5 Frames… Of sharp shots on a soft lens with Kodak Portra 400 + flash (35mm Format / EI 400 / Olympus OM-1n + G. Zuiko 55mm f/1.2) – By Trevor Hong

Written by and published on .

Oh … well, this is more of a story of how I quit film and then went back to it again. You see, I was having some issues with the toxicity of the film community here in Vietnam and so I decided to quit film photography for good. I got myself a Fujifilm X-T2 but there’s still something about old vintage lenses that’s really…soft. I love how they reproduce the colour, the micro-contrast and etc., the works.

“Quitting” for me lasted about two months — more like a brief wobble.


Anyhow, I got myself an Olympus G. Zuiko 55mm f/1.2 because I knew that lens is crazyyyyy…soft at f/1.2, which is ideal to me; because I don’t have to buy a Tiffen Promist filter to achieve the same effect. I was scrolling around Facebook Marketplace and I saw this middle-aged guy was selling it. I went by his house to view/buy the lens and he threw in a working chrome Olympus OM-1n body for FREE (Yes, I checked, the price I paid for was only for the lens..and yes, I know the camera in the photo below is not chrome, keep reading).

My Olympus OM-1n + G. Zuiko 55mm f/1.2, Trevor Hong

At first, I was going to sell it because (remember) I wasn’t going back to film. But then the camera was still working fine and even the light meter was modified to meter correctly on a 1.5v LR44 battery. So — you can see where this is going –I got some Kodak Portra 400, and some spray paint because I’m all about black body baby!

Also, I was into flash photography at the time of this writing and I heard of some good results with Portra 400 on flash. A couple of calls later and there I was shooting the OM-1n, in the studio, with the flash and some Portra.

To be honest, the lens is crazy sharp at f/16, flash sync of 1/60s is an advantage and disadvantage at the same time because I can still perfectly expose Portra 400 (advantage!) but then I can’t shoot anything lower than f/16 (Maybe some Ektachrome 100 would be awesome!)

Anyways, enjoy the result! And good night!

~ Trevor


Want to submit your own 5 Frames...?

Go right ahead, submissions are open! Get your 5 frames featured on by submitting your 350+ word article by either using this Google form or by sending an email via the contact link at the top of the page.

This series is produced in conjunction with Hamish Gill's excellent 35mmc.com. Head on over to read the other half of these stories there.

Share your knowledge, story or project

At the heart of EMULSIVE is the concept of helping promote the transfer of knowledge across the film photography community. You can support this goal by contributing your thoughts, work, experiences and ideas to inspire the hundreds of thousands of people who read these pages each month. Check out the submission guide here.

If you like what you're reading you can also help this personal passion project by heading on over to the EMULSIVE Patreon page and giving as little as a dollar a month. 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.


More related reading

Previous

5 Frames… Of my (maybe) new favourite film, Kodak Ektar 100 (120 Format / EI 100 / Kowa Six + Kowa 85mm f/2.8) – by Tim Rangi

A Leica in the Limousin: Photographic Bliss in 1980s Rural France on Agfapan 100 Professional

Next

Ex-Haematologist, English teacher who enjoys Portra 400 way too much.

Join the discussion