Thursday, 9 May 2019

AGFA Photo APX 100 - Monochrome Magic!


I'd thrown a roll of AGFA APX 100 into my bag as a spare.  I'd seemed to be shooting a lot of colour recently so I thought that when the colour roll finished, it would be nice to shoot some Black & White.

So happy that I made that decision!  The colour film ran out at a family get together and I was happy to load the Black & White.

The AGFA APX is a 100 ISO film.  Note that AGFA do not make this film.  AGFA withdrew from photography film making in 2004 after over 100 years of making film chemicals and photographic paper as well as film.  There is a story that there were reels and reels of unused AGFA film kept frozen by the company when it went out of the market.  The story goes that Ferrania, an Italian company, bought that frozen film and packaged it as AGFAPhoto.  Ferrania went bust in 2009 and these days, all film marked AGFAPhoto are produced by FujiFilm in Japan for Lupus Imaging Media.  There is also another story that todays AGFA APX 100 is a re-branded Kentmere 100 (which is produced by Ilford).  I don't know where these stories come from but it is nice to see the AGFA name still appearing on film.

So, I bought this film because it was one that I had not used.  I don't really have 'favourite films' that I prefer to use; I like to get all different types and give them a try!

The results from this film were very pleasing.  The tonal range (shades of grey in B&W film) was very good, depicting what otherwise would have been different colours in a colour film.  There was no real blowouts of brightness and there was detail to be found in the shadows; displayed wonderful exposure latitude.  Usually I have to adjust the contrast a little when I get B&W back from the Lab but there was no adjusting required for this film.

The photos are sharp with a lovely fine grain which makes it a good film for enlargements.

Photos taken with a Minolta XD-7 using a Minolta MD 28-70,, f3.5 zoom

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Thursday, 2 May 2019

Newcastle Wanderings



I really enjoy just wandering about with a camera, taking photos of things that catch my eye.

Great opportunity to do this last week when the car was in for a service.  

I took the car into Hamilton to be serviced, time frame was about 4 hours give or take.  I hadn't been up Hunter Street Newcastle properly for a couple of years; it has been sort of off limits whilst they were building the new tram lines and upgrading roads for our yearly Supercar race.  That is all completed now and I hadn't had a good opportunity to see what all the fuss was about.  The Interchange was only a short walk from the car dealership at Hamilton and I thought I would go into town and ride the Tram to check it out.

$2.80 for a one way trip (can't get a return - gotta buy another ticket for the trip back!) from the interchange at Wickham to Nobbys Beach.  Good thing is you can get off at any stop along the way.  This is what I did, I rode the Tram, getting off at each stop and wandered around in the vicinity.  I really enjoyed it!  The Tram is very popular and, dare I say, I noted quite a few new businesses opened up on Hunter Street and it also seemed that there were more people on Hunter Street than I have seen for a while.

I took the Canon 600D with the Canon EF 50mm f1.8.  The 50mm EF lens on a cropped sensor camera is the 35mm equivalent to 80mm focal distance.  I took the 50mm because it is nice and sharp and I can get a nice shallow depth of field if I need to.  It also makes me more aware of the shot because it is not as versatile as a zoom lens and I have to pay more attention to the framing of a subject.

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Not sure, but, I think that these 'planter boxes' are made from the
remnants of the heavy rail line that used to run into Newcastle.

Random window I saw as I wandered along Hunter Street.

The Blue Door Cafe in the old Bennett and Wood building cnr of Hunter Street and Wheeler Place.
Bennet and Wood, a firm established by Charles W. Bennett and Charles R. Wood in 1882 in Sydney
were the original manufacturers of Speedwell Bicycles.  As Motorcars and Motorcycles became available
Bennett and Wood entered the Motor Trade. They built and sold the Speedwell bicycle and the Speedwell
and Acme motorcycles.  The Speedwell motorcycle was built in the early 1900s.
Civic Theatre in Wheeler Place, Newcastle.  Beautiful building!

Habesha - Ethopian Restaurant in King Street, Newcastle.  

Civic Theatre - Wheeler Place, Newcastle.  I have become a lover of a Film Noir look for my
Black and White photography of late.  Lovely crisp contrasty look with dark vignette!

Blue Door Cafe - Wheeler Place, Newcastle.  The old Newcastle Council Offices
in the background.  That building has apparently been sold to a
developer who wants to turn it into a 5 Star Hotel.
Very unusual architectural design!

Fred Ash LTD may have been established in 1855 but this building was built
 in 1904-5.  It was designed by F. B. Menkens. It was built  as a warehouse
for Frederick Ash. It appears to have served as a retail showroom
with office and storage space on upper floors.
Frederick Ash used this building to sell hardware and store building materials
with workshops and packing rooms behind.

Balance Collective.  I just liked the look of this with the word
'Balance' above the entrance.

I'm sure it's just a coincidence that the sign for Second Hand Goods
store sits just below that of one of Newcastles brothels!

