Film Emulsion Review: Ilford Delta 400 (35mm and 120)

Ilford Delta 400 is perhaps my absolute favorite film emulsion.

While I really enjoy the look of Kodak Tri-X 400, almost nothing in black and white has made me drool like Ilford Delta 400. I’ve always felt Ilford Delta 400 delivers those inky, beautiful black levels I’m smitten with. It’s a beautiful film for street photography, portraits, candids, etc. It’s simply a gorgeous film that consistently delivers everything I want in a photo. What makes Ilford Delta 400 even better for me is that it pushes and pulls well and looks good no matter what ISO you’re shooting it at. I’ve shot it in both 120 and 35mm and found both types of results to look pretty fantastic. Ilford Delta 400 doesn’t have the characteristic grain Tri-X does, but a very classic look instead. It isn’t as gritty as Tri-X, and for that reason you shouldn’t necessarily use it as such.

Continue reading…

Film Emulsion Review: Fujifilm Velvia 50 (35mm and 120)

Fujifilm Velvia 50 is a gorgeous film when printed; but make sure you’re careful about the scans!

Perhaps one of the most magical films out there is Fujifilm Velvia 50. It’s one of the last slide films available for purchase and is a favorite of landscape photographers everywhere, not only due to its beautiful, vivid colors, but its low ISO which allows for incredibly detailed images. Fujifilm Velvia 50, like many other films, is better at medium and large formats; but arguably the most popular option is the 35mm film. Why? Well, it’s the format most amateur and hobbyist photographers know. Talk to them about medium format and they’re not sure what to think or do. Either way, Fujifilm Velvia 50 still looks great at the smaller formats.

Continue reading…

Vintage Camera Review: The Polaroid SX70

The Polaroid SX70 is one of the most iconic and well known analog film cameras ever made. It was designed to be simple to use, compact, yet versatile. In today’s culture, it is a camera often associated with the hipster culture, and many people don’t even know that film is still made for it. Using film from the Impossible Project and Polaroid originals, your Polaroid SX70 is an option bound to not only look great on a bookcase, but also will be fun to use. Many companies tend to buy them up, refurbish them and then flip them for sale.

Continue reading…

Film Emulsion Review: Ilford Delta 3200 (35mm and 120)

Ilford Delta 3200 is the highest ISO black and white film on the market. 

Ilford Delta 3200 is a black and white film perfect for photographers shooting concerts, street photography at night, or anything that requires you to shoot in near darkness like a wedding reception. Like the other Delta films, it’s fairly contrasty but perhaps the least so of the bunch. Characterized by a strong grain in the images and a fair amount of sharpness, Ilford Delta 3200 deserves to be used with your fastest lenses and while using a camera that is handheld. You can surely use it any way you’d like, but in most other situations it would be more logical to use a slower ISO film. Instead, Ilford Delta 3200 should be brought along when you want to go out at night.

Continue reading…

Vintage Camera Review: Olympus XA2

The Olympus XA2 probably isn’t as famous at its predecessor, but it is quite a beautiful and simple camera to use. In some ways I think about it as Olympus’ version of the Lomography LCA camera. It’s characterized by its simple operation, its very interesting flash design, its small size, and its pretty darned good image quality. These days, I’d strongly recommend it as a compact film shooter for anyone who loves street photography or even just wants something incredibly pocketable. Where the Olympus XA had aperture priority control, the Olympus XA2 doesn’t. Instead, you’ve got ISO control and zone focusing. That’s it. Otherwise, you’re at the mercy of a very good light meter. Of course, you can always trick the camera using ISO changes, but you may not want to do that all the time.

Continue reading…

Instant Film Review: Fujifilm Instax Wide Monochrome

We’ve waited a long time for Fujifilm Instax Wide Monochrome film and it’s finally here!

One of the best things to have happened in the Polaroid/Instant Film world in so many years is the arrival of Fujifilm Instax Wide Monochrome. Announced earlier this year, the new film is a highly needed item that shows Fujifilm’s commitment to the Fujifilm Instax Wide format. The company has Mini, Square and Wide–and for a while the Wide format hasn’t been shown very much, if any, love. Perhaps this is because the other formats are much more portable, but Fujifilm Instax Wide has an appeal to photographers on the higher end. It is the largest format of all the Instant film formats and when put into the right cameras, the images sing.

Fujifilm Instax Wide Monochrome could be the absolute sharpest black and white instant film emulsion I’ve seen or used in years. In my opinion, it’s capable of outdoing even the old Fujifilm 3000B. Yes, I seriously never thought I’d say that. While I miss the excitement of the peel apart process, I’ll be the first to admit Fujifilm Instax Wide Monochrome is a superior film. And you can get Fujifilm Instax Wide Monochrome on Amazon now.

Continue reading…

Vintage Camera Review: Nikon N80 (Nikon F Mount)

For a really long time, the Nikon F100 was the best buy if you were looking for a Nikon film SLR at a good price that was compatible with most modern lenses. But then people discovered it, and like everything that gets discovered, the price got ruined. The Nikon FM2? Yeah, they’re really expensive now. It’s no secret second hand film cameras are on the up and up when it comes to prices and sales. Not only that, but they’re pretty. Well, most of them are. In the case of the Nikon N80, we’ve got the camera designed to be more consumer oriented and a step down below the famous Nikon F100. But for everything a professional photographer could want or need, it’s highly capable. And unlike digital cameras, all you need is some sharp film, good glass, and a lot of light.

Continue reading…

Film Emulsion Review: Lomography Color Negative 800 (35mm and 120)

Of all the color negative films Lomography sells, my consistent favorite has to be Lomography Color Negative 800. As the company’s highest ISO color negative film, you should expect to get good colors and some amazingly warm skin tones if you’re into that sort of thing. The film is designed for photographers who need a fast film for a variety of reasons. In some ways, I find it to be in-between both Kodak Portra 800 and Fujifilm Superia 800. Where the latter was the bread and butter for photojournalists for years, Kodak Portra 800 is instead meant for portraits in low light–but I’ve seen it capture some stellar Northern Lights photos. Lomography Color Negative 800 on the other hand works pretty swimmingly for both.

I’ve been testing and using Lomography Color Negative 800 on and off for the past few years in a variety of cameras. I can say with all certainty that it’s probably my favorite alternative to CineStill 800T when shooting at night.

Continue reading…