5 frames with...

5 frames with the Nikon FM2 & Agfa APX 400 in my Paris – By Martina Rigotti

My dear Paris, when I came to see you on my birthday, you gave me a wonderful gift: you made me feel free to photograph.
I could look through the viewfinder absolutely where, when and as I wanted to. Then, only if I enjoyed it, I pressed the shutter release button. But it did not always happen: I admit that sometimes I just love to look inside a little bit. I looked inside you, my dear Paris, and you gave me once more a memory that I could keep with me forever.

A small not so small part of my heart still lives there, where I spent fourteen months of my life. At that time, I did not shoot on film and, sincerely, I don’t know why. Anyway, my digital camera was with me. When I came back to Italy, my photographic path led me to a Nikon fm2 and my personal point of view changed in a multitude of aspects.

Now, I like waiting and then shoot, only once, as if my breath stops. I enjoy going into the store and being able to choose by myself the softness of the black and white film. I love the rewind’s noise: I do it slowly so I can feel if every single step is going fine.

I think this is a camera that can (hopefully) last a lifetime, thanks to its strength and versatility. I add to the fm2 body the AF Nikkor 50mm 1:1.4D (which I can also use on my digital one) and a very old Zenith strap that smells like vintage. The technical results are brilliant and I’m really happy with the street views and more intimate portraits I had shot.

But, sometimes I incredibly miss that part of my heart and so I return to my Paris to look for it.

The photos are taken with the Nikon fm2 and Agfa APX 400 iso black and white film. They were developed in a small lab in Torino, I then scanned the film by myself with the Epson Perfection V600 Photo scanner.

You can enjoy the full black and white film series on my blog: martinarigotti.exposure.co
And add me on instagram here: instagram.com/martinarigotti

Thank you!

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  • Avatar
    March 12, 2019 at 12:33 pm

    Lovely writing and images. I too love to ‘look inside a bit’ when photographing. I find the act of taking the images (with the right camera) as pleasurable as seeing them. I also love the look of Agfa b&w film I used it extensively in the 70’s and 80’s.

    • Avatar
      March 12, 2019 at 1:02 pm

      Thank you Danny for sharing your thoughts. I agree with you and is such a beautiful way to see the world!

  • Avatar
    March 12, 2019 at 6:50 pm

    Love it. A wonderful dreamy series, a great camera. Love it too, when I am gently guided through a set of photos. Makes it very special and close. Thanks a lot!

  • Avatar
    Nick Clark
    March 13, 2019 at 3:09 am

    Were the negs very thin? I’ve shot quite a bit of APX400 and typically it’s characterised by sharpness, fine grain, and contrast, a lot different from the shots you have shared here (which look badly underexposed).

    I had a look throuh your website (fantastic work by the way!) and you clearly know how to exposure a good frame, so I am a bit puzzled…

    • Avatar
      March 15, 2019 at 12:11 pm

      Hey Nick! The negatives are ok and they were made by a lab that I consider really good in film development. I used the same Agfa roll during another trip in Romania and my result was very similar, except in different sunny situations. In Paris, usually, the shadows are not strong at all and I incredibly love that grain! The shots are a little underexposed, you’re right: my desire was not to produce good and skill perfect frames, but something more emotional. So, it’s my choice. And welcome to my blog! 🙂

  • Dan Castelli
    Dan Castelli
    March 15, 2019 at 11:39 am

    It goes without saying that Paris is a unique, visually appealing and seductive city. Your pics present a taste of it’s charming ways. The Nikon FM2 is a great camera, built like a tank, handles like a sports car. A good lens choice; a 50mm lens records without imparting it’s signature. Well done.

    • Avatar
      March 25, 2019 at 9:03 am

      You’re right Dan, thanks for your personal vision!

  • Avatar
    March 17, 2019 at 12:34 pm

    Beautiful shots, with a vintage feel. I have an FE2 and the same lens, so I am curious to try this film for myself.

  • Avatar
    March 25, 2019 at 9:04 am

    Let’s try it Crispin! 😀

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