The architectural look of this building and it's gradual decay seemed to be further degraded by being boarded
 up and having a cheap mural painted on the shop front.  this speaks to me of a once grand building that has
 seen better years.  I couldn't find anything that told me about the history of this building.  On the far right is a
renovated 'section' of this building.  The Terrace Cocktail bar looks really great inside.  To the left,what
 appears to be the 'centre' of this terraced building, was a shop called Emmas Soup, a bridal and boutique
 shop which has since relocated.
Many shopfronts closed down with the building of the new tram lines up and down Hunter Street.
Access to local businesses was a non event while that was occurring and sent quite a few Hunter Street
businesses to the wall, never to open again.

The upper facade of what was 'Emmas Soup' a Bridal and Boutique shop (larger
photo above).  Not sure when this was built but the logo 'Advance Australia'
reminds me of an advertising slogan that referred to community mindedness
from the mid 1980's.

In fact, although the phrase ‘Advance Australia’ is known as the title of the
Australian national anthem, it is often forgotten that the phrase had a life
as a slogan and as a coat of arms extending well into the early years of the
colony.

I love to capture reflections of the side of glass buildings.

Fred Ash building in colour this time.

Newcastle City Hall has been undergoing renovations for the past
couple of years. The clock tower was the first piece to be completed.
The building is coming along very nicely and is looking so clean and
new!

Thursday, 4 April 2019

Pentax Espio 105G and Focal 100


In one of my recent posts, I put up some digital photos of Brisbane.

I did take a film camera too.  A Pentax Espio 105G.  I had it loaded with the Focal 100 (see my last post to find out about this film). 

As I went through the Airport Security I asked if they would hand check the spare film I had taken (which they were very kind enough to do).  However, I had already loaded the Focal film into the camera and that had to go through the X-ray machine. Mental note to self for next trip; don't load film into camera before getting through Airport Security!  My concerns were all for naught it turns out; the film was not affected at all!

The Pentax Espio 105G is a great camera to just shove into my bag.  It's not too big, it doesn't weigh much and hasn't got all the bells & whistles that my other film cameras have.  It's a good camera to have when you're just walking around taking in the sights; small and easy to pull out quickly.  It's not too noticeable either, which can be a good thing for street photography.

These are the best of the roll.  The film appears to work better in this camera in the outdoors and bright light.  With some photos I had problems with the built in flash which just went off each time I took a photo, whether it was needed or not.  I thought I had it sorted when it happened again!  Gotta try and figure out how to turn flash off!

I also took along a roll of Fuji Superia 100 as well because the Focal 100 roll has only 24 exposures.  The Fuji is still in the camera, waiting to be finished off.  I'm in no hurry though.

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Wednesday, 3 April 2019

Win, Win! Light Seals and Expired Film!


So, I have been having some problems with a Minolta XD-7 that I picked up second hand for an excellent price (original story here).  I'd had a few problems with a light leak that I had tried to fix a couple of times but the material I was using just wasn't cutting the mustard.  I finally decided on a rubber foam that came from a craft shop.  It is about 2mm thick and is exactly as I said it is; a soft rubber foam.  I didn't stick it into runners on the camera frame where the door fits.  I just cut it to size and inserted it, figuring that when the door is closed the soft rubber foam would get pushed into the runners by the door.  I also put a wider strip down near the hinge which I was loath to do earlier on because I didn't want any pressure put on the hinge and break it.

Well it has worked a treat and now I have a light sealed camera!

I shot with a Minolta MD 28-70mm zoom f3.5-4.8 lens.  As you can see by the portraits here, opened wide at f3.5 gives some really lovely bokeh behind the subject!

The film I used for this post is an expired (2005) Focal ISO100.  Focal is a discontinued Kmart brand.  In it's day, Kmart Focal brand also produced many 35mm SLR Camera, assorted lenses and flash unit and also smaller cameras in 110 format (the much smaller sized camera that took film in small cartridges).  The Focal films were rebranded ANSCO (manufactured in the USA in New York) and Ferrania (an Italian company which was bought out by 3M, USA Company, in 1964) films.

Because this film had been frozen, I shot it at box speed.  Freezing film stops the emulsion from ageing and when it is defrosted, the emulsion on the film is just as good as brand new!

It was with a little trepidation that I loaded the film.  It costs me AU$17 to develop and scan the film at the lab and, at that price, I really want them to come out looking good!  My fears were assuaged, the film turned out great AND, there were no light leaks from the camera!

These photos were taken on various photo safaris out and about in Newcastle and on a trip to visit our Son and his Wife up in Crescent Head (which is a beautiful area along the coast of NSW!)

As you can see, the colour has turned out wonderfully from this film.  It still retains its sharpness although, when zooming in on certain subjects, I have noted that the grain is more noticeable.

The only digital touch up I have made is a very slight contrast adjustment.  I try and keep any digital editing to the bare minimum and if I have to do some digital editing, I keep it to only those functions that can be used in a dark room.


These photos are © Life with Jordy Photography.
Al Rights Reserved















AGFA Photo APX 100 - Monochrome Magic!

I'd thrown a roll of AGFA APX 100 into my bag as a spare.  I'd seemed to be shooting a lot of colour recently so I thought that whe...