Film Friday: April 13

Canon AE-1, 50mm f/1.8 FD & FujiFilm Superia 400

I’m chuffed with myself for getting pictures of Paris while he was moving, shot with the lens almost wide open and focusing and metering manually (not many other options on a 35-year-old camera).

I’m used to a higher-end digital SLR with bells and whistles, so going back to (very basic) basics is a challenge. Composing the shot, trying to get the dog to cooperate and my mind calculating a million things a minute: Aperture, shutter speed …  very dark dog … adjust … focus. Click. Darn it,  wind spool!

The CD of scans from developing is of such low resolution from the processing machine, it’s not worth the $3.50; and the auto correction of colors and sharpening is horrendous, so I was excited to start scanning the negs at the office. It’s the first opportunity to see what really happened when I pressed the shutter. Automation has been a good thing, but also … BAD! I am shocked at the crappy output and cheap product the average consumer gets from their roll of film or memory card from the kiosk/discount store.

I’m thinking that I might add a more modern EOS film camera to my gear so I an use my fabulous 70-200 f/2.8 lens. It would be doable if I could find a way of managing the workflow effectively in both time and cost. It is good discipline to think about getting all the elements right BEFORE pressing the shutter, instead of looking at the back of the camera then pressing the shutter again. And again.

I’m all caught up in the magic of film right now. And the next time someone says to me, “Oh, you must have a really good camera,” I’m going to hand them and the AE-1 and say, “Yep. Super good! Have at it!”