Beneduce Vineyards

I enjoyed a fun evening at Beneduce Vineyards with friends and family, capturing the moments on the Kodak Vision3 250D film.

Beneduce VineyardsWhile I have a few camera shops nearby where I can drop off a roll of 35mm film. Most don't develop the film themselves but outsource the process to New York City or Philadelphia labs. I have been mailing my undeveloped 35mm film to California and New Hampshire labs and paying for developed negatives and scanned images. Developing and scanning costs about $25-$30 per roll. Shooting film is an expensive hobby.

I bought an Epson V600 Perfection Photo scanner to scan some old family portraits earlier this year. It was a fun but tiring exercise, but I was happy to preserve some family photographic history. I wanted to develop my photo-scanning skills to eliminate the cost of scanning film. I also wanted to see if I could match or improve the scans from the various labs. At first, I used Silverfast 9 with the Epson V600 but needed help finding a consistent workflow. But after reading Matt Wright's article about Picking your Color Negative Film Stock, I installed Negative Lab Pro for Lightroom, followed Matt's advice, and rescanned some Kodak Pro 100 negatives. The results were so much better than what I have received that I sent out my last few rolls for development only.

Beneduce Vineyards, Pittstown, Alexandria Township
August 14, 2021 · Minolta XD-11 · MD ROKKOR-X 45mm F2

Film photography can be frustrating unless you develop your film and scan at home. I may expose a roll of film over a day or a few weeks. You mail or drop the film off at a lab for developing and scanning. You wait. A few weeks later, you get your negatives or scans back. Unless you shoot polaroids, there is no instant in film photography. The scans below are my own from a set of negatives from a roll of Kodak Vision3 250D that I exposed in August. The film roll was developed by Boutique Film Labs in Juliet, Tennessee.

August 14, 2021 · Minolta XD-11 · MD ROKKOR-X 45mm F2

It was the weekend after I broke my Fuji X-T2. I want to achieve another success with the Minolta XD-11 and Kodak Vision3 250D.

We were at Beneduce Vineyards to hear "Fitz" perform in the band "Winery Katz". Fitz and his wife Monica are friends with our other friends, Matt and Jean. Matt is a guitar instructor who performs as one-half of the Acoustic Road duo. A month earlier, during our visit to Unionville Vineyard to hear Acoustic Road, I had asked Fitz when he would be perfuming. He replied that he was performing with musicians on August 14, and we immediately reserved a table. He cheekily named the band "The Winery Katz". Bhavna told her family, and before we knew it, we had three more couples with us - Bhavna's older sister, Nilima and her husband Mukesh; her younger brother Uday and his wife Bhairavi, and Uday's work-mate Oleg and Monica. The more, the merrier. It was a fun evening.

The sky indicated we might get wet, but it lasted only a few minutes. We had a fabulous time dining on wine and charcuterie.

Beneduce Vineyards, Pittstown, Alexandria Township
August 14, 2021 · Minolta XD-11 · MD ROKKOR-X 45mm F2
Beneduce Vineyards, Pittstown, Alexandria Township
August 14, 2021 · Minolta XD-11 · MD ROKKOR-X 45mm F2
Beneduce Vineyards, Pittstown, Alexandria Township
Beneduce Vineyards, Pittstown, Alexandria Township · August 14, 2021 · Minolta XD-11 · MD ROKKOR-X 45mm F2
August 14, 2021 · Minolta XD-11 · MD ROKKOR-X 45mm F2
Beneduce Vineyards, Pittstown, Alexandria Township
August 14, 2021 · Minolta XD-11 · MD ROKKOR-X 45mm F2

Rollei RPX 25

Last December, on a cold (2ºC), overcast and damp day, I ventured into Princeton on a personal photo walk to complete a roll of Rollei RPX 25 that had sat in my Minolta X-700 for several months.

Monday, August 9 2021


I was not too fond of the results from the last (first) roll of Vision3 250D that I had developed and scanned last month. I figured either the scans were off, the roll was bad, or the light meter in the camera was off.. Amateur photographer Aron wrote a blog post about his experience with Vision3 250D. His results were better than mine. I left a comment about my experience. Anson suggested that I scan the negatives myself and compare the results.

