Film Photography

Shooting Ultrafine Xtreme 100 in the Olympus XA2

My last go-round with Ultrafine Xtreme 100 in my Olympus XA2 went badly. You can see some of the photos here. I have no idea what went wrong.

I wanted to take a compact film camera along on the trip my wife and I made to New Harmony in July. The XA2 was handy and, not remembering my unfortunate results from last time, I loaded my last roll of this film and went on my way.

Everything worked fine.

Open

I didn’t make any particularly inspiring photographs with the XA2 in New Harmony. I was also shooting my digital Canon S95, and it just felt like a color weekend. I made only eight photos in New Harmony with the XA2. Here’s a double log cabin on the grounds of the Lenz House.

Cabin

The XA2’s meter and Xtreme 100’s sensitivity came together to handle this challenging exposure situation well.

Looking out

I took the XA2 to work and left it in my desk drawer for a few weeks, taking it on lunchtime photo walks whenever I felt like it. This Indianapolis street scene looks northbound up Delaware Street toward what everybody calls the Gold Building, as those mirrored glass panes are so tinted. I worked for a company in the Gold Building when my now 22-year-old son was born.

Gold building

I’ve been fascinated lately with the federal courthouse and have photographed it with several camera/film combinations lately. It was completed in 1905. This building was once also a post office, I believe the main one for Indianapolis. It hasn’t been that in a very long time, but the engraved words above the entry still announce it as such.

Courthouse

I photographed the AT&T building from the courthouse. I like the look of a desolate street, so I waited several minutes for traffic to clear.

AT&T

I like Ultrafine Xtreme 100. It captures a good range of tones, its blacks are deep, and it seems to have good exposure latitude. That last bit is especially important for a photographer like me who shoots old gear with light meters of unknown accuracy.

Rumor has it that this film is repackaged Kentmere 100. Here are posts from every roll of Kentmere 100 I’ve shot; compare and judge for yourself.

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12 thoughts on “Shooting Ultrafine Xtreme 100 in the Olympus XA2

  1. Those shots all look very good in regard to the range of tonality, and they do look a lot like what I have gotten from Kentmere 100. I wish my XA2 meter worked as well as yours as it is such a handy little camera.

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    • My eye sees similarities between the two films. I’ve had trouble with Kentmere blowing out highlights, a trait I’ve not experienced with the Ultrafine, however.

      The XA2 is a fun casual shooter. I’ve discovered that the meter needs super fresh batteries to work properly.

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  2. Nice shots Jim. I particularly like the photos of the AT&T Building and the Gold Building – particularly the way the shot of the latter is composed so the streetlight frames the building but doesn’t make contact – that’s a really nice touch.

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    • I’m happy you noticed the streetlight detail! I walked up until I got that condition. I wanted the Gold Building to be a little lower than it is vis-a-vis the street light but there was no place to stand that gave me a balanced composition if I arranged around that.

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