5 Frames… Of Fomapan 400 Action developed in a Rondinax (35mm / EI 400 / Olympus MJU) – by Sarah Wanstall

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Being a member of a film photography society called NEG35 I have to admit to storing a small collection of film cameras in my spare room. Some work, some don’t, but just look too cool to even think about throwing away – come on I’m sure we’ve all been there! So why is it that I choose to do 5 frames with the Olympus MJU, out of all of them to choose from? Well, the answer is because it is my latest discovery of pocket-sized must-haves. I was lucky enough to be given it by a friend who found it at a car boot sale for a couple of quid! – very lucky I know! And it came with me on its first outing when we went as a NEG35 group to London to meet up and do a bit of street photography.

The camera itself, although small, can handle film with ISOs ranging from 50 – 3200 and it’s largest aperture is f/3.5. This mixed with its autofocus and automatic flash makes it a pretty neat camera to sling in your back pocket. There is something about the sleek way you can glide your fingers over the covering to turn it on that I also like. Being handheld in size, you can sneak around the streets ready to shoot at a moment’s notice.


What got me the most was the quality of the lens in that little pocket-size machine! After getting home and developing the negs in my Rondinax machine, eager to see the results, I saw that this camera can take some pretty sharp images when held at the right distance from the subject. I shot this roll using Fomapan 400 Action and this combined with some good lighting that day created some nice contrasting, clear shots of which I really didn’t expect from such small compact.

I am currently shooting another roll as I write this but this time loaded with T-MAX 400 and unfortunately not catching the hassle and bustle of London as we are now in ‘Lockdown’ due to Covid-19. Instead I’m capturing deserted streets, masked faces and NHS posters in people windows. As you can imagine, I am still very excited to see how this second roll turns out – if you are too watch this space at neg35film.co.uk.

~ Sarah

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Founder of NEG35 Photography a Film Photography Society that meets up to talk about film photography and go shooting together. We also teach how to develop negatives and wet prints in our darkroom based in Brighton.

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