Thursday, July 15, 2010

no contest

I finally got around to finishing up the test roll in the Kalimar Spirit SP pano trashcam the other day. I was definitely not impressed. Then again, a pano trashcam has a lot to live up to given my experience (and satisfaction with) what is to my mind one of the best cameras (whether pano, trashcam or no) ever made--the ultronic panoramic. What follows could be viewed as an unfair comparison given the type of image chosen to represent each camera.
Here is a diptych featured an ultronic image to the left, and one taken by the Kalimar to the right. The image left, by the by, is one of my favorite all time images. What may seem unfair here is that the ultronic image is taken from a much closer distance than the other. I guess the best evidence I have of the ultronic's greatness has to do with the fact that of the 24 or so images taken on the Kalimar, only six were worth scanning in. This is never the case with the ultronic.

With this pairing the Kalimar image is positioned above the one taken with the ultronic. This was perhaps my favorite Kalimar image. The ultronic image featured here is okay--not one of my favorites.

My main problem with the Kalimar has to do with the way the images looked once developed. With the exception of the boat pic above, the colors were all blah--something that is represented moreso in the first image featured here. The colors from the ultronic have always been incredible. I don't know if this has to do with the camera, the developer or something else. [Note: I used fuji 400 in the Kalimar--a film and speed I often use in the ultronic.] I will say that when I developed the Kalimar images, the developer was very new. This is not to say that the developer wasn't compromised though by the c-22 debacle from last week. I refer now to trying to develop film meant for c-22 processing in c-41 chemicals. If the developer has been compromised to any degree, it's clearly not ruined. The colors are still okay, accurate enough, etc. I guess I'll try developing another not-so-important roll of film and see what's what before deciding to dump this liter.

I did do a number of close-up shots with the Kalimar, but they were hardly worth scanning or saving. What I find particularly remarkable about the ultronic is the depth of field--how everything, whether close-up or at a distance, is in focus. My sense was that the Kalimar was not as capable of doing this. It lacked a certain sharpness, attention to detail.

I'm not ruling the Kalimar out all together. All I'm saying at this point, is that it won't displace or even threaten the ultronic's position as my number one pano go-to camera. Perhaps I will do another test roll when I change out the chemicals. I think it would be most helpful, in terms of comparing the cameras, to take both cameras out on the same day and shoot the same subjects or scenes with each camera. That way, I will not be comparing images shot on a dreary day with ones shot on a better day.

2 comments:

Vic said...

Hi-

Panoramic photos are fun. I have tried 35mm in 6x6 and 6x9 cameras with good results. Folders can be tricky - you have to do some math to figure how many winder turns to get one exposure *and* you have to tape the window to prevent light leaks.

I've had best results with a Fuji gw690: a great 6x9 camera that can be used w/35mm film with some foam spacers and unloading/rewinding in a camera bag.

The gw690 can be had cheaply on ebay. I purchased mine broken and managed to get it back to work.

Vic said...

Hi-

Panoramic photos are fun. I have tried 35mm in 6x6 and 6x9 cameras with good results. Folders can be tricky - you have to do some math to figure how many winder turns to get one exposure *and* you have to tape the window to prevent light leaks.

I've had best results with a Fuji gw690: a great 6x9 camera that can be used w/35mm film with some foam spacers and unloading/rewinding in a camera bag.

The gw690 can be had cheaply on ebay. I purchased mine broken and managed to get it back to work.