Back to analogue – Part 3: Vienna views on Kodak Ultramax 400

a city view over the roofs of Vienna with church tower

My heart starts beating faster these days when the download link with scans of my latest analogue photos arrives from the photo lab. Will it have worked out? Getting a transfer is in itself a good sign – at least now I know that the film was transported and exposed!

This time I tried out a Kodak Ultramax 400 colour film on Reinhard Prenn´s Yashica Electro 35 and took it with me on a night out with my family to see if I could capture some of the views from the Ocean Sky restaurant on top of Haus des Meeres in Vienna. (It was my birthday, so we had made a reservation.)

So, yes, the images came out, but there is a lot of grain, again. And I think this is because of the somewhat high ISO and because this film is meant to be an allrounder and not a professional quality film. I am not sure I like it, although at the moment anything with such a clearly analogue look makes me happy.

Light conditions were overcast and going from dusk to blue hour, and for the most part that evening I used open apertures. Even so, the photos I took when it got darker were blurry, meaning the camera set a longish exposure time and I could not stabilise the camera well enough by hand. The pictures are grainy in all shots, and low in contrast in the dusk pictures, but at least the colours are fairly accurate, if a bit washed out.

This portrait of Maya was taken at f.4, and it helped that I posed her in the light of a lamp at the opposite wall (but it also made her skin tone more orange). I also quite like the little colour bokeh at left. And mea culpa, I evidently did not hold the camera straight!

Not too bad for a night shot, f.1.7, made possible by the bright lights of Café Ritter
Café Ritter by night at f.1.7 – the shot would have been nice, but for the light coming in from the side, a green traffic light I think. My mistake for not having the light hood on. The highlights are somewhat blown too, so perhaps one f-2 might have been better, although then the shadows would have become even darker.

The pictures I took the next day just to finish the film were taken in bright daylight and turned out way better. Colour rendering is still not very accurate for the daylight pictures (greens appear highly saturated, reds and blues less so, but I do not know if it was just the light conditions or if the camera lens itself also played a role).

Schloss Wilhelminenberg on a bright sunny day, f.11, with quite good depth of field

Another thing I evidently need to watch for is light coming in from the side. I should have used a sun hood – Reinhard actually gave me one for the Yashica, and I do not know why I did not put it on right away, I always use one on my digital camera.

A dog walker in the woods, f.11. I like how this shot would have come out, had it not been for the light coming in from the side. The depth of field at f.11 is quite good here, although the film itself does not yield a great deal of sharpness, you can still see quite a few details in the background here. The colours are typical warm Kodak colours, but a bit washed out in this light, something that brings back childhood memories.
The red on the firetruck is very bright here, and the image is overexposed – I took it at f.8, and that was probably not closed enough for the strong sunlight conditions (I cannot remember what the light warning arrows did, because it was one of those shots I took on impulse when I saw the fire truck coming.)

More to come from my analogue journey soon. Next time I think I will try out Reinhard´s preferred colour film, the Kodak Ektar 100, which he says is crisp and has good contrast.

P.S.: If you want to see more from this camera and have not seen my previous blog post with the black and white car pictures, you can check it out.


2 thoughts on “Back to analogue – Part 3: Vienna views on Kodak Ultramax 400

    1. Sorry, I did not see your comment, Karen, must set it so I get notified. Yes, really fun to get back into analogue. I mean, I used to shoot in analogue, I am sure you did too, but it has been so long, it seems all new now. I had forgotten what it is like not to see the results right away. Takes patience!


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