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

Rollei RPX 25

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.

NOTE: I'll begin this experience report with a brief disclaimer. It's been less than a year since I've returned to shooting 35mm film after switching to digital photography over 20 years ago. I've inundated myself in as much film education as I could find 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 relative 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 give me a "softbox" lumination. Exposing the ISO 25 film was a challenge given the lighting conditions, 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. The roll was developed and scanned by an old school camera store New Jersey Camera and One Hour Photo. When I saw the display case full of 1970-1980s classic film cameras, I knew I had found something special. 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

The Black and the White

Tuesday 6 July 2021

The Online Photographer compares the Fujinon XF27mmF2.8 R WR to a Nikon SE.

The new version of the Fuji XF 27mm ƒ/2.8 R is 22.7 mm shorter than the Nikon SE and about the same diameter. It's also considerably lighter at 84g / 3 oz.

It also sports about the tiniest lens hood ever...almost comical-looking. And yet, who wants a giant hood on a small lens?

There are a few more differences. The Nikon SE has nine elements, and the Fujinon has seven. The XF 27mm has an aperture ring, and the 28mm SE doesn't (neither did the original Fuji 27mm). The Fuji costs $399 (although, as Fujiphiles know, Fuji has periodic sales), and Nikon says the SE will cost $299 when available.

I keep reading good things about the XF27mmF2.8 R LM WR lens, which makes me smile, but then I am reminded that the lens is sold out everywhere, and the smile turns to a frown. It's good that I didn't sell my XF27mmF2.8 lens and place my order when the XF27mmF2.8 R LM WR was announced.


I watched the most recent episode of Apple's TV series, Home Before Dark. The episode is titled "Dark Rooms". During an emotional outburst, the main character, Hilde, breaks the lens on her camera and borrows her grandpa's old-school film camera. There is a great learning moment with the whole family huddled around Hilde holding the film camera. Her dad, Matt, explains that with 35mm film, you take pictures by exposing the roll of film, then when the roll is finished, you drop the film off at the drug store, and two weeks later, you get photographic prints by which time you've forgotten why you took them. Later in the episode, her dad helps her develop the images in the darkroom he set up in the basement of their home.

I have not developed a 35mm colour film since 1989. I'm inspired by nostalgia to develop a roll of 35mm film myself. I've got a kit from Film Photography Project in my shopping cart, but I'm nervous about completing the purchase.

I'm worried about failing.

Wednesday, 7 July 2021

"The discussion was 'what are we doing in the future in terms of engine', because we want to save costs, so we don't want to reinvent the wheel," [Toto] Wolff, who did not attend the summit but is protecting vested interests, told the FIA conference on Monday.

"We also want to have a relevant engine from 2025 to 2030, and we can't be old petrolheads with screaming engines when everybody expects us to be going electric.

"So these engines are still going to be fuelled [by zero-carbon fuels]. We are staying with the current V6 format, but the electric component is going to massively increase."

The FIA are increasingly aware that a sport primarily based on burning gas station amounts of fuel on a single weekend needs to adjust expectations for a world where the phrase internal combustion engine is increasingly seen in a negative light.

Thursday 8 July 2021

Over on 35hunter, Dan James asked:

Do you prefer manual or autofocus, and why?

One of the things I love about my Fuji X-T2 is how easy manual focusing can be when using the focus peaking feature. On the Fuji, focus peaking detects the edges of the highest contrast in the scene and highlights them in bright colours (red, blue, or white).

I can adapt almost any manual focus 35mm film-era lens to my Fuji X and never worry about focusing. The ability to use decades-old 35mm film lenses on my Fuji X-T2 brought me back to 35mm film photography after a nearly thirty-year hiatus.

The digital Fujinon lenses for the Fuji X-series also have a focus ring with an instant manual focus feature. Just grab the focus ring and turn. In the viewfinder (or LCD), a manual focus indicator shows the distance to the subject (in meters or feet ), which is useful when zone-focusing. There is also a manual focus assist feature. When activated, the camera zooms in digitally, filling the viewfinder/LCD with a section of the scene for more accurate focusing. There is a digital split image focusing feature, but I have never used it. When using manual 35mm lenses at their largest aperture, I tend to use focus peaking and the "move the body forward-back" technique.

