My Olympus Pen FT Camera and Lomochrome Purple 35mm film

I’m a big lover of the Lomography Lomochrome Purple film (since purple is my favourite colour!) and have really liked the results in other cameras I’ve used it in.

I therefore wanted to try it out in my Olympus Pen FT camera. I already knew from trying out the film previously that it worked well with landscapes.

I therefore visited Seven Sisters Country Park in Eastbourne to take some landscape photos and here are some of the results:

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I was really happy with the results of the film with the landscape and I managed to achieve the cool purple effect I was after. I wasn’t sure how the pictures of the sheep would turn out but I was pleased with those photos too.

Since the half frame camera has twice as many photos to shoot, I didn’t manage to use up the film whilst at Seven Sisters.

I therefore headed to Brighton Marina and took some more pictures using my 25mm Zuiko lens and also my 150mm Zuiko telephoto lens and here are some of the results:

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You’ll see that the film wasn’t nearly as effective as it had been on the landscape shots. I did feel the photos taken at the marina had a vintage feel to them and there is clearly a hint of purple and a lot of the blues on the boats have turned into a green colour.

I also took a couple of photos of the cliffs nearby:

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Again, the purple was only really effective on the green parts of the landscape but I did like the effect the film had on the blues of the sky and sea.

I still had a couple more shots of film left to use up (72 exposures goes a long way!), so I decided to head to my local cemetery in Hove and here are some of the results:

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I was really pleased with the results of these photos too. I got the purple effect I was after along with a nice contrast of turquoise sky in some of them.

I know I’ll definitely be using this film again when taking landscape shots as I absolutely love the colours it produces.

 

The Sprocket Rocket Camera and Street Candy ATM400 Film

I had been looking for interesting black and white films to shoot with my Sprocket Rocket camera which had an ISO of 400 as that is what is recommended for this camera to get the best exposure since this camera doesn’t have an ISO range to choose from.

Whilst visiting the Analogue Wonderland website I came across the Street Candy ATM400 film.

This black and white film initially came out in 2017. It’s a 35mm film which was originally used in surveillance cameras. The film was described as having high contrast and high sensitivity so would work well in dramatic light conditions. The film brand said it works well in street photography and the logo is very striking on the film.

The film retails at around £8.00 per roll (although Analogue Wonderland currently have a sale on so they have reduced the price to £7.00 a roll).

It therefore isn’t the cheapest film in the world but one of my love’s of film photography is trying out the different types of films for my camera’s so I was happy to pay this. Also at the time of purchasing, Analogue Wonderland had an offer on where you got a free colour film with any purchase so that was good in my opinion.

Here are some pictures I took with the Sprocket Rocket camera using this film which I got developed at my local lab and scanned myself using my Epson V600 scanner:

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These photos were taken whilst I was on a boat cruise along the River Thames in London. It was a bright sunny day so was the perfect weather for a boat cruise and taking photos with this style film.

I do feel the photos have a grittiness about them which would make sense if the film was originally used for surveillance and I can see how this film would work great in street photography (although street photography isn’t really my thing).

The film brings out some really interesting cloud detail in the sky. I also like how the last few pictures have interesting light detail around the sprocket holes which makes the photos more interesting and I’m not sure if that’s due to the film or if it’s possibly where the sun has just caught that part of the film?

I’m glad I tried this film and if I have a photography project in mind where I require a gritty style of black and white photography then I would definitely use it again.

 

 

 

The Sprocket Rocket Camera and LomoChrome Purple XR 100-400 35mm Film

My favourite colour is Purple and I have a real love of psychedelic style photography with weird and wacky colours instead of the normal colour photos.

It was pretty obvious to me in view of this that I was going to end up having a real love of the LomoChrome Purple film available at Lomography.

Since the ISO range is between 100-400, it gives more experimentation options of the colour results. Basically, if you have an ISO of 100, the purple will be brighter and lighter on greens and if the ISO is 400, the greens in a photo will be more of an indigo colour.

This is a 35mm film which is developed under the standard C-41 process.

Lomography also do a 120mm film version which I’m keen to try out in my Diana F+ camera but as is often common with Lomography films, this is currently out of stock.

I’ve tried this film a couple of times now (in my Sprocket Rocket camera which recommends an ISO film of 400) and I’ve been extremely impressed with the results.

