I am really enjoying shooting film and decided it was time to try some black and white. This time I used a Nikon F65 film camera which I picked up on eBay for £30 which included delivery from Germany. It was in mint condition, boxed and with a 12 month guarantee. I am not sure it has ever been used. It was also in black, which I happen to think looks better than the metallic silver version. I already had a 50mm F1.8 lens that I use on my Nikon DSLR so I put that on the camera and loaded up a roll of Ilford FP4plus ISO 125 Black and White film. The great thing about this camera and lens combination is that the lens is small, light and optically extremely sharp whilst the camera body is also very light, so this setup is easy to carry around. The housing of the camera is plastic with a metal lens mount and the overall look and feel is very similar to a Nikon DSLR, being one of the last consumer film cameras that Nikon produced. The camera is very easy to use having several automated modes but I tend to choose aperture priority so I can control the depth of field and get that lovely background blur for portraits. I may have used the sport mode too, for fast moving children! Unlike the Minolta SRT this camera has autofocus but you can switch focusing to manual. I didn’t!
Once I had shot the film I sent it off to Ilford Labs to have it developed and scanned. Once they had processed the film, which took a couple of days, they sent me a download link for the images and put the negatives in the post. I chose standard resolution for the scans and they are absolutely fine for the web and displaying on the computer but Hi Res scans are available and I’m slightly kicking myself I didn’t go for that option. Having said that, this was really a test run to make sure the camera was working properly, so I didn’t want to pay extra if the photos didn’t come out. Of course I now have the negatives so I could take them somewhere to be scanned or scan them at home. My office scanner is probably not up to the job though. Anyway I was quite pleased with the results particularly the monochrome tones which are captivating. With the higher Res scan I would have more scope to manipulate the images and make my own prints if I wish but you can get enlargement prints from the negative too. In this post are some of the shots from this first roll of film. I haven’t cropped, adjusted or retouched the images at all. They are displayed as shot, just resized for the web with a little sharpening for the screen applied. I must admit I do like monochrome and the Ilford FP4plus is great film to use.