This latest shot of my favorite model was made on Fujifilm 200 with the Yashica Electro 35. I like the short depth-of-field provided by the f/1.7 lens in this low-angle shot (I don’t remember if it was wide open on this shot – probably had to stop down a little because of the brightness outdoors).

My quest for cheap (and good) scans continues…

I had several rolls of film developed and scanned by Dwayne’s photo, and I was pretty happy with them, considering the price – $4 develop + $3 scan per roll (same price for a roll of 35mm or 120).  The 35mm film scans were 2376 x 3583 pixels, and ok quality.  This compares to North Coast Photo’s budget scans at $5.75 develop + $6.95 scan per roll for 2000 x 3000 pixels.  There is a difference in quality, though.  With lower-quality scans you’ll see streaking or other oddities when you start to adjust colors or values in the image, and I see some of this in the scans I got from Dwayne’s.  Not terrible, but maybe not any better than what you’d get from drug store processing and scanning (but the price is in that drug-store range, or even lower).  Dwayne’s scans generally look good (the one above looks great, I think) right off the disk, but when you want to make adjustments you’ll start to find the scan’s shortcomings.  The scans from North Coast were smoother and free of lines or streaks when I made adjustments.  And of course, North Coast’s ‘enhanced scans’ were much higher resolution and great quality, but a little expensive ($11.95/roll for scanning, on top of the $5.75 develop).

The problems I see in lower-quality scans are usually most evident in the smooth color of the sky. The image at right is cropped from a dark evening sky in one of the Dwayne’s scans on the same roll of film as the photo above (click to see full-resolution). You can see vertical streaking, and this image had no edits done in Lightroom besides cropping. If you start making adjustments to the image, these faults usually become amplified. Adjustments as simple as adjusting exposure can emphasize some scanning faults. I like to use Lightroom’s selective HSL sliders to saturate certain color ranges, lighten or darken certain color ranges, etc, and this can wreak havok on a bad scan.  But with a proper scan they work great.  So I’ll continue my quest for great scans at a lower price, but I might just end up going back to North Coast.

Surprisingly, Dwayne’s scans of 120 film were lower-resolution than their 35mm scans.  6 x 6 images on 120 film were only about 2000 x 2000 pixels.  Weird.  But again, the price was good (same price as 35mm).

I’ll be posting my favorite shots from these rolls of 35mm and 120 over the coming weeks.

Kodak Brownie Flash Six-20 blur

Just got some film back, some of which had been sitting in the camera for a while. I decided to start here on the blog with the worst roll of the batch (or maybe you’ll think it’s the best). I made the mistake last winter of thinking I could squeeze a roll of 120 film into the Brownie Flash Six-20, which is made for the slightly smaller 620 spools.  It fit by messing with the latch that holds the back on the camera, but created a lot of tension on the film when winding it, and the film wasn’t quite aligned top-to-bottom along where it’s supposed to ride. This camera has a curved back that the film bends around, but I think with the extra tension and misalignment, the film was buckling, causing extra blur in the images.  There also seems to be some motion blur caused by shooting hand-held with this very clunky mechanical shutter that takes a very hard push to fire.

Brownie Flash Six-20

These were shot on Ektar 100 color neg film, but they reminded me so much of old images, that I had to convert a couple of them to sepia-tone. They make me think they’re images found in the camera of some long-lost explorer.

There’s not too much to say about this camera, but I’ll post some photos and info soon on the cameras page. Maybe I’ll try shooting another roll sometime, but I’ll take the few minutes required to re-spool the film onto a 620 spool, and see if the results are better. The ultra-soft-focus look is kind of nice, though.  Heck, some people pay good money for a Holga just to shoot photos this blurry.

Polaroid Land Camera Model 180 first shot

First shot taken with my new Polaroid Land Camera model 180 that I picked up at a garage sale last week. It’s a beautiful camera and I’ll be writing more about it soon.  This was shot on Fujifilm FP-3000B black & white instant film (3200 speed – great for low-light shots like this). Shot at 1/30 sec f/5.6 handheld with ambient light from a table lamp.

Accidental double exposures – Super Ricohflex

One shortcoming of some old manual cameras is that it can be very easy to accidentally shoot double exposures. Many cameras are equipped with some sort of double-exposure prevention mechanism: something that won’t let you cock the shutter and take another shot until you’ve wound the film forward (or pushed an over-ride button or lever in the case that you purposely want to take a double exposure). Many of my old cameras don’t have this feature, so I inevitably end up with some double exposures. The two below were from the second roll of film that I shot in my Super Richoflex this past spring before I got in the habit of always winding immediately after taking a photo.

But if this old camera had double-exposure prevention, I wouldn’t have accidentally ended up with these interesting images.

Sunrise on Lake Superior – Super Ricohflex

Another old shot while I wait for some newer film to be developed.  The misty fog over the water was beautiful, and I’m glad the film was able to capture it.  As I looked back at this shot, I was struck by the amazing amount of dynamic range that was captured.  The sun was shining pretty much directly into the lens, filtered through the tree a little, and there’s still a surprising amount of detail in the highlights and shadows.  I don’t think my digital camera would have captured this much dynamic range without shooting a few bracketed shots and using an HDR process to merge them together.  This was shot with the Super Ricohflex on Ektar 100.

Still life with Yashica

Looking through some scans from earlier this year, this shot jumped out at me from the very first roll of 120 film I shot in my Super Ricohflex. I like the composition and strong contrast. Funny how looking back later at a roll of shots can reveal ones that you didn’t pay much attention to at first.