Here are some photos I recently took on my second roll of the LomoChrome film I put in this camera:

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The above images were taken during a trip on the River Thames in London. The pictures below were taken whilst out and about in Brighton:

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I really love the pictures taken on this style film. I’ve now put a roll of the LomoChrome Purple film in my Olympus Pen FT camera as I will have more control of the image quality compared to what I have on the Sprocket Rocket camera so I’m looking forward to seeing the results (which I will upload in my blog once the film is developed).

 

Pentax Auto 110 Film Camera

One major part of my journey into film photography is discovering the types of film available and how they produce different types of photos etc.

Whilst using various Lomography cameras and their 35mm and 120mm films, I came across a 110mm film that they also sell.

When I saw the small plastic cartridge that the film came in I instantly had flashbacks from my child hood of using rectangular style cameras that used 110 film.

Lomography produce a Fisheye Baby camera which uses this film. However, I wanted to buy a vintage camera which was originally using 110 film.

After much research and a great deal of choice, I was drawn towards the Pentax Auto 110 Camera.

The main reason for this was first of all, it is a Pentax and I absolutely love this brand of camera and my Pentax K1000 35mm SLR camera. The second reason is that it is an SLR with interchangeable lenses.

The camera was produced by Asahi Optical Company from 1978 until 1985. It is very small and initially produced three types of lenses:

  • 18mm f/2.8 wide angle
  • 24mm f/2.8 normal
  • 50mm f/2.8 telephoto

After 1980, a further three lenses were made available to this camera:

  • 20-40mm zoom
  • 70mm telephoto
  • 18mm Pan Focus lens

Although this camera is an SLR, the exposure is fully automatic and the exposure range is from 1/750 second at f/13.5 to 1 second at f/2.8.

There are tripod and cable release sockets. The camera has through lens focusing with a split image focusing aid in the centre and I would say the viewfinder is quite bright.

The film advance lever is in the usual place at the top right hand side of the camera and it needs two strokes to advance the film and cock the shutter.

There is a light sensor which shows in the bottom right hand corner of the viewfinder when you semi-press down the shutter button to let you know if the exposure will be correct. If the light is green, this means the exposure is fine. If the light is orange, this means that the photo will either be under or over exposed when taken.

The camera requires 2 x SR44 1.55 V Silver Oxide batteries to enable the light sensor to work. These batteries are loaded into a battery holder which is placed inside the camera, next door to where the film is loaded. I picked up a pack of 5 Camelion batteries on eBay for £3.29.

The price of these camera’s varies. I’ve seen some on eBay for as little as £8-£20 for just the camera with one lens ‘untested’ which understandably can put buyers off. I’ve also seen some for sale fully boxed in great condition from £80 to over £100 on eBay and second hand camera websites.

There is also a flash attachment as well as a battery powered automatic winder attachment.

I ended up purchasing my camera from West Yorkshire Cameras for £49.00. The camera was fully boxed and ‘back in the day’ it would have been referred to as a Major Component Set. This set consists of the camera body, 18mm lens, 24mm lens, 50mm lens, flash, winder, strap and soft cases for the camera and flash.

The condition was very good, but what West Yorkshire Camera’s hadn’t mentioned in their description and photos of the item was the fact that it also came with the UV, Skylight filters and rubber lens hoods which was an unexpected bonus. Although I do wish West Yorkshire Camera’s had noted this because in my haste, I also bought some filters from Japan for around £7 (with postage) before the camera arrived.

I was really happy with the condition of the camera and lenses. The only disappointment was the camera case which is beyond use because the leather has really flaked off and continues to flake off, making a mess everywhere (including in the box). Thankfully the lenses had caps on them so they didn’t get covered in this black mess. I think it’s a rare find to have a case in immaculate condition as the ones with cases I’ve seen so far for sale, all seem to have the same problem.

One other slight problem which I’ve since read is quite a common occurrence on these cameras is that the plastic divider between the battery compartment and where the film is placed is quite weak. On initial inspection of the camera, this was all fine (so West Yorkshire Camera’s were not at fault here as they had described the camera in the condition it would have been at point of sale) but after I placed the new batteries inside the camera, this plastic literally fell apart (joys of vintage cameras) so the divider was no more. However, I could see that as long as I was careful when placing the film inside the camera and keeping the battery prongs out of the way, it shouldn’t affect the photos taken.

The 110 films that Lomography sell have 24 exposures and are extremely easy to load into the camera. Winding on and unloading are also extremely easy. The films cost around £6.90.

