Some changes to my process...
When I started shooting, I used all sorts of thrift store and flea market cameras, using mostly fuji 200 (which was on sale at Longs 4 36exp. rolls for $5.99!). Through experimenting with different cameras, I was able to keep the process fresh and fun. But after using many many cameras, I started to get a feel for what I liked and decided to get more powerful camera that would suit me better. That was the Nikon F4, which is now broken. I then transitioned to the Leica R8 and got a bunch of expensive and incredible lenses for it. I think for what I do, Leica is the best. So the camera swapping saga is over. As this area dried up, I had to move to new areas of experimentation
From left to right, Summicron-R 50mm f/2, Summicron-R 90mm f/2, Vario-Elmar-R 28-70mm f/3.5-4.5, Leica R8 with motor winder and Summilux-R 80mm f/1.4, below Telyt-R 250mm f/4, Canon Speedlite flash and (not shown) Leica 2x teleconvertor
Since I hadn't really experimented with different films, I decided to find some color films with charming palettes. I realized that I would have to choose slow films to get fine grain if I was going to try and make large 2x3' prints with 35mm (the sharpness of the leica lenses helps a lot too). I now shoot mostly 64 to 160 speed film, color negative and slide film in order to get the colors, contrast and sharpness that I want.
Some of my favorites here:
Fuji Press 400
Kodak Royal Gold 200 (I've since given up 200 film)
Kodak Portra 160VC
Kodak Ektachrome 100, 64 and 25 (I have one roll of this... saving for a very special occasion)
Barf: CVS 200 and expired Kodak Gold 200 (If you are reading this, I will give you these 8 rolls of Gold and CVS)
I also began to roll my own cartridges to save money, buying 100' rolls of great films like Kodak Portra 160NC, Fuji NPS 160, and Agfa XPS 160 for $15-30 a roll, or about $.75-$1.50 per 36-40 exposure roll!
My freezer stash of bulk 100' rolls:
(3) Kodak Portra 160NC
(1) Kodak Ektachrome 100 Plus (E-6)
(1) Kodak Orthro Film 6556 Type 3 (Super high contrast B&W)
(2) Fuji NPS 160
(2) Fuji Velvia 100F (E-6)
(4) Agfa XPS 160
I fell in love with slide film after shooting what I consider the closest thing to a perfect roll that I've ever shot. But I was sad because it had cost $9 to develop. However, I found that you can process color film yourself and it makes good sense economically!
My new Jobo CPE-2 film processor!
The Kodak E-6 chemical kit, makes 5 liters, to the right, and to the left 1L of each of the 7 mixed chemicals needed for the E-6 slide film development process
My first roll or DIY developed slide film!!!
Now on the DIY kick, I roll, shoot and process my own film on the cheap! Not only that, but I am able to create 35mm images of the highest quality while having complete control of the process. I feel like I am approaching the apex of my photography career. Everything equipment-wise is in place for me... now I just have to take some great pictures.