Tag: Hasselblad Xpan

Peng Chau Island with LomoChrome Purple

boat-painting-trying-new-film-peng-chau-island-trip-weekend-getaway-hasselblad-xpan-xpanii-pano-panoramic-panorama-lomo-lomography-lomochrome-purple-xr-100-320-400-200-iso-color-negative-film-analog

A weekend getaway to different islands in Hong Kong is another great options for a warm sunny Saturday. Peng Chau is one of my favourite island though it is not as big as Cheung Chau but the vibe and quietness attracted me to re-discover this little outlier.

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actual-color-of-pengchau-peng-chau-island-weekend-blue-skies-sunny-weather-snap-shot

LomoChrome Purple XR 100-400 is a Lomography negative film trying to bring back the impression and colour tone of the famous Kodak Aerochrome. This single roll of film has been sitting together with the rest of my unused film for almost half a year. Since the weather was so good on that day, I decided to take it with me and shoot something differently with a Hasselblad Xpan II, Panoramic format.

After loading the film into the panoramic camera. There is one question immediately came to my mind. Which ISO speed should I use? The film was indicated 100-400 on it’s package. I read a few blogs and articles about this film most of them suggest you to shoot at ISO 200 to give the best result of its purple tone. Then I changed the ISO setting at the back of my Xpan to ISO 200. Some suggested to use ISO 100 when the environment is darker, in this case some shots was slightly overexposed by one to half stop. Through composition and guessing the colour effect from this film was fun because it is something new to me. Last time I had this feeling was with the Kodak High Speed Infrared black and white film.

landscape-peng-chau-island-view-trip-weekend-getaway-hasselblad-xpan-xpanii-pano-panoramic-panorama-lomo-lomography-lomochrome-purple-xr-100-320-400-200-iso-color-negative-film-analog
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Peng Chau Island is so nice because of it’s size. Great for pairs or some photo hobbyist to spend a full day just to walk around on this beautiful island. It has some nice beaches, scattered buildings and there is no tall buildings which was great.

We walked from ferry pier to get some local “Char Charn Tang” food and then continue the journey along the beach. After that we went up to Finger Hill then moved to walk along the coastline.

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Marisa-peng-chau-island-trip-weekend-getaway-hasselblad-xpan-xpanii-pano-panoramic-panorama-lomo-lomography-lomochrome-purple-xr-100-320-400-200-iso-color-negative-film-analog

20 shots were fired and the film safely returned in the film canister. I sent the film to trustworthy lab – Colorluxe Express in Wan Chai Jaffe Road. And I got the scanned copy on the same day.

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So now, red became purple, blue became cyan. The mood is quite special to me. I think I will try to shoot one or two more under different environment but definitely not my essential negative film. But worth to give it a try!

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sunset-on-the-ferry-back-to-central-hong-kong-hk-852-asia-asian-back-of-the-boat

Street Photography Guide in Centro Havana (Cuba)

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Street Photography Guide in Centro Havana (Cuba)
Cuba is often crown as one of the most photogenic cities for street photography lovers. I’m sure you have all come across the extensive work on this magical place by famous Magnum photographers such as David Alan Harvey, Alex Webb, Elliott Erwitt…etc. No difference to those of you who are inspired by and are curious of this place, I decided to pack my bag one day and off I went on an almost 30 hours journey to Havana.

going-home-with-mama-and-kids-n-centro-havana-wandering-cuba-taken-with-hasselblad-xpan-II-xpanII-45mm-pano-panoramic-camera-agfa-vista-400Afternoon walk, Havana Cuba (Hasselblad Xpan II with Agfa Vista 400)
car-making-left-turn-in-centro-havana-next-to-malecon-agfa-vista-400-street-snap-photography-guide-leica-summilux-35mm-1.4-asph-fleGoing left in Malecon, Havana Cuba (Hasselblad Xpan II with Agfa Vista 400)

I had a lot of fantasies about this place before I actually arrived at the airport. My head kept replaying some of the scenes I saw from movies and Instagram. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect but certain for one thing – to try live with the vibe and capture something that represents the Latin America colours.

