Smile.

Here is my first image from the first roll of Kodak Tri-X 120 put through the Mamiya RZ67.

I self-processed the film at home like this, and self-scanned on an Epson V700.

Looking at the tonality of this image, I want to weep tears of joy.

Nothing I’ve experienced with digital comes close.

People, all these years we have been duped.

Instead of constantly upgrading e-cameras,

We could have had this all along.

And now film is dying.

Shame on us.

—Peter.

Smile

↑Mamiya RZ67, Mamiya 110mm @ f/2.8, and Kodak Tri-X 400.

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28 thoughts on “Smile.

  1. andygemmell says:

    Wonderful Peter. Even on a computer at this size you can just feel that subtlety of film coming from this. Very very nice portrait.

  2. Pi says:

    That’s Excellent, highly recommend the Sekor 50mm f4.5 as well. Companies like Ilford seem to be doing ok, so let’s hope it does not die I have not seen anything equal b&w film. Once again awesome shot.

  3. Al Frodo says:

    Wonderful. I have started recently to shoot with the RZ’s ‘little sister’, the 645 Pro, but have given up scanning myself, I could not get consistently good results. Maybe you wouldn’t mind sharing some tricks? Your guide for developing is great! Thanks!

    • Dear AF,

      Thank you! I spent quite a lot of time writing and presenting my film processing tutorial, and I continue to spend quite a bit of time on my daily posts. I’d love to put together a scanning guide, but I also need to find time to spend with my family and to earn money (only a dozen people have ever made a donation to this site out of the over 1,000,0000 visits). Maybe one day…

  4. mewanchuk says:

    Indeed, this is one of the finest portraits (images, even…) posted on your site in recent memory. For composition, emotion, rendering, and “feel” it is truly gorgeous.

    I am very glad to see you back in the business of film, my friend.

    M.

  5. bijansabet says:

    Peter,

    This photograph is stunning. I am in awe.

    I’m very happy for you.

    -bijan

    >

  6. Lucy says:

    Cool! Medium format film photography is so satisfying. Try a Rolleiflex, as a Leica user you’ll appreciate the look of the Zeiss lens.

  7. Michael Sin says:

    Wow, this is just superb! Its awesome!
    Thanks for sharing, Peter!

  8. gmlane says:

    Peter, I love this. The tones and softness are gorgeous.

  9. Thanks for the comments everybody!

    Isn’t this film stuff wonderful?

    Sorry for the delayed response, but I’ve been working all morning. It was nice however to see the positive responses as they were arriving.

    Mark, I want you to know that it has been a pleasure viewing what you’ve done with film over the past year, and it was through your images that I realized how much I’d missed this venerable medium. In other words, you’re to blame for this 🙂

    I also want to thank D, my lovely model, for volunteering for my test shooting.

    On another note, as I mentioned previously I was very happy with the V700 scanner prior to realizing it was defective. I had used it once before for 35mm film and was satisfied with it at that time too (though I eventually opted for the smaller Plustek 7600). If the new Plustek 120 performs at least as well, it will be worth it for me to have its smaller footprint on my cramped (and shared) workspace. We’ll see…

    —Peter.

  10. jason howe says:

    I can’t think of a better word than “delicious” to describe this image….. Love it.

  11. Hugues says:

    An another truly great portrait with full of feeling !!!!
    Enjoy your new “toy” my friend ! for our pleasure as well 😉

  12. Alex says:

    Beautiful! Film truly takes a new life in your hands!

  13. Wonderful portrait Peter, and great to see you using film once again!

  14. Antonio Russell says:

    Very nice. But film is not dying!

    Wait till you get in the darkroom, you will be amazed. Those Leica lenses look pretty amazing too on film…. 😉

  15. […] with the intarwebs being all “abuzz” about Peter’s first portrait on MF film, I wasn’t going to bother to post today, but I thought I should let you all know that […]

  16. Hi Peter,

    What a lovely shot! Gorgeous tones.

    I don’t doubt you for a moment but I’d be very interested to see a side by side comparison. A monochrome shot from your Leica (with some of your PP magic of course) alongside the same from your Mamiya loaded with TRI-X. I realise that you probably don’t have the time but it would certainly be interesting.

    I very nearly bought myself a medium format film camera last week… but when I thought about it long and hard I realised that it wasn’t for me… with scanning in particular being the weak link. I also have so little spare time, sometimes a week can go by without me even getting the chance to take a photo, let alone deal with the complexities of medium format film.

    In the end I compromised and decided to get the next best thing: a Sigma Merrill DP1. The Merrill is probably the closest any digital camera can get. Of course this will slow me down too; the slow camera itself, low ISO only, probably on a tripod.. and some of the crappiest raw processing software known to man.

    Enjoy the film.

  17. That’s a stunning shot.

  18. FIlm rules. Nice photograph.

  19. Kendell Linh says:

    Awesome portrait! Welcome aboard! Isn’t the Mamiya RZ67 a wonderful camera? What developer did you use to process the film?
    I agree with you – I too have switched over to a analogue / hybrid workflow. Also film is still very much alive. I work for a magazine and 90% of the photography in it is Analogue based. There is a wonderful photography editorial in it showing the differences from 35mm, Medium Format to Large Format Photography — Here is the site if you are interested in possibly getting involved. http://www.waxecstaticmagazine.com —- and my blog is 95% film based http://www.photographybykendell.com — not trying to self promote here. I’m just excited to meet someone out there that shares the same pov. GREAT JOB!!!

    • Kendell, those are all gorgeous photos. Impressive.

      I’m actually quite surprised to learn that any magazine is is still using film-based images (and 90% of the content, wow).

      As for getting involved, let me know what I can do.

      Thanks,

      Peter.

      • Kendell Linh says:

        Peter, Thanks for responding. I will definitely let you know. I love you portraits and I noticed that you have a polaroid back – I would love to see something like that in the mag.

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