Standard Practice.

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The last 35mm camera I used before selling-up and switching to digital, around the time of the Millennium, was the Nikon F100. In fact, I had two – the rugged bodies had that weighty feel that oozed quality and reliability. I’ve always missed that reassuring gravitas that even today’s flagship digital models seem to lack… so when a friend of a friend offered me, out of the blue, a mint condition Nikon F100, I couldn’t say no. The F100 arrived with the bog-standard 50mm 1.8D… a nice piece of glass, but a little on the flimsy side, so I ordered the 50mm 1.4G – an altogether sturdier optic.

I’ve raved about the humble ‘standard’ 50mm lens on more than one occasion, and for good reason – it’s the lens I use the most, across all formats, for the vast majority of my work. Paired with a good, fast 28mm or 35mm lens – personally, I think that’s all you need.

All the images here were made using the F100/50mm 1.4G combo’ and either Kodak Portra 400 or Fuji Natura 1600 film. Developed and scanned at UK Film Lab 

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7 comments

  1. Yeah, I can dig it.* For the last two & a half years or so, probably 90% of my photography has been done on one camera with a fixed 35mm equiv. lens, and sometimes adding a teleconverter lens giving 50mm equiv. Occasionally I’ve rented a camera (with the same sensor) and an 85mm equiv. f1.2 lens. Not for the length / perspective mind, but just cos I’ve wanted to squeeze out some more blur than my regular 50mm equiv. f2 can give me**.

    I really do feel that 50mm is a far out length for portraits.

    * sorry, saw part of the documentary for the Monterey Pop festival the other day & now I’m talking all silly, man. I wonder if there is an ‘International Talk Like A Hippie Day’? Cos if there is, I’m going to make it my own personal Talk Like Vivian Off The Young Ones Day…

    ** especially since I need to be at f2.8 really, for reasons of, um, groovy sharpness.

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  2. Once again, lovely light in your images. Must be the film and processing that creates those soft tones (as I don’t see that light in the other UK photographer’s blogs I follow, but most use DSLRs).

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  3. I honestly think the F100 is the best value in 35mm film photography–The camera makes sense, and it just plain works. I think it is even a better choice than the venerable F6.

    My only pet peeve is that you can’t set it to leave the leader out on film rewind.

    Oh…and nice pics, Phil!

    Cheers,
    M.

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  4. GailyVacation85

    I’m running out of superlatives… I’m convinced that if you gave a million other photographers this same camera/lens/film combination, there results wouldn’t come close to these images…. because of course it’s not the camera, or the lens, or the film – it’s you, Phil.🙂

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  5. Still haven’t got my film sent out (looking for a new lab ATM), but the F100 feels awesome in my hand compared to my DSLRs and how I remember my F80. It, combined with my X100T, seems like the best combination for me.

    And great photos, as always!

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