Good Bye Ebony

45SU Ebony

After many years the owner of Ebony cameras has decided to shut up shop.  The 30th June 2016 is the last day for orders.

These beautiful cameras made of ebony wood, leather and titanium metal.

Travelling light - Ebony 45S
Travelling light – Ebony 45S

For a large format camera they fold down well and I have hiked with one on a shoulder bag, holding the meter and filters as well.

Its a camera that will last my lifetime as long as I can continue to get hold of film.

Photo of the Month – May

Southwold and CarLeica M4
Leica Summilux 50mm f/1.4 ASPH 6-Bit
50mm, 1/500 Sec at f/8,  ISO400
Developed in Ilford Ilfotec LC29
Scanned Epson V85p Pro
Post Processed in Adobe Lightroom CC2015.5.1
On a Mac Pro, OS-X 10.11.5


With two rolls of Kodak Tri-X all developed and now dry, it was time to get down to some scanning.

As I have blogged about this before, this is a bit of a re-cap; getting everything clean is the first and major step, after that it is relatively simple.

My scanner is an Epson V850 Pro and instead of using the bundled Epson Software, I use SilverFast.

Step One clean and mount the film and scanner plate

Select Pre-Scan, at this point it does a basic scan
SilverFast and Frames

  • Select Frames, Find Frames and select the appropriate film holder, in this case Filmstrip 35mm

SilverFast 35mm Film Settings

  • I then select my resolution 6400 ppi for film and then select the film Vendor, film type and ISO.  Most common makes are there from Ilford, Fuji and Kodak.
  • Then its a tweak to the Midtones to make the files a little flatter and easier to working on post production, I use +5.
  • Select Copy settings to all frames

Now for the time consuming part.

  • Zoom into the first frame and adjust the frame to capture all the image
  • Tweak the histogram if necessary
  • Go to next frame and repeat

Once all frames are done I then select batch scan and have it uniquely number each file and place them in a watch folder.
Lightroom auto import
Its then over to Lightroom where I configure Auto Import. I have found the the default developer settings I use for my Nikon DSLR are a good starting point and I have Lightroom add the current date to the scans filename.
I now go off and have a cup of coffee and leave the computer to do its stuff, the scanner putting the images into the watch folder and then Lightroom automatically importing them, adding some developer settings and meta data and adding them to my main Catalogue image store.

Developing your own film

Film Processing in a Box
Film Processing in a Box

This week I shot just over two rolls of Kodak Tri-X.  Now you can send off your film and get the negs and a CD back within a week, but scanning costs keep going up so if your shooting Black & White its very easy to do it yourself.

I already had some fresh chemicals which I had ordered earlier in the year, along with ten rolls of Kodak Tri-X.

So with two complete rolls ready to develop it was time to get started.

Cracking open the film Canisters
Cracking open the film Canisters

I shoot large format and that requires loading and unloading the dark slides.  For this I use a large changing bag, so first step is to get the changing bag loaded up.

In the changing bag I placed, scissors, a can opener, two film spool rolls and a developing in tank.

In total darkness you using the bag as your darkroom you first use the can opener to remove the film.  If you have a film leader retriever you can start loading the spools in the light which makes things easier but I could not find mine.

Once the film is out of the film canister I trim off the leader and then start to load the film onto the spools.  Once both films are loaded onto the spools you load them into the development tank.  Once the film tank is assembled it is then light tight.


Now its time to mix the chemicals.

The essentials are a developer and a fix.  The stop and the wetting agent are optional.


I mixed up some hot and cold water so that the water was at 20 C.  Then mixed up the chemicals.  For developer I use liquid not powered developer as its easier to mix but its cheaper in powered form.  One part Ilfotec LC29 and nineteen parts of water.  I mixed up 600 ml, the tank said 290 ml of chemicals per film so for two films I just rounded it up.

Stop is mixed the same and the fix is one part fix and five parts water.  While all this was going on I kept the mixed chemicals in bottles stood in the sink.  I had earlier filled the sink with water at 21 C to keep the chemicals at the right temperature.

You start the timing the moment you start to pour in the developer.


For this film and developer its six minutes and thirty seconds of development with agitation every minute.

