Saturday, May 31, 2014

Getting Back To Film After A Long Hiatus ......

I have not shot a roll of film in quite a few months. Jan to April each year is when I am busiest, as my other day job is that of a tax preparer at a CPA office, 60 hr week for about 10-11 weeks. Finally that is over and I can have a bit of R & R. Fall 2013 I bought a basic Canon Elan camera body on ebay (just because... it was cheap, I could not past it up). It came with the ugliest looking Quantaray telephoto lens. I wanted to see how bad a cheap lens can be. It actually seems to focus rather fast although it is a slow lens with max aperture of 4.0. It does not hurt to have a 35mm film SLR lying around that could share some of the better lenses I own. I also added to my gears a 200mm f/2.8 L lens from ebay, for $200. Before you said Wow, what a sweet deal! It is cheap for a reason, it has a broken USM motor and only the manual focus works. That did not bother me, I was after the glass and bokeh of a prime L lens within my budget for a hobby. My kind of photography is slow mo anyway. I prefer to take my time to shoot and let my heart leads.

First off I am so out of practice that I had to reel the films thrice as they kept kinking on me and all that inside a large changing bag. Still it did not feel like it was properly done but I eventually gave in and decided I am going to develop the film and live with the consequences. Rodinal/Adonal is always my developer of choice and it gives me good control over the development. It is a one shot developer which means I can prepare just enough for each run and not worry about the rest going bad on me.

The Canon Elan turned out to have an unpredictable shutter (no such thing as free lunch.. things are cheap for a reason, I can only laugh at myself now).The shutter jammed at low speed and I had to turn it off and back on for the mirror to return leading to light leaks on the entire roll. It would work at fast speed, but the entire roll had already been exposed while the shutter stayed open when it jammed. This roll came out blank (clear) except for the frame numbers. I had a second roll of Neopan 400 shot partly on the Canonet QIII 17 and partly on the Canon Elan with the 200mm f/2.8 L lens that was processed along with the first roll of Neopan 400 in the same tank. You can imagine how relieved I was to find a few good shots on the second roll.