Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Olympus Infinity Stylus - Southern Tier Bike Trek

I recently completed a bucket list item! I rode a bicycle across the entire USA following the Adventure Cycle Association Southern Tier route from St. Augustine, FL to San Diego, CA. OF COURSE, I took a couple of cameras. One digital, a Panasonic Lumix G7 and a film point & shoot, Olympus Infinity Stylus.

The Stylus was the perfect choice for the trip. Not only is it reliable and delivers fairly good quality, but it has the following:
  • Very good flash that can be overridden
  • Sliding film cover that turns the camera on and off
  • Excellent battery life (easy to obtain, 123A size)
  • 35mm f/3.5 lens
  • Very compact and stealthy

I shot about 25 rolls over the 55 day trek. I took all my color film I had in inventory and purchased a couple of packs along the way. I shot Fujicolor 200 & 400, Kodak Portra 160, 400 & 800, Kodak 200 and several B&W rolls. I also brought one roll of Dubblefilm Jelly.

My plan was just to take snapshots. Just capture scenes along the route versus doing any specific genre like street photography, landscapes, etc. Essentially, I took photos of anything that caught my fancy when I was on a break or when finished riding for the day.

I'm just now starting to home develop the film so will be posting images over the next few posts. Here are some images from the 1st 3 developed rolls.

Bottomline, I'm really happy with my choice to bring the Stylus as my film camera option (and trust me I have lots of cameras to choose from).

Florida - Fujicolor 200

Florida - Fujicolor 200

Florida - Fujicolor 200

Florida - Kodak 200

Florida - Kodak 200

Florida - Kodak 200

Florida - Kodak 200

El Paso, TX - Dubblefilm Jelly

El Paso, TX - Dubblefilm Jelly

El Paso, TX - Dubblefilm Jelly

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Dubblefilm Bubblegum - It's Green!

I'm testing out the different types of Dubblefilm pre-exposed 35mm film. I've previously tested Sunstroke & Jelly which I liked. Now I test Bubblegum. I purchased the film for $14.99 per 24 exposure roll from Roberts Camera in downtown Indianapolis. 

The film cartridge canister says "tinted with sugar packed analogue sweetness". The packaging is well done. Cool marketing. The website says "ISO 200 35mm film with added tone producing sweet colour to spark your visual taste buds". Nice. It's actually Kodak Gold 200 film that has been given their magic treatment. The cartridges are DX coded.

A Google image search shows images with color palettes of pinks, orange & blues. Based on the packaging and name I thought the colors were going to be pastels focusing on pink. I understand output will vary based on the lighting conditions.

I shot the roll in mixed lighting conditions on a day that moved from cloudy to sunny. I shot the roll in an Olympus Stylus. I developed the film at home using fresh Unicolor C-41 chemistry.

Wow, were my results not as expected.  All of my photos came out with a very "night vision goggle" greenish tint. All lighting conditions generated the same results. Not subtle at all. The green tint was in the shadows and the highlights. Some of the green shifted slightly to browns in the shadows. Like I said, nothing subtle. The color was uniform across the photo (unlike Sunstroke or Jelly).

The results were not unpleasant and can probably be used for artistic purposes, but this wasn't my favorite results compared to Sunstroke or Jelly. The green was just a bit too overpowering. I'm CERTAIN results will vary.

Here are results from the one roll:

Next up, Monsoon!!

Sunday, December 9, 2018

Olympus Stylus - The Perfect Point & Shoot Film Camera

All photographers whether film or digital have an opinion on their favorite camera in various categories. This is often a highly subjective topic based upon personal preferences and shooting style. For me, the Olympus Infinity Stylus I is my favorite film point & shoot camera.

I've owned several copies and versions of the Olympus Stylus including the Olympus Infinity MJU, the Infinity Stylus in both the version shown above and the "gold" version....oh fancy. Except for my original Canon TX SLR, I've owned a Stylus longer than any other film camera.

There is a massive amount of posts and technical data available online about the camera so I won't bore you by repeating what others have said. For me I like the camera because it's pocketable, easy to shoot (there are almost no setting options except auto point & shoot), DX coding, fast focus, a good flash, and stealthy. Perfect for travel, street photography or simply for film snapshots. I bought my first one over 26 years ago when I lived in Hong Kong (that one died this summer).

I carry it with me whenever I do film work either as my main film camera or as a 2nd or 3rd camera option.

If you are into film photography and have never had an Olympus Infinity Stylus or MJU, do yourself a favor.

