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Once in a Lifetime, Again


Peter H
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I've told the story before of how when I was nine I was given a Rolleicord IV by my grandfather who'd won it in an illicit bet and didn't know what to do with it. It was my only camera until I was in my mid twenties when, to my everlasting regret, I exchanged it for a sexy new SLR.

 

In a long story for another time, but of some poetic symmetry, I was today, approaching 40 years later, and totally unexpectedly, given a Rolleicord IV in settlement of an obligation I had no intention of enforcing. But there it was, looking like a beautiful reincarnation of my first love, so how could I say no?

 

So here I am, back where I started.

 

And the world has changed, and I've lost touch with film so I'm asking for advice and ideas. What film would you suggest I re-cut my long teeth on? I intend to try both colour and B&W, but as ever, colour is my priority. I was never wedded to any one film so I'm open to any suggestions.

 

Thank you.

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For B&W, I heartily recommend Ilford XP2. It is sharp, smooth and hugely forgiving. It scan very well (unless seriously overexposed), and it prints wonderfully. If you plan on much colour negative work, the processing is the same - which is a convenience, but more important is the film's qualities.

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I'm asking for advice and ideas. What film would you suggest I re-cut my long teeth on? I intend to try both colour and B&W, but as ever, colour is my priority.

 

I will leave you a case of Agfapan APX 100 if you take care of yourself.

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I've told the story before of how when I was nine I was given a Rolleicord IV by my grandfather who'd won it in an illicit bet and didn't know what to do with it. It was my only camera until I was in my mid twenties when, to my everlasting regret, I exchanged it for a sexy new SLR.

 

In a long story for another time, but of some poetic symmetry, I was today, approaching 40 years later, and totally unexpectedly, given a Rolleicord IV in settlement of an obligation I had no intention of enforcing. But there it was, looking like a beautiful reincarnation of my first love, so how could I say no?

 

So here I am, back where I started.

 

And the world has changed, and I've lost touch with film so I'm asking for advice and ideas. What film would you suggest I re-cut my long teeth on? I intend to try both colour and B&W, but as ever, colour is my priority. I was never wedded to any one film so I'm open to any suggestions.

 

Thank you.

 

Hello Peter,

 

Congratulations on your "Second Chance".

 

Not many people are that lucky.

 

Enjoy & use it well.

 

Best Regards,

 

Michael

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Welcome back to the future, Peter - An excellent 'lap of the Gods' happen-chance.

 

For colour, good starting points would be Ektar 100 and Portra 400. Although it may attract derisive cries from those more nuanced, I tend to associate Ektar 100 with staturated reds, and generally bold colour renditions, and Portra 400 with subtler renditions of skin tones and foliages.

For B&W, my go-to's remain Tri-X 400, which is very forgiving, and produces plenty of texture (Cue for Pico to regail the loss of the original Tri-X), and Fuji Neopan Acros 100, where more punchy imagery is desirable, with particularly deep blacks.

 

Whatever you do, enjoy the experience of revisiting the World of Emulsive Magic. Remember that, any frustrations you encounter, were probably 100 times larger when you were young, but you still got over them.

 

The easy modern path is to outsource developing and scanning of your negatives. I'm sure there are plenty of UK inhabitants on LUF who can give you good advice on where to go if you get stuck.

 

Finally, please post some results on Doc Henry's "I like film..." thread, which is non-denominational in its worship, and probably the friendliest corner of the Kingdom of LUF.

 

Great times ahead!

Edited by EoinC
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All excellent suggestions, my advice is to buy one of each and see what you prefer. I'm slowly working through as many film types as are available as I can to find my favourites.

 

I was pleasantly surprised by Fomapan 400 recently, it has good contrast and a nice gritty grain that I like very much.

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Thanks for all the helpful suggestions.

 

I'm going to experiment with a few colour films, possibly starting with Portra 160 and 400.

 

But I need to find out about processing. I'm not going to rebuild my darkroom so I'm thinking about getting films developed and put on CD ( I don't even know the terminology) so I can get them into my normal digital workflow. Does this make sense, or should I be thinking about doing my own scanning?

Edited by Peter H
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Thanks for all the helpful suggestions.

 

I'm going to experiment with a few colour films, possibly starting with Portra 160 and 400.

 

But I need to find out about processing. I'm not going to rebuild my darkroom so I'm thinking about getting films developed and put on CD ( I don't even know the terminology) so I can get them into my normal digital workflow. Does this make sense, or should I be thinking about doing my own scanning?

 

Start that way, then you can decide if you are happy with the quality of commercial scans or if you do want to do it yourself.

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I agree with Mike, Peter. Start by enjoying what you have. As long as you get reasonable quality scans from your local photomonger, it will give you a good idea of which, if any, path suits you.

