5 frames with...

5 Frames with the Pentax Spotmatic F and Kodak Gold 200 – By Jérémie Schuler

November 18, 2019

I’m a French Sales Engineer living in Berlin, also working part time as a photographer and videographer. Over the years, I just managed to get rid of the French accent, but not my passion for great mechanics, or capturing images.

My analog photography started thanks to adapting vintage lenses to my first digital camera. I wanted something that gives a vintage aspect but still with a respectable image quality. Then I remembered that my parents had a Fujica ST801 somewhere in the basement. I challenged myself for the next month to take this camera on a solo trip in Vietnam. Because, why not?! The pictures are not worth showing, the camera had light leaks and the light meter wasn’t very accurate. But I just loved handling this camera. So I decided to find an SLR in good shape as soon as I’m back in Europe.

After trying different SLRs, I settled with a Pentax Spotmatic F as my go to travel and everyday camera. It was important to me to have a mechanical camera with a built-in light meter, no aperture or shutter priority. A simple camera, easy to operate. Something that just feels great in my hands, like my parents’ Fujica. Pentax made an excellent camera that feels well built and will probably last me a life-time if I decide so.

Regarding lenses, I switch between the well-known Super-Takumar 50mm f/1.4 and the 28mm f/3.5. If you read a lot of articles about analog photography, you probably heard about these lenses. Long story short, they’re great!

When I started with film photography, I tried to test every film stock possible. Kodak Gold sits in the market as a consumer film, not a professional one. For this you have Portra or Fuji Pro 400h. But I believe that each film stock exists for a good reason. Beyond the sharpness, latitude or grain structure, some film just have an emotional identity. Kodak Gold is the consumer film stock you can take with you for a picnic, a walk with friends or whilst traveling.

Just look at the amount of people releasing Lightroom presets named “Kodak Summer”, “Kodak Tones” and so on. And it’s dirt cheap. You can currently get 3 rolls of 36 exposures in Germany for 13€.

I never really know what I’m going to get, but that’s exactly what I’m looking for. Some pictures in direct sunlight gave me a greenish aspect, others more warm yellow. In a sense, it can look a bit dreamy, and this is exactly what I expect from a film that is meant for capturing memories​.

I shot half the roll this summer during random walks in Berlin, the rest has been shot by my girlfriend – she’d never shot film before. And we are both truly in love with how the pictures that turned out.


Find me on instagram @jeremie.slr

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  • Reply
    Gil Aegerter
    November 19, 2019 at 5:51 pm

    Your comments on mechanics and handling really struck home with me — a large part of why I still enjoy film photography. Some of these old bodies and lenses are just simple miracles of engineering. Your image of the archway with the light coming through is really lovely.

    • Reply
      November 19, 2019 at 6:15 pm

      I feel like photography nowadays is mostly electronic engineering or at least innovation. I think you are like me, and enjoy “feeling” the shutter, and hear the sound of the mirror slapping. Thanks for the comment on the picture, I really like that one too.

  • Reply
    November 22, 2019 at 12:16 am

    These are great, especially for being some of your first film efforts. And you are right about the Spotmatic. It has a wonderful tactile feedback. The Takumar lenses are mostly superb.

    Your friend with the beard has a serious film camera! That is your next purchase. (Go for it while prices are still reasonable.)

    • Reply
      November 22, 2019 at 11:11 am

      Thanks for you nice comment. The guy with the beard used to be me 🙂 It’s the only picture in this post that hasn’t been taking by myself. But the lighting condition shows pretty well the film identity, so I decided to post it.

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