Having thought about using a half frame camera like the Olympus Pen F, a pocketable yet fully functioned camera, I wondered how it might be used, how to make use of the 72 frames and the natural portrait orientation of the viewfinder. I knew I wasn’t exactly the first to think that multiple frames of similar subjects would suit the format well, but nevertheless I considered that would be the way to go.
Yet I don’t have an Olympus Pen F, or any other half frame camera come to that, but then most cameras are often turned 90 degrees to be used in portrait orientation, so why wait ? I’d try something similar using a normal 35mm camera, shooting a whole roll of 36 exposures in portrait orientation, a first for me anyway.
As a result of being one of the Kickstarter backers, I’d just received a delivery of the new Kosmofoto Agent Shadow 400 ISO B&W film, and I was kind of itching to try that one out, so I had the opportunity to kill two birds with one stone so to speak. I would shoot a roll of the the new film, aiming to fill it completely with portrait orientation diptychs.
How I’d Do It
I’d taken photos along the Flintshire coastal path before and thought it could be a good candidate for the exercise, especially with the changeable weather, which just might throw up some nice cloud formations.
To do this I chose the Nikon F6 and 24-85mm VR Zoom lens and yellow filter, enabling a choice of focal lengths while looking for those diptych opportunities.
On returning home the film was developed in D-23 stock (replenished) for 8 mins at 20°C , the negatives were scanned with a Nikon D850 and 60mm macro lens.
Bar a few that just didn’t work for me, below are the resulting diptychs.
Well firstly regarding the new film, I very much liked the results, and it certainly went well in D-23 developer, have I used this emulsion before? quite possibly ( See my Affordable Four Hundreds post), but I don’t care really, the point is it’s a very nice film to use, and it’s available now.
As for the diptychs, I certainly had a great time shooting them, it was nice to go out with a different kind of objective and a different eye. I may well do it again, even maybe with medium format, I think the Fuji GS645S would be prefect for this kind of approach. That Pen F though, matched with a fine grained lower ISO film and a jacket with good pockets, I might just be keeping a watchful eye out for when a bargain comes along 😉
© Copyright owner Steve Starr. First publication 1st June 2022