Sunday, 24 February 2013

Time for some decisions

Since starting to use film again I've gone from using a 35mm camera through my 6 x 4.5 Bronica medium format and my 6cm x 6cm folding Solida up to the old Kodak 6cm x 9cm and at each stage have really enjoyed the larger negatives and the results I've got from them. Also of course I've had the day with the large format 5" x 4"

Now each time I go out to take photographs I'm faced with the decision as to which to take. Each has its own benefits - the 35mm, ease of use, small size, 36 exposures to a roll, the Solida larger negatives, pocket sized and light, the Bronica, ability to shoot colour and B & W with exchangeable back, use of telephoto or extension tube for macro, the Kodak larger negative still, pocket size. But each also has its disadvantages - the 35mm, small size of negative, the Solida square format, The Bronica, its weight and size (1.7kg) and smaller negative size, the Kodak lens flare due to the lens not being coated.

So each one is a trade off of pluses and minuses and sometimes those make the choice obvious, if for example I'm going out and just want to have a camera in case a subject presents itself it would be the Solida or Zorki 35mm, if I know what I'm going to shoot and its not too much of a walk the the Bronica if I need the variety.

But the time is coming when I'm going to have to make a permanent decision for the summer as I can't really justify taking them all with me when we go away on the narrowboat. It might just be that I end up buying a 6 x 9 more modern folder and leave the rest but that will mean disposing of some I have as I don't think marital harmony will stretch to me having 5 film cameras - so anyone interested in buying any??

On another subject I tried out a ND filter the other day on the Zorki. I've had it a while but never got round to using it. These restrict the light getting to the film and therefore enable you to use a larger aperture or longer exposure times in a given situation. I wanted to use this one to increase the exposure times to get that dream like quality you see on seascapes or river shots. Its a 10 stop filter which means that if the exposure reading without it was 1/30sec the actual exposure would need to be 32sec if you were shooting with a digital camera. If using film you also have to allow for reciprocity failure which means that the film doesn't react to light with long exposures the same way that it does at shorter exposures and with the above example I'd have to leave the shutter open for 2 minutes. This first experiment was not quite successful as the exposure was not really long enough being only 17 sec. and the day, although bright was very very flat and overcast but I'll try some more shortly and see how they look with longer exposures.

and just an odd couple of pictures also from the latest roll out of the Zorki

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