Your pour out the developer ten seconds before the time ends and at the end of development time add the stop, or water if you have no stop.

Stop just needs ten seconds, then pour out and add the fix for five minutes


After that I gave it a ten minute wash, the amount you wash does depend on the type of fix you use.


Caroline then fixed up a line in the bathroom and both films were hung over night in the bathroom.

So there you have it quick and easy film developing.

Film Friday

Waiting on the Street

Just a quick snap from and old roll I scanned recently.

Leica M4 and a 35mm Summicron lens while wandering around the Bailgate area of uphill Lincoln.

Its always fun using the M4, no built in lightmeter so a handheld meter and a bit of luck and judgement.  As I wonder around, as I spot the light changing I do a quick re-meter and change the settings on the camera.

Shooting Film

The old Hive, Ilford HP5 Plus, Leica M4, 35mm Summlicron
The old Hive, Ilford HP5 Plus, Leica M4, 35mm Summlicron

Now we are well past the winter solstice the days are getting brighter so its time to get some film loaded into the Leica M4 and shoot some film.

I’ll be developing the film myself and then scanning it.

So good light depending, we will have a few more film Fridays coming up.

Street Markets – Street Photography


Lincoln Market, Leica M4, Ilford HP5 Plus, Processed in Kodak X-Tol developer
Lincoln Market, Leica M4, Ilford HP5 Plus, Processed in Kodak X-Tol developer
There is quite a resurgence in street photography, driven by the growth in small quiet cameras; but a lot of people are very nervous about it.  Not only are you afraid of peoples reactions but in todays more security paranoid world, someone with a camera is treated with suspicion.

Events are a good place to start, people expect photographers at events.

The above shot was taken at the monthly farmers market in Lincoln, its a more interesting picture because its taken from behind the counter.  Shot on my little Leica M4 film camera, the people in it are busy with their shopping and are not noticing me.


Photo of the Month – October

The old Hive, Ilford HP5 Plus, Leica M4, 35mm Summlicron
The old Hive, Ilford HP5 Plus, Leica M4, 35mm Summlicron

Leica M4
Leica Summicron 35mm f/2 ASPH 6-Bit
35mm, 1/250 Sec at f/5.6, Ilford HP5 Plus ISO400
Processed in Kodak X-Tol developer
Post Processed in Adobe Lightroom CC2015.2.1
On a MacPro, OS-X 10.11.1


I was after trying out some Kodak Tri-X film that I had just bought and the Leica M4 had only three frames left of Ilford HP5 Plus, my current favourite film, so I went for a quick walk round the village where I live in the hope of using it up.

Many of us in the village keep chickens and several of us either keep bee’s, have kept bees or are about to keep bees so this view from the high street attracted me.  While personally for bee keeping I prefer a national hive with 14 x 12 brood box, an old english WBC hive as seen above is the prettiest and with the double skin practical for colder climates, but with the small brood chamber its not the most practical, thus many sit disused and used as ornaments in gardens.

Ilford get bought out

There are not many film manufacturers left. Ilford in the UK, Kodak in the USA and Fuji of Japan are basically all that’s left for traditional silver photography.

Not sure if I should worry or not but Harman the parent company for Iford has been bought.

14th September 2015

HARMAN technology, manufacturers of the famous ILFORD Photo range of Monochrome Photographic products, have been purchased by Pemberstone Ventures Ltd for an undisclosed amount.

Pemberstone, a UK based investment company have been tracking the performance of HARMAN for some time.Mark Anslow, CEO of Pemberstone Ventures comments:“We are very excited by the potential of the Analogue Photography movement and believe that HARMAN is uniquely placed to drive the resurgent Film market into the future”.

Peter Elton, Managing Director of HARMAN concurs.“Film has become an interesting medium for young photographers to work with again.We are seeing this very clearly. Our new owners will assist us to connect more effectively to this younger generation in the future, and we will prioritise this as our main goal over the next five years.”

“We remain totally committed to Analogue Photography, and indeed to all forms of Imaging.Our Product Range is uniquely stable and of the highest quality, and we can assure all of our customers that we will continue to support them in our customary way for the foreseeable future”