Heading into the big city is a rarity these days between no major events running yet and mainly shooting for review purposes and parenthood. My travel circle is limited these days, not that I’m complaining. But having a random mid-week trip into Toronto with a bit of free time allows me to get out, stretch my legs and camera gear and head out for some enjoyment of the craft. It also helped that I was again shooting for the Embrace the Grain film of the month challenge, which for March was Kentmere 100. So I packed two rolls of film, two cameras, and two lenses. In my bag for the trip was the Minolta Maxxum 9 with the 24mm f/2.8 and 100mm f/2.8 MACRO, a with a roll of Kentmere 100 and Kentmere 400, both were developed at the same time in Ilfotec LC29, which meant I shot the Kentmere 100 at ASA-200 and the Kentmere 400 at ASA-250. I also dragged my D750 with the 28-70mm f/2.8D lens. I’ll be featuring images from all three items here today.
The March film of the month from Embrace the Grain is Kentmere 100, a film that I haven’t shot since I last reviewed the stock. It’s not a bad film by any stretch, but not one I shoot that often. But sometimes, it’s nice to get out of your comfort zone when it comes to film stock. Plus, Kentmere is a Harman product, and they’re good people over on the other side of the pond. I also took the chance to test out a new lens for my Maxxum 9, the 24mm f/2.8. I’m a sucker for a good wide-angle lens, and being right in the middle of downtown Toronto, I could take advantage of the wide-angle. I already have a 28mm f/2.8 for my Maxxum system, but sometimes you want something wider. And the film and lens didn’t disappoint. Now I was also going to be shooting the second roll of Kentmere that day. I tried to develop both rolls simultaneously, so I under-exposed the roll by one stop, shooting it at ASA-200. The results were pretty brilliant, super sharp, with excellent tones and plenty of quality architecture throughout the area of the city I wandered through.
It’s funny because when I head out to take photos, the one camera I don’t often grab is my D750 for casual work. Family, product, and paid gigs it’s always number one. But I am a little more limited in time and dedicate Saturdays for film processing. So I can’t grab and go and process the film now. So it was fun to take the D750 out into the city and do some shooting. For the lens, I went with my heavy-duty 28-70/2.8D, and I’m glad I did; the lens is excellent and works flawlessly on my D750. It also offered up the chance to not only capture the wide detail of the architecture but could get in fairly close to details. And it meant I didn’t have to worry about not finishing off another roll and adding a splash of colour to my primarily monochromatic day.
Now Kentmere 400 is a film that I didn’t get along with too well when I reviewed it, but I had the roll thinking that Kentmere 400 was the film of the month. But having a bit more time to kill, I decided to load it up and shot it at ASA-250, so over-exposing it so that the developing time in LC29 aligned with the Kentmere 100. But I also brought along my 100mm f/2.8 lens and felt that I should try some street photography. Now I’m not one to actively go out and take photos of strangers in the street regularly, but the mood, location and feeling hit me. My preferred kit is a bulky SLR and a short-telephoto or portrait-length lens for street photography. While not a setup that most street photographers would use, I want to make myself a bit more obscured into the background but have enough presence that if someone doesn’t want their photo taken, they’ll turn away or indicate so. And I had several people shake their heads or turn away, in which case I’ll lower the camera and give a wave. Not a perfect system, but I also don’t want to get in their faces or cause a disturbance. Overall I’m pretty happy with the results I got, and with these trips into the city being weekly for the next few weeks, I can certainly use the chance to enjoy some time in the city with a camera.