Spent the day yesterday testing 3 of my film based cameras, and I used a unique way to get creative, the "10 minutes from home challenge"
Well, it is official, I am now back to shooting film after years of shooting Digital. :)
I ran into Lomography about two weeks ago, and really enjoyed some of the pictures and posts people were putting up, and it made me remember how much I enjoyed shooting film. I have a number of film cameras I haven’t touched in years, from basic, no frills Chinon’s, to top of the line Canon AF series bodies. But they have been sitting in boxes, or worse, on my shelf just collecting dust.
So this weekend I decided that I wanted to start shooting film again, but I had no idea which cameras still had good light seals, and still functioned correctly. So I decided to do test shoot of each camera, one at a time. I picked up a 3 pack of Generic 400 ASA Color film from my local drug store (Rite Aide, and Rite Aide brand film) because I really didn’t want to spend a lot of cash on film and developing, only to find out the camera body was junk, hand bad light seals, a jamming film advance, or a torn/broken shutter. Randomly picked three cameras to start with, the Chinon CM-5, Chinon CM-4s, and one of my Canon A2’s. For the Chinon’s a added a 50mm manual focus lens, and for the Canon I used a autofocus EF lens.
Pretty interesting, remembering all that I had forgotten about manual focusing, the Sunny 16 rule, and a number of other details that I have been letting my DSLR take care of without me thinking much about it.
The Chinon CM-5 and CM-4s are very basic cameras. A lot like the Pentax K1000 in terms of set up and use. Neither has a working light meter, both of them need the batteries replaced. But otherwise they functioned great! The shutter speeds all sounded correct, each of them fired off a generic hot shoe flash properly. I paired the CM-5 up with an old SMC Pentax 50mm /F1.2 (yes that was 1.2!!!!) lens and the CM-4s with a Chinon 50mm F/1.7.
A word about the “10 minutes from home” Challenge. It is something I read about a while ago, and I have been thinking about doing it for some time. Just never had a reason to do so. The basic idea is to give yourself 10 minutes, and walk, ride a bike, or drive for that amount of time, then stop where you are and find something to photograph. You can go in any direction, but only for 10 minutes. The idea is to look around you, at what you see everyday, and find something interesting to shoot. For me I walked, and drove, ten monutes in a couple of directions, to get some shots.
Since these were test rolls, I didn’t put a lot of time into composition, or even subject matter, but more time into getting properly exposed shots. Like I said, it has been a while since I shot fully manual. :) The Canon I shot both fully manual and full autofocus/program mode, because I was testing all the functions of the cameras.
I had to admit, I am very pleased that the cameras work as well as they do, and that I got as many properly exposed shots as I did. I shot during the worse part of the day, right around noon, and it was very bright and sunny. Most of the shots were done between F/16 and F/5.6 as I worked through the shutter speeds and aperture. I posted the Albums up, each labels by the camera I shot with.
So here is the basic list of cameras I have tested, and the ones remaining to be tested.
Auto Chinon Multi Coated 50mm F/1.7
SMC Pentax-M 50mm F/1.2 (Asahi Optical)
Canon EF 24-85 F/3.5-4.5 USM
Canon EF 50mm F/1.8
To be Tested
Hoeywell Pentax sp500
Pentax ME Super (#1)
Pentax ME Super (#2)
Chinon CM-5 (#2)
Canon A2 (#2)
Canon A2E (#1)
Canon A2E (#2)
Yashica Electro 35 G
Yashica Electron 35
Canon Rebel G
Canon Rebel 2000
Canon FTB ql
At least two of these I know have issues, the Nikon EM has a broken rewind knob, and either the Ricoh or Sears has a jammed film advance/shutter. For the bodies that do not work or have issues, I will toss them.
So moving forward, I am going to order so decent film to use with the two Chinon bodies, and start testing the additional cameras one at a time, probably starting with all the K-mount bodies, then moving on to the rest of them. But at least I have two known working film bodies to start with, plus I have a couple of K-Mount primes. Really hungry for some decent Black and White film, but at the moment, all I have is Fujifilm 200. :/
Will post up as things move along.