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  • Jamie Dean

Canary Wharf with the Nikon 35Ti

The Nikon 35Ti 35mm film compact camera, released back in 1993

Today was going to be filled with nostalgia, why? Well, I was heading out with just my Nikon 35Ti 35mm film compact camera. This camera was released back in 1993 when it sold for the princely some of £795 (if my memory serves me right)). Packed into its compact titanium body was a superb Nikkor 35mm f2.8 lens, which boasted a state of the art autofocusing system. It had a full automatic program mode and a aperture preferred mode utilising Nikon's excellent Matrix metering. There was a small built in flash, which would fire automatically in lowlight or backlit situations. The film transport was automatic, both frame advance and rewind. All in all it was an amazing little camera, topped by the a totally awesome analogue display that showed focusing distance, aperture and film count. Which to tell the truth is why I like the camera so much.

Canary Wharf Underground Station sign, shot on iPhone.

So where was I heading with this great little camera? I was off to Canary Wharf to meet up with @dotclp, who was also going to be packing a 'vintage' 35mm camera. Surprisingly the weather was turning out to be a lot better than I was anticipating. Sure it was chilly and as I left me apartment there was a frost on the ground, but once i arrived at Canary Wharf the sun was shinning but the tempers hadn't risen much. I was going to have trouble with the little Nikon as it was loaded with Ilford XP2 film which is 400 ISO and the 35Ti only has a maximum shutter speed of 1/500th. XP2 is versatile film as it is processed C41, the same as colour negative film which means that processing costs and times are less than true black and white negative film. It was turning out to be a completely different discipline using the 35Ti, the first thing I was missing from my DSLR using the compact camera was a 100% through the lens viewfinder, with the compact Nikon as it was a range finder and not through the lens there were marks in the viewfinder that gave the approximate framing area for your composition. Of course I also had to get used to not being able to review the images and that I only had 36 exposures. Not hundreds that I am used to with digital photography. So it wan't just the case of shooting with film I had to get used to but also using a compact camera. Which now a days would have a screen on the back to help with framing and compositions.

@dotclp getting the grips with his 'vintage' Canon 35mm film camera.
Thankyou @dotclp for this pic of my using my Nikon 35Ti in the chilly streets of Canary Wharf

After spending an hour or so exploring some of the great features of Canary Wharf and having great fun shooingt almost all of the 36 exposures on our rolls of films we headed to the West End of London to shoot the last remaining frames and to drop our then exposed films into Aperture to be processed. The decision was made to catch the clipper to the Embankment rather than negate the Underground network. After waiting just a few minutes the clipper arrived at the pier, we boarded and watched the Thames riverside past by as the clipper sped down the river. I always find something magical about travelling through London on the Thames, it gives a great perspective to a busy city. Once the film was dropped of Aperture it was just a case of waiting for it to be processed, which for my roll of C41 was just a few days but it'll be a week or so until I get back into London to collect it. I used to love the thrill of the anticipation of waiting to get your images back from the processors. It was a fun and interesting day of alternative photography, I have also discover some new locations in Canary Wharf that I will be returning to with the D800.

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