Going analog – Let’s test

Now that the gear is complete, it is about playing around testing the components and to make sure, that camera and lens are working fine. So let’s head to the photography store and get some film. Somewhere I’d read, that Fuji Velvia 100 makes nice colors and Kodak T-Max 400 has a nice grain. So get the Velvia, missing that it is a positive film, and that Black & White strap. The T-Max was the first film I’d loaded into the Leica, sometimes in February at 4 p.m. The light was ok and so I started a quick round through the Hamburg Stadtpark in order to capture some frames. The small lake and the greens where covered with some last snow and I was directly running into my first mistake. I took my light meter, adjusted aperture and ISO, measured carefully, set the camera according to the resulting time and took some shots of a tree and the distal planetarium. Only to archive some slightly underexposed frames, cause under white, bright conditions it is always a good idea to overexpose by one or two steps, just to get the snow white, Remember this 18% grey thing? Doing these shots with a digital camera, one would have easily recognized the underexposure and corrected it. Not that easy without a display…

Next, it was already nearly dark and I’d fired all thirty-six T-Max test shots, I drove down to Hamburg Habour City and loaded the Velvia. Knowing that an ISO 100 film will not be that much fun under such circumstances but curious about the first results I had another quick walk at the riverside and completed the next thirty-six test frames.

The next adventure was to get the film straps developed and I got the complete “Foto Dose”-experience. First I was taught that developing will take exactly ten days. After ten days I had to learn that developing will take exactly two weeks. After exactly two weeks I was told the delivery was expected exactly tomorrow, and tomorrow I finally got the T-Max negatives and prints and the framed Velvia positives while the also ordered prints where missing. Arrrgh…

At least I could verify, that camera and lens are working fine.  And I’m really blown away by the look-and-feel of the pictures. Very vintage, much colored. Looks intensely like “back then”.
To get even more in touch with the gear before going on vacation, I will take the chance and have an afternoon near Landungsbrücken and Elphy, with a Kodak Ektar 100 (…people say it is the Velvia of the negative films, believe me…). But that is another story on another day…

Where this experiment starts

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