New Film Scanners

I don't have any film scanner and I also haven't brought any yet. What I am going to say is there are 3 new professional film scanners, Epson V700 added at the Mac suite at my university. I was so happy to see them there because I had mentioned here that I was struggling to use the old Nikon film scanner at the Mac suite.

I had a roll of B&W film and a roll of colour film needed to be scanned today. It sounded great to use a professional scanner but I didn't really know how to use it. I thought the software for this scanner would be the same as the Epson v300, but I couldn't use the same software for the Epson V700. Finally, I used the scanning software on the iMac to scan my B&W negative.

I was quite disappointed because that software really sucked. There were no setting for me to change to scan my negative. Those images were totally under exposure so I had to edit them on Photoshop.

When I tried to scan the colour negative, the colour of the images were even awful. Otherwise, I couldn't change ant setting. I didn't know what is wrong with it. And eventually, I gave up to use those new professional scanners. Eventually, I used Epson V300 to scan my colour negative, much easier.

This series of photographs is mainly of the place where I live taken on Canon A-1 film camera with a roll of Kodak T-max 400.

I live in Bolton for almost 5 years but I still don't know that much about this place. Therefore, I started to take pictures of this place. In my photography, I like to capture something that exists with us but is easy to be ignored by us. That thing could be a box, a building, a figure, a empty can, a person...could be anything. This kind of things could be quite sentimental when they disappears and the day you feel lost something. I don't have any close friends in Bolton. All of my good friends in England are living in Manchester. When I need to spend my time, I prefer to go to Manchester. That is why I don't know much about Bolton. However, from now, I started to know this place with my cameras.

Unfortunately, I am not happy with the result of the images quality. I think the negative is all right. The problem is on the procedure of scanning. So many details are lost in the image, especially in the dark area. I really have to spend some time to learn how use the Epson V700, because this is a very good scanner, I don't wanna give up to use it.

Pin Hole Camera

This is a demo pin hole camera for the Recreate project. I will use this to show those kids in the Hulme Adventure Playground how a camera works. By the way, the plan of pin hole cameras for Recreate was not from me, but I am in charge now.

I decided to use cardboard to make the form of the camera. After building up the form, I used black paper to cover it and painted inside in black to avoid lights reflection in the camera.

I used wax paper as a viewfinder.

Photographic papers will be mounted on the cover.

This is the back of the camera when it is ready for exposure.

Shutter open.

Shutter close.

I will try it out in this week or may need to be after my Berlin trip.

Recreate keeps going

Here are a few pictures of the Recreate project taken on 13th, 17th and 20th of this month. More and more awesome work have been done by those kids.

We have got a lot of buildings.

A television in the house, that looks amazing.

Site Project

We were asked to do a short project after the holiday. The project is called ‘site’, which means the works your make and environment where you place your works have to relate to each other, such as Robert Smithson’s Spiral Jetty. However, the work does not have to be massive, so I decided to make a small one.

My work is made of one piece of card, that’s right, only one piece. Before that, I already made a few experiment to test how I can use one piece of card to fold the form of the little sculpture. I was inspired by Peter Callesen’s work so much. Therefore, you can see the figure on the sculpture is cut from the same piece of card too.

The work was placed on the handrail of the stair near my studio. People could see it when they are waiting near to the handrail.

On the button of the handrail, another figure was placed on the floor with a piece of red paper. The whole scene comes together is about death, suicide and falling from a high building. The inspiration was there was a lot of news about people died by falling from a high building in Hong Kong recently. Actually, this kind of incidents usually happens in Hong Kong.

Several experimental pieces

Nikon F3 with Agfa 100

In film photography, you have to use different films to get different effect. This time, I tried a roll of Agfa 100 negative. It obviously is a low sensitivity film which produces smoother images and less noise than high sensitivity films. However, this film is not good to be used in a low light situation because of its low sensitivity. Surprisingly, I took a lot of indoor shot with this film.

I finished this film quite quickly as I just wanted to test it.

This image was taken with a Tokina 70-210mm f4.5-5.6 lens. This lens is kinda useless. I really should not buy this lens although it is only for £15.

