I cut my camera collection down to one digital camera and a zoom lens, but a few weeks ago I had the urge to use some film. I had a number of rolls sitting in the fridge just soaking up cosmic and background radiation but nothing to put them in. I didn’t want to buy anything expensive because I had just sold all my expensive film gear and I wanted something small. Which lead me to the Minolta X-700 and a 50mm F1.4 lens.
Or, I should say, a Samsung Minolta X-700 with a Samsung F1.4 lens. From the late seventies onwards, luxury items were not allowed to be imported into Korea. This included cameras, unless one of the big Korean companies like Samsung or Hyundai stuck their name on it. Then it was fine. My camera has the old Samsung symbol of three stars on the front (Samsung means ‘three stars’) and on the back where most Minolta cameras say “Japan” this camera has “Samsung Aerospace Industries Corporation” written in Chinese characters. I’m not sure if that means the camera was assembled in Korea or not. The lens has Korea written on the front, so possibly it was assembled here.

I put in a roll of Kodak Ultramax 400 and went to Seongyojang. Where I discovered that citizens of Gangneung can get free admission instead of paying the usual price of 5,000 Won. That was a nice surprise. I thought about bringing my digital camera to ensure proper exposure, but decided I wanted to see how good the Minolta’s light meter is. Very good, as it turns out. Later testing showed it to give the same results or near enough as damn it as my digital.

Manhole and Rice Straw, Seongyojang.
Roof thatching season at Seongyojang. The estate had piles of rice straw everywhere. I was worried that the rather loud mirror slap would give me blurred photos, but they were as sharp as you could expect from this film.
View of houses across pavement, Seongyojang.
I’ve made photos of this scene before, but never included the stones in the foreground. It’s amazing how you can visit a place dozens of times and see something new each time.
Man climbing ladder to thatch house, Seongyojang.
Roof thatching
Man thatching roof watches passing woman, Seongyojang.
Please pay attention to your work . . . .

I was pleased with the results I got from the camera, and I’m sure I will get better results with the Portra 400 and Ektar colour films I still have in the fridge. Soon I’ll post some black and white photos I made with the camera on the same day I made these.

Stepping Stone Bridge

Namdae River, Gangneung. 2019.

There were some heavy rains last month and the stepping stone bridge across the Namdae River was underwater. This is normal flooding level for the river and there was no state of emergency. The sign on the gate says, “Danger. No entry when the river is flooded.” Duh.

For those who wonder about these things, the film was Kodak Ultramax 400 and the camera was a Nikon F6 (I’m 95% sure).

Kodak Ultramax 400

January was a slow month for photography, but I thought I would share a few photos from a roll of Kodak Ultramax 400 film I used in the Nikon F6. There might be a few people curious to see what this film looks like. I added a bit of contrast where needed, but otherwise the photos are what the lab sent to me.

This film portrays head and heel-less women very well. I should have waited until a child passed by, but it’s not a neighbourhood where there are many children.

I like the pavement painting in front of the pots. This film has great colour.

Another example of the film’s bright colours. Reds seem to come out with a slightly orange-y.

A jumble of buildings. This film is very sharp, though there is quite a bit of grain, especially in areas like skies. It might not look too bad up to 10×8, though. And how big do you want to enlarge holiday film anyway?

The missus in a pink phone box.

Dinner at the Samgeori restaurant not far from the city centre. Yum yum.

This is how I know I made the photos using the F6 . . . .

The last part of the roll was dedicated to kitty and his nose prints on the window.

Well, nothing spectacular, but you can see that this is a fine film for casual photography when out and about. I used it in mostly overcast weather and it might look even nicer in sunlight. The film is cheap, which is a nice bonus. Highly recommended for Film Fun days.