Tag: Kentmere

Leica Summilux 35mm f1.4 Pre-asph Infinity Lock: A Hidden Gem with Characters

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The Leica Summilux 35mm f1.4 Pre-asph Infinity Lock: A Hidden Gem with Characters

 

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A Lens Identical to Summilux first version aka Steel Rim

There are many people who would dream of owning a copy of the first version Summilux 35mm because of its rarity, outlook and Leica “glow”. Its special outlook on both M2 and M3 version really made me fond of it, especially with that sexy OLLUX hood which is so unique in the entire Leica collection. It is sad to see the price of this rare gem keep going up.  I have personally tried both lenses on hand and been shooting with them for a while on film and digital. So I would describe the Summilux pre-a v2 early type (infinity lock version) is a little bit sharper at all apertures compared with Steel Rim.


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Kodak Tmax P3200

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Kodak Tmax P3200

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Leica M10

Steel Rim has vulnerable coating in early serials and very easy to have separations in elements, so it is hard to cherry pick the best copy. Both lenses were constructed in the same design with the same focus scale and infinity lock except the front metal rim was installed in Steel Rim. Some Infinity lock version have brass tabs and some are in chrome. Most of their serial number begins in 222xxxx, 229xxxx and 234xxxx and it is available in both M2 and M3 goggle version.

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Kodak Double-X

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Kentmere 400

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Ilford HP5 pushed to 800

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Ilford HP5 pushed to 800

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Ilford HP5 pushed to 800


Minimum focusing distance at 0.85m in M2 version

The non-goggle version of this lens can focus down to 0.85m compared with Steel Rim and normal Summilux pre-a 35mm which has a minimum focus distance at 1 meter. Other summicron lenses such as 7 elements (King of Bokeh) and 8 elements both have min focus range at 0.7m. It surely gives you an advantage to take some nice images with f1.4 at a closer range, great to take half body portraits when you are sitting opposite of your subject. Whereas the M3 version with the aid of the goggle, it can focus down to 0.65m. 

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Arista EDU 400

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Kodak Double-X

An Underrated Gem with so much Character

There are so many layers to taste with this lens. The most popular lens from Leica probably is the Summicron 35mm f2 Version 1 (8 elements) with its immaculate transition in black and white images and the essense described as sealing the air in the image. Another one will be Summicron 35mm f2 IV (7 elements) also known as King of Bokeh, it is an overall performer on black and white and colour negatives not so special but great for consistency on your image. But what I wanted to express is that this Summilux infinity lock can also offer you most of their characters at different apertures. 

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Leica M240P

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Kentmere 400

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Kentmere 400

Starting wide open at f1.4 can perform like Steel Rim but not having the crazy glow or haze from normal Ver 2 pre-asph, at f2 it is very much like the 8 elements and bokeh is the same as well. At F2.8 to F8 it gives rich and solid images like the King of Bokeh. The most obvious difference among them is that Summilux infinity lock tends to render in a much warmer tone than other lenses, that sense of Warmth sometimes might not be great on colour photography but sometimes that put on extra spirit to the photographs. I believe no lens is perfect but a great lens should have characters that fit in your photo philosophy and they are like your best companion, like a drawing brush which helps you to create your memories or assignments

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Kodak Tri-X

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Ilford HP5 pushed to 800

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Kodak Double-X

Conclusion

As I have noticed not many people are aware of the specialty of this little gem, that’s why I wrote this article to let more people appreciate this lens with its character and outstanding performance. I know this lens is actually even rarer than Steel Rim but I highly recommend you to try it. All of these are just my personal experience and if you have anything wanted to share with me or other readers, feel free to comment below and definitely great to hear comments from other users!

