After a great deal of thinking I finally got a TLR in my kit. A Mamiya C3, and Mamiya-Sekor 80mm f/2.8 from a thrift shop in Mumbai. The camera had to undergo a good amount of servicing since there was a problem with the film advancing mechanism. After it had been serviced it was time to test it out. For the test, I used a roll of Fujicolor Reala 100, that expired in 1999. This was my first time using this film and was eager to see the results.

Mamiya C3 and Mamiya-Sekor 80mm f/2.8
Mamiya C3 and Mamiya-Sekor 80mm f/2.8

Post-4pm, there’s beautiful dappled sunlight that creeps into my office front, lighting up the few blooming flowers I have. I decided to use the flowers as my subject, therefore this way, I would get to test the Macro capabilities of the 80mm lens.

The flowers were situated at a height – using a ladder, I was able to position myself as close to the flowers as possible for some really tight macro shots. Initially, I found it difficult to compose without a tripod, because I had to focus on balancing myself and at the same time frame the shot with a waist-level finder. It took me a good amount of time; however, I was able to finalize on a composition.

What I saw through the viewfinder, was simply stunning! The macro capabilities of the lens are outstanding. After adjusting my settings, taking into consideration the 20-year expiry of the film, I started shooting the planters and bloomers. I wanted to test the capabilities of the film, so I shot some frames where the sun is lighting up the flowers, a few against sunlight, and few with light leaks to check the capabilities of the lens as well.

Now I had to just wait and see how the images would turn out. Considering, I had already overexposed the film by 2-stops, I decided not push it while processing.

I loved what the camera and its lens could achieve. I was initially a bit sceptical about how the expired film would behave, but apart from the additional grains, I am very happy with the results!

~ Vishal

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9 COMMENTS

  1. Great shots. Reala 100 was one of my favorite color print films. I shot it through 2016, when my supply in the freezer ran out. I have really missed it since it was discontinued.

  2. Thank you for sharing these so sensitive photographs with us. What you show us here is art and we are at the upper end of what is usually just called “photography”. These colours are splendid and Knowing this from my own experience; the aged film was of great help to achieve what you were able to do here. Send my love to Berlin, please… I am a German, living in Austria. I work as a vintage camera expert for Leica Auctions in Vienna (Leicashop). I allowed myself to store this article of yours for further reference in the future. It is so much worth it to be preserved.
    Thank you again Best regards Harry

    • Hi Harry! Thanks for your lovely comments! Well I was surpised myself to see the result of an expired film to be so beautiful. The colors look so vivid for a film thats expired 20 years ago. The only thing I noticed was increased grain, which is bound to happen on an expired film. But its beautiful grain! I will be back in Berlin soon and would love to meet you and get more insights on vintage cameras!

      • Vishal,
        I have great success with outdated film; may be this is because I am outdated as well…
        You are always welcome. Just note that I am in Vienna, an hour flight away from Berlin. Surely a city worth to be seen..
        Best for now
        Harry

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