Look what Developed!

My first two rolls of 120 film have returned from the developers and I could not be happier.  Not only have they both developed, but I can also see the benefits of cleaning the ETRS!

Typically Tilly

Typically my first photograph had to feature Tilly and this was purely taken to see if the camera was mechanically working.

The film that was preloaded so I didn’t know the ISO, whether it was black and white or colour etc.  Turns out it was an Ilford FP4 125 BW film which wasn’t loaded correctly.

Sadly I only got 5 shots processed from the roll.  Two from the previous owner and three of Tilly.  I think when I accidentally opened the film back, the film might have come off the roll – but at least these were exposed.

I believe the marks on the shot above is because of the state of the mirror and the lens.  When I received the camera it was filthy and I think this has translated to the film.  The focus is off as well but for this shot, I am more interested in the artefacts of which there are many.

Not a bad effort for an off the cuff photo with no light metering and shot indoors!

Lazy Lunch

This is the first photo I took on the Fomapan 100 I loaded into the other cassette and my first real attempt at using the camera outside with all the correct settings.

I know I set the aperture to focus on the background and am pleased with the blurring of the bottle in the foreground which gives a depth of field.  I didn’t realise the man in the background was looking directly at me but it adds to the story.

It was a very bright day so the sky is blown out on most of the photos, I don’t think the light meter is at fault here, I think the ISO 100 film couldn’t cope and I probably need to invest in an ND filter for such conditions.

This was shot handheld on my lap and as my first proper medium format photograph, I am really pleased with it.

Inside the Mansion House

I wanted to challenge the camera as much as I could and was looking for some contrasts in the form of the unfinished mansion at Lyveden New Bield.  I think this shot worked particularly well.

I think it’s pretty sharp, I like the framing and the changing light conditions have meant there is some sky definition in this shot.

Another handheld shot, it won’t win any awards but I like it.

Cottage tea house

This is the same shot I took with my Pen f of the cottage tea house on the estate.

I shot this one with the tripod and am happy with the framing and how aligned the shot is.  I did struggle with a few shots to get the horizon straight (see below) as the camera and the tripod were at odds with one another.  I also had some issues working with the mirror image in the viewfinder but it seems like I have cracked it here!

There’s plenty of light, shade and detail in this image and I intentionally ensured there were people in the frame for a sense of scale.

I even quite like the negative showing on the side of the frame, I could crop it out but I think it adds to the character of this photograph.

I think the Bronica did me proud with this shot.

Lyveden New Bield

This is a wider shot from across the moat back towards the mansion.

This was shot handheld against my waist and I remember struggling to line up the horizon when I shot it.  To be honest I think it’s a fair effort and I am really pleased with the contrast and detail in this photograph.

This may have been one of the photographs where I forgot to focus the lens but at this distance, it doesn’t seem to matter for the ETRS as most of the photo is in focus – especially the mansion.

Wonky horizons

I lined up this shot for some time but sadly it got the better of me.  Either the tripod wasn’t lined up or I didn’t quite see the shot when I set it up which is a shame.   This photo has also illustrated to me how much of the photo from the viewfinder makes it onto the frame.

Now I can see the camera was not straight!

As you can see from this view I took with my phone, pretty much all of the viewfinders image is captured.  I thought it may have been restricted to the crosshairs in the middle but am pleased that pretty much everything you see is recorded.

I was a little surprised and disappointed when my photos returned as I only had 20 shots but this has taught me a valuable lesson – 120 film photography is expensive and I should shoot sparingly.

Of course, I was missing 10 shots due to the incorrectly loaded film that came with the camera so I could have had more shots at my disposal.

Even so, it’s something to remember as the film and the developing are not cheap so I have to be committed and focussed on what I am taking.  For now, I will forgive myself for excitedly wanting to shoot as much as I could as I was eager to learn about the camera.

I have a Kosmos BW film already loaded in one cartridge and now I know the Bronica is working, I will purchase some more film for the other.  I am eager to see how it copes with colour and can’t wait to take the Bronica out again.


  1. Well done on your first foray into medium format.

    I bought an ETRSi not long back as a birthday present to myself. Mine has the metering prism and speed-grip. These are great as they allow for portrait orientation photos to be taken with ease. The big disadvantages are a) the weight. The camera weighs a ton(!), and b) I quite like waist level finders, but mine doesn’t have one (or, because I have the speed-grip, a winding crank either!). Unfortunately, these things seem to cost an absolute arm and a leg to buy, so I doub’t I’ll be getting one soon. Luckily I have a Yashica Mat 124G too should I need to scratch the waist-level-finder itch (and it weighs practically nothing next to the Bronica!)

    I also replaced the focusing screen on my ETRSi as it came with a plaing matte screen which, while nice and bright, was difficult to focus precisely on things closer to the camera. I managed to find a somewhat scratched split-prism screen on eBay for a low(ish) price and find that it’s a lot more precise, even with the scratches on the screen.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for the insight. I would be pleased to see some of your photos. I am enjoying the ETRS, it’s not as heavy as I expected but maybe the size etc will also be a factor for me to concentrate on my shots etc.

      I managed to clean the mirror and the viewfinder quite a bit and it’s made a difference. The camera box had a cobweb in it when I received it.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Keith, consider developing the BW at home using a dark bag and developing tank. It’s much less expensive this way and only takes about 15 minutes to get the roll done from start to finish. I use HC 110 as a one shot developer, stop bath (some use just water) and fix for 5 minutes. Developing times are obtained from the Massive Developer website….A few of the images are lacking in contrast. As you know, this could be from any number of things. Well done for the first foray with this beautiful camera. As you progress using film, consider participating in the Film Shooters Collective call for entries in periodic journals. Check out our site, it is wonderful. Louis.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi thanks for the advice. I have developed 35mm at home but not 120 yet. I’m not sure how it’s different. I have been using the Ilford kits but also have some all in one developer from Cinestill which I will try to use when I get the chance.

      I’ve not cracked developing the negatives to paper yet which will be my challenge over the winter.

      I will be sure to check out the site. Thank you.


      1. Hi Keith, there is no difference between 35mm and 120. 120 is actually easier to load into the film reel. The best reels are the Samigon reels with a flat area to guide the film into the ball bearings. The regular Paterson ones are fiddly to load. I assume you use a Paterson tank. The stainless reels take some getting used to but once you get the hand of them they work well along with the stainless tanks. I think the Paterson retains temperature better than the steel tanks.
        Some of your negatives from the Bronica were lacking in contrast. It could be processing issues with your lab, or the manner the negatives were scanned. If you have the negatives, try scanning them again.

        Enjoy, and thanks for following my blog. I have a fair amount of medium format film imagery (scanned) on the blog.


        Liked by 1 person

      2. Ah ok thank you. Oddly I didn’t receive the negatives when I got the photos back. Is this normal for 120 processing?

        Thanks for your advice Lou


      3. Keith, if you processed the negatives through a drug store, they no longer return the negatives. A proper lab will return the negatives to you. Here in the US I use The Darkroom. My friend Nils Karlson from Germany swears by Canadian Film Lab. Check out Nils’ work with film….

        Liked by 1 person

      4. I was a fool. They did include the negatives. They were in the return envelope for my next film. The professional developers I use here in the UK do a great job and normally provide the 35mm negatives hence the confusion.

        I’ll check out the work, thanks for the tip.


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