I enjoy using manual and autofocus lenses, but I prefer autofocus.

Saturday 10 July 2021

Inspired by Steve Schwartzman's horsemint portraits post, I grabbed my Fuji X-T2, FotodioX adapter, and a 1980's era manual film lens, my Minolta MD Rokkor-X 50mm F1.7 and headed outside to my garden.

I love this lens. It creates a beautiful buttery soft cinematic look perfect for a portrait photograph. My lens was part of a Minolta X-700 bundle I bought from a local amateur who had owned the lens and kit for over three decades.

The MD Rokkor-X 50mm F1.7 is constructed almost entirely of metal1. It feels hefty compared to my Fujinon XF27mmF2.8 lens, especially with the weight of the FotodioX MD-FX adapter, but it was a reasonably lightweight lens (165g) for its time. My X-T2 has a crop factor of 1.52, so the 50mm is roughly a 76mm full-frame equivalent when adapted to my Fuji.

MD Rokkor-X 50mm F1.7 adapted to Fuji X-T2
MD Rokkor-X 50mm F1.7 adapted to Fuji X-T2 | Saturday 27 February, 2021 | Apple iPhone 11 Pro | iPhone 11 Pro back dual camera 6mm f/2 | 1120 sec at f/2.0 | ISO 80

Extirpation is when a plant or animal species ceases to exist in a chosen geographic area of study, though it still exists elsewhere. In densely populated areas like New Jersey, all the large native predators like the wolf, bear, wolverine, and cougar have suffered extirpation, allowing herbivores such as white-tailed deer to reproduce unchecked except by hunting. White-tailed deer are a problem in New Jersey.

Several years ago, I planted some Hosta, which I translated from my brother's garden in Stamford, Connecticut. Over the years, the Hosta have colonised a good section of the tiny garden and provided a short-lived burst of flowers in the summer. They are short-lived because deer find them tasty. This year I used Deer Out to keep the deer at bay; however, I still lost some flowers. But I had enough left over for this experiment.

The lens, camera and FotodioX adapter's overall weight make precise manual focusing extremely tough to nail at f/1.7. I was also kneeling on the concrete in the driveway. I used focus peaking to get the image to where things appeared sharp and then rocked my body back and forth to hit the right spot, but this made the kneeling even more painful. I need to invest in some garden knee pads. I gave up and went inside for my RRS L-bracket and Manfrotto tripod.

With the camera firmly placed to frame the flowers, I used the focus peaking and focus-check features on my Fuji to dial in focus. I captured three frames, one each at f/1.7, f/2.8 and f/4.

Bokeh was nice and circular at f/1.7, but highlights in the background became hexagonal once I stopped the lens down. This lens has six non-rounded blades. Here are three examples of how the bokeh looks at f/1.7, f/2.8, and f/4. I skipped f/3.32.

The flower at f/1.7 has a dreamy look that I love, but the DOF is too shallow. The bokeh of the f/4 image is less soft and feels a bit muddy, but the DOF is better. That f/2.8 is the sweet spot with pleasing bokeh and just enough DOF.

While I prefer the f/1.7, I think I'll experiment using this lens at f/2.8 for a while.

Hosta Flower
Hosta Flower | Saturday 10 July, 2021 | FujiFilm X-T2 | MD ROKKOR-X 50mm F1.7 | 1500 sec at f/1.7 | ISO 200
Hosta Flower
Hosta Flower | Saturday 10 July, 2021 | FujiFilm X-T2 | MD ROKKOR-X 50mm F1.7 | 1280 sec at f/2.8 | ISO 200
Hosta Flower
Hosta Flower | Saturday 10 July, 2021 | FujiFilm X-T2 | MD ROKKOR-X 50mm F1.7 | 1125 sec at f/4.0 | ISO 200

I practised using the Minolta MD Rokkor-X 50mm F1.7 at f/2.8. First, at the Brick Farm Tavern and Sourland Mountain Spirits.

