Shooting 16-year expired Ektachrome P1600

About 3 months ago I won an auction for 2 rolls of very expired Ektachrome P1600. I’m not too sure why I bought the stuff. I didn’t even know Ektachrome existed in a 1600 speed variant. I’m not a huge slide film user (I’ve actually only shot it once before on 120). Nevertheless, I was browsing the film section of Yahoo Auctions and it looked interesting so I thought I’d give it a go.

ektachrome box

Couple of days later it arrived. Expired in 2002, the ad made no mention of any sort of storage conditions. I assumed the worst. As a relatively inexperienced slide film user, I foolishly applied the general rule of thumb for expired color negative film to the expired Ektachrome. It was expired 16 years ago, so I overexposed the film 1.5 stops. I’ve since learned that this rule shouldn’t be applied to slide film, as the latitude differs greatly. Nevertheless, I was still able to get some usable results, albeit the slides look terrible.

Ektachrome 1600 (2002)

I shot this roll in my Nikon F3 and 50mm f/1.4. I used the Nikon F3 for its metering system. I shoot 90% of my work on my Leica M2 and meter by eye, but this was a very unfamiliar scenario for me. I almost never work with slide film and certainly not slide film that was this expired, stored in unknown conditions.  So I took the Nikon F3 out and shot the roll around Tō-ji temple and on the Skyway of Kyoto Station.

expired ektachrome-5

As expected, there was a heavy amount of grain, plus some base fog and color shift. I was still quite impressed with the performance given the conditions. I tried to shoot both a mixture of soft, even light and harshly contrasty scenes to test the film’s capabilities.

 

The magenta cast and the severe grain is apparent in both the above pictures. I’m actually a big fan of harsh grain and I don’t mind it at all given my expectations of the film (1600 speed film, 16 years expired), but the magenta cast was a bit less desirable.

expired ektachrome-2

Overall I definitely enjoyed a handful of images the film yielded. I’m a sucker for grain and it was oddly enjoyable shooting a roll without much guarantee of what the results would look like. I have 1 roll of this stuff left so next time I’ll probably overexpose by less and try to shoot scenes with more forgiving light.

Current Favorites #1

This is the first of a new series where we share some of the books, zines and other printed material we’ve been enjoying recently. Hopefully this series inspires you to not only buy more printed material but make some yourself! Photographs are now overwhelmingly viewed on screens only, but don’t forget the best way to view a photo: with a physical print/book in your hands.

Current Favorites #1

“Ame” by Guillermo Sánchez-Villarta

Current Favorites #1-6

This book by Guillermo Sánchez-Villarta sold out its first edition before we were able to get our hands on the second edition that was printed to meet the demand.

Shot over the course of two weeks in May of 2018 in Japan, this book includes both color and b/w images. It also includes contact sheets. The book is filled with moody shots of Tokyo in the rain, as is suggested by its name, Ame, which means rain in Japanese.

Check it out on Guillermo’s Instagram page:
www.instagram.com/gsvillarta

 

 

 

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The Negative Times 01

Current Favorites #1-11

The Negative Times is “a film photography magazine sharing photographs and stories from the past.”

Based in Salt Lake City and Berlin, their debut issue is filled with work from a total of 13 different photographers. It is published by the independent publishing group, t.i.e. publishing. We can’t recommend this zine enough. The curation by the team at The Negative Times is excellent and if this first issue is indicative of their future publications, we will be keeping a close eye on their future work.

Buy the first issue here:
https://www.tiepublishing.com/new-products/the-negative-times-01

Follow @thenegativetimes on Instagram:
https://www.instagram.com/thenegativetimes/

 

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“Zuisha” by John Sypal

Current Favorites #1-2

Zuisha is a photobook by John Sypal. It is based on his on-going photo series, Zuisha, which is exhibited regularly at Totem Pole Photo Gallery in Tokyo. John is a member of the Totem Pole Photo Gallery and I had the pleasure of attending his Zuisha vol.18 exhibit back in August 2018. He was kind enough to chat with me for over an hour and then sign a copy of his book for me! If you’re ever in the area, we highly recommend checking out one of his exhibitions.

Shot entirely in b/w, this gorgeous book features 52 images over 56 pages. You can purchase it here:
https://www.shashasha.co/en/book/zuisha

John’s website:
http://www.johnsypal.com/

Totem Pole Photo Gallery:
http://tppg.jp/

 

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“THE DOCTOR’S HOUSE” by Parker Hill

Current Favorites #1-15

“THE DOCTOR’S HOUSE” is the latest work from NYC-based filmmaker Parker Hill. We have been obsessed with Hill’s photographic and cinematic work for a while now. Her photography is unique in that it is influenced by her film-making, resulting in an undeniable cinematic feel to her still images.