 

I find that I do very little post work with scans. often it is just invert and save.

 

My post production generally just consists of removing dust spots and cat hairs, not a problem you will have with commercial scans.

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Start that way, then you can decide if you are happy with the quality of commercial scans or if you do want to do it yourself.

 

 

I agree with Mike, Peter. Start by enjoying what you have. As long as you get reasonable quality scans from your local photomonger, it will give you a good idea of which, if any, path suits you.

 

I find that I do very little post work with scans. often it is just invert and save.

 

 

Yes, sounds like good advice.

 

I've just ordered some Portra 160, the first film of any sort I've bought for 14 years and the first 120 for about 20 years. I feel excited.

 

At the moment I'm enjoying wandering around with my new old Rollei, looking down onto the gorgeous screen, composing scenes, focussing, tensioning and releasing the shutter. Just playing at taking photos. It's a delight in itself, and feels incredibly natural and familiar, as though I had never stopped.

 

The film will arrive by the weekend I hope. Santa's on extended hours!

Edited by Peter H
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As an owner of a Rolleicord Vb for the last six years, my congratulations on your new (albeit inadvertent) acquisition.  As you are (re)discovering, they are a delight to use (and a lot lighter than my Hasselblad 500C!). Film-wise, b&w = mostly Acros 100 & Tri-X; colour = mostly Portra 160 & 400 plus some Ektar 100.  Some examples on my Rolleicord Flickr album.

 

Hope your film order arrives in time for the weekend  

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Thanks for all the helpful suggestions.

 

I'm going to experiment with a few colour films, possibly starting with Portra 160 and 400.

 

But I need to find out about processing. I'm not going to rebuild my darkroom so I'm thinking about getting films developed and put on CD ( I don't even know the terminology) so I can get them into my normal digital workflow. Does this make sense, or should I be thinking about doing my own scanning?

My experience is long out of date, but I was always disappointed with scans by the processing company: low res, low DR etc. Scans I did myself later were much better. They may have improved dramatically (I was then using Peak Imaging), but it's worth checking the specs for their scanning system and output.

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Yes, sounds like good advice.

 

I've just ordered some Portra 160, the first film of any sort I've bought for 14 years and the first 120 for about 20 years. I feel excited.

 

At the moment I'm enjoying wandering around with my new old Rollei, looking down onto the gorgeous screen, composing scenes, focussing, tensioning and releasing the shutter. Just playing at taking photos. It's a delight in itself, and feels incredibly natural and familiar, as though I had never stopped.

 

The film will arrive by the weekend I hope. Santa's on extended hours!

It's great to hear that the excitement is alive and kicking. One thing I would note from my own return to film following a long absence - Be prepared to take your time on coming to terms with the scanned images. They may very different to the sharp 'realism' expected of modern digital imagery, and it can take a while to 'unlearn' that expectation. Perhaps spend some time drifting through the wonderful images that abound over on the "I love film...' thread to see examples of digitalised film and the different properties they bring to the table.

 

It is an addictive magic.

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Hi Peter,

 

A couple of links for you;

 

https://shop.lomography.com/en/services/lomolab-services-uk

 

https://shop.lomography.com/en/films/120-film

 

Just to get you started....

 

 

 

Thank you James. I'll take a look at that.

 

PS : I see they now use Dropbox instead of CDs which makes a lot of sense.

Edited by Peter H
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  • 4 weeks later...

I've told the story before of how when I was nine I was given a Rolleicord IV by my grandfather who'd won it in an illicit bet and didn't know what to do with it. It was my only camera until I was in my mid twenties when, to my everlasting regret, I exchanged it for a sexy new SLR.

In a long story for another time, but of some poetic symmetry, I was today, approaching 40 years later, and totally unexpectedly, given a Rolleicord IV in settlement of an obligation I had no intention of enforcing. But there it was, looking like a beautiful reincarnation of my first love, so how could I say no?

So here I am, back where I started.

And the world has changed, and I've lost touch with film so I'm asking for advice and ideas. What film would you suggest I re-cut my long teeth on? I intend to try both colour and B&W, but as ever, colour is my priority. I was never wedded to any one film so I'm open to any suggestions.

Thank you.

You are indeed fortunate the Rollei TLR family are wonderful pieces of design.

 

Twice in a lifetime..... I'm still waiting for a 2.8e3 Planar to come up for sale.

I'd recommend Tri-X, however if your not planning to process yourself, then I'd probably go with TMax 400.

Why?

 

The film base of the TMax films are heavier née dense therefore can withstand some less than stellar handing by machine processing and for that matter hand processing. And as always, wash your films double whatever your used too.

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