Saturday 10 July, 2021 | FujiFilm X-T2 | MD ROKKOR-X 50mm F1.7 | 1/1700 sec at f/2.8 | ISO 200
Saturday 10 July, 2021 | FujiFilm X-T2 | MD ROKKOR-X 50mm F1.7 | 1/1250 sec at f/2.8 | ISO 400
Saturday 10 July, 2021 | FujiFilm X-T2 | MD ROKKOR-X 50mm F1.7 | 1950 sec at f/2.8 | ISO 200

After cocktails, we drove to East Broad Street to order takeout at Tomatello's Latin Cuisine, a clever assemble of the word tomatillo and the owner's last name, Tello. We had a large order for Bhavna, Shaan and myself. While the restaurant prepared our food, we walked around East Broad Street and Seminary Avenue.

Broad Street, Hopewell | Saturday 10 July, 2021 | FujiFilm X-T2 | MD ROKKOR-X 50mm F1.7 | 1/1700 sec at f/2.8 | ISO 400
Harley Davidson
Harley Davidson | Saturday 10 July, 2021 | FujiFilm X-T2 | MD ROKKOR-X 50mm F1.7 | 1500 sec at f/2.8 | ISO 400

East Broad Street is a popular location for showing off cars and motorbikes.

East Broad Street | Saturday 10 July, 2021 | FujiFilm X-T2 | MD ROKKOR-X 50mm F1.7 | 1125 sec at f/2.8 | ISO 400
East Broad Street | Saturday 10 July, 2021 | FujiFilm X-T2 | MD ROKKOR-X 50mm F1.7 | 1/2200 sec at f/2.8 | ISO 400
East Broad Street | Saturday 10 July, 2021 | FujiFilm X-T2 | MD ROKKOR-X 50mm F1.7 | 1/1250 sec at f/2.8 | ISO 400
Saturday 10 July, 2021 | FujiFilm X-T2 | MD ROKKOR-X 50mm F1.7 | 1250 sec at f/2.8 | ISO 200
Saturday 10 July, 2021 | FujiFilm X-T2 | MD ROKKOR-X 50mm F1.7 | 1750 sec at f/2.8 | ISO 400
Flowers | Saturday 10 July, 2021 | FujiFilm X-T2 | MD ROKKOR-X 50mm F1.7 | 1200 sec at f/2.8 | ISO 400

Sunday, 11 July, 2021

Lens-Artists Challenge #156 – Black and White

This week, Anne Sandler hosts the Lens Artist Challenge #156. She has picked the topic of black and white.

I love the colour of colour photography. The colour reminds me of the vibrancy of life. In the West Indies, where I grew up, colour is everywhere. People paint their homes and shops in bright reds, greens, blues, pinks, yellow etc. When I was a child, the mode of public transportation was a large diesel truck with a wood cab mounted to the flatbed with the body painted in whimsical colours of the owner's choosing. The local fishing boats were similarly painted in a multitude of colours.

Bhavna is from India, and the women of that country wear vibrantly coloured saris and kurta pyjamas. There is even a festival, Holi, that celebrates colour.

I don't often photograph in black and white. Except for winter, almost all of my photography is colour photography. Why winter? It seems that people in the United States must dislike colour. How else to explain the drab colours of the cities and suburbs? How else to explain the beige and grey cookie-cutter homes that pepper the suburbs of the North Eastern United States? When I drive around New Jersey, especially in the winter, I often wonder why so very few think to paint some colour to their homes and shops front so that we could enjoy a break from the seemingly depressing days of winter when the trees have no leaves, the ground is covered in a mixture of dirt and snow, and the skies are cloudy all day.

two women playing in snow
Drew University, 1988 | Thursday 1 December, 1988 | Pentax P3 | SMC Pentax-A 50mm f/2 | Kodak T-MAX 400

I have included examples of my black and white photographs from my early days as a student photographer to more recent ones photographed on my Fuji X-T2 and Minolta and Pentax 35mm film cameras. I remember back in the days shooting Ilford HP5 400, Kodak Tri-X Pan 400, and Kodak T-Max 400, but in the last two years, I have tried using film again after nearly a 30-year hiatus. The original Tri-X, T-MAX and Ilford are no longer available, but I could shoot modern versions of these films. I love Ilford HP5+ 400, but I have also exposed rolls of RPX 25 and RPX 100.