Below are some of the scans from Old School Photo Lab to compare with the ones I scanned with my Epson Perfection V600 scanner. The scans I did with the Epson Perfection V600 scanner all have a black border. I overscanned on purpose to capture the entire negative frame. The images scanned by Old School Photo Lab do not have a black wall.

To my eyes, the images from Old School Photo Lab have a reddish cast. They look like images captured on a point-n-shoot from the early 2000s. The scans I did on the Epson Perfection V600 have a calm bluish tone. They may not be accurate to reality, but I find them more appealing, especially on skin tones. The skin on my dark-skinned sister-in-law looks horrendous in the scans from Old School Photo Lab.

Baby Ronith and Dad Jeremy | May 2021 | Minolta XD-11 | MD ROKKOR-X 45mm F2 | Kodak Vision3 250D
May 2021 | Minolta XD-11 | MD ROKKOR-X 45mm F2 | Kodak Vision3 250D
Source Farmhouse Brewing | May 2021 | Minolta XD-11 | MD ROKKOR-X 45mm F2 | Kodak Vision3 250D
May 2021 | Minolta XD-11 | MD ROKKOR-X 45mm F2 | Kodak Vision3 250D
May 2021 | Minolta XD-11 | MD ROKKOR-X 45mm F2 | Kodak Vision3 250D
May 2021 | Minolta XD-11 | MD ROKKOR-X 45mm F2 | Kodak Vision3 250D
Ronith and Nilima | May 2021 | Minolta XD-11 | MD ROKKOR-X 45mm F2 | Kodak Vision3 250D
May 2021 | Minolta XD-11 | MD ROKKOR-X 45mm F2 | Kodak Vision3 250D

This image was captured with my Fuji X-T2 for comparison.

Sunday 16 May, 2021 | FujiFilm X-T2 | XF27mmF2.8 | 1640 sec at f/5.6 | ISO 800
Red Doors | May 2021 | Minolta XD-11 | MD ROKKOR-X 45mm F2 | Kodak Vision3 250D
May 2021 | Minolta XD-11 | MD ROKKOR-X 45mm F2 | Kodak Vision3 250D

Wednesday, August 11, 2021

Tripped going out the door this afternoon. The Fuji went flying from my hand. My hands did that thing where it looked like I was juggling. Then the Fuji hit the top step and bounced onto the third step before hitting the bottom. The attached Minolta MD Rokkor-X 50mm f/1.7 is fine. The hinges around the rear LCD were bent. The body is scratched. The shutter still fires. The viewfinder does not display any images. When I adjust the shutter speeds dial, it moves, but the shutter speed is stuck at 1250 s.

I am sending it off for repair.

Sigh.

Wednesday 11 August, 2021 | FujiFilm X-T2 | XF27mmF2.8 | 1200 sec at f/2.8 | ISO 500

Dan James

A major lure of photography for me is that it allows me to wander through fields, woodlands and ancient churchyards, whilst barely seeing another soul.
...
The experience of hunting for compositions I find beautiful is a very personal, solitary, and perhaps near spiritual experience.
...
I don’t want anyone to disrupt that precious, almost meditative flow.
...
How about you? Do you prefer to photograph alone, with no-one else around? Are other people a central aspect of your enjoyment of making photographs? Or do you not mind either way?

Making friends and being with people with similar interests is good for mental health. Sharing an interest gives me something to talk about. When I used to find conversation difficult, doing an activity together makes hanging out easier. And because of our affinity for those activities, I found close friends with whom I can have a conversation just about life.

Sometimes I grab a camera and go out in the early morning to find “something”. Sometimes people will see me, and we have a brief conversation about what I’m doing. Sometimes, I learn about a previously unknown location that might be exciting to visit because of these chance encounters.