Here is a link online to the Lomography 110 films:

Lomography 110 Film

I initially loaded my camera with the Lomography Tiger 200 ISO colour film.

I found the camera extremely easy to use. I loved how little and subtle the camera was when taking photos (it would probably work quite well for street photography). The interchangeable lenses fit nicely into my sunglasses case so have great protection when out and about. It really is a camera you can use everyday since it hardly takes up any room in a handbag or you can just put it in your pocket. You can really quickly use up a roll of film as there isn’t much manual control so less time is spent taking a photo.

As with any vintage camera when trying it for the first time, there is always that element of  ‘does it work?’ and unlike digital I have to wait until I get the first roll developed before I know.

Here are some of the results of my first roll of film using all three lenses:

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I wasn’t sure what to expect as the camera was so small so I did think how can it possibly take great photos plus the fact there is no manual control (except for focusing the lens).

However, I’m impressed with the quality of these images. For a little camera it certainly packs a punch!

I’m also impressed with the Lomography film quality.

I took all these shots in daylight hours since the film ISO is 200 and I’ve yet to try out taking photos using the flash.

Lomography also do three other types of 110 film (black and white, lobster redscale and peacock).

I luckily managed to purchase all of the above types of film so will be blogging the results when the films are used and I get them developed.

Frustratingly (as with most Lomography film) they seem to sell out of film very often and then you have to wait for it to be re-stocked. Currently the Lobster Redscale and Peacock film are out of stock online. Thankfully I had managed to buy some Redscale film before it sold out online. I was then lucky to be at the Lomography store in London last week where they had just had a new consignment of the Peacock film delivered so I bought a couple of rolls of that to experiment with too.

I’ve only given a brief overview of this camera (and I haven’t even mentioned the Auto 110 Super that was released in late 1982) so if you’d like to read some further detailed information, I recommend the following website which is dedicated to the Pentax Auto 110 camera:

Pentax Auto 110 Camera

Here is a link to the West Yorkshire Camera website if you’d like to see what vintage cameras / accessories they currently have for sale:

West Yorkshire Cameras

 

 

 

 

 

Capture the night: a Lomography workshop

There is currently a photo exhibition at the Museum of London that I wanted to visit called London Nights.

London Nights Exhibition shows photos of the capital at night. There are over 200 works displayed by 60 photographers which range from the late 19th century to the present day (with some photos never seen before).

I have lots of fond memories of many nights out to London over the years so I knew I’d find this exhibition very interesting.

Whilst planning my visit, I noticed that Lomography were holding a workshop there on Friday 13th July called ‘Capture the night: a Lomography workshop’ which was tied in with the London Nights photo exhibition. I immediately knew I wanted to incorporate this workshop into my visit, since I’m recently knew to learning about the Lomography cameras so I booked two tickets for my husband and myself.

The cost of the workshop was £45 each (including access to the London Nights exhibition and use of a disposable lomography camera) and started at 6pm which lasted for 4 hours. The first hour was spent looking at the London Nights exhibition by ourselves (unfortunately I wasn’t able to take any photos inside the exhibition).

I did enjoy the exhibition and enjoyed reading about each photo. The photos taken at the early part of the 20th century were really interesting and some of them almost looked like paintings. I also enjoyed looking at some fashion negatives which had been taken in the 1920’s and wished I could have taken those home with me to frame on my wall.

After we had finished looking at the exhibition we were told to head to a conference room in the museum at 7pm to meet the Lomography workshop organisers.

Once we met them we were given a goody bag each which consisted of a Simple Use camera, a lomography Fish Eye 2 camera keyring, an information card about the lomo lab and 3 x greeting cards where I can add my own photos before giving them to somebody.

The Simple Use camera is a disposable camera (but we were told by the organisers we would be able to load it with further film if we wanted to once we had used up the current film). It is pre-loaded with 36 frames of 400 ISO colour film.

The camera has three different Colour Gel Flash filters (Yellow, Cyan and Magenta) which can be mixed and matched to tint the shots with different colours. I especially loved the Magenta and Cyan combo which produces a purple tint to the flash. There is a battery built into the camera which enables the flash to work.

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The camera also came with helpful instructions on the back:

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In the workshop we were given a brief overview of the Lomography company and how it all began. We were also shown how to use the Simple Use camera.

It’s been years since I’ve used a disposable camera…..I used to use them a lot during the late 90s on nights out with friends and also the odd wedding when they were put on the table (although photo booths have become quite popular at weddings recently).

