Lomography Redscale XR 120mm Film and my Lubitel 166B

I recently purchased a triple pack of Lomography Redscale 120mm film for £5.00 which had expired back in 2012.

I’ve shot redscale film on my 35mm film camera’s before but thought it would be fun to test out on my Lubitel 166B camera during the daytime.

Here are some photos I took using a roll of the film:

The rescale wasn’t as ‘red’ as I thought it was going to be but I wonder if that was because the film was several years old. Instead, I thought the pictures had more of a Sepia tone to them. I also note that the film states to have an ISO of 200 for super-intense red and orange colours and ISO 25 if you want to mix additional tones of blue and green to the image. The Lubitel doesn’t have a light meter but from my previous use of the camera and the weather we have in the UK in the winter, I tend to shoot the Lubitel with a shutter speed of 1/125s and an aperture between f/5.6 and f/8.

Either way, I think the Sepia tone works quite well with the garden images I took.

‘Mystery Is A Compass’ photo book by Jonathan Liu

A couple of months ago, I went to a Photo Book fair at the Phoenix Gallery in Brighton.

It was part of the Brighton Photo Biennial that was held from 28th September – 28th October 2018 around various places in Brighton.

The Brighton Photo Biennial is a month of free photography, exhibitions and events for professional, enthusiasts, students and families alike.

I love to collect photo books (especially film photography ones) so was keen to attend the photo book fair which was within walking distance from where I live.

Whilst at the fair, I was drawn to this book called ‘Mystery Is A Compass’ by Jonathan Liu. What drew me to the book was the simplicity of the front cover, the title of the book (I love a good mystery) and it had a couple of re-printed handwritten notes plus a photo attached to the front cover with a vintage bulldog clip.

It was a publisher stand called Duende Print who was selling the book and after having a chat with them, they confirmed to me that the black and white photos were taken using a film camera which appealed to me even more. I’ve since spoken to Jonathan who confirmed to me that the photos were shot on a mixture of large format (4×5) and medium format film along with stills from a Super 8 film reel.

The book looks into the disappearance of 20 year old Everett Ruess who was last seen in November 1934 heading into Davis Gulch off Escalante in Utah, USA.

Investigators were sent in search of him and found what looked like a campsite with some of his supplies. Further along the Canyon was an arch with an inscription at the base which read ‘Nemo, 1934’. In latin, Nemo translates to ‘No one’.

The book describes the theory of ‘Plato’s Meno’ where to summarise, there is a mystery to this unknown entity and that this mystery can act as a compass guiding you through the seemingly unknown.

Jonathan decided to follow Everett Reuss’s route to the Southern Utah desert because he wanted to find a deeper understanding of what his motivations were, and to witness the beauty that ultimately consumed him.

Jonathan describes in the book that the only physical legacy Everett Reuss left behind is in the form of a drive through fast food restaurant in Escalante named ‘Nemo’s’.

Jonathan has cleverly mixed photographs he has taken along with excerpts of Everett’s letters that were left behind when he disappeared.

I really wanted to blog about this book because I found it to be such an interesting read and I liked the black and white photos Jonathan had incorporated into the writings.

The book is a nice compact size measuring 150mm x 210mm and is a 52pp french-fold book which means some of the photos go over two pages which is a bit different to a standard photo book.

The book was published in May 2018 and there were 30 First Edition copies printed. My copy is number 28.

For more information on the book and Jonathan Liu, you can visit Jonathan’s website at http://www.jonathanliu.net

I would highly recommend the book and checking out Jonathan’s other work.

Emulsive Secret Santa 2018

A couple of months ago, I read about a Secret Santa gift exchange run by Emulsive

It’s basically an international Christmas gift exchange for the film photography community.

They ran it last year with great results so decided to do it again.

I immediately signed up and had the option of whether I wanted to have my person I would be matched with for gifting located in the UK or whether I would be happy to have somebody international and pay additional postage costs.

