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 comments

    • 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

    • 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

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