The-gas-station-petrol-next-to-Malecon-sunset-busy-repair-car-Leica-M10-digital-summicron-35mm-travel-street-photography-guide-centro-havana-cubaDaily life, Havana Cuba (Leica M10) (left) (Leica MP with Agfa Vista 400 (Right top, bottom)
housing-around-centro-havana-next-to-malecon-agfa-vista-400-street-snap-photography-guide-leica-summilux-35mm-1.4-asph-fleoutskirt-seafront-gathering-place-in-centro-havana-next-to-malecon-agfa-vista-400-street-snap-photography-guide-leica-summilux-35mm-1.4-asph-fle

One Step in and You Enter a Different World
You don’t have to wait till you land at the José Martí International Airport to feel that you are officially separated from your family, friends and loved ones (if you’re not traveling with them). Everything in Havana exists as if time has frozen. Highly restricted internet access is probably the first and most significant hit you would get on your first day but to be honest, I actually grew to enjoy time with no instant messages and social media towards the end of my trip, it made me appreciate the time and attention for quality conversations with my traveling partner and the new friends I met.

Barber-shop-visit-portrait-of-client-local-cuban-in-centro-havana-tahusa-leica-film-summilux-35-1.4-asph-fle-travel-tips-guides
Barber-shop-visit-portrait-of-client-local-cuban-in-centro-havana-tahusa-leica-film-summilux-35-1.4-asph-fle-travel-tips-guides-haircutbarber-shop-haircut-salon-fc-barcelona-supporter-centro-havana-cuba-agfa-vista-400-leica-film-analog-35mm-summilux-1.4-asph-fle-street-guide
car-fleeing-speed-drive-driveway-highway-in-centro-havana-next-to-malecon-agfa-vista-400-street-snap-photography-guide-leica-summilux-35mm-1.4-asph-fleVintage Cars, Havana Cuba (Leica MP Summilux 35/1.4 asph fle with Agfa Vista 400)
colorful-vintage-cars-vehicles-in-centro-havana-next-to-malecon-agfa-vista-400-street-snap-photography-guide-leica-summilux-35mm-1.4-asph-fle

You know those vintage cars that you see in the opening scene of Fast and Furious 8? Well, they are literally everywhere. They are also known as ‘almendrones’, a popular means of local transportation. If you are feeling touristy, there are car tours that you can sign up so you get to enjoy the sun and breeze while zooming through the allies and lanes of Havana.

soldiers-marching-centro-havana-wandering-cuba-taken-with-hasselblad-xpan-II-xpanII-45mm-pano-panoramic-camera-agfa-vista-400Marching, Havana Cuba (Hasselblad Xpan II with Agfa Vista 400)
Gas-station-men-entering-vintage-vehicle-in-centro-havana-cuba-summicron-35-leica-m10-street-photography-guide-travel-tipsVintage Vehicles, Havana Cuba (Leica M10 (Left) (Leica MP Agfa Vista 400 (Right top and bottom)
Busy-road-filling-with-cars-vehicles-centro-havana-on-the-way-to-malecon-cuba-street-scene-leica-summilux-35-asph-agfa-vista-400-negative-film-coloron-my-way-to-find-TV-cafe-centro-havana-next-to-malecon-agfa-vista-400-street-snap-photography-guide-leica-summilux-35mm-1.4-asph-fle

One point to note, its vibes during the day and at the night are very different, I still remember vividly the moments when I stepped out of the airport arrival hall to when I was greeted by my first hostel owner, I was in this super intense yet excited mode the whole time; these mysterious scenes and landscapes hidden in the dark corners and shadows were constantly challenging my visual perceptions.

Navigating your way in the offline world
I love unplanned trips and city explorations but one thing that I can’t live without here is to have a map that orientates me to this new surrounding. Language barrier is one thing and there are too many split roads and back lanes that branches off the main streets, you can get lost very easily! Also, the meet up points for collective taxis are dispersed around the city, the map always comes in handy when you ask for direction, at least there’s something that the locals can point to!

Maps.me was my lifesafer, download it in advance. This app has a library of maps that covers other parts of Cuba and continents. Anyway, when in doubt, follow the main road, it’ll eventually take you to the city centre.

please-listen-to-me-phone-card-centro-havana-cuba-agfa-vista-400-leica-film-analog-35mm-summilux-1.4-asph-fle-street-guideOffline World, Havana Cuba (Leica Summilux 35/1.4 asph fle with Agfa Vista 400 (Left and Right top bottom)
skateboard-skating-streetkids-centro-havana-cuba-agfa-vista-400-leica-film-analog-35mm-summilux-1.4-asph-fle-street-guidecouple-kissing-in-centro-havana-next-to-malecon-agfa-vista-400-street-snap-photography-guide-leica-summilux-35mm-1.4-asph-fle

A Natural Street Photography Heaven
Every corner and person, each sunshade and moment,  anything that came into my eye insights had my attention. The ever changing sceneries made it challenging to decide what I want to focus on, so I strongly recommend you to have a careful think about this and have a list ready, so that you don’t get too carried away with the buzz that goes on around you.

