimes, jokes just may be good actual ideas. lol
The thing with film is… I don’t always remember my settings. I’ll eventually get a nice moleskin notebook to carry around with me to keep track of things a little more, but I can’t imagine that this photo wasn’t taken at ƒ/1.4. Whoa! This photo actually shocked me. Again, I just wasn’t expecting these sort of results from an expired roll of film, but this is, without question, my favorite shot of the 24-exposure roll. It’s just magical to me. I suppose it helps that it’s a photo of the one I love most. :)
Here’s another taken right outside of our house. I just thought this was an interesting shot. This lens just renders so well.
And, finally, here’s another shot of a kitty. Seriously, what’s a roll of film without a photo of a kitty?! I jest… but I liked this one, as well. This silhouetted shot turned out exactly like I thought, and since it was heavily backlit, I decided to make it black and white; there really wasn’t much color information to work with.
I was blown away by Kodak UltraMax 400, to be perfectly honest with you. It’s not really that expensive, and gives great results. I will definitely use it again in the future. I must say that digital photography hasn’t once crossed my mind since I’ve started shooting film. They each have their place, and digital is a very convenient way of doing things. However, I haven’t had this much fun in years. There’s something really special about film, and the entire process one has to go through in order to get the results. And I must say that I really love the fact that I have actual, physical negatives to store and keep forever. I should have started shooting film sooner. Thanks for reading.
I put down the ol’ digital camera after picking up a freshly-CLA’d (Clean, Lubricate, and Adjust) Canon AE-1 film camera that came with a Canon FDn 50mm ƒ/1.4 lens. I had been wanting to shoot some 35mm film for quite a while, and I saw this for a good price, so I snagged it. My ultimate intention, however, is to get a Canon New F-1 as my main camera, and perhaps a Canon EF “Black Beauty” as a backup. I’ve always really admired how extensive the FD system was, and I started really focusing on photography years ago with my Canon digital camera, so I have a bit of a soft spot for this brand. That said… I instantly become a dog who’s spotted a squirrel the moment I see a Minolta or Olympus lens. Haha. I love it all, and I’m willing to bet it’ll be next to impossible not to pick up a Nikon F3 at some point or another. All this excitement, and I haven’t even mentioned medium format yet. :)
So, enough rambling. This will be a photo blog, and not a review (I’m not sure I ever want to do reviews again, as specs and test charts bore me. Oh, and I really wish that I could make this a YouTube video, but I don’t quite have the necessary equipment to get a channel going yet. I’m working on it, though!). I wanted to get back to the roots of photography, where the camera features don’t go too far past the exposure triangle. I had concluded a while back that I didn’t need things like Wi-Fi, GPS, or an overload of automatic modes in my camera, and this new setup makes me really happy. Let’s get into it!
Fujifilm Superia X-Tra 400
I picked up a 4-pack of Fujifilm Superia X-Tra 400 at our local CVS Pharmacy, as it was cheap and readily-available. I’ll definitely be trying out some pro-grade film soon (stay tuned for future posts!). I loaded up the Fuji in my Canon AE-1 and shot it at the box speed of 400 ISO. Seeing as it was my first time experimenting with this film, I didn’t want to under/overexpose it just yet. I shot everything in full manual mode, and had the film developed/scanned by The Darkroom photo lab based in San Clemente, CA. I’m going to set up my own darkroom at home, eventually, but I’m currently planning for a move out to Colorado in a few months.
This was a shot I took of one of our cats, Possum. She was laying on top of a chair in a fairly low-light setting, so I pulled the chair closer to the window, where a small patch of sunlight was gleaming through. With an ISO of 400, this allowed me just enough light to squeeze out a 1/60 sec shutter speed at an aperture of 1.4. Anyone who’s a cat owner knows just how difficult it is to get them to sit still for a photo, so this wasn’t an easy feat. lol ;)
You guys know that there’s no way I can photograph just one kitty, right? So, my next challenge was to attempt some candids of the other two cuties. The photo above is of kitty #2 – Pepper. In terms of sitting still for a photo, she’s even more difficult. After advancing the film lever, I got my proper exposure, and waited by the window, as still as a tripod. I think a bird or something had caught Pepper’s eye, so she was moving around quite a bit. Being that this was taken in the same room that Possum was in, there wasn’t a big change in the lighting department. I watched carefully through the viewfinder, and when Pepper crept slowly toward the window… snap! I was pretty sure that I had missed the shot, so I was surprised to see that it turned out fairly well once the photos came back.
Kitty #3 – Gyspy – was unfortunately laying across a table in an even darker room, so I decided to keep her somewhat in the shade, and expose for what little I could. My lens was already wide open, and I didn’t want to drop the shutter speed below 1/60, so the above photo is what turned out. I actually quite like how moody it is. Gypsy is such a sweet little kitty, so it doesn’t represent her completely, though we know that cats tend to have a mischievous side (Gypsy is no exception), so perhaps it’s quite suiting.
Of course I had to try this film outdoors. If I had to guess, I’m fairly certain that I shot this one at ƒ/8. I don’t remember the shutter speed, but it was a bright day, so it must’ve been pretty fast. I exposed for the sky here, because I really liked that cloud. It isn’t entirely a silhouette, though, as we can still see some of that really beautiful green of the trees that Fujifilm Superia X-Tra 400 delivered.
Speaking of beautiful greens, take a look at the background of trees in the above photo. I’m somewhat shocked as to how vibrant this film can get, as I wasn’t at all expecting it. The left side of the bird feeder has some blown highlights here, since I exposed for the right side, and didn’t want it to fall into shadows; the sun was that bright. I could have shot it from another angle, but I really wanted to get the trees behind the feeder. Overall, it’s an uninteresting photo to me, but for demonstration purposes, I love the color here.
This one shows the sharpness of the Canon FD 50mm ƒ/1.4 lens when stopped down to about ƒ/2 or ƒ/2.8 (I honestly can’t remember which).
Anyone who’s followed my work knows that I’m absolutely in love with black and white photography (I tend to prefer it over color). For those that are interested, I intend to grab some Kodak Tri-X 400, Ilford HP5+ 400, and Fujifilm Neopan Acros 100 for some future photoshoots, blogs, and (hopefully) photowalk videos for YouTube! Donations for audio/video equipment accepted. >=) ).
This statue of Buddha sits just out front of our house, so I thought it’d be a good opportunity to test out how Fujifilm Superia X-Tra 400 handles a black and white conversion in post (I used Adobe Lightroom CC for this one). Converting photos to black and white feels much more natural when shooting digital for me, for some reason, and when it comes to film, I feel that I’d just rather shoot an actual black and white roll of film. I know it’s probably silly, but that’s how I feel. lol. All things considered, I like how the Buddha turned out. ;)
This particular roll of Fujifilm had only 24 exposures, so I wanted to get a photo of my fiancée Jessica somewhere on it. This was the very last shot, and sun was slowly descending behind the trees. Unfortunately, the lens flared a bit for this photo, and the contrast was nearly gone. I did what I could to bring it back, and that’s why it’s a bit grainier than the ones above. Still, I like this shot of Jessica, but it doesn’t compare to the shots of her I took with an expired roll of Kodak UltraMax 400! Thanks for reading. Stay tuned! :)