Wall Street Ferry, Manhattan, New York | Tuesday 11 February, 2020 | Asahi Pentax Spotmatic II | SMC Takumar 55mm f/2 | Ilford HP5+ 400
Molisana Deli, Witherspoon Street, Princeton, Rollei RPX 25 | Saturday 5 December 2020 | Minolta X-700 | MD Rokkor-X 45mm f/2 | Rollei RPX 25
Bridge Street, Lambertville, Ilford HP5+ 400
Bridge Street, Lambertville, Ilford HP5+ 400 | Sunday 9 February, 2020 | Pentax P3 | SMC Pentax-A 50mm f/2 | f/5.6 | ISO 400

When I process digital images to black and white, I use some of the same tools Anne uses, but most often, it's a mixture of things. Sometimes, I use Silver EFX Pro, and sometimes I use in-camera film simulation recipes. Sometimes, I apply an Adobe Lightroom preset and tweak the image to my liking. I don't use one set method. I use whatever works to create the image I want. However, I get the best results when I shoot in B&W on my Fuji X-T2 using the ACROS film simulation, or I flip to B&W in Adobe Lightroom and edit the images using the Lightroom histogram exposure, shadows, highlight and whites slider.

Kiran | Sunday 5 June, 2011 | Nikon D40 | 35 mm f/1.8 | 1/1600 sec at f/2.8 | ISO 450
Wonder Bar,Asbury Park | Sunday 13 November, 2011 | NIKON D40 | 35 mm f/1.8 | 1160 sec at f/11 | ISO 200
Princeton School of Public and International Affairs | Monday 28 September, 2020 | FujiFilm X-T2 | XF16-55mmF2.8 R LM WR @ 16 mm | 1250 sec at f/11 | ISO 250
Flowing Water
Flowing Water, Millstone River | Thursday 4 February, 2021 | FujiFilm X-T2 | XF16-55mmF2.8 R LM WR @ 55 mm | 13 sec at f/20 | ISO 200
Kingston Mill House, Kingston | Thursday 4 February, 2021 | FujiFilm X-T2 | XF27mmF2.8 | 1/1600 sec at f/6.4 | ISO 400
Sunday 26 July, 2015 | Nikon D5100 | 35 mm f/1.8 | 180 sec at f/4.0 | ISO 800
Dandelion | Tuesday 2 May, 2017 | Nikon D5100 | 18-55 mm f/3.5-5.6 @ 55 mm | 1160 sec at f/11 | ISO 500
,Gifford Pinchot State Park | Saturday 20 May, 2017 | Nikon D5100 | 18-200 mm f/3.5-5.6 @ 56 mm | 1250 sec at f/4.8 | ISO 180
Battle of Princeton Enactment, Battlefield Park | Saturday 27 May, 2017 | Nikon D5100 | 18-55 mm f/3.5-5.6 @ 22 mm | 1320 sec at f/5.6 | ISO 100
Diwalii Fireworks | Saturday 21 October, 2017 | Nikon D5100 | 35 mm f/1.8 | 1.0 sec at f/4.0 | ISO 100
Happy Birthday | Sunday 24 December, 2017 | FujiFilm X100F | 23 mm | 1240 sec at f/2.8 | ISO 12800

  1. The aperture ring is plastic. 
  2. Full click stops are at f/1.7, f/2.8, f/16 and f/22. Half-stop clicks are from f/2.8 through f/16.