What about color film?


I have this Nikon F80 sitting on my desk. When my F100 died somewhere in 2007 I had this orphaned battery pack left and exchanged it against this F80 with battery pack.
I did not use the camera much and I am pretty sure the color film in it dates from that period. There are still about 10 shots left though.

The other day, January 1st, I took the camera with me when Little A. and I went for a walk in the nearby woods. I made 2 shots before the old battery cells died.

Yet the fact I took a camera loaded with color film on a hike is a huge step.

I have been thinking about shooting color too for the past few months. However there are a few things holding me back.
My mind/eyes are set to black and white and the idea of scanning and doing color management frightens me. I won’t be developing the film myself so I’ll be adding to the anticipation and that is a plus.
But the work like scanning and color correcting. Oh boy, I already feel exhausted just by thinking about it.

* * * *

Summer 1989.
A very good friend and colleague of mine and I went on a road trip to the United Kingdom. We arrived in Dover and visited Avebury, Stonehenge, Land’s End, Lizard’s and so on. It was what I called a King Arthur trip and during that week we slept in a tent or in a B&B.

I captured the moors and the world of Daphne Du Maurier depicted in Jamaica Inn and so many other beautiful spots and landmarks in black & white. The camera I used was my Nikon F2 Photomic.

Colleagues at work talked behind our backs thinking Patrick and I were gay and lovers.

I got married a year later and a few years later I would sink in a sticky swamp of an almost continued state of depression.
During my burn out my entire camera gear was stolen out of my car. It angered me, it was a devastating experience and my reaction was a destructive one. That evening I destroyed all my black and white negatives and shortly after I ran an ad in the newspaper and sold my dark room.

For years to come I didn’t touch a camera until 2000 when I bought a digital compact camera.

Near Land's End, UK Nikon F2 loaded with Kodak Gold 200
Near Land’s End, UK
Nikon F2 loaded with Kodak Gold 200

* * * *

January 2015.
I found a long forgotten box and in it a collection of envelops from different color labs. This box dates from before 2000 and some envelopes are dated 1989. One of them contains negatives with landscapes I made during my UK King Arthur trip.
What a find and how great rediscovering these memories!

I scanned a few, iSRD for infrared dust and scratch removal works fine. It is a pity it does not work with Black & White film though.

Color correction when making the scan is not that easy and time consuming. Maybe I am overlooking an easier way.

I like the look and feel of color film images too now that I can visualize them on my 27″ screen. They are way softer than a digital capture.

For weeks I have been shillyshallying about doing also analogue color photography. It takes a week to get a film developed but that is not the end of the world and adds to the curiosity, the anticipation.

So why disregard color film I asked myself many times this last two weeks. Finally I made up my mind.

These past few days I finished the color film that is sitting in my Nikon F80 since donkey’s years.

This afternoon I visited our local photo store and bought 3 rolls of 35mm Agfa Vista 200 film. I’ll have a go with that and we will see where this little adventure will end.

I have no idea yet which camera I will use but I’m thinking Nikon F100 or Nikon F80 and just maybe I’ll get myself a second Yashica Electro just for color.

In the mean time I’ve already added a new category to this blog and I’ll be adding a few photographs I made decades ago until I have some new color work to show.

Harbour, UK Nikon F2 loaded with Kodak Gold 200
Harbour, UK
Nikon F2 loaded with Kodak Gold 200

 

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12 thoughts on “What about color film?”

    1. Hi Dana, thank you for stopping by. I don’t remember the name of this place. We had to descend a very steep road with slippery cobbles. We arrived there short before twilight. It has indeed something fairytale like. That part of the UK is beautiful too.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Stephan,

    If you are serious about getting back into color, you NEED to get yourself a Pakon F135.

    You should be able to find one for around $300. There is no such thing as color balance or cleaning negatives–it is all flawless.

    They are all re-purposed from old Kodak Color Film Labs, and used to run about $8000 in their day.

    There is more info on my site if you are interested.

    Nice to see some panchromatic stuff from you!!

    All the best,
    Mark

    Like

    1. Mark,
      Thank you very much for your feedback. I enjoyed your article about the Pakon very much and have been looking around for one. But getting it here (Belgium) from the States increases the price with factor 2 and then I’m not calculating import fee and the risk the material arrives defective. I also have the intention to do more medium format. I’m still considering an Epson V800 or V850.
      When I started this blog it was my intention to do only black and white. On the other hand I don’t think it is, creatively speaking, a good idea to limit oneself whilst discovering a ‘new’ medium.
      Kind regards,
      Stephan

      Like

      1. Stephan,

        Let me know what you decide–I can always personally arrange to have a Pakon shipped to you. Alternatively, I could also send you some of my Medium Format gear!!

        All the best,
        Mark

        Like

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