First go with B&W (BW400CN)

Discussion in 'Film Forum' started by rotxlk82, Sep 6, 2008.

  1. rotxlk82

    rotxlk82

    Jul 20, 2007
    UK
    This is my first try shooting any kind of black and white film, I chose Kodak BW400CN because as you probably know it can be developed in colour chemistry and therefore didn’t require me to rely on one of the few UK labs that will work with ‘real’ B/W emulsions. I do plan to develop my own black and white film in the future, purely because I can’t afford to keep throwing money at these laboratories when in all likelihood I could be doing the developing work myself.

    I must confess to having a very digital approach to shooting film, I don’t seem to have grasped the concept that the film actually has to be developed before I get any pictures! As a result I now have a whole load of negatives and slides to sort out as I sent about six months worth of shooting to be processed all in one go!

    Anyway here is the first batch of many that I will be posting on the Café, all taken with the Nikon FA and 50mm F/2 AI lens.

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    Thanks for looking! Comments are welcome!
     
  2. Thanks for sharing. I like the leaves best. Nice tonal range. Did you do your own scanning?
     
  3. rotxlk82

    rotxlk82

    Jul 20, 2007
    UK
    No, these were scanned by the lab.

    I have scanned myself before now however it's a very fussy process and my rather basic Canon flatbed scanner isn't really upto the job. It'd probabally pay for itself in time to get a decent scanner with dust removal, the labs do charge a decent amount more just to do some scanning.

    I got another roll of BW400CN developed but not scanned, I might have a go at scanning the frames on that which look promising however. I'm drowning under a huge pile of negatives and slides at the moment so it could take a while though!

    Thanks for looking, I've always enjoyed taking photos of backlit leaves up against the sky.
     
  4. Very nicely done! I love the way the fence works with #1, it looses a bit with me in #2...maybe because it's almost not there in #1. 4,6,7 are also very pleasing to me. I must say these look darn nice for C-41 film.
     
  5. mhcfires

    mhcfires

    Aug 23, 2007
    El Cajon, CA
    They are all really nice. I agree, They look really good for C41, I really haven't used much of the stuff. My favorite is the last one. I really like the composition.
     
  6. I like the look of all the shots, they work well in B&W. What happened to that building in #1? It looks like a abandoned factory. My favorites are 4, 6 and 7. How do you like the Nikon FA? I was looking at them before I purchased my F4S recently.
     
  7. rotxlk82

    rotxlk82

    Jul 20, 2007
    UK
    Thanks for looking Tim, the first couple of shots were taken from outside of the perimeter fence of a huge abandoned factory complex I daresay there would be some excellent photos to be made if I could get into the factory itself but for now you'll have to make do with exterior shots.

    This is my first time shooting C41 B/W (and indeed C41 film of any kind) and I must say I'm very impressed with what it can do. I have got some high speed colour C41 stuff processed as well which I will show here soon.

    Thanks Michael, I have several shots similar to the last one from that roll. I posted the one which I thought was the best, I too thought it had the strongest composistion.

    As I mentioned in the OP I want to move onto 'proper' BW film and self processing sometime in the future, I have allready bought and exposed a couple of rolls of Ilford HP5 but am yet to get the chemicals and hardware needed to process them.

    Yes, it is indeed an abandoned factory. My guess is that some folks have decided it'd be fun to throw stones and break the windows knowing that nobody is really fussed about the building anymore. My relatives tell me this factory used to be key in the cable manufacture industry.

    The FA is certainly an interesting camera; in my eyes it combines the traditional strengths of the Nikon semi-pro chassis (FM, FE etc) with some of the key technological advancements of the time such as crude matrix metering and modern exposure control (PASM). My FA is in a pretty sorry state of repair however; the P and S modes don’t work because the cameras inability to set the aperture when shooting, this makes for consistent underexposures as the aperture will sit at the minimum value while the shutter fires at whatever is displayed on the LCD. Furthermore the spring which drives the AI coupling tab has also given way meaning that I need to attach one of my sister’s hair bands to the camera to provide the elasticity required to move the tab and get accurate readings on the viewfinder display, it looks pretty stupid but at least it’s coloured in a nice ‘Nikon yellow’.

    Its frailties aside I’ve been impressed with what the FA can do, being a teenager I’ve grown into a serious photographer with digital as the standard and therefore bought my film bodies and period lenses to act as an introduction to what people of my generation see as the forgotten and antiquated photographic medium. Granted, I still have a lot to learn but at least I’m making a start and judging by your friendly comments I’m already making pretty positive progress.

    I have lots more images made with the FA (and my AI/AIS lenses) to post over the coming days once I’ve got around to organising them, at present I have about 15 rolls worth of slides and negatives scattered all over my bedroom floor!
     
  8. ArtO

    ArtO

    Jun 14, 2008
    Florida
    Very nice shots. I like the results of this film. I have a few rolls sitting waiting for use but want to get my test roll back on the new F3HP first. The leaves and the shot of the building above it are my favorites.
     
  9. rotxlk82

    rotxlk82

    Jul 20, 2007
    UK
    Thanks Art.

    Good look with the F3HP, I gather it's a great example of Nikon engineering. Judging by the level of abuse they were designed to take in day to day usage I doubt there will be much wrong with your sample.

    The building you commented on is very interesting, it annoys me that I didn't shoot more of it. It's more recent that you'd expect, I think there was a carved stone on the opposite side that said it was completed in 2000 or something. As far as I could see it's basically a very posh summer-house type structure, it overlooks a lake and has an incredible view down a river valley. Hopefully I'll go back there sometime and get some better images, it looked really good with the flowers and sunlight beating down on it. B/W film doesn't really do it justice.
     
  10. I bought an FA a month or so ago and I really like it. In fact it has become my take everywhere film camera. Having the extra stop of shutter speed is convenient and the weight and feel of it with AIS lenses is pretty darn pleasant. I do wish there was a larger selection of focusing screens, I'd much rather have a large/dual micro-prism arrangement (like I've installed in my F4) than the split screen.
     
  11. My FG is of the same era. Even though it was a consumer level camera, I believe it was the first Nikon with a Programmed mode. It also has the Auto and Manual. The P mode requires a lot more power and eats those small button cell batteries really fast. Even when it was new I was experiencing the underexposure issue you are having using P mode. A fresh set of button cells wouldn't last 10 exposures in P. I use mostly A and M modes. In both my batteries last forever.

    The FA was known as the "The Technocamera" when it came out. I am wondering whether the MD-15 motor drive would solve your P and S mode issues. It uses eight AA batteries and also powers the camera when attached.
     
  12. rotxlk82

    rotxlk82

    Jul 20, 2007
    UK
    That could well be the issue, I forgot to mention that amoung the failings of my camera the battery system does seem to hugely unreliable. At present I have parts of the battery chamber lubricated with vaseline jelly in an attempt to keep a good contact and it seems to be fine in A and M modes but not in P and S. I'd never thought that these issues would be connected, but after reading what you said about the FG you may well be right.

    I shall put some new batteries in my FA soon and report back. Having P and S modes would certainly be useful, I think I am right in saying that the FA is the only Nikon ever that supports S mode with non CPU lenses. I also read on Rockwell's pages that the FA offers a cybernetic overide system in S mode that is lacking even from modern digitial bodies.
     
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