And sometimes, I want community, the company of my tribe. I want to be around other photographers en mass doing “whatever” for a few hours before heading back to an agreed-upon location to break bread together and share a pint. That’s why I love photowalks. I think that's why Beers & Cameras was created.

But some photo walks are too [large].

I am an introvert. I enjoy social activities in smaller doses than extroverts. So I choose my company carefully. I love conversations about passions (photograph, computers, hiking, beer). I treasure my relationships and prefer a close circle of friends. Most of my friends are on an intersecting Venn diagram of photography, beer, hiking and computer geekery. Photowalks with a tribe of photographers (by a tribe, I mean a dozen or so people) all walking around pointing cameras at things and then meeting up afterwards to break bread, drink a pint and squint at the back of an LCD screen or talk shop about a camera.

As for street photography, my interest in the genre was born of necessity. I had severe medical issues in 2018 and then 2019, and I travelled to Philadelphia every day for treatment. I spent a lot of time waiting outside medical centres for the valet to bring the car for my wife (I was not in a condition to drive). Why not photograph people while I wait? After a week of medical treatments, I knew that I wouldn't have the energy to go out with the camera. Why not make the best of it? I didn’t have a dislike of people (but sociopaths do). I was just afraid. Now I am no longer afraid.

Friday August 13, 2021

Photographer Mathieu Lamontagne-Cumiford writes in Casual Photophile about his love for his Minolta AF-C point-n-shoot film camera.

Now back to the reason I decided I needed to write all this up. The other day, while bicycling far from home, I swerved to dodge an oncoming family and my dear AF-C, hanging loyally from my belt, was savagely smacked by a bollard. Gripped with panic, I immediately pulled over to inspect the damage, fully expecting this to be the end of the camera. I would like to reassure the reader that my Minolta survived its mistreatment without issue, and continues to function with its usual excellence. What I realized in that instant, however, was that I really, truly love that little camera. I love to shoot with it and to carry it around. Having it with me and knowing that at anytime I can snap a shot I would be happy with means a great deal. I’ve learned to trust its circuits, and to allow them to do the mundane work of focusing and exposure.

And so I apologize. To not only my Minolta AF-C, but to all point-and-shoots. To all the daft little electronic cameras that will someday wear out and no longer function. To all the plastic bricks with their average lenses and sometimes mediocre construction. To all the battery sucking, borderline disposable light-tight boxes. To all the over-hyped and over valued compact film cameras of the world, I salute you. You have shown me the truth, that **the best camera in the world is the one I have with me**. That the greatest lens in the world is useless when tucked away safe in a backpack or at home on a shelf. That electronic wizardry can be good, and that letting go of control can help perfect one’s craft by removing the minute tasks that we already do well enough.

I agree. It's one of the main reasons why most people use a smartphone.


Rollei RPX 25

OTE: I'll begin this experience report with a brief disclaimer. It's been less than a year since I returned to shooting 35mm film after switching to digital photography over 20 years ago. I've inundated myself in as much film education as possible between web articles and advice from experienced film shooters. But, with my former experience way in the past and limited recent experience, this review is coming from a relatively novice point of view.

Last December, on a cold (2ºC), overcast and damp day, I ventured into Princeton on a personal photo walk. I wanted to complete a roll of Rollei RPX 25 that had sat in my Minolta X-700 for several months. I explored the homes and other buildings along Witherspoon Street and Leigh Avenue. The sky was filled with grey clouds, giving me a "softbox" lumination. Given the lighting conditions, exposing the ISO 25 film was a challenge, but fortunately, I had a tripod. I alternated using my Fuji X-T2 with the XF27mmF2.8 lens (~ 41mm FOV) and the X-700 with the Minolta MD-Rokkor-X 45mm F2 lens.

The images sat around in my Adobe Lightroom catalogue, and I rediscovered them today. I shot the roll at box speed. An old-school camera store developed and scanned the roll New Jersey Camera and One Hour Photo. I KNEW I HAD FOUND SOMETHING SPECIAL when I saw the display case full of 1970-1980s classic film cameras. The only camera store in the area filled with more nostalgia is New York Camera in Princeton.