I’m usually not a fan of coil-bound books, however, I think it really helps this book exhibit its beautiful full spreads. This may be the book that changes my mind on coil-bound publications.

Purchase THE DOCTOR’S HOUSE here:
https://www.riottime.com/product-page/the-doctor-s-house

Parker Hill’s website:
https://www.parkerchill.com

Parker Hill’s Instagram:
https://www.instagram.com/parkerchill/

 

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We hope you enjoyed the first in this new series! Remember to buy physical work every now and then and enjoy photographs as they were originally intended.

If you would like us to showcase your printed work, please email us at boxspeedfilm@gmail.com or DM us on Instagram at http://www.instagram.com/boxspeed

Nikon F3 Review: Understated Perfection

The Nikon F3 is the third flagship SLR from the Nikon F series. Released in 1980, during the peak of the SLR arms race from camera giants like Nikon, Canon, Pentax and Minolta, it enjoyed a 20+ year period of production before it was succeeded by the Nikon F4 (although the F3 was still in production well after the F4 was released). Enjoyed by enthusiasts and professionals alike. The technical details of this camera have been discussed to great lengths elsewhere. In this review I’m going to focus on my personal experience shooting this camera and where it fits in my arsenal. Here are my thoughts on this legendary SLR.

Nikon F3.jpg

I bought this Nikon F3 back in March of 2018. I got an incredible deal on it, $169 USD for the body, so I just had to get it. It was a bit dinged up but in 100% functional order. I didn’t really need it at the time, but with a deal like that I couldn’t really pass it up. Plus I had some Nikon F-mount glass already so I saw it as a good investment.

Nikon F3-8.jpg

I’ve only owned three 35mm SLRs in my life, the Canon AE-1, the Nikon FE and now the Nikon F3. The F3 is by far the superior system. The film advance is the best feeling advance I’ve experienced in an SLR, the modular nature and versatility are unmatched, and the design is to die for.

Nikon F3-6

The Nikon F3 was designed by Italian designer Giorgetto Giugiaro, a famous designer who’s responsible for designing some of the most striking Italian sports cars ever. He was the one who added the patented red stripe accent to the Nikon F3, an accent that has been included in every major Nikon release ever since. The F3’s design is industrialist while still remaining beautiful. It’s understated but bold. Some might say that it doesn’t matter what the camera looks like, what matters is its functionality. While I agree to some extent, I also believe that having a camera that you’re inspired to create with is incredibly important. If you’re more likely to pick up a camera that’s beautifully designed, you’re more likely to go out and shoot. Of course, functionality is important too and the Nikon F3 is no slouch when it comes to this either.

Nikon F3-9

The viewfinder in the Nikon F3 is one of my favorite components of this camera. It’s clean, clear, offers 100% viewfinder coverage and isn’t bedazzled with distracting needles and LEDs. The shutter speed is displayed in a separate LCD window, as is the aperture display. There’s nothing to distract you from your composition.

Nikon F3-3

The metering in the F3 is pretty much infallible. I shoot on aperture priority mode 99% of the time, and I’ve never had a failed exposure, even in tricky back-lit and contrasty lighting. Even with aperture priority mode on, I have the freedom to meter for the shadows or highlights with the exposure lock button. With these two features in tandem, I pretty much have complete control over exposure even while in a semi-automated shooting mode. The Nikon F3 is the camera I choose when I want to go out and shoot and have nothing in my way.

Nikon F3-7

I love taking the Nikon F3 out when I want just a bit more control over my exposure and aperture than a point and shoot but want to turn my brain off a bit and not worry about nailing my exposure like with my Leica M2. It’s also a nice departure from the 35mm focal length that is on virtually every other camera I own. The lens that is permanently attached to my F3 is the Nikkor 50mm f/1.4. Only on the rare occasion that I do some portraiture work will I bring out the 105mm f/2.5. Besides that, its always the 50. I love how this camera offers full-fledged functionality but also allows me to just turn my brain off and shoot.

Nikon F3-5

There are many aspects of this camera that I love and very few that I do not. If I had to complain about anything with this camera, its the flash compatibility. I don’t often shoot with a flash so it’s not much of a concern, but the F3 has a unique flash hotshoe and it can be tricky finding a compatible flash without the use of adapters. But as I said before, this is hardly a concern for me as I prefer to shoot without flash in 99% of all situations.

All in all, this is a fantastic professional SLR that serves as one of my main 35mm cameras. The understated but powerful design, incredibly clean and clear viewfinder, robust metering system and the versatility of its automated/manual modes make this my favorite 35mm SLR of all time.

Nikon F3-4