Recent Developments: Tri-X and Portra 400

Retrieving developed film from the lab is a fantastic feeling. Since I don’t develop from home, I’m left wondering what exactly I have in that little flash drive until I get access to a computer to review the shots. I have a general idea of where I was and what I shot, but in some cases with film, it can take me weeks to finish a 36 shot roll. It’s a condition that all film photographers suffer from - something called patience. When I’m using the Mamiya ZM, I compose more carefully and shoot only when I feel it’s worth the exposure. It’s no wonder then that I had so many surprises when I checked out these latest developments!

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Recent Developments

It takes me some time to get through film rolls. Maybe it’s the fact that I’m hyper-aware that every picture I take is another exposure that I’ve used and can’t instantly view and erase if it’s crap. I go at a much slower pace with film. When I finally get through a film roll and get it developed, I’m usually surprised at what I see. In today’s post, I’m going to share some shots from two recent rolls Fuji rolls: Superia 400 and Velvia 100.

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The Switch: m43 to Fuji X

Alright, time to come clean: I’ve switched camera systems. I know, I know, I can hear it now: “But Rob, didn’t you read your last post about fighting GAS and how your m43 kit was just fine?” And the answer is an emphatic YES! I know that my m43 kit was just fine, but that’s it: it was only “just fine”. This actually all started when I purchased a second hand X100s. It was meant to be the camera that would be my “once in a while” camera and would be my insight into the “Fuji look.” Instead of becoming a silent addition to my kit, the X100s showed me some stellar details and colors in files that made me take notice when compared to what I was getting natively from the G6. Around the same time, I got into the 35mm film camera world and once I was used to an all manual camera, going back to the G6 and it’s myriad of controls and buttons felt awkward. This was the first sign of trouble for my m43 kit.

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Stepping Back to Film

Put yourself in my shoes for a moment: suddenly my camera’s playback screen wouldn’t work. I had no level, no histogram, no composition indicators. My autofocus stopped working, I couldn’t change ISO and I suddenly only had the ability to take 24 shots, not 2400. I wasn’t using my micro four thirds kit though - in this case I was using a late 1960’s film SLR camera called the Mamiya 500DTL, and it unlocked something that I had been missing in my photography up to this point.

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