Poundland film and Northumbria Bastles

Usually when I go for a walk in the countryside I’ll carry a medium format camera such as the Fujifilm GA645Zi but also tuck one of my two 35mm Olympus 35RC cameras in the bag. If there’s black and white loaded in the GA645 then I’ll take colour in the 35RC, or vice versa.

A few weeks ago I walked the Tarset Bastles Trail in Northumberland with the GA645 loaded with some expired 220-format FP4+ and the 35RC loaded with AgfaPhoto Vista Plus 200. The Agfa film is re-badged Fujicolor 200, which can be purchased for £1.00 for 24 exposures at Poundland, a discount store in the UK.

I used to think of this “budget” film as being only of use for testing a camera in case of light leaks etc, but I am becoming more of a fan. It’s no Kodak Portra or Ektar but it is pretty accceptable. I usually turn down the vibrance in Lightroom when using this film because I prefer more muted colours.

On to the subject matter – bastles are medieval fortified dwellings which were built around the borders between England and Scotland at a time when “rieving”, ie cattle theft, murder, kidnap, etc, was fairly common. The best preserved example on the walk is Black Middens Bastle – I took a pinhole image of this site which unfortunately was ruined by some exhausted developer.


2016-7,  Oly 35RC, Agfa Vista 200, Fuji Chems, 006
Boghead bastle – unusual in that it’s built in a boggy depression rather than on a hill with a lookout view
2016-7,  Oly 35RC, Agfa Vista 200, Fuji Chems, 007


2016-7,  Oly 35RC, Agfa Vista 200, Fuji Chems, 008
Shilva Hill
2016-7,  Oly 35RC, Agfa Vista 200, Fuji Chems, 009
This one isn’t actually a bastle, it’s just a gatepost – but you can see that the same local stone has been used. The stones from bastles would often be re-used once they had been abandoned as habitations

The film was home developed in the Fuji Hunt X-Press C41 kit and I was fairly pleased with the image quality. ‘Tis a pity it’s only 35mm …

One comment

  1. I shoot miles of Fujicolor 200 — it’s the least expensive film still available in stores. It costs about $2.50 a roll — about twice as expensive as you can get it at Poundland.

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