 


Film Samples

Kodak Ultramax 400

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Kodak Ultramax 400

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Kodak Ultramax 400

Kodak Eastman 5222 Double-X

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Kodak Double-X

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Kodak Double-X

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Kodak Double-X

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Kodak Double-X

Cinestill 800T pushed to 1600

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Cinestill 800T

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Cinestill 800T

Fujifilm Superia Premium 400

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Fujifilm Supera Premium 400

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Fujifilm Supera Premium 400

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Fujifilm Supera Premium 400

Kodak Super Gold 400 (Japan Ver)

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Kodak Supergold 400

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Kodak Supergold 400

Kentmere 400

Kentmere, Kentmere 400, iso400, black and white negative film, movie, cinefilm, cine film, cinematography, highspeed, high iso, light sensitive, traditional black and white film, bnw, b&W film, analog, leica summicron 50mm, 50mm, shoot film, film lover, tahusa, film review, hong kong, film blog, emulsion, greyscale, difference from other black and white, comparison, difference, how, choose film, choose black and white film, pick, guide, gradation, tonal range, darkroom,

Ilford B&W negative alternative?

Ilford film is pricy but with high quality. If you are looking for low-budgeted film that allows you to shoot more extensively, Kentmere is the best option for you to take some nice black and white photos. It is cheap, reliable and has the “Classical” grey tone. This film only available in 135 format. It would be great if it has medium format too.

Kentmere, Kentmere 400, iso400, black and white negative film, movie, cinefilm, cine film, cinematography, highspeed, high iso, light sensitive, traditional black and white film, bnw, b&W film, analog, leica summicron 50mm, 50mm, shoot film, film lover, tahusa, film review, hong kong, film blog, emulsion, greyscale, difference from other black and white, comparison, difference, how, choose film, choose black and white film, pick, guide, gradation, tonal range, darkroom,Name: Kentmere

ISO: 400

Film type: Black and white

Character: Broad tonal range, fine grain and good sharpness

Broad tonal range with good contrast

I would say the Kentmere 400 is with great price and quality. I discovered this film from Free Style Photographic Supplies back in 2010 (mainly because of the cheap price offered). After trying several of it I was quickly attracted by its tone, a classic mood with nice texture produced in the images, the tone gradation has so many layers. I have been shooting the film under daylight, indoor or even with studio flash, under different situation the film produced stable and unique character, especially the silver glittering highlight and it gives you a general nice grey tone. Overall, the white tone stands out more than other black and white film. Here is some images review below.

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Visiting-Salzburg-Austria-travel-visit-Black-and-white-analog-film-leica-summicron-35mm-f2-35-v1-Kentmere-400-iso400-film-review
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Fine grain and good sharpness

It is a relatively grainy B&W film. Even I developed it with Ilford DDX developer (Great pair with fast film). However, the grain makes the film quite special because it enhanced the micro-contrast and the grain is not heavily done. I would describe Ilford HP5 grain is “Heavy” and this Kentmere film grain is “Soft and light”. If you are looking for fine grain black and white film, I would suggest you to use Ilford Delta series. It has high sharpness and portrait every detail in the film.

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Pushing the film

This film is not that flexible to push compare with Ilford Delta, HP5 or Kodak Double-X. It will lose details and textures in the highlight easily and also the darker shadow will become rich dark black. I have tried to use it at ISO800 or up to ISO1600.

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What lenses did I use?

Leica Summicron 35mm f2 v1

Leica Summicron 50mm f2 Rigid type 1

Leica Summilux 50mm f1.4 v2

Leica Noctilux 50mm f1 v3

Kai-Tak-Mansion-Slum-minorities-in-Hong-Kong-point-and-shoot-Mju-II-Black-and-white-BW-B&W-film-analog-snap-snapshot-night-tone-smooth-self-develop-HC-110-ilford-HP5-iso400-pushed-2-stops-1600-iso1600-黑白-黑白攝影-菲林黑白-新手-beginner-guide-ilford-DDX-Kodak-Eastman-5222-motion-picture-cinefilm-cine-double-x-doublex-XX-doublex-what-black-and-white-film-to-shoot-with-other-brand-try-film-test-film-Kentmere
Holocaust-Berlin-travel-visit-Black-and-white-analog-film-leica-summicron-35mm-f2-35-v1-Kentmere-400-iso400-film-review
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