35mm film | First scans

As some of you know I have been rediscovering analogue photography. I searched ebay and found a used Nikon F5 in ‘mint’ condition. I bought the F5 initially because it is compatible my existing AF ‘G’ series lenses (with the exception of my 70-200 E series lens). I played around with those for a while, but found the F5 was too easy. It felt similar to a modern digital camera but with film, so I looked into a smaller manual focus camera and found the FM2n which is all mechanical apart from a small battery that powers the meter. This camera can be used flawlessly in Antarctica where other cameras that rely on batteries would fail, not that I’m planning on going to Antarctica. I purchased a couple of ai-s manual focus lenses; small, light, all metal and pretty cheap. The majority of photos in this blog have been shot with these lenses. Here are some black and whites…

I love the organic nature of film. The grain and the way film handles light is unsurpassed. The process itself encourages the photographer to slow down, to consider. I’ve gone from taking 200 photos in a session with my D850 to taking between 10 and 20 photos, if that. That number promises to reduce again with the introduction of medium format film and the Hasselblad 500 c/m which allows only 12 shots per 120mm roll. As I am awaiting my scans from the Hasselblad, I’ll write more on that later.

Now to my colour scans. I experimented with a bunch of expired films that people had given me, Kodak UltraMax and Fuji Superia, probably from the 80s and 90s. Needless to say I had mixed results with these even though I made sure that I added 2 stops of light when exposing to account for the old film. Once I was through the expired films, I went onto some fresh Portra, ColourPlus, Ektar and Fuji Industrial. My favourite films would have to be Portra 160 and 800 and Ektar for fungi in the forest shots. The grain is so fine and colours are saturated but not too saturated.

See below for some of my landscape/macro 35mm film photography. It was a bit hit and miss with exposure and focus at times so I’ve only posted the good ones! One way to learn…

This is almost like a splurge of all my photos from the last 6 months so once this is done, posts will be shorter and more succinct.

Films were developed and scanned on the Noritsu HS-1800 scanner at Ikigai Camera in Williamstown, Victoria. I can recommend Peter who works with you to get the best out of your scans.

Stay tuned for the next post which will cover my first impressions with the Hasselblad.