I thought it would be more fun to have someone from overseas so confirmed this would be fine and patiently awaiting a further email from Emulsive to confirm who I would be sending my gift to.

In the meantime, I was also matched to somebody who would be my ‘Secret Santa’.

The aim is to be able to send the gift to the person in time for Christmas and they open the gift on Christmas day. Since I had chosen to post to somebody internationally, Emulsive were good enough to provide me with a match in enough time to enable me to source the gifts and post them to the person in time for Christmas.

In the meantime, we were able to provide a wish list of things we like in film photography so our matches could see what we/they like and hopefully be able to get them gifts that they would be really happy with.

I was very excited when I received my match of whom I’d be posting to and discovered they were in America. I was also able (via the Secret Santa website) to email the person I was gifting (and ask anonymously) their general interest in film photography (i.e. did they have a preference of shooting in colour or b&w, did they have a preferred format of film etc).

After I found out more about the person I was gifting, I was able to buy films to what I thought they would like and some I didn’t think they could easily get hold of in the US. I also included some other things such as a pinhole camera, a camera related notebook and a camera themed pin.

We were also encouraged to send any of our personal photo work so I sent them a card with one of my photos on it.

We had the facility online of being able to confirm when we had received our gifts so our Secret Santa’s knew they had arrived safely.

I was very happy when I knew my match had received their gift from me in time for Christmas day.

My Secret Santa was located in Australia, which I also found exciting as I don’t know much about film photography in Australia or what films are available over there etc.

My Secret Santa was kind enough to email me first to see what my interests in film photography were.

My parcel also arrived in time for Christmas day, all beautifully wrapped. I patiently waited until Christmas day and I was so happy with the thoughtful gifts my Secret Santa had sent me. I felt really spoilt!

The cover photo of this blog is the gift I received from my Secret Santa (minus the Koala Bear Cadburys Chocolates as I promptly ate those before I managed to take this photo!).

I had never heard of several things I had received, such as the Hillvale Holiday film so I’m really looking forward to trying that out.

I’m a huge lover of analogue photography magazines and am always on the hunt for new ones and I had never come across ‘She Shoots Film’ before.

I read this magazine from cover to cover within a day because I found it really interesting so this is definitely a magazine I would buy.

I also love the Cinestill films so was really happy to receive these in my gift as well.

My overall experience of the Emulsive Secret Santa 2018 has been a really positive one, from the fun I had of buying gifts for my match after discovering more about their style of photography etc to what I received.

If Emulsive decide to run this again in 2019, I would highly recommend all film enthusiasts to take part since it is such great fun.

Using the Ilford HP5 Plus Black and White 120mm film with my Lubitel 166B

Since I really loved the previous black and white photos I had taken using my Lubitel 166B, I thought I would try out the Ilford HP5 Plus film as it’s a very easy film to get hold of in a few of my local shops in Brighton.

The more I use the camera, the more I continue to love it. Since my last blog, I’ve now discovered how to focus the photo properly by using the attached magnifying glass in the viewfinder and looking at the central circle in the viewfinder.

I also thought I’d test out the eye level viewfinder on the camera which is a small square in the plastic at the top so you don’t actually look into the picture part of the camera. Here are two photos I took using this method of shooting:

I didn’t feel that using the little square viewfinder gave an accurate image of  what I inevitably shot so I know I definitely prefer using the actual picture viewfinder and mainly shooting from the hip.

It was a cloudy, windy day in Brighton and the waves were immense. I wanted to capture this as best I could using the Lubitel and here are the results:

I wasn’t sure when taking the photos if I was going to find them boring once developed but I do really like them. Again for me, I just really like the style of photo this camera produces.

Testing out the Diana Multi Pinhole Operator by Lomography

This camera was a bit of an impulse buy because Lomography had slashed 50% off the normal retail price on a random Monday several weeks back so it cost me £24.50 rather than the usual £49.00.

Although my Diana F+ camera has a pinhole shooting option, I was drawn to this camera because of the different colour filters it comes with so thought it would be a fun camera to try out.

