Portraits with b&w film and flash : Leica M6 TTL, Flash SF20, Noctilux f/0.95

I shot these pictures with my Leica M6 TTL, the lens Noctilux, the flash Leica SF 20 , and two different films : Kodak Portra 400 and Ilford HP5 400. The great thing about this combo is that the flash is TTL compatible which means that the light meter takes into account the ISO, the shutter speed and the light coming “through the lens” . In the viewfinder a “thunder” symbol appears, that indicates that the flash is well connected. The internal meter of the camera will take everything into account and will guide you to get the perfect exposure. You’ll find it by playing with the aperture until the red dot appears . Just as an external meter would give you the right aperture in a studio when you fire the flash for testing.
The big challenge is the compulsory shutter speed you have to use : 1/45s . Faster than that, the flash doesn’t fire. But finally, I managed to keep my hands steady and the pictures turned out sharp. I think the flash is really necessary when you shoot models indoors, because it lifts the shadows and make the image brighter without pushing the film.
Black and white films are less forgiving with under or overexposure so it’s not easy to get a great picture indoors with flash. sometimes it looks a little bit underexposed and there is two much grain. As much as I love grain for landscapes, building and objects, with portraits it’s not so flattering. However, all is all, I’m really glad that I shot black and white because when it’s well framed and exposed, it’s really beautiful and more special than color. And finally I’m happy with the pictures I got.
The first pictures featured are the Ilford ones and than it’s Kodak .

The following pictures were shot on Ilford HP5 400 at speed box

The following pictures were shot on Kodak TX 400 at speed box

I shot as well color Portra 400 during this event, you can see the pictures here.

check out my other pictures shot with the Leica Noctilux !

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Email : alexander@traveljournalist.com