While I love slower 35mm film for the fine grain, I was disappointed with the results from Rollei RPX 25. I blame myself, not the film stock. I should have waited for a sunnier day and used a balance on my tripod. I have to correct the horizontal perspective for all of the images. And on a very sunny day, I may not even need a tripod.

Product Highlights

  • Type: Panchromatic B&W Negative Film
  • Base: Polyester (PE)
  • Film Speed: ASA-25, with a Latitude between ASA-12 and ASA-50
  • Formats Available: 35mm/120/4×5
Princeton Fire Department
Princeton Fire Department | December 2020 | Minolta X-700 | MD ROKKOR-X 45mm F2 | Rollei RPX 25
Conte's Pizza
Conte's Pizza | December 2020 | Minolta X-700 | MD ROKKOR-X 45mm F2 | Rollei RPX 25
Molisana Deli
Molisana Deli | December 2020 | Minolta X-700 | MD ROKKOR-X 45mm F2 | Rollei RPX 25
Molisana Deli
Molisana Deli | December 2020 | Minolta X-700 | MD ROKKOR-X 45mm F2 | Rollei RPX 25
Maria's Hair Salon
Maria's Hair Salon | December 2020 | Minolta X-700 | MD ROKKOR-X 45mm F2 | Rollei RPX 25
Lupita Groceries
Lupita Groceries | December 2020 | Minolta X-700 | MD ROKKOR-X 45mm F2 | Rollei RPX 25
La Mexicana
La Mexicana | December 2020 | Minolta X-700 | MD ROKKOR-X 45mm F2 | Rollei RPX 25
Chapin Guatemalan and Mexican Cuisine
Chapin Guatemalan and Mexican Cuisine | December 2020 | Minolta X-700 | MD ROKKOR-X 45mm F2 | Rollei RPX 25
Lawrence Shopping Center
Lawrence Shopping Center | December 2020 | Minolta X-700 | MD ROKKOR-X 45mm F2 | Rollei RPX 25
Lawrence Shopping Center
Lawrence Shopping Center | December 2020 | Minolta X-700 | MD ROKKOR-X 45mm F2 | Rollei RPX 25
Lawrence Shopping Center
Lawrence Shopping Center | December 2020 | Minolta X-700 | MD ROKKOR-X 45mm F2 | Rollei RPX 25
New Jersey Camera and One Hour Photo
New Jersey Camera and One Hour Photo | December 2020 | Minolta X-700 | MD ROKKOR-X 45mm F2 | Rollei RPX 25

Lens-Artist Photo Challenge

This week's Lens-Artist Photo Challenge word is inspiration. I sat all week with this, trying to think about what images I would post. I'm unsure what inspires me to pull out the camera, frame a subject, adjust the camera setting, and push the shutter.

Since my camera is broken, I've been using my iPhone to capture images from the weekend. The best camera is the one you have with you, right? But none of those images are inspired. They're just snapshots. But then I have a bit of inspiration. Why not share some of my favourite iPhone images taken over the years?

Sometimes my inspiration comes when standing on a train platform watching the train rush by.

Whoosh! | Tuesday 22 October, 2019 | Apple iPhone | iPhone 11 Pro back camera 4.25mm f/1.8 | 0.5 sec at f/1.8 | ISO 32

Sometimes I am inspired when attending a model portrait class to put down the DSLR and try something different.

Model Portrait, Harlingen Studios, Belle Mead | Sunday 15 August, 2011 | Apple iPhone 4 | 3.85 mm | f/2.8 |

Sometimes, inspiration fills me when I am driving to work on an early fall morning.

Princeton Battlefield State Park in the Fog, Princeton | Wednesday 29 October, 2014 | Apple iPhone 6 | iPhone 6 back camera 4.15mm f/2.2 | 160 sec at f/2.2 | ISO 800

Or sometimes, I just want to be with nature.

