Success!

A small achievement, perhaps, but I successfully developed my first roll of film the other day. And here’s the proof.

Konica III, Kentmere 100
Konica III, Kentmere 100

I developed in Caffenol. It came out a little contrasty but not bad at all, I think. I am pleased.

Put Down the Saturation and Contrast Sliders and Slowly Back Away…

I’m sorry, I don’t usually do this, but it’s either launch a minor rant or start committing acts of violence against inanimate objects. And by God, this is the Internet – if I can’t rant here, where can I rant?

I saw a picture on one of the major photo-sharing sites a day or two ago – an early fall scene with some large pumpkins and a wagon set in a field with trees on either side, taken from a low angle into what appears to be sunset (could be sunrise, I suppose). The composition wasn’t bad, the subject was pleasing enough. Nothing spectacular, mind you, but nice; it was the sort of image that might be found on a postcard in a small shop in Vermont, next to the tiny souvenir bottles of maple syrup.

Or it would have been nice if the levels of saturation and contrast hadn’t been bumped up so high as to make my eyes bleed instantly. It was so garish as to look like a cartoon. The palette was like something from an 80s hair metal video. I began to wonder if there was a corner of New England where the landscape was made entirely of neon, or that had been exposed to comically high levels of radiation (movie radiation that makes things glow and causes giant angry lizards to come out of the ocean, not the bad kind). There wasn’t a subtle pixel left, just one blindingly bright color after another. Pictures like this need warning labels and special safety glasses.

The saddest part is that it would have been so much more interesting if it were rendered in muted colors. The light was decent, and the brighter shades would have still come through, but the effects of the sunset would have been more noticeable and the feel would have been painterly and soft. As it is, it is the artistic equivalent of being stabbed in the face: sure, it might be a really nice knife, but you’re likely too distracted by the searing pain and the fact that it’s embedded in your skull to appreciate it.

OK, I’ll stop now. But please people, for the love of God, stop making the world several times louder than really it is. Just because you can doesn’t mean you should. And you know, the sliders move both ways.

Meet the Lens: Canon 50 f/1.5

I notice I’ve been a bit light on the gear-related content lately – not for lack of acquisition, mind you, but I suppose I felt it had been a bit too frequent for a spell there. But fear not, Your Humble Filmosaur remains fond of cameras and all the things that go along with them, so there will be more of this sort of thing coming.

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For now, please take a moment to welcome the newest arrival to my burgeoning Leica Thread Mount lens collection, a lovely Canon 50 f/1.5, which will live on my Canon P as the standard lens for that camera. This means my Jupiter-8 50 f/2 can go back to the FED-2 where it was originally intended to reside.

The 50/1.5 is, unlike all the other Canon rangefinder lenses, a Sonnar design. This means it has a particular look to images produced with it, characterized by smooth softening in the corners and creamy soft (why do I feel like I’m selling ice cream or Kleenex all of a sudden?) bokeh. It is quite flare-resistant, and rather sharp when stopped down. I’ve been very pleased with the look of my Sonnar-type Jupiter-8, so when the opportunity to get the relatively rare Canon lens sprung up, I grabbed it.

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It also weighs a ton. It’s all brass and chrome, and mounted on the P I feel like I’m dragging around a small anchor that also happens to take pictures. Not that I’m complaining – I tend to like the stability provided by heavy cameras – but it is noticeable from the moment you pick it up.

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Rather than paying some absurd amount for the original hood, which is rather rare, I’ve got a generic Series VI hood with a slip-on adapter. It’s not ideal, as the hood can slip off if you’re not careful, but it’s serviceable for now. Plus I can use my various Series VI filters, which is nice.

So that’s it for now. You can expect to see more photos from this lens soon, as I’ve already shot several rolls with it. So far I’m nothing but pleased with my decision.