The latest Kosmonaut is a real treat.

Richard Bain is a British photographer who spends a fair amount of time in Poland – thanks to being married to a Polish woman – and he shots on a small collection of cracking cameras, not least the classic Leica M6 and Kosmo Foto’s personal favourite SLR, the Pentax ES II.

I’m thrilled to have some of his recent pics taken on Kosmo Foto Mono featured on the site.

Where are you from?
I’m from the Thames Valley and live west of Reading in the UK. My wife is Polish, so we also spend a lot of time in Gorzów Wielkopolski – some of the pictures below are taken there.

How long have you been shooting film?
Since I was about 12. I used to borrow my brothers Agfa Silette and my Uncle Ginge had a super 8mm cine camera that my cousin and I used to hijack during the school holidays. We did some stop-frame animations and we used to watch Chris Kelly (Clapperboard) and Michael Rodd (ScreenTest), Bob Godfey also made a series of programmes called ‘The Do-It-Yourself Film Animation Show’ that was an inspiration. I’m a hobbyist photographer in my 50s, jeez!! Born in 1962, I think that sounds better.

What cameras do you shoot on?
I got my first Leica M6 about five years ago from Berlin when the exchange rate was good. It’s my ‘go to’ camera. I have a selection of Nikon lenses, so the F3, F6 or F100 come out occasionally but they feel bulky after the rangefinders. I like the Yashica and Olympus rangefinders too, particularly the Yashica Ministers and Lynx from the 1960s. At Norwich School of Art, I had a Pentax ME-super, a great camera to learn with.

Leica M6

What other films do you like using?
I like Eastman Double-XX (5222) which I buy in 400ft rolls (it’s movie stock) and cut up into reusable cartridges. I like how D-96 develops this stock and I find I can push it to 800asa and still get nice results, can be grainy though. I also like Tri-X, HP5+ and Delta100 or 400

What are your thoughts about Kosmo Foto Mono?
I was curious to try Kosmo Mono when it was brought to market, primarily to see how it would cope with my home development. It’s contrasty compared to the Eastman 5222 but the grain is finer and I find the results surprisingly good even in available light situations when I wasn’t expecting much to come out – so will continue to use it. (see the pic below, taken in a dark cellar club venue, wide open at 1/15th)

Nikon F100

What films would you like to see on the market (old films brought back or new ones)?
Well, I recently ordered a couple of rolls of the recent incarnation of Ektachrome, I don’t shoot much colour but there are situations and continents that demand it. Black and White is fabulous for Reading, but trips to India? I think some colour has to be used, how about those old Agfacolor reversal films that my brother used to shoot. What were they called? They came back in an orange box – CT18 perhaps?

A black and white reversal would be interesting too.

Leica M6
Nikon F100


Pentax ES II
Leica M6
Yashica 35ME
Yashica 35ME

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Stephen Dowling
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