In autumn 1993 it was time again. The annual Blues Night in the neighboring town of Idar-Oberstein was coming up. This time I also wanted to take pictures there. My first time in a dark hall with a few spotlights on stage. What do I need?

Flash was already categorically ruled out for me. I didn’t want to annoy the musicians, although they were certainly used to it. But I also wanted only the light that was there. A photographer from the newspaper was also there. And of course he was shooting with flash. OK, he only shot 3 or 4 pictures and not 36 like me.

Then I need a fast film, the fastest I can buy in the shop. The fastest film available was 3200 ISO, so it had to be that kind.

I knew it would be grainy, but it has its charm.

At that time, the choice of 3200 BW film was limited to Kodak T-Max 3200 and I had no experience with push.
Yes, today I know the T-Max 3200 doesn’t have 3200 ASA, but I was still young and inexperienced.

As a lens I thought of a telezoom, I am just more flexible. And I didn’t know how close I could get to the stage.
So my Tokina SD 70-210mm f/4-5.6 for the Minolta X-300. It’s not the fastest, but I’ve always been satisfied with this lens. I also like the small size of the Tokina, it’s so nicely small compared to the other stovepipes.

Yes, we were once again quite late and didn’t see or hear much more than the top act of the evening, Stan Webb and Chicken Shack, a British blues rocker and his band. Vocals, two electric guitars, bass and drums. And four of them, that’s all it takes. It was a great gig with music just to my taste.

I relied on the X-300’s aperture priority during the concert. As far as I remember, I got as far as just before the stage. 70mm was already too long for a full shot and too dark from behind. You have to die a die.

When I developed the film in Tetenal Ultrafin the next day, I was thrilled when I saw the wet film hanging there and looked forward to enlarging it.

The film also gave me nice grayscale from the depths up to the highlights and a grain that you could really grab. Especially when enlarged to 40 x 30 cm. This is exactly what I had hoped for. The film choice was probably a good one, even if I had no choice.

Now this film became my film for concerts.

~ Olaf

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I'm a hobby photographer who has been pursuing this for a long time. I really started in the mid-1980s, when I got my first and especially my second SLR camera, a Minolta X-300. It still serves me faithfully today. But then it went blow by blow, I discovered...


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  1. I used to see Chicken Shack in 1968 with Stan Webb and Christine McVie nee Perfect – (Fleetwood Mac) They were a great band and he is still a great guitarist. He looks just the same even now looking at your photos.

    1. Oooh, 1968? I was two years old then. I think I did change a bit till 1993.