Monday, May 20, 2013

Going low tech

I finally forced myself on Friday to get out of the house with the camera and go for a walk!  But, I didn't just take my normal Canon T3i.  No, this time, two old friends tagged along.

The camera on the top-left is a Yashica-A. This model camera was sold back in 1958.  It uses 120 sized film, which if you haven't seen that type before is large then a 35mm negative.  A lot of photographers loved those type of cameras, and still do, since the large film gives better detail and sharper image.  Back in the late 80's, I had a Yashica Mat 124 and loved it.  But, had to sell it for either rent or beer money in my mid 20's.  A decision I still regret today.  But, I was lucky enough to find this A model at the Wooster Rotary auction a couple months ago.  I finally picked up a roll of film for it at the camera store and was able to run that through Friday night.  One important thing to note, the A does not have a light meter on it.  So, the Canon was used for that task. 
The Argus, which I believe by serial number may be a pre-war model, has been a workhorse for many over the years. Difficult to focus and again no light meter, this camera was a bit of a challenge to use, but was a lot of fun.

My goal was to do two things on my walk:
1.  See if these two old beasts still work.
2.  Compare images taken with these with images taken with my Canon.

I had previously ordered black and white 35mm Kodak film that can be processed like color film off of Amazon a while back, so finding someone to develop it was not an issue.  Finding someone to develop the 120 film is a different issue and I'll let you know if the Fuji lab that Rite Aid sends to is able to do it or not.

So here's the first test results.  How an image, exposed with the same settings, standing in the same place at the same time looks.  The Argus picture is on the left.

What I thought was interesting in this image is just how different the two look, perspective wise.  The digiital on the right, shot with my 40mm pancake lens and the Argus with it's 50mm.  On the digital, the cameras image is cropped due to the sensor within the camera.  The Argus, even though it's a lens that you would think produce a tighter image due to it's higher number, actually gives a wider view.  Plus, it gives the image more depth in my opinion. 
My main goal for these cameras is to incorporate them when I take pictures of World War II reenactors.  If you have been a visitor to my site, you've probably seen that I love taking pictures of reenactors.  I felt it was only fitting for the WWII ones to see if I can capture something that looks more period appropriate.  I think the Argus will handle that task.  Still can't wait to see what the 120 film produces.  Stay tuned for that update!

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