The image below is one my favorites, although I don’t usually make images of flowers. This is the reason I still shoot black and white film. I find the tones and the transitions from shadows to highlight very different from my digital images. Also, since 35mm film cameras are full frame, I can get closer to the subjects with lenses like 50mm and create a more narrow depth of field.
As you can see, the bokeh of the Nokton 50mm f1.5 is not the best one. It’s kinda harsh and sometimes distracting, but overall it’s a fantastic lens at a fantastic price (at least when it was sold new, since it has been discontinued). The newer Nokton 50mm f1.1 also suffers from harsh bokeh, so if a totally smooth background is a must, one has to invest to either the pricey Summilux 50mm or the Zeiss Sonar f1.5 (for a 50mm lens that is).
I prefer to stick with the Nokton 50mm f1.5, since it’s an all around lens with extreme sharpness and great image quality.
About the film, it’s the Efke 25. A very slow (ISO 25) old technology emulsion which produces very distinctive, vintage look images. It’s inferior to more modern film like Delta 100 or TMAX 100, but I use it precisely for this old look, which when combined with older lenses (like the Leica Elmar 50mm collapsible for the 1950’s), gives you great results.
I haven’t been able to develop this film properly with my favorite Ilfotec DD-X developer (the times I have found on the Internet are not giving me good results), so I use the TMAX developer. Normally it’s 4 minutes developing at 20C, but I which is considered a “too fast developing” but since now I didn’t have any problems with that, the negatives come out just fine.
Because of the low 25 ISO, I can use a 3 stops ND Filter and shoot at wide open apertures even at a bright sunny day. (the ND is required since the max shutter speed of the M7 is 1/1000). I have used the Efke 25 with my medium format cameras and, as expected, the results are even more impressive, with gorgeous tone transitions.
It’s a great film to try if you don’t mince it’s slow speed.
(c)2012 Konstantinos Besios. All Rights Reserved.