tight-fit-between-parents-motorbike-centro-havana-cuba-agfa-vista-400-leica-film-analog-35mm-summilux-1.4-asph-fle-street-guideLocal Neighbours, Havana Cuba (Leica Summilux 35/1.4 asph fle with Agfa Vista 400) (Left and Right)
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Some might think it’s easy to capture unique shots in Cuba but in fact everything is so typical that it looks as if it is staged: that perfect natural sunbeam and warm bouncing sidelights against the colorful walls and people, you’ll need some creativity on composition to add your signature to the photo. If you’re truly into street photography, I challenge you to take this extra step and visit other towns and neighborhoods located on the South East of Cuba, you may unveil more surprises. I personally like Trinidad a lot more than Havana, I wil explain the reasons in another post.

black-man-under-sunshine-next-to-colorful-vintage-car-centro-havana-cuba-agfa-vista-400-leica-film-analog-35mm-summilux-1.4-asph-fle-street-guideToo Sunny, Havana Cuba (Leica Summilux 35/1.4 asph fle with Agfa Vista 400)
Lady-outside-hostel-sitting-waiting-for-her-husband-vivid-color-Cuba-havana-tahusa-centro-Agfa-400-Vista-Leica-Summilux-35mm-1.4-asph-fle-11663-film-photography-guide-street-travel-travel-guide-tipsold-man-in-restaurant-giving-me-gentle-smile-centro-havana-leica-summilux-35-1.4-asph-fle-agfa-vista-400

Suggested map
suggested-map-of-centro-havana-cuba-tahusa-Street Photography Guide Centro Havana-blog-travel-tips-guides-malecon-route-places-to-visit

Suggested spots

  1. Malecon
  2. Calle M Area
  3. Avenida de los Presidentes Main Road
  4. Monumento al General Antonio Maceo (Cross section)
front-view-of-Che-Guevara-Mausoleum-in-centro-havana-cuba-travel-photography-guide-street-trip-scenic-attractionsPlaza de la Revolucion, Havana Cuba (Leica Summilux 35/1.4 asph with Agfa Vista 400)
Hotel-Nacional-de-Cuba-iconic-place-in-havana-agfa-vista-400-summilux-35-1.4-asph-fle-leicaHotel National, Havana Cuba (Leica Summilux 35/1.4 asph fle with Agfa Vista 400)

Street photography tips in Havana

  1. People in Havana are more alert than other parts of the country, so you either do it quick or you make an effort to communicate with your subject so that they don’t feel ambush and less of a shock. This will also avoid you being asked for money after you pressed the shutter.
  2. Don’t get me wrong, Cuban people are kind but just stay alert to those who act overly generous, in case they have their eyes on your money instead. And for those who offer you restaurant suggestions, make sure it is the place that you want to go and not been forced into, the locals get commissions for bringing in customers.
  3. Sunglasses are the go-to neutral density filter (even better than your camera viewfinder!) And it saves you from the harsh highlight from the sun and gives you a better idea on composition.
  4. Always wear comfortable shoes. I walked an average of 25,000 steps each day and I have to lift my legs up for better circulation and reduce swelling when I go to sleep at night.
  5. Follow the light and the main road to the Malecon, there is always something interesting to capture.
  6. Bring a few more spare batteries, unlike other cities there is no way you can find a spare battery that could fit into your cameras.
neighbors-in-squart-complex-n-centro-havana-wandering-cuba-taken-with-hasselblad-xpan-II-xpanII-45mm-pano-panoramic-camera-agfa-vista-400Local Neighbours, Havana Cuba (Hasselblad Xpan II with Agfa Vista 400)
Street-around-hostel-in-centro-havana-wandering-cuba-taken-with-hasselblad-xpan-II-xpanII-45mm-pano-panoramic-camera-agfa-vista-400Local Neighbours, Havana Cuba (Hasselblad Xpan II with Agfa Vista 400)
workers-construction-n-centro-havana-wandering-cuba-taken-with-hasselblad-xpan-II-xpanII-45mm-pano-panoramic-camera-agfa-vista-400Construction Workers, Havana Cuba (Hasselblad Xpan II with Agfa Vista 400)

Money Exchange
There is an auto money exchange machine at the arrival hall of the Havana airport. But I also did some exchange at the banks in the city center. The best way is to ask your Casa owner for advice, it does take some time to familiarize yourself with the money system and the way they work.

