Here are the best shots from a roll of Fuji Velvia 100 that I scanned tonight. Shot on the Bronica ETRS and the MC 40mm f/4.
This post shows an alternate, and quite different, take on one of my favourite images of 2012 (the other version is here). While the first image I showed was a panorama taken with a DSLR, this version was on film with the Bronica ETRS.
Two pieces of equipment were absolutely necessary for this shot. First, a tripod with the ability to set the legs at independent angles. I had to set the tripod on a pile of rocks and being able to position each leg to follow the terrain helped considerably. Second, a graduated neutral density filter. These filters are divided in half, top to bottom. One one side they are transparent and on the other they block light by a fixed amount without adding any colour caste (hence, “neutral”). The interface between the two halves is a gradient with one fading into the other so there is no sharp transition edge.
Bronica ETRS with MC 40mm f/4. Probably around f/8, 1/8s on Fuji Velvia 100. Scanned with the Epson V500. Colour correction, levels and sharpness in Photoshop CS5.
Over the past year I’ve been borrowing my uncle George’s Bronica ETRS as a fun diversion from the world of digital. I’ve shot about 10 rolls with the camera now and I’m loving the camera. It’s taught me to slow down and think hard about each shot. A roll of 120 film only has 15 shots on it, requiring considerably more focus than shooting digital (or a willingness to waste a lot of film). This summer I had four rolls of slide film developed at Dwayne’s in Kansas, two rolls of Provia 100 and two of Velvia 100, and tonight I finished scanning the last roll.
Here’s an image that anybody following my Flickr site will recognize, since I also shot it digitally and with my Nikon N80. This is with the MC 40mm f/4.
I think of all the versions of the image, this Velvia shot is my favourite. The tones are natural and soft. I did have to bump up the foreground with curves and a gradient mask. I also painted in a flat curve with ‘Screen’ blending over the waterfall and trees along the horizon. It’s a shame that I didn’t take this photo a few minutes earlier, as the setting sun reflects from just a small patch at the far end of the falls The next two were taken in my mom’s garden on Velvia with the 75mm f/2.8 EII
The next two photos show the dual nature of the MC 40mm bokeh. On some images, like the first, it is incredibly harsh. I find it almost painful to look at, although the sharp bricks in the foreground really pop with a 3D effect. The image of the barbed wire shows that the bokeh can occasionally be nice with this lens. The downside to shooting film, of course, is that it took me months to even see what kind of images this lens could produce. Now that I have a better gauge of the lens’s strong points (sharpness, distortion, colour) and weak points (bokeh, vignetting with filters) I’ll be able to use it more effectively.
Thanks for looking!