Here we go, the first roll of film

April 11, 2015
Sheep and lambs in the spring

Following on from my previous post on the Minolta SRT 303 SLR camera, I decide to load up the early 1970’s SLR with a roll of Kodak Ektar 100 colour negative film. I have the camera’s original instruction manual so I followed the guide in there. This particular camera is fully manual except for the light meter, which means that you advance the film by using a lever. Then you set the shutter speed on the top of the camera and the aperture by adjusting a ring on the lens. Focus is manual too, by twisting the lens barrel.

The large bright viewfinder allows you to see through the lens and has a clever prism to help you focus correctly. It also has a straightforward light meter where two needles align to get the correct exposure. Correct exposure is achieved by adjusting the shutter speed and aperture. Sounds complicated to describe but in practice it is very straightforward.

I found using the camera really refreshing. It is certainly great fun to take photographs with. The shutter is quite loud, enough to startle a slightly nervous ewe a few metres away! This is probably not going to be the camera for stealth street photography but I do love the sound of the shutter firing. I must admit it took a little getting used to, using a fully manual camera again. A few subjects (i.e. my children) got a little impatient with waiting for me to finish fiddling with the camera and take the shot. A bit more practice and I will get into the swing of it. I might try some still life next time to hone the skills!

After shooting the film I rewound the film back into the canister. There is a lever that folds out on top of the camera, and after a good few turns you feel the leader come off the spool, a few turns more and you can be sure the film is back in the canister. After I had done this I popped the film in the post to Photo Express in Hull. They processed the film on the day they received it and sent the negatives and CD with scanned images in the post back to me. Great service!

The images in this post are all taken from this first roll of film. I have resized them and applied a small amount of sharpening for the screen, but they are shown as shot with no cropping, retouching, colour correction etc. I must admit I really like the colour rendition of the Kodak Ektar 100 film. It is probably not the best for skin tones but is great for general bright outdoor conditions. Seeing the scans on screen for the first time I was really aware of how different the whole film look is compared to the ubiquitous digital camera images. I am certainly looking forward to trying a few different types of film and seeing what results I get. Um, what film will be next?

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  • Reply Tom Tapping April 14, 2015 at 7:14 pm

    Hi Eugene,
    Nice pics.
    I especially like the second one, which I assume is a family member. You really nailed the shot.
    If you are looking at other films to try, Kodak Portra 160 and 400 give great results, the 160 has beautiful skin tones. CinestillT800 is also a great high speed colour negative film, colour balanced for tungsten light but seems to give good results outdoors too, but it is expensive.
    At the other end of the scale is Agfa Vista 200, which is often available in Poundland for £1 for 24 exposures, I believe that this film is a reboxed Fuji film. It is a good snapshot film.
    If you want to go for black and white film Kodak Tri-X 400, Ilford FP3 (ISO125), and Ilford HP5 (ISO 400) are hard to beat, but check that your processing lab develop black and white from this type of film, if not they are easy to develop at home yourself.
    Hope this helps.

    • Reply Eugene Erdozain April 18, 2015 at 3:08 pm

      Tom, thank you for your comment. Yes, the second shot is my youngest daughter. Thank you for your recommendations too. I have just been reading up a bit on the Cinestill films, they look very interesting. I have just shot a roll of Ilford FP4plus which have come out quite well. I have some Tri-X 400 ready to load as well. I have also got some slide film Agfa Prescisa 100 (rebadged Fuji Provia but for half the price). The Portra films look great too. I shot the Ilford FP4plus in a Nikon F65 which I managed to pick up on eBay. I already had a nice 50mm lens to use. I will have to try home developing at some point. Thank you again. Eugene

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