I have been utterly and completely remiss in posting anything over the last 18 months or so, partially because I haven’t had the urge, partially because I haven’t been doing as much photography, and probably a few other reasons. In a vain effort to redress this failure, I’m posting a few shots from this past year (along with some comments) in the hope that it may spur me to start taking more pictures and actually posting them from time to time. Please note that some of the scans are not great, dust being the biggest issue; I haven’t had a chance to go back and rescan selected shots at higher resolutions and with more care.
First, a few from my FED-2. I have to say, the more I use this camera, especially with B&W film, the more impressed I am. It’s really quite nice to handle, and the results are often good (in spite of my frequent displays of ineptitude), but the most appealing part of the camera is the utter simplicity of the shooting experience. There’s no meter, there’s no zooming, there’s no beeping or flashing; just set and shoot.
The B&W photos are on Tri-X, while the color image is from a test roll of Lomography’s Redscale film. Nothing more need be said about Tri-X; it’s the standard for 400 B&W film as far as I am (and a lot of other people are) concerned. The Redscale is interesting to play with, but it’s finicky and needs to be slightly overexposed to work well; it is most definitely not what I consider an everyday film option.
Now a couple from a much more modern camera, my Pentax SFX. It’s quite interesting to contrast the shooting experience with these two cameras in similar circumstances (as you may have guessed, the racing photos were taken on the same September day at Lime Rock Park in Connecticut). The Pentax, which I had set for manual focus and aperture priority shooting through a Sigma 100-300 4.5-8 zoom lens with a circular polarizer, was capable of capturing detail of fast-moving vehicles that the FED never could, but in the end more of the photos from the FED were what I considered interesting images. I’m not sure what accounts for this, but it’s another reason to appreciate simplicity.
The first image is on my (unfortunately) last roll of Kodak’s Portra 400 VC, while the second is shot on Fuji’s Superia Xtra 400. Bought a bunch of 24-exposure rolls of the latter cheap to use for testing and such; now I’m just trying to burn through the last of it. It’s picky about getting the exposure just right, and I do not care for the palette it tends toward; I do not think I’ll be buying it again. The Portra VC, on the other hand, was great; I wish I’d bought more. The new Portra, which I haven’t tried yet, has gotten very good reviews, though the price has risen considerably. For the moment my go-to color film will be Kodak’s Gold 400 – nothing special, but a nicer palette than the similar Fuji offering.
I’ll be back with some pictures from other cameras shortly.