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  • Writer's pictureGilbert Carosin

Using the nikon f5 for the first time with Kodak colorplus

Updated: Sep 15, 2023

In march 2023 i bought my first ever film camera the nikon f5, a brutal SLR from the past that would replace my current d700 in the studio. The camera was bought in mint condition from japan but i still needed to make sure it was performing well with strobes and had no light leaks. So i went to my local dealer and bought the cheapest film i could find to test nikon f5, it was the kodak colorplus with the with 24 exposure iso 200.


First i wanted to make sure there was no light leaks so i grabbed my heavy tripod and went for some outdoor shooting. Analog film is very different from digital photography, the medium really loves big bright light so the first set of pictures i took was near Cap Malheureux around 1pm on a bright sunny day with a polariser filter on the lens.


I took several pictures at different speed and aperture but i always made sure i was exposing for the darkest part of the image, here i metered the dark rock and shadows from the wall and overexposed them by almost one stop. With the help of the polariser filter the sky remained exposed properly while adding some extra pop to the clouds. The images below are all straight from the scan with no retouch from my side, the files i received from the lab were around 17-20 mb in jpeg format, this is their high quality scan ( they also offer tif scanning but the jpeg is fine for me )




I have to say i was pleasantly surprised, i wasn't expecting much from this first test, the colour are beautiful the film is easy to use, the rendering is simply amazing and the picture have enough resolution for relatively large print. The lens i used was an old 28mm f3.5 Ai so nothing super sharp here but that lens has a lot of micro contrast.


The next session was done in the studio were i was testing the flash sync with my light strobe, as expected the Nikon f5 performed flawlessly from 1/125 to 1/250, the only issue was that at the time of shooting i didn't have a light-meter ( i have a one and i cannot live without it now ) ... some of the pictures came out a bit overexposed but the kodak color plus does a very good job at not clipping the highlight and rendering skin tone properly.


While it is not on the same level as a kodak portra for my studio session ( a review of portra 400 is already on its way ), this entry level 35mm film roll is performing extremely well and i was very pleased with the overall result of the kodak colorplus.



The lens used in the studio is a Nikkor 135mm f3.5 Ai which i have been using for the past 7 years and we use an Elinchrom rotaux 53 as our key light. the nikon F5 is now my go to camera for all studio session. The Kodak colour pro is a good all rounder film with moderate grain, it doesn't excel particularly in a specific domain but it is an extremely good budget film.


The film was developed at Cape film supply in cape town South Africa and was send from Mauritius Island ( were i live ) via courrier. This is a link to their website.


https://capefilmsupply.co.za/



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