We were then told to head out around London and take some photos and meet back at the conference room at 9pm.

We weren’t made to go around together as a group but to go off by ourselves. Most people in the group had come with either a friend or their partner so we all naturally went off with whoever we had come to the workshop with.

When we initially headed outside it was still quite light and the purpose of this workshop  was to take photos at night using the coloured flashes on the camera so we had to wait for it to get a bit darker. Thankfully it didn’t take too long to get dark so we wondered around near the museum and took some photos. It unfortunately began to rain by 8pm and we were beginning to get a bit hungry so decided to pop to a sushi restaurant to get a bite to eat.

We used up the remainder of our film and headed back to our meeting place at 9pm. Our organiser kindly unloaded the film for us and told us that as part of the workshop package, Lomography would process the film for us free of charge and email the shots to us in a week’s time. She also asked us if we had any further questions or wanted any further advice regarding the Lomography products as the workshop didn’t technically finish until 10pm. By this point my husband and I were quite exhausted (we had been at work since 7:30am and had rushed up to London in the afternoon) and we both knew we had the inevitable train journey back to Brighton so were keen to be gone before 10pm as my husband had to work Saturday morning.

After a week of waiting I hadn’t received the emailed photos that I was expecting so I phoned the Lomography store in London where I discovered the organiser had taken my email address down incorrectly (good job I checked!) so then I instantly got the photos emailed over to me and here are some of them:

 

I’ll be completely honest and say that I didn’t have high expectations of using this camera since it was a disposable one and like I previously said, I had used them a lot years ago so was fully aware of the quality of photos they produce.

I therefore did find the photo quality pretty average and not always great. The flash only works at close range so a lot of our photos taken of buildings were dark and underexposed.

I think these cameras are fine if you’re on a night out with friends and are taking close up shots and having fun with the flash. I wouldn’t recommend it for architectural shots!

If I was to go around London at night taking photos again, I would take my Pentax K1000 loaded with Cinestill 800 film and a flash as well.

Overall, I’m glad I got to see the photo exhibition and do the workshop as it was something a little different rather than just going to London for the night and sitting in a bar all evening.

Since I didn’t have high expectations from using this camera, I wasn’t disappointed with the results. My only disappointment was that I didn’t prepare in advance more and bring along my Pentax K1000 as I reckon I would have got some really nice shots. At least this gives me an excuse to visit London one evening again and take more photos so that’s good.

For anybody interested in attending the workshop, it is on again in October and here is a link:

Capture the night: a Lomography workshop

Also for anyone interested in purchasing the disposable camera, they can be purchased here:

Simple Use Film Camera

 

Sprocket Rocket Panorama Camera

As a newbie to film photography this year (please see the first blog I wrote for more information on this), I’ve only recently discovered the Lomography company and the ‘toy camera’s’ they do so have been buying and trying them as you can pick some of them up quite cheaply (either never used or hardly used second hand).

I had seen photos on Flickr and Instagram that had sprocket holes on them which I think looked really cool. I knew that some of the sprocket hole effects were achieved by just scanning the whole negative but I was fascinated by how some of them had the whole picture over the sprocket hole.

Once I had discovered the Lomography company I found that they produced a camera called the Sprocket Rocket Panorama Camera which has been specially developed to take pictures with the sprocket holes on them.

As with most of the Lomography camera’s they are very lightweight because they are made out of plastic.

It has a 30mm lens and produces a standard image size of 72 x 33mm (panoramic images including sprocket holes).  There is an optional frame insert that can be put into the camera that produce 72 x 24mm (”ordinary” panoramic images) but personally I think that defeats the whole object of this camera as I would want the sprocket holes to be shown.

The focusing on the camera is 0.6m to infinity which you focus on front of the lens by estimating how far you are standing away from the image you want to take since the viewfinder isn’t linked to the lens. There are 2 x shutter speeds (1/100, Bulb). There are 2 x aperture options (f/10.8, f/16). It takes 35mm film and is best suited to an ISO speed of 400. Another feature that I really love about the camera is that it has a white dot film stopping mechanism to enable you to take multiple exposures.

I initially was hoping to find a second hand one of these cameras as they retail at £69 for the black one and £79 if you wanted a different colour one. Thankfully I actually prefer the black colour.

Whilst looking for a second hand one, I found that not many of them seem to come up for sale like some of the other Lomography cameras and when I recently found a second hand used one for sale without its original box or instruction pamphlets, it ended up selling on eBay  in a bid only auction for over £50 (not including postage). I decided at that point that I’d sooner just pay the full retail price and buy a brand new one directly from the Lomography shop.

Thankfully at the time on deciding this I was actually going to London for the day for a Lomography workshop (blog to follow about this) so I was able to find some time to pop into the Lomography shop in Soho and buy one.

I was also lucky enough to buy the last few rolls the shop had of the LomoChrome Purple film as I wanted to see how this would look on the camera.

Once I took a closer look at the camera when I got it home, I discovered that it’s design was based on the vintage Dick Tracy Camera of the Seymore Products Co in Chicago circa 1947 combined with Lomography’s own design.

I loved how simple it was to load the 35mm film and the fact that it really does encourage multiple exposures as it has a simple operating system of 2 x winding knobs at each end of the camera at the top for moving the film forward and backwards. The white dot stopping mechanism window at the top of the camera enables you to see if you’ve wound on the film to the right spot so multiple exposures match on the same frame.

This camera also does the opposite of the half frame camera in the fact that if you have a 36 exposure 35mm film, you will only get 18 super-wide angle shots on this camera so this means in the long run you would use a lot more film.

On the bottom of the camera is a tripod strap screw which can be removed to enable you to place the camera on a tripod to take long exposed shots in bulb mode.

The shutter button is actually on the side of the lens rather than on the top of the camera and you have to be careful when the camera is in your bag etc not to accidentally knock the shutter button as you could take an unwanted photo!

There is a plastic lens cap included with this camera which you have to remember to move because the viewfinder is not linked to the lens so you could end up happily snapping away and find all your pictures come out black.

The aperture lever is underneath the lens and you can move it to the ‘sunny’ (f/16) or ‘cloudy’ (f/10.8) option.

My first impression of this camera is that it felt cheap and plastic and I wondered how the price could be justified for something that quite frankly didn’t feel like it had any quality to it. I also worried about it melting if I had it out on a hot sunny day!

However, from my research, I couldn’t find any quality vintage camera that could produce the same effect with the sprocket holes so I had to accept the price for what it was if I wanted to produce that type of photograph.

I’ll be completely honest, since I’ve been quite spoilt with my decent quality camera collection where I have the choice of interchangeable lenses and hard metal casing with a variety of apertures and shutter speeds to choose from, I wasn’t expecting a great deal from the camera and in some ways was ‘dreading’ if I had completely wasted my money on this purchase and the photos would be rubbish as I wouldn’t be able to focus the picture how I wanted etc.

I know with lomography cameras that the photo’s aren’t about perfection as quite frankly you wouldn’t be using them if that’s the style of photo what you wanted.

I decided that for my first roll of film I shot, I would get it developed at the Lomography lab (which was around £17 for development and scanned copies only plus postage of the film recorded delivery to Lomography in London).

Here are some of the results:

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I also decided to experiment with the multiple exposure option on this camera because it was so easy to do and here are the results:

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One particular shot I wasn’t happy with was where the sprocket holes go directly across the top of my husband’s head which I didn’t like so I now know for future reference I will need to bear this in mind when taking photographs and change the angle of the shot slightly to take this into consideration:

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Overall, I was really happy with the results. I managed to produce images with this camera that I wanted to achieve and I love the colour the purple chrome film produces. I definitely love the artistic/experimental photos I can create by using this camera.

The main drawback is the cost of getting the photos developed every time which could end up being very expensive due to only having the 18 shots on the film and you would question how regularly you could afford to use it.

However, because I’m taking so many photos with different cameras right now, I’ve been able to justify purchasing my own film scanner (which I’m currently awaiting delivery of) so in the long run I will save money. Plus I get to have more control of the quality/colour/shade etc of the image that I’m scanning from the negative.

I’ve since taken some normal colour photos with this camera which I got developed at my local photo lab for £5 (and will be scanning them in myself once I receive my scanner).

In view of this, I will definitely be taking a lot more pictures using this camera and feel that the purchase for me and the use I will get out of the camera is worth every penny.

I’m going to be loading this camera with 400 ISO black and white film next as I’m really interested to see how the sprocket hole effect will look in monochrome.

UPDATE: I’ve since discovered that this camera has now sold out on the Lomography website (and they only had a couple in the shop when I bought mine) so I’m really happy I managed to get one when I did. Fingers crossed for anybody else out there looking to buy one that Lomography will hopefully get new stock of it soon.