5 frames with...

5 Frames with Fuji Venus 800 and a Canon AE1-P – by Robert / London Camera Project

April 28, 2020

When this film arrived from Analogue Wonderland I was stoked. A friend had brought back a roll from Japan last year and we all know about the ever decreasing lines of film coming out of Fujifilm so getting another chance to shoot it was great.

Unexpectedly I managed to get a few hours to myself on a damp and misty night in Spring. Despite the darkness I chose not to carry a tripod, trusting the film, the meter and my steady hands. I loaded my Canon AE1-P and fitted it with a 50mm f/1.8 and took a walk around the Barbican. I had picked a particularly quiet night so just meandered around enjoying  the views of the architecture and the quietness of this wonderful, central London estate.

The sun had long since gone down but I set my ISO to 800 and went for it.

Arriving at the estate can be a bit over whelming if you have not been there before as there are interesting corners, pillars, shadows and reflections everywhere you look.

Vanishing point

Don’t you just hate it when people don’t say excuse me? I think this shot is a bit out of focus because I tried to get the whole scene in including the lines of the floor tiles so I used and smaller aperture, maybe f/11. This led to a slower speed than I could handle. I knew at the time it was a bit slow.

I am much happier with this shot. The walkway is notoriously poorly lit but I do like the shadows of the lights behind the walls and those round ceiling light shades are very cool. I would be happier with a bit more detail in the shadows though and I think this could have been done without blowing out the highlights by using a tripod and using a slightly slower speed.

A night time view of a a multi-floor building with from the side angle about halfway up an adjacent building

Terrace bar. I did rest the camera on a walkway parapet as I couldn’t trust myself to keep the Canon steady for long enough. Still, I like the way the tiles in some places can be individually identified.

I tried a few frames in daylight too. London light is often a dull grey affair. Some may disagree but I think that Venus is a great film to shoot in London. It’s capable of bringing out some really nice colours even when the light is a bit meh. I took a few shots of an Extinction Rebellion demonstration and was impressed by how well the images came out.

In the foreground is an empty police motorcycle. in the background and to the left is a dismounted motorcycle policeman talking to a protestor

I really should have taken my time with this shot. The light was good enough to have used a smaller aperture and gone for a deeper depth of field. This would have kept more of the bike in focus. Maybe I got intimidated by the police officer.

Two people holding a banner in the middle of a traffic free street

There seems to be a bit of a blue tint to this image, it’s present in the buildings, on the road and in the white of the banner. I don’t mind this tinge. I reckon it slightly balances out the orange glow of street lights. I haven’t done anything to the colour in editing.

As usual I have not edited these images in any way. The scans are how they came from the lab. I really like this film. These colours are strong, punchy and can add a splash of fun into a grey and flat day. Shooting architecture the grain confidently picks out the finer details like tiles and window frames and at night it’s a great choice for that low light loveliness. As Spring approaches bringing with it the promise of longer brighter days we normally reach for slower smoother films but I would happily take a roll of Fuji Venus 800 out again and shoot it at box speed at any time of the day.

You can find a curated collection of thought provoking analogue art and info about a range of workshops and photo walks on my Instagram –londoncameraproject

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6 Comments

  • Reply
    Nigel Cliff
    April 28, 2020 at 8:41 pm

    The original Fuji 800 was always a great love of mine back in the film days I loved it’s punchy colours and lack of grain, this looks to be a worthy successor,not so with the camera though, I’ve never been able to get along with any of the Canon A series

  • Reply
    Paul Elcock
    April 29, 2020 at 3:17 pm

    QNice shots and colours.
    At the moment my favourite colour film is the dirt cheap Kodak Colourplus 200. I get it processed by AgPhoto lab and scan it at home. I’m always impressed by the colours straight from the scanner.

    • Reply
      Robert_
      August 4, 2020 at 8:04 am

      Thanks Paul. ColorPlus is a lovely film. It’s no longer dirt cheap but is a great film to use especially in the sun. It pushes well too and along with Agfa Vista Plus 200 it fed my analogue passion in my early days.

  • Reply
    Ray Rapkerg
    August 1, 2020 at 7:16 am

    This film is okay, but it has one significant problem: Kodak Portra 800 is far better!

    • Reply
      Robert_
      August 4, 2020 at 8:15 am

      That’s a bold statement that sounds very expensive to prove! I like them both. It probably comes down to personal taste. Maybe someone should do a side by side review.

  • Reply
    Robert_
    August 4, 2020 at 7:47 am

    Venus is lovely in low light. I can be quite confident using it without flash. I’ve never used the previous version. I’ll have a look for some shots used with it.
    What’s not to love about the A series? It’s a very well built bit of kit and that FD glass is beautiful.

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