Also, I had never tried out pinhole photography before so thought this would be a good starting point.

I really like the yellow colour of the camera and it is plastic and lightweight like the Diana F+. It also takes 120mm film as it’s designed to be shot in medium format. However, there are two frames provided with the camera to take 16 small square shots (4.2×4.2cm) and endless panorama (4.6×4.6cm) both on a 16 shot setting instead of the normal 12 shots if you didn’t use the frames.

The camera is fully manual so there is no lens or shutter. You can select how many pinholes you want by moving the switch under the front barrel. You can choose between one, two or three pinholes.

To take a photo, you need to open the pinholes and close them when enough light has gone onto the negative using the switch on the left of the barrel. You push the switch down to let light in and up to stop the light from coming in.

Lomography recommend that you use a tripod if you want to avoid blurry images. There is also an option to attach a flash (although this wasn’t included with the camera).

I was very excited about testing out this camera and have a flimsy travel tripod which is fine for such a light camera as this.

Out of all the filters provided, I only really like the orange and pink ones the most as the other colour combinations don’t really appeal to me that much. There are three filters that are designed for the two pinhole option and three filters that are designed for the three pinhole option.

I decided that I was going to test this camera out on the beach opposite where I live. Unfortunately I hadn’t really thought about the fact it was a very windy day and since the camera and tripod I was using were so light, it did have a tendency to blow about.

Also, the colour filters are very small and flimsy. Lomography recommend storing the filters in a 35mm film canister and even provide little round stickers to label it.

However, when using the camera for the first time, I took out the original packaging with me and as I was taking out the filters on the windy beach, two of the filters flew out of the packaging (aaaarrrrhhh!).

Searching for them amongst the pebbles was literally like looking for a needle in a haystack. After searching the surrounding area for approx 20 minutes, I never found those two filters and had to admit defeat which was extremely frustrating.

On the plus side the two filters I lost were of colours that I didn’t really like so would probably never really used them anyway. However, I was still annoyed that my camera was no longer a complete set, especially on it’s first use!

I used the Lomography Colour 400 Iso 120mm film in the camera.

I tried to keep the tripod as still as possible to avoid as much blur as I could. Here is a photo I took on the one pinhole option with no filters:

 Here are some photos I took using the colour filters which are best used with the two pinhole option, again using a tripod:

Finally, here are the photos I took using the three pinhole option on the camera with the colour filters:

Overall, I think the photos are quite fun and I like the colours. I prefer the three pinhole option the most because I think the colours on the filters blend better together.

Sadly, as I found this camera quite fiddly and time consuming to use, it isn’t a camera that I’ll use regularly. It will be used as and when I have specific artistic style photography shoots in mind.

In view of this, I think £49.00 would have been too much for me to pay for the camera. Although at £24.50 I think that price was reasonable for how many times I’ll use this camera in a year.

Here is a link to where you can purchase the camera online in the UK:


Trip Zine Issue 2

A Couple of months ago, I blogged about a new magazine that had recently been published called Trip Zine.

The magazine is completely dedicated to photos taken on the Olympus Trip 35 camera.

Trip Zine recently had asked for submissions for their upcoming second issue and I was pleased to find out that three of my photos taken on the Olympus Trip had made it into the magazine:

Trip Zine Issue 2 can be purchased at https://www.etsy.com/shop/TripZine

Shooting black and white film with the Lubitel 166B

Following on from my recent blog about using the Lubitel 166B camera for the first time and after being quite impressed with the photos I took with some colour 120mm film, I knew I wanted to try out some black and white film in the camera.

I had some Lomography Lady Grey 400 120mm black and white film in my stash so promptly loaded the camera with it and had a walk along Brighton Beach.

I’m still getting used to the camera so there were again some wonky photos but that aside, I was really impressed with the overall style of the black and white photos that the camera produced.

Here are some of the photos I took and you can judge for yourselves:


I’m definitely going to be shooting more black and white film with this camera, perhaps with some different makes of film to see the difference in the photos.