Wifi Card
This is essential for you to keep in contact with your families and friends and of course for sharing your amazing photos on social media. Usually the wifi cards are available for sale at the park, you can get 1hr, 2hrs and 5hrs card. I would suggest you getting the longest hour option so you can go without wasting another hour in the queue. I was very conscious with the time limit, I have my eyes on the watch regularly and spend less than 20 minutes online each day. From my experience, 10am is the best queueing time because the sun isn’t too bright and there should be plenty of stocks. Look for the end of the queue when you get there, give a head nod to the person before you so the he acknowledges that you’re behind him, then you’re free to move around the area. When it’s almost your turn, just join the queue again.

block-and-complex-n-centro-havana-wandering-cuba-taken-with-hasselblad-xpan-II-xpanII-45mm-pano-panoramic-camera-agfa-vista-400
tree-and-green-man-blue-vintage-car-centro-havana-cuba-agfa-vista-400-leica-film-analog-35mm-summilux-1.4-asph-fle-street-guideFunny shape tree with vintage car, Havana Cuba (Leica Summilux 35/1.4 asph with Agfa Vista 400)
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TAHUSA Recommended Film ISO and Focal Length
I would suggest bringing your favourite film camera because it has a lot to shoot in the city itself. The light is always perfect so ISO100 film is good enough but if you want to do something more extreme in zone focusing, you may use ISO400 film and stay at F11 without worry about focusing and a 35mm lens would be a perfect match.

sports-stadium-in-centro-havana-next-to-malecon-agfa-vista-400-street-snap-photography-guide-leica-summilux-35mm-1.4-asph-fleSports Stadium, Havana Cuba (Leica Summilux 35/1.4 asph with Agfa Vista 400)
Stadium-sports-centre-in-centro-havana-next-to-malecon-agfa-vista-400-street-snap-photography-guide-leica-summilux-35mm-1.4-asph-fle
Taxi-in-the-corner-of-the-road-centro-havana-cuba-dim-light-evening-travel-street-leica-m10-summicron-35mm-f2-IV-rangefinderTaxi, Havana Cuba (Leica M10 Summicron 35/2 pre-asph V4)
local-produce-farmers-in-truck-delivery-centro-havana-cuba-after-sunset-dim-light-leica-m10-summicron-35-travel-street-photography-guide-tahusa-tipsafter-sunset-getting-dark-in-centro-havana-cuba-not-many-street-light-dark-returning-casa-leica-m10-summicron-35-travel-street-guide-photography-tips

 

Check out other City Guides

Street-photography-guide-yangon-myanmar-film-shooters-tahusa-traveller-travel-attractions-list

Street-photography-guide-in-mongkok-mk-banner-travel-guide

 

AgfaPhoto Vista Plus 400

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Agfa-Photo-vista-film-review-400-negative-analog-tahusa-usefilm-shootfilm-cheap-option

Name: AgfaPhoto Vista Plus

ISO: 400

Film type: Colour Negative

Character: Sensitive to red colour, saturation is high

 

Brief Summary

ISO 400 is the perfect box speed to shoot under different conditions. Since my beloved Kodak Super Gold 400 has already been discontinued. I need to find a replacement for it. I tried Kodak Portra 400 but we didn’t really work out. I always have the impression that the Agfa Vista 400 is cheap with low quality reflected on its price tag. But I was totally wrong to have this impression to it. Why? Let me explain with the follow points.

portrait-of-lin-in-beanie-and-purple-sunglasses-Zhongdian-rain-and-sunlight-tibet-tibetan-Yunan-Shangrila-China-trave-Agfaphoto-agfa-vista-plus-400-iso400-film-negative-snap-Xpan-Hassel-Hasselblad-XpanII-45mm-f4-wide-pano-panoramic-panorama
Jacqueline-carson-prewedding-shot-sai-wan-pier-memory-before-marriage-Hong-Kong-city-photowalk-Agfaphoto-agfa-vista-plus-400-iso400-film-negative-snap-Xpan-Hassel-Hasselblad-XpanII-45mm-f4-wide-pano 3
Jacqueline-carson-prewedding-shot-sai-wan-pier-memory-before-marriage-Hong-Kong-city-photowalk-Agfaphoto-agfa-vista-plus-400-iso400-film-negative-snap-Xpan-Hassel-Hasselblad-XpanII-45mm-f4-wide-pano 3