Here is a roll of Ultrafine Xtreme 100 that I shot through it during a photowalk in downtown Indianapolis with a friend.

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Minolta 3000i in Los Angeles

I travel to Los Angeles regularly to do agency & fashion photography on the digital / studio side of my photography life.  When I'm there I try to take time to shoot film as well! I was there this summer and took a simple film SLR, a Minolta 3000i with a 50mm f/1.7mm lens. I did both street photography and general snapshots when not in the studio. 

This time I took a number of film stocks. I took Cinestill 50D, Cinestill 800T, Ilford Delta 100, Ilford HP5 & Fujicolor Superia X-Tra 400. Call me eclectic.  All films were shot in auto program mode which happens to be the only mode this camera has. All film was developed at home using either Ilfosol3 or Unicolor C-41 color kit. 

A few images:

Cinestill 50D (shot during super bright day)

Cinestill 800T (shot at night)

Ilford Delta 100 (very bright day)

Ilford HP5 400 (shot on very bright days)

Fujicolor Superia XTRA 400

Sunday, December 2, 2018

Dubblefilm 35mm Pre-Exposed Funness

Film photography is fun. Digital photography is fun. Taking photos is fun. Film photography is becoming more fun with the recently introduction of several creative “pre-exposed” film stocks. These are color film stocks partially or fully pre-exposed with different colors or designs. My guess is they use some form of template over the film and then shock it with different colored lights, lasers, etc. But, hey, I’m just guessing.

There are several small companies with films available. KONO! & revolog are two. We now have another with Dubblefilm. I like to call these “party” or “artistic” style films. Very lomo. They introduce bright colors splashes or partial areas with various colors. KONO! & revolog also have pre-exposed effects like dots, lightning strikes, UFOs, scratches, etc. Like I said, just for fun.

I’ve shot several of these films previously but just purchased 2 rolls of Dubblefilm. I shot a roll of Dubblefilm Jelly & Dubblefilm Sunstroke. They also have stocks named Bubblegum, Monsoon & Moonstruck. The cool thing for me is my local photography store, Roberts Camera / USED Photo Pro has started to distribute the film. YES!

Each has a unique effect. All of the Dubblefilm films are Kodak alaris Kodacolor Gold 200 stock rerolled back into the Kodak canister. It’s not like that’s a big mystery, you can see the Kodak name through the label. All are DX coded 200 ASA with 24 exposures.  Because this is color negative film you can get it developed almost anyplace using C-41 chemistry. Or, you can develop it at home like I do.

I shot the 2 rolls with an Olympus Stylus point & shoot. I decided to use this camera because it’s trusty, light tight and I know the results when using color. I knew any effects would therefore come from the film not old camera light leaks.

The first 2 rolls came out groovy. Shot & developed easily. I got the desired effects in both shadows and bright light. Every photo had a slightly different effect with was cool. The effects were very pronounced. I enjoyed shooting the Dubblefilm and have already purchased a roll of Moonstruck to try next.

This is not everyday film (one reason is because it’s a bit pricey), but a film to play with now and again. I’m a fan. Here are some photos

Dubblefilm Jelly

Dubblefilm Sunstroke

Friday, November 30, 2018

Expired Polaroid Film

You have an old Polaroid camera (a Polaroid….not an Instax)! Now you need film. You don’t want to spend $$$ for fresh Polaroid Originals film at your local camera store or online. You’re thinking to yourself, I should buy some expired Polaroid film on eBay or found at a flea market. It’s inexpensive…go for it.


As a general rule, DON’T buy expired Polaroid film. I’m not talking about newly expired Impossible Project or Polaroid Originals film. I’m talking about the “original” Polaroid film that hasn’t been produced since 2008.

But why not? Expired 35mm film is generally A-OK to use.

Because film for Polaroid cameras is integrated. There are developing chemicals in the film and in a battery in the pack (including SX-70, 620, & Spectra) most cases. Unless the pack was cold stored the chemicals have more than likely dried up.  And even if you did store it correctly the battery is probably dead as well. Note – peel apart film (i.e. FP-100c / FP-3000b) doesn’t have a battery…you just need to worry about the chemicals.

Look, if you have money to burn or someone gives you a pack then by all means give it a go. However, from years of experience I can count on 1 hand the number of times I’ve had good experience with expired Polaroid film. If you are lucky you may get a “lomo” type of effect, and that’s always cool.

My recommendation, buy a new pack of Polaroid Originals and have a blast.