36 frames / A Whole Roll of Rollei RPX400 – The first #FullRollFriday – By Jeremy Strange

I probably watch too much YouTube, particularly reviews of cameras, film stocks, anything really that’s photography related. The problem is that the more I watch the easier is to think that this IS photography… but it’s not. Picking up my camera and shooting is. Being stuck inside in lockdown without an internet connection capable of streaming video (long story, don’t ask) has reminded me of that, so I decided to write some more articles for 35mmc. At least if I’m not out taking photos, I can try and contribute in other ways, right?

One of my favourite accounts to watch on YouTube is Eduardo Pavez. Here is a good representation of his work. The thing I love about Ed’s videos is that he goes out shooting with a different camera body, lens or film stock each time, and (here’s the kicker) he shows every single photo he takes. He has a colleague follow him and shoot some behind the scenes footage, and uses a GoPro in his hot shoe so that you can see his point of view the whole time.

By showing every photo on the roll you see it all; the ones he composes well, the ones where he doesn’t, the ones that are straight up out of focus and those few frames on every roll he gets that are absolute magic. You know the ones I mean, the ones you see when you get your scans (or prints!) back and stop for a moment when skimming through and think ‘thats what it’s all about’.

It’s in that spirit that I thought I’d write this post, sharing more than the often shared 5 frames, in fact, I thought I would share the full 36! The film used was Rollei RPX400, and the lens was a Zeiss Planar 50mm f2 ZM. The camera doesn’t matter as it’s just a light tight box with a shutter…right? The film was scanned on an Epson V850 by the talented @delontea back when he was doing that sort of thing. The results are from the scans are untouched. As I don’t develop myself I can’t tell you what he used on that end, perhaps you can ask him if you like the shots?

The photos were taken in Barcelona a couple of years back, I hope you like some of them. If you would like to check out more of my work, head to my website that I’ve just realised I haven’t updated in over two years here.

Share your full roll…?

I know the idea of posting a whole roll can be a bit nerve-wracking, especially when social media has taught us to really cherry-pick the very best moments to share with people. But with Hamish’s blessing and encouragement, I’m sending out a challenge to anyone who would also like to share a full roll! I believe in you!

A note from Hamish/35mmc

If you would like to be part of this new series of #FullRollFriday posts, please email me: [email protected]
It doesn’t need to be 35mm, it can be 120, or even a full box of large format film, just get in touch and we can go from there.
If you are already a contributor to the website, please feel free to upload your content directly, and I will get back to you if I need anything as usual

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30 thoughts on “36 frames / A Whole Roll of Rollei RPX400 – The first #FullRollFriday – By Jeremy Strange”

  1. The statement about the light-tight box/camera body is only really valid if you’re using an entirely manual camera. Otherwise, I think the body is relevant. Even comparing a fully manual SLR with a similar rangefinder is going to make a difference.
    Regardless, it’s a great challenge and one that I will think about picking up! Well done Jeremy…

  2. Some great shots in there. I like the no retouch, SOOC posts. In my opinion there were a lot of high potential pics in the roll. I’m just getting back into film, so it will be awhile but I’d like to share a whole roll once I get back into the swing of it.

  3. Some great shots there, love the kid with the bubbles & the vertical, narrow street, shots (especially the one with all the round light shades). Its a good exercise too, I tend to put whole rolls on flickr albums so I can look back and see what did and didn’t work. I don’t think I have quite so high a success rate though!
    Look forward to seeing more of this series .

  4. Sorry, Jeremy, but I’m not a fan. Permission to speak frankly?

    What you call ‘cherry picking’ is nothing to do with social media; in fact I’d say quite the opposite. It’s so easy to publish anything these days that editing is becoming a lost art. There are thousands of photography-related sites and channels. Most could do with more editing, not less.

    Editing is about respecting your readers’ time by presenting only the material you think is worth seeing. I’m old enough to remember horrific post-holiday slide shows, where my parents’ friends would solemnly darken the room and show us every picture on every roll, never mind whether it was interesting, in focus or even the right way up. This was almost forgivable because they did it once a year and these were all the pictures they had. You don’t have that excuse! If you don’t know which of your pictures are the good ones, don’t expect us to pay them any attention.

