My first of roll of film for the new year 2020: a fresh roll of ILFORD PAN 100 all used up in one day with a camera I’ve never used before. This was January’s commitment to the new year’s resolution I’ve signed up for.
That resolution is to shoot one roll of film per month. Sounds simple enough and should be doable forgetting the children, the full-time job and bugger all light in the winter months.
I’m not restricting myself too much, so the scope is wide in terms of what camera, film and process I’ll use. One thing, I’m a lover of Rodinal but sometimes I do venture out with Caffenol too. I do recall, once even twice using ILFORD developer on HP5plus film at one point.
Returning to the plan, and to be honest here, the goal is to do what makes me happy. So different variants, a different film, a different subject but with the main goal of finishing, developing, scanning and publishing a series of photographs. Keep focused (pun intended).
My partner and my friend, Iris kindly helps me out as always. Whether it’s holding the video camera, making a portrait of me, participating in my creative madness!
The Camera – Olympus XA
A new year, so a new camera – the Olympus XA, not the XA1 or XA2, XA3, XA4. It might be hard to believe but I had no real expectations for this camera at all. I had previously dismissed this camera in its entirety as a mere point and shoot. Was I unfair? Yes, as I found out to my surprise after a little research about the different XA models and how good the tiny XA’s lens is.
Back to the camera experience, I had no idea if the exposure or focusing would work out for me. The focusing is a kind of rangefinder and the exposure is basically aperture priority, i.e the camera looks after the time for you.
Now, because I don’t believe everything that’s written on the Internet. I just used the little black XA it to see if it would capture my mind’s eye. Not thinking too much about it and let it do its thing. What I saw and how I imagined it, is in fact how it turned out. I would have to say I was quite impressed.
I must admit the last time I had such an experience with a camera, was with the original full-frame digital from Canon, the 5D. Both these cameras worked the way I had hoped and anticipated.
I decided to make a video regarding some of the features and operations of the tiny Olympus XA along with the images posted here.
The band in the video is called the Public Hit Factory who were playing in Graz on a Sunday morning.
This would be a good start to a roll of film. We tried the self-timer mode, portraits, landscape and the backlit feature too.
All this on one roll of ILFORD PAN 100 black and white film. We didn’t manage to try out the flash module – A16. That will be for another roll of film, most likely using Kodak color.
Even simple portraits worked with this little gem of machinery at f/2.8. They were definitely achievable. Not bad for a wee black box, I thought to myself.
On the street and roaming from one end of Graz to another taking in the sun and shooting an image here and there was how Sunday was spent.
I guess to say the roll film contains and documents our day out. I took a few candids from the hip, triggered a few while crossing roads. No one seemed too bothered by the XA at all.
Thanks for reading,
The recipe I used for this roll was used good old faithful Rodinal and I used my Spinamatic device for the 15 minutes, agitating once per minute:
- 1:25 Rodinal
- Presoak: 5 mins
- Duration: 15 mins
- Agitation: Continuous for the first minute seconds, then 10 seconds each minute.
- Rinse between developer and fixer
- 4 mins fixing with ILFORD Rapid Fix
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