Saturday, July 19, 2008

twin lens reflex test

Another batch of negatives arrived yesterday, so the afternoon turned out to be a scan-fest (yawn). I received the test shots for the Foldex-20, Yashica D, Zeiss Ikon Ikoflex, Vivitar ultra wide and slim, and the Diana+ pinhole shots. Save for a lot of overexposed Foldex shots (I went bulb/time-setting crazy again) and a few underexposed (nice change for me) shots with the Vivitar, it was the best batch of negatives to date. All by way of saying, most of the shots were in the ballpark of being properly exposed which meant much less work for me (and photoshop). Wisely, I think, I dealt with the Foldex and Vivitar negatives first since I could see that they had more problems than the other rolls. I saved the tlrs for last which was smart as I was most pleased with how those turned out. Last night I was anyway. Looking at the images this morning, I’m wishing they were better, other, different, etc. Or maybe it’s better to say that I wish I were better, other, different in terms of taking photographs. Not surprisingly, perhaps, my favorite shots are those that feature different subject matter, things I’ve not attempted to photograph before—like the stairs image above, shot with the Yashica. Then again, part of the plan for test rolls was to photograph the same things so I’d have some point of comparison to judge what was happening. I’m actually eager to receive the next batch of negatives as most of those images are of things I’ve not photographed before. Not a woods, tricycle, kitchen table, or coneflower image in the bunch. (well, maybe there will be one or two.) Still. . .

As far as the tlr images go, I’m feeling less pleased with them today so I’ll try to remember what I was thinking while I was scanning them in yesterday. I did the images from the Ikoflex first—not sure why, exactly. I know that the person from whom I bought the camera said that I should shoot a test roll and if I wasn’t happy with the camera or results, we could work something out—an exchange or refund. Maybe that’s why I started with those negatives? After seeing the first image, I remember thinking, “Oh my gosh—so this is what it’s like shooting 120 film when you actually have a shot at controlling how the pictures come out!” Nothing against the Holga, Diana+, Foldex-20, or Brownie Hawkeye as I love working with them, but I recognized that this was a totally different shooting experience. It made me even more committed to saving up for my dream camera—the Kiev 88 SWC.

The Ikoflex is much easier to take pictures with—the focusing is great (see image of water glass below) and I was really pleased with the sharpness of these pictures. The compositions were a little off but I like the DoF. In short, I was really excited about the results yesterday. With the Yashica, it’s a little harder to focus—to see exactly what you’re getting. That said, the colors were really, well, interesting (see bike image below) and, all in all, I think I took more interesting shots with the Yashica—meaning that the compositions were a little bit more interesting. I also tended to experiment more with what I was focusing on—or where. That is to say, I wasn’t focusing on whatever was at the center of the composition (see ivy/spout shot below).

"just water"

"big wheel"


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