Jonathan Fleming's Blog

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Posts Tagged ‘nikon fm

A Day in Glen Park

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Olympus PEN E-PL2 + Panasonic 20mm f/1.7

Seems like there are more and more farmers markets popping up around San Francisco lately. I found out a few days ago that for the first time this past Sunday, a market would be set up in the small neighborhood I grew up in, Glen Park. Such a big place in my heart for this little neighborhood.

To my fellow San Franciscans: weren’t the clouds crazy beautiful yesterday? My goodness. We never get clouds like this! While the wife perused the market, sampling the local produce, I snapped away:

The Glen Park market was relatively small, so it didn’t take long for us to be done checking it out. All that gazing at food made us pretty hungry….

More clicks on the way to La Corneta, the local neighborhood taqueria. Not the best in the city, but hey, they made a killer quesadilla for us today:

Stomachs full, a little more shooting. Even though I spent so many years of my life in Glen Park, I never get tired of just walking around town in this area. Come to think of it, I’ve never really done a photowalk here o_O

That ugly building on the left is the Glen Park Bart station…why is it so ugly??? Oh well.

Took a coffee break at Bello. This cafe is relatively new for the neighborhood, and I actually hadn’t tried it yet until today. Seems like they’ve jumped on the “individually-hand-brewed-drip” bandwagon that’s become very popular among the city’s elite coffee houses. It was a decent cup, but it still had nothing on a cup of Blue Bottle, Ritual, or Philz.

We left the area for a couple hours, and came back for dinner at Gialina, Glen Park’s gourmet pizzeria. As with many SF neighborhoods, Glen Park didn’t used to be this…hip. Before this place was Gialina, it was one of those greasy, ghetto pizzerias. Times have definitely changed for the better around here =)

Gialina is always packed during dinner rush. I’m surprised we got the best seats in the house, at one of two tables by the window. Yes!

Potato and Pancetta pizza. “Potato!?!?” Was my first thought when I ordered this pie for the first time a few years ago. Crispy carbs covered with thin slices of more carbs? Extremely…delicious…. We also ordered a roast pork chop, perfect with a glass of the house red:

Three scoops of Bi-Rite Creamery snickerdoodle ice cream for the lady, and an afogatto for me. Perfect finish. My Nikon FM came along for the day as well. Still trying to get through a roll of Ilford HP5 that I’ve had loaded in the camera for about a week. Strange that I can completely drain my digital camera’s battery in a single day, but it takes me forever to work through a roll of 36 exposure film.

Good night, Glen Park!

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All Images: Olympus E-PL2 + Panasonic 20mm f/1.7 (all JPEGs)

Written by Jonathan

May 15, 2011 at 8:35 pm

Revisiting Film Photography

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Nikon FM + Nikkor 50mm f/2 AIS | Fujichrome Velvia 100F

It’s been more than ten years since I last loaded a roll of film into a camera and made some pictures. Last week, I found two reasons to try it again. The first reason? I rediscovered my father’s Nikon FM:


Nikon D700 + Nikkor 50mm f/1.4G

It’s the original Nikon FM, made in the late 1970s (production ended in the early 80s). All mechanical, all manual, with a center weighted meter and shutter speeds up to 1/1000. Beautifully made.

This classic camera was around for my entire childhood. I used to covet it as a kid, but I couldn’t use it. I was restricted to my own SLR, a cheap little Vivitar with a bad focusing screen and inferior build. My Dad’s shutter would make this great “k-clack” sound, while mine went “ka-chAWNNNNNNNNGGGGGGG.” Took me a few decades, but I guess I’m allowed to use the FM now. =)


Nikon FM + Nikkor 85mm f/1.4D | Fujichrome Velvia 100F


Nikon FM + Nikkor 85mm f/1.4D | Fujichrome Velvia 100F (overexposed…oops)

Ok, second reason? I found an old roll of film among my wife’s things. She used to plop a roll of Kodak black and white into her little automatic film camera when she was a teenager, and I guess a roll made it into our house.

I loaded it up and spent a view days snapping away. The weird thing about shooting digital all this time is that you get used to instant results on the back of your camera. Take a shot. Check it out. Don’t like it. Take another shot. Perfect. Not so with film, though by force of habit I kept looking at the back of my FM almost every time I took a shot, at least for the first roll.  Shooting with an all manual, all mechanical camera is also a much slower process, not the speed of light stuff I’ve come to expect from my DSLR.

So, how did my first roll in a decade turn out? It didn’t! I went to pick up the roll at the lab and:

“Sorry sir, this roll is blank.”

Aaaaagh! Ok, give me a roll of Ektachrome. Let’s try this again:


Nikon FM + Nikkor 50mm f/2 AIS | Kodak Ektachrome 160T (expired)

Ok, at least the photos came out this time. They look funky, faded, and noisy, but they came out! Weird results without even having to use Instagram. How about that??? 😉


Nikon FM + Nikkor 50mm f/2 AIS | Kodak Ektachrome 160T (expired)

There’s something about shooting film….the anticipation of how each frame will turn out, the small and unassuming, lightweight camera body, and that gargantuan, bright viewfinder that shames even my D700… the experience of shooting itself was more fun than getting to see the results!

Being limited to 36 frames (for this particular roll) also made me think twice before pushing down on that shutter release. I’d frame up a shot and ask myself, “is this really interesting?” Lost track of how many times I decided “no, not interesting enough,” and moved on. I don’t tend to think with quite as much care with digital, where I can fit 700 or so raw frames on a single card. But, shouldn’t I?


Nikon FM + Nikkor 50mm f/2 AIS | Kodak Ektachrome 160T (expired)


Nikon FM + Nikkor 50mm f/2 AIS | Kodak Ektachrome 160T (expired)


Nikon FM + Nikkor 50mm f/2 AIS | Kodak Ektachrome 160T (expired)


Nikon FM + Nikkor 85mm f/1.4D  | Kodak Ektachrome 160T (expired)


Nikon FM + Nikkor 50mm f/2 AIS | Kodak Ektachrome 160T (expired)


Nikon FM + Nikkor 50mm f/2 AIS | Kodak Ektachrome 160T (expired)

Nikon FM + Nikkor 50mm f/2 AIS | Kodak Ektachrome 160T (expired)


Nikon FM + Nikkor 50mm f/2 AIS | Kodak Ektachrome 160T (expired)


Nikon FM + Nikkor 50mm f/2 AIS | Kodak Ektachrome 160T (expired)


Nikon FM + Nikkor 50mm f/2 AIS | Kodak Ektachrome 160T (expired)


Nikon FM + Nikkor 50mm f/2 AIS | Kodak Ektachrome 160T (expired)


Nikon FM + Nikkor 50mm f/2 AIS | Kodak Ektachrome 160T (expired)


Nikon FM + Nikkor 50mm f/2 AIS | Kodak Ektachrome 160T (expired)

I had the film developed and scanned at Photoworks in San Francisco. It was a fun, though expensive, photographic experiment shooting these rolls. I still feel like I need to get a better feel for the FM’s metering, so more rolls are in the works. Hope this doesn’t get addicting 🙂

Written by Jonathan

April 28, 2011 at 11:37 am