52 Project – 3: Return of the Film

OK, I am now 2 weeks behind schedule in the 52 project, but quality counts right?

Am I inspired by Daido Moriyama…?  I am not so sure, I didn’t go to his exhibition earlier (I really should have, but just didn’t).  Yet with the high contrast, grungy look, seems like this is another copycat work of his…

The truth is I was using a roll of ISO50-200 Lomography Redscale film.  Its the first time I used it and I wasn’t expecting it to be sooooo red!  Anyway its not a bad try and achieved some decent results.

This roll was mostly street snaps, as you may realise…  Given the convenience and the autofocus of the modern day DSLR, using the old Nikon F3 on the streets make it this much challenging and rewarding.  I still love the feeling of anticipation, waiting for the film to be developed and seeing if I got any good (or bad) stuff… unlike the DSLR world where you just see what you shot, and re-shoot if needed.

This is also my first go at multiple exposure with film (I never really tried this with photoshop either).  Great fun.  Colour temperature was awful, still need to work out how to use the film.  Another excellent experiment.  Enjoy and comment!



Film in 2012

Back in February, I found my dad’s Nikon F3 camera and started playing with it.  After a months time, I have finally finished a full roll of 36 frames, and collected the developed negatives today!   For the past few years I was able to see the shots I have taken immediately on the camera’s LCD screen, and they can also be examined closely back at home on my computer at day end.  It is truly a special feeling when you have the anticipation of not knowing how well the photos will come out, and have to wait for a few days for development before getting the negatives back; the sensation of holding negatives in hand is just like bringing myself back in time, maybe 15 years back where all cameras just use film.

The above photo was taken by the Nikon F3 with a 50mm f1.2 lens, using Lomography’s ISO400 B&W lady grey film.  It has then been scanned directly from negative to digital.  The scanned quality is not perfect, and the resolution is rather low, but somehow it feels different from DSLR outputs.  Maybe its the low quality which gives it the “retro” feel, or maybe its just my own experience which makes it look different (or just a photo taken by a low quality digital camera with basic sensor!?)

My point is even though I have been shooting with DSLRs for quite sometime now, I am always able to learn new skills and tricks when going back to SLR working with film: the manual focusing lens, the confidence of shooting a few frames in your mind without the “luxury” of checking the result immediately etc.  I highly encourage DSLR shooters to find a film camera to experience how photographers shoot back in the 80s.  The feeling of waiting for the photos to be developed (unless you have your own darkroom) is certainly very interesting.  You may not like it, buy there is no harm in trying!




在心靈相通的情況下,昨天我收到了9筒不同的菲林作禮物,很開心。決定藉著今天的休假帶新玩具出外走走。其實昨晚我已經急不及待把Lomography B/W Lady Grey (ISO400)的菲林放入F3裡了。 今天外出第一站是要為F3買電,找偏我家附近的商場,在沖印店中買到了整個商場裡面最後的兩粒LR44電池,F3正式復活!

把拍照模式調教到Auto,開機之後望進Eye Piece裡見到兩個數字,快門跟光圈,非常興奮。但是奇怪的是無論在任何的光陰處,快門依然保留在1/80… 我心裡一沈,會不會因為F3被為棄了20多年,測光表已經壞掉呢?立刻用手機上網找答案。原來這是F3的setting,如果frame counter還未到1,快門會停留在1/80來確保攝影者用的曝光是正確的。到了尖沙嘴,我對F3的基本操作已經掌握了。


TL (aka SSJ)


幾年前當爸爸得知我買了一部新DSLR (Canon 450D) 的時候,他說他也有一部SLR寄放在加拿大親戚的家裡,一部Nikon F3。當時的我不認識這部專業級的機皇,但是因為希望有機會嘗試機械相機的手感,所以要求了親戚如果有機會回港的時候把相機帶回來。

昨天,這部F3回來了。我懷著興奮的心情打開了Nikon原裝的相機袋,發覺裡面不單裝了F3機身,還有當時Nikkor最快的鏡皇50mm f1.2定焦鏡頭跟43-86mm f3.5變焦鏡頭。所有設備看起來都跟新的沒兩樣,鏡頭沒有發霉,機身一條花痕也霉有。

其實F3是一部手動+半自動相機,也即是說它可以做到我們現在的Av mode功能,以一部1980出產的相機來說真的走在時代的尖端。而1981年出產的Nikkor 50mm f1.2 到現在也是Nikkor 系列裡面光圈最大的鏡頭,它們結合起來就變成當時頂級的配搭。拿上手的一刻便可以感受到它的重量,全金屬機身給與了耐用的信心。對於習慣了光圈在機身調教的我來說,在鏡頭調教光圈是另外一種感受。因為沒有為它準備電池,所以昨晚只可以用機械快門,但是快門的聲音很棒,不能用現代的機種來比較。