I love my Yashica Mat 124g not only because it was my first medium format camera but because there is something special in the photos that it produces. Despite the square format and the short learning curve the TLR requires, it is my favorite medium format camera. Paired with Ilford Delta 100, one of my black and white films of choice, my love affair with film photography increases with every shot. This past Memorial Day weekend, I visited the city of West Palm Beach in Florida, intending to capture the colorful beaches and the fishing piers, armed with my Yashica and some Fujifilm Velvia 100. Still, before venturing into the sunny beaches, I shot a roll of Delta 100 around West Palm Beach’s downtown area.
I love Delta’s exposure latitude, the fine grain, and the way it renders the grays. Together with the fine focus control the Yashica offers with its big and bright viewfinder, you get sharp and clear pictures in daylight, and if you are willing to push the film, you can extend your shooting throughout the day.
The downtown was almost empty; it was relatively early for a Sunday, and people were heading to the beach or trying to get brunch somewhere. Life is rapidly returning to normal almost everywhere in Florida, and the beach is the number one destination in the area. That was perfect for me; I could wander around unnoticed and snap some shots as a warm-up before trying my luck on the fishing piers. It was not only a good exercise but a very calming walk proving once again the therapeutic value of shooting film.
The last photo in that roll was in the Juno Beach, FL fishing pier, and after seeing the result, I plan to repeat the trip and get some black and white photos under the dock using the same camera and film combination. I’ll post the shots, along with the coastal adventure, on my Instagram account.
I used Ilford’s Perceptol for development, following the recipe that Massive Dev Charts offers. Massive Dev Charts is an app available for iOS and Android that you probably know if you develop your film at home. My fixer/stop bath of choice is the fantastic TF-5 Archival Fix; fast and eliminates one step in the process. The results are excellent. The scans were done in an Epson Photo V550 using VueScan; later, I applied some mild contrast and highlights corrections using Affinity Photo.
Massive Dev Chart: https://www.digitaltruth.com/devchart.php
Photographers Formulary: http://stores.photoformulary.com
Affinity Photo: https://affinity.serif.com/en-us/photo/