Sharp colour and fair sharpness

“RED” is the first impression of Agfa Vista, at the same time it is the signature. It has great skin tone reproduction which I am quite surprised. I love how it can enhance my presentation on street snaps. When I do photo walk in Hong Kong, I always wanted to bring up colour as one of the key matter in my content. Agfa Vista 400 helps me a lot with bringing up the sharp colour rendering. Also, it is great to use under different weather as other film cannot really bring up the right mood when the weather is bad. And normally I will just shoot with black and white film immediately when I knew it is going to rain on that day. Frankly speaking, I like it more than X-tra 400 or Superia Premium 400 because it doesn’t has the Fuji green tint. I like it presented in warmer tone like the Kodak film and it is cheap in price. Sharpness is fair, not so sharp compare with Kodak Portra 400 but you couldn’t ask for more with such price.

colourful-kid-with-pattern-strip-with-geometry-street-snap-outstreet-Photo-walk-hong-kong-hk-hongkong-City-snaps-cities-scanner-film-using-leica-m2-summicron-35mm-f2-iv-pre-asph-analog-shutter-allianceAll three images taken with Leica Summicron 35mm f2 IV pre-asph
resting-in-the-middle-of-house-of-vans-street-snap-outstreet-Photo-walk-hong-kong-hk-hongkong-City-snaps-cities-scanner-film-using-leica-m2-summicron-35mm-f2-iv-pre-asph-analog-shutter-allianceportrait-skateboarder-organic-central-house-of-vans-street-snap-outstreet-Photo-walk-hong-kong-hk-hongkong-City-snaps-cities-scanner-film-using-leica-m2-summicron-35mm-f2-iv-pre-asph-analog-shutter-alliance

Grain

Even though they stated it has fine-grain structure on their website. But I think their grain formation is a bit coarse. When you compare other film with ISO400. Agfa’s grain is less appealing. I find Fujifilm Superia Premium 400 and Portra 400 are much better in grain structure with more consistent and smooth grain particles.

snow-mountain-wedding-pre-wedding-shot-Yunan-Shangrila-China-travel-Agfaphoto-agfa-vista-plus-400-iso400-film-negative-snap-Xpan-Hassel-Hasselblad-XpanII-45mm-f4-wide-pano 7
major-and-lin-memory-pre-wedding-love-Zhongdian-rain-and-sunlight-tibet-tibetan-Yunan-Shangrila-China-trave-Agfaphoto-agfa-vista-plus-400-iso400-film-negative-snap-Xpan-Hassel-Hasselblad-XpanII-45mm-f4-wide-pano-panoramic-panorama
road-on-the-way-to-snow-mountain-Zhongdian-rain-and-sunlight-tibet-tibetan-Yunan-Shangrila-China-trave-Agfaphoto-agfa-vista-plus-400-iso400-film-negative-snap-Xpan-Hassel-Hasselblad-XpanII-45mm-f4-wide-pano-panoramic-panorama

 

Why do I prefer Agfa Vista 400 than Kodak Portra 400, Fujifilm Superia Premium 400 and X-tra 400?

Based on my experience of using these films. The main reason I love Agfa is that it has wide exposure latitude that makes me achieving consistent result under different lighting environment. Whether it is sunny or cloudy, it maintains great grey balance. However, for Fujifilm Superia Premium 400 and X-tra 400, when you use it on cloudy day and lack of sunlight, the mood will be more depressed. So I would describe Agfa Vista as a happy film, it absorbs colour and present it in high saturation. On the other hand, the thing that I like Agfa Vista more than Kodak Portra 400 is that I can get better tone in various environment, such as landscape, portrait even though the grain is not as fine as Portra 400. But all these characteristics shape the Agfa Vista 400 to be an all -rounded film.

Road-to-snow-mountain-blue-moon-hole-landscape-tibetan-culture-Yunan-Shangrila-China-travel-Agfaphoto-agfa-vista-plus-400-iso400-film-negative-snap-Xpan-Hassel-Hasselblad-XpanII-45mm-f4-wide-pano 8
horse-having-grass-eaing-landscape-tibetan-culture-Yunan-Shangrila-China-travel-Agfaphoto-agfa-vista-plus-400-iso400-film-negative-snap-Xpan-Hassel-Hasselblad-XpanII-45mm-f4-wide-pano 8
took-a-quick-snap-out-of-car-window-landscape-tibetan-culture-Yunan-Shangrila-China-travel-Agfaphoto-agfa-vista-plus-400-iso400-film-negative-snap-Xpan-Hassel-Hasselblad-XpanII-45mm-f4-wide-pano 8
took-a-quick-snap-out-of-car-window-landscape-Yunan-Shangrila-China-travel-Agfaphoto-agfa-vista-plus-400-iso400-film-negative-snap-Xpan-Hassel-Hasselblad-XpanII-45mm-f4-wide-pano 8All panorama pictures are taken with Hasselblad Xpan II 45mm f4