    Thank you. I’ll go back to being nice now. ????

    1. Hey Clive – your points are all valid and well made. It’s important that differing opinions are expressed well and with courtesy as you have done. Good on you. I found this idea is a bit different though, as it’s about the process and intent rather than the images. The fact that almost all of them were duds did not fuss me and I just flicked through. I’m more bothered by people saying dud shots are great for some reason. Maybe Jeremy could have spun a bit more of the story? We’ll see where this thing goes, but I’m certainly going to throw my hat in. This has given me something to think about. PS – the dark days of the slide show are still with us – a mate recently did that same thing to me with his entire holiday on iPhone. I’m still recovering.

  5. Thanks for sharing your whole roll, it’s a great idea. They make an interesting set and tell a story. I don’t update my website too often either!

  6. Hey Jeremy – this is a really cool idea. I’m in!

    I was watching a YouTube (surprise surprise) of David Bailey yesterday saying how choosing photos for a book was easy because he’d be lucky to get six good photos a year. Refreshing to be reminded of this in a time where everything needs a like on social media.

    Anyway – to your roll. Yep most are duds. No surprises. Ah, but what is is going on? What can you (and I) learn?

    Hmm… that’s a lovely little sequence of the board game on the beach – the way the tiles and people change. Tick! That has something of the universal in it.

    And the bubbles are nice – add some brutal cropping and crush the blacks though. It’s a shame the little boy’s hand is over the bubble guy’s face, but hey, it’s clear the bubbles caught your attention – note for next time – get in much closer.

    I’d just say also that it’s OK to be brutal with the scans – have you done much darkroom printing? A neg or scan is just a starting point. A good scan in my view will have no blacks and no highlights and you need to go in and set those points yourself. I think the concept of an “untouched” scan is pretty meaningless as you’re just saying the algorithm or someone else got to decide the tone curve when really it’s your responsibility.

    Anyway, this is a cool idea and I will now go through and put myself through the same process. I’ll try to find a roll that has one decent frame on it. Fingers crossed. Thanks for posting!

    1. David, thank you for commenting, I think you wrote more than I did! I have never developed or scanned my own work, would love to, but not yet. I didn’t edit anything as I wanted to show people the types of results they would get SOOC if they were to use similar gear. The shots that I share to Instagram etc are edited, but that wasn’t the point of this post. I look forward to seeing one of yours, I’m sure you’ll have more than one good one though, mate.

  7. In times of Corona I miss these scenes which who have on your film: people sitting together, talking, having fun and some drinks together. Streets full of life and joy. Presenting all photos of one film roll is really very challenging , but you did it very well

  8. Interesting.
    I like your statement “The camera doesn’t matter as it’s just a light tight box with a shutter…” 🙂

    I found myself scanning through the set relatively quickly and not giving each frame a chance; that might be because I am on a laptop with a poor monitor or it may be because 36 images is too much to take in.

    While I work that out I will think about this concept as I am on the fence a little. I think what is missing is some thoughts about the images; what you think worked and was what you envisioned and what didn’t work and why; also which you would take on for further processing – I think we need your self critique about the results.

    1. It is a lot of images, especially when you’re scrolling through. Maybe there’s a way on here to pop them in a folder so that you can sift through them horizontally if you’re interested? Hamish may know! As for my thoughts on the images, I love that idea but I thought the article was a little long as it was with all the photos etc.
      If there’s a particular one you’re interested in let me know on here or on Instagram (@jemg) and we can talk about it. Thanks Nigel.

  9. Haven’t seen it mentioned in other comments so I have to say, the picture that really stands out for me is the very first one. Pure quality.

    And hello to a fellow Ed Pavez fan. His videos were a large part of getting me back to active shooting a few years ago and it’s always nice seeing him being mentioned somewhere, he deserves more recognition.

    1. Hey Nathalie, do you mean the one of the street or the guys playing board games? I like both of them, regardless. And yes, agreed about Pavez, his videos are amongst my favourites.

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