The Rock Brook, Skillman, New Jersey
The Rock Brook, Skillman, New Jersey | Friday 19 June, 2015 | Apple iPhone 6 | iPhone 6 back camera 4.15mm f/2.2 | 15.0 sec at f/2.2 | ISO 40
Rodanthe Pier, Outer Banks | Thursday 3 September, 2015 | Apple iPhone 6 | iPhone 6 back camera 4.15mm f/2.2 | 60.0 sec at f/2.2 | ISO 32
Self Portrait, Carnegie Lake, Princeton | Thursday 5 November, 2015 | Apple iPhone 6 | iPhone 6 back camera 4.15mm f/2.2 | 60.0 sec at f/2.2 | ISO 32

Kodak Vision3 250D

Unfortunately, I can't just send Kodak Vision3 250D to just any lab.

NOTE: I’ll begin this experience report with a brief disclaimer. It’s been less than three years since I returned to shooting 35mm film after switching to digital photography over 20 years ago. I’ve inundated myself with as much film education as possible between web articles and advice from experienced film shooters. But, since my prior experience with film is decades old, this review is from a rather novice point of view.

I saw the email notice from Old School Photo Lab to download my scans of the negatives from my roll of Kodak Vision3 250D 35mm film. I exposed this roll of film in May of this year. We were all vaccinated, so Jeremy and Neha wanted to visit so their baby, Ronith, could meet the rest of his family. It was great to see them. Neha is Bhavna's cousin. We were all still getting used to being with people, so we sat outside and wore masks when we were close to Ronith. The family event allowed me to expose a 24-exposure roll of Vision3 250D Colour Negative Film, which I purchased from the Film Photography Project. FPP sells Vision3 Motion Picture film, which they hand-roll into 35mm canisters.

father and child
Baby Ronith and Dad Jeremy | May 2021 | Minolta XD-11 | MD ROKKOR-X 45mm F2 | Kodak Vision3 250D

This is one of the challenges I have with film photography. With digital photography, the image has dense metadata about the photos - camera, lens, ISO, aperture, shutter speed, exposure compensation etc. Unless I take copious notes, most of this information is lost when I expose the film. I may remember that I used my Minolta XD-11. I remember that I used my MD Rokkor-X 45mm f/2 lens. I know that the film I used is ISO 250. Unless I write it all down, I can remember what aperture ad shutter speeds were used.

Some of the images were blurry, but I liked the look of the sharper ones. Perhaps it's how the negatives were scanned, but the photos have a slight reddish hue that I do not see in the examples I found online.

Unfortunately, I can't just send Kodak Vision3 250D to any lab. Like most colour motion picture film stocks, 250D has a protective layer called Remjet, which helps deal with the tremendous heat generated while running through a camera. This Remjet layer must be removed during processing and requires specialist developing equipment unavailable at most film development labs. The film ($10) and the development and scanning ($24-$34) are expensive. I think I'll shoot this film again, but not often.

Name Kodak Vision3 250D
Price US$9.99
Type Colour motion picture film (negative)
Native ISO 50
Format 35mm
Process ECN-2
Features Exposure latitude of -5 to +5 stops
Lab Old School Photo Lab
woman and child
Ronith and Nilima | May 2021 | Minolta XD-11 | MD ROKKOR-X 45mm F2 | Kodak Vision3 250D
Shaan | May 2021 | Minolta XD-11 | MD ROKKOR-X 45mm F2 | Kodak Vision3 250D
Rocky Hill Inn Gastro Pub
Rocky Hill Inn Gastro Pub | May 2021 | Minolta XD-11 | MD ROKKOR-X 45mm F2 | Kodak Vision3 250D
Red Doors, Rocky Hill
Red Doors, Rocky Hill | May 2021 | Minolta XD-11 | MD ROKKOR-X 45mm F2 | Kodak Vision3 250D
Front Porch, Rocky Hill
Front Porch, Rocky Hill | May 2021 | Minolta XD-11 | MD ROKKOR-X 45mm F2 | Kodak Vision3 250D
Source Farmhouse Brewing
Source Farmhouse Brewing | May 2021 | Minolta XD-11 | MD ROKKOR-X 45mm F2 | Kodak Vision3 250D