Yashica FX-3 + Yashica 50mm f/1.9 ML “This reliable little Yashica 35mm camera has been the envy of other backpackers — small, lightweight, and fully mechanical. Not to mention, the 50mm prime lens of the same brand provides respectable quality considering it cost the same as dinner for two at a fast food restaurant.
I began my film journey shooting almost entirely color negative stock, thinking black and white was “too simple” — although that was likely because I couldn’t produce consistently satisfactory images. Fuji Acros eventually became my choice black and white stock because of its fine grain and contrast, but nearly as soon as I started getting pleasing results, its end was announced.
On my backpacking trip this summer along the Pacific Crest Trail, I intentionally chose a wide assortment of monochrome mediums to find a new favorite slow-speed fine grain film. Enter ILFORD’s Pan F Plus 50. In my limited research before buying, I read it was slow but produced super sharp images. Perfect!
I shot one roll from the Mount Whitney Summit to Kearsarge Pass, arguably one of the most beautiful sections of the Sierra Nevada high country. To my extreme disappointment, that roll developed completely blank and I was forced to try again:
This roll of Pan F got its chance in northern Oregon in mid-August. Wildfire smoke was difficult to deal with, but the high contrast helped cut through the haze. Most scenes in bright sunlight were turned well, however mornings and under tree cover usually proved difficult and ended up at a shutter speed too slow for handheld. I was quite happy with the results from the entire roll, and PanF Plus has earned a seat in my go-to for black and white films for the outdoors.
Shown here is Mt. Jefferson’s north face, Lake Ollalie dock, Timberline Lodge with Jefferson and Three Sisters to the south, Ramona Falls (handheld against a tree at 1/2 sec exposure!), and The Bridge of the Gods.
Submit your own 5 Frames With...
Get your 5 frames featured on EMULSIVE. Submit your 300-350 word article using this Google form. If you would prefer to submit another way, please use the @contact@ link at the top of the page.
This series is being produced in conjunction with Hamish Gill's excellent 35mmc.com. Head on over to read the other half of these stories there.
Write for EMULSIVE
EMULSIVE is all about promoting knowledge transfer across the film photography community. You can help by contributing your thoughts, work and ideas to inspire others reading these pages: check out the submission guide.
If you like what you're reading you can help this passion project by heading on over to the EMULSIVE Patreon page. There's also print and apparel over at Society 6, currently showcasing over two dozen t-shirt designs and over a dozen unique photographs available for purchase.