Nikon 50mm f/2, in this image, you can see how smooth the Agfa 100 is.

A back light shot.

Kids in Adventure Playground during the Recreate project.

Students protect.

Runa's toy soldiers.

This picture was taken when I was working for a art auction held by Chinese Art Centre.

I don't think this test that could shows the performance of the Agfa 100 because many photos were taken in a low light situation. I will do another when the day is more sun light.

Canon FD lenses on Sony Nex 5

I have just received my FD lenses to E mount adapter. That means I can now use my FD lenses on my little EVIL(Electrical Viewfinder Interchangeable Lens) camera, Sony Nex 5.

Putting this Canon 70-210mm F4 tele-zoom lens on the Nex 5 looks really ridiculous.

I have got several Canon FD lenses but I mainly use only two prime lenses 50mm 1.8 and 28mm 2.8. I like to use prime lenses more than zoom lenses because prime lenses produce better image quality than zoom lenses. Moreover, prime lenses have larger aperture which can give me shallower depth of views.

In fact, I use the 28mm lens the most although its maximum aperture is only 2.8. However, the crop factor of Snoy Nex system is 1.5x. When using a 28mm lens on my Nex 5, the field-of-view is equivalent 42mm lens that is more like a standard lens than 50mm lens using on Nex 5. A standard 50mm lens would become 75mm, it is more like a portrait lens.

In these three images, you can see the bokeh of the FD 28mm f2.8 lens at aperture f2.8.

FD 70-210 F4
I won't use this massive lens on the Nex 5 a lot although I took a picture of that.

As I also have a Nikon lens to FD mount adapter, I borrowed a Nikon Ai-s 55mm f2.8 Marco lens from AV store. I used the lens to take a few close up images of my stuff.

The Nikon Ai-s 55mm f2.8 lens is not a extreme close up lens, but it is able to produce a very sharp image of my little models. That means it will be good to use it to take pictures of flowers in the summer.

Mysterious Package

As I keeps buying camera stuff on internet recently, sometimes, I have to go to the post office to collect my items when there are no people at home to receive the packages.

On a day last month, I went to the post office to pick up my item. Once I reached the package, I felt so strange because that was so heavy and I remembered that I didn't buy anything which is heavy like that.

I opened the package at home and saw this. What the hell is that?

A bible?

No! It is a vintage folding camera made by Houghton-Butcher Manufacturing Company from 70-80 years ago.

I thought my friends sent me this but it was not after I asked them. I also thought that might be some people posted to a wrong address. I would like to find out the reason but there are no any information of the sender, even no return address. Okay! I kept it then.

In order not to waste this camera, I used it to take two pictures. I didn't have any large size films for this camera so I used photographic paper. After taking the first shot, I was so surprised to see this way was work although the photographic papers were not as sensitive as films to light and the shutter on the camera is a little bit stuck. I scanned the images on the computer and reversed the colour on Photoshop.

The first shot, 2 sec exposure, quite dark

5 sec exposure, brighter but still dark.
It looks pretty good, especially the depth of view. The in focused image is quite sharp too. I can't believe that is from 70-80 years ago.

Only 2 two pictures? Yes, that is it because it is not a digital camera. I spent a long time to take one shot. Loading the photographic paper to the camera, checking images, focusing and developing images were what I had to do for every shot. Especially, I was not familiar with this camera so that was enough.

Sony Nex 5

During the new year party at my friends' apartment, one of my friends surprisingly has a Sony Nex-5 camerra which I have wanted to have one for a long time. I didn't buy because I was not sure how good this camera was. Until the day of the party, I tried my friend's Nex-5...Oh!No! It was amazing. I searched for its UK price on internet immediately...Oh my god! VAT free. And then I brought this camera.

The sensor of this camera is a APS-C CMOS sensor. This kind of sensor have been well used on nowadays DSLRs. Therefore, this little camera could produce high quality images as a DSLR.

In term of image quality, it is impossible to compare with my Canon 5d Mark II which has a full frame CMOS sensor, but the Nex-5 is much smaller, lighter and more portable than my 5d2. I don't want to carry a massive camera everyday, so this Nex-5 will be next to me at anytime.