Standard Practice.


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 

Screen Shot 2016-02-09 at 16.05.01 PK040116143652-02 PK280116001859-18 PK040116143652-23


  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.


  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).


  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!



  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. 🙂


  5. J.J. Sommer

    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!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: