Friday, March 30, 2012

A whole roll from my new old camera

This is the fabled Billyclack Agfa camera.  It's shoots 6x9 exposures on 120 film.
First problem is that the exposures are twisted on the negative.  See that black band at the bottom of the scan, it really does slope on the negative too.
Second problem is that the camera shoots somewhere about 1/30th of a second, which is hard to hand hold, especially with the shutter release being at the front of the bellows while you are holding the camera by the body.
Thirdly I left the camera on bulb for some of these shots, and have 1/2 or 1 second exposures for some of these.

 The fourth problem is that the winder simply is that.  There is no ratchet to stop you at the end of the frame, you look through a little red window at the numbers on the back of the film.  The #1 lines up, and is easy to see, but when you get to #2 you see half a number too at the top of the window, then another full #2 in the window.  As you progress through the film the gap gets bigger, this is because 120 film defines a film width (edge to edge), but does not define the length of film used each shot.  My camera shoots 6x9, others aspect ratios seem to be more common.

The winder is just that, a film advance winder.  The winder is not coupled to the shutter cocking mechanism, that is all in the shutter release button.  So I goofed, and forgot to wind the film, causing the double exposure above.

The sixth problem waited for me to have good light, and correct shutter mode before it manifests itself.  You will see the vignetting in the corners.

I am looking forward to trying color film in this camera, but I am not sure it is a color camera.  You may scratch your head and say "but isn't that down to the film", well I have a slightly newer camera that boldly claims "for color".  See, the "chromatic aberration" is a prismatic effect where different colors of light get deflected by different amounts in a lens.  This camera seems to have a very simple lens, I wonder how it will cope.

I am also looking forward to shooting different depth of field with this camera, I'll be interested to see the bokeh because the iris is circular.  Most modern cameras have a 7+blade changeable iris which is continuously variable, but this camera has 3 distinct irises.  This should be most interesting in night shooting, where scratches on the lens will also bring their own artifacts to the image.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Trying something new

So the first new thing I am trying out is my Lumix DMC-LX5, it's a point and shoot camera which is willing to let me take control too.

The second thing we are trying out is the HDR function on the camera, and seeing how images compare with and without HDR.  The pansies above seem to be helped by the HDR, we can see detail in the foliage which was lost in shadow otherwise.  We also have a more uniform color of the petals.


Looking at the house though, I'm not so sure I like the HDR.  Sure we keep details in the trees, that shady tree on the left would have been just a silhouette.  Now look at the bay window on the house.  The detail seems bleached out, and so it's not so good.  I'm on the fence.

The third thing we are trying is a blogging plug in for my newly acquired Lightroom.  For all these years I've just been using either Picasa for a minor tweak, or using the Nikon software.  Now I have a none Nikon camera that part of the equation is changed.  The plug-in is unregistered, and so is limiting me to 300x200 images.