The local camera store dug up a roll of developed film that I’d handed them 2 years ago and forgotten all about. I was sure that I’d just lost it! I think that this was just the 2nd roll of 120 format film that I’d shot on the Bronica 645. Definitely a treat.
In this fourth and final post from the recent batch of developed film I’ll show some scans from a roll of 35mm Kodak Portra 160. I shot these with the Nikon N80, an autofocus film body that can handle the most modern Nikon lenses with AF-S and VR. That means that the lenses I use on my digital bodies are compatible with the N80. Even more exciting is that, since I normally shoot with a DX (cropped) digital sensor, this is my only opportunity to use my FX prime lenses as they were intended. Photos from three lenses are shown in this post. The Sigma 50mm f/1.4 and Nikkor AF-S 85mm f/1.8G are both fantastic lenses on both DX and FX digital sensors and here on 35mm film. I also used the AF-S 35mm f/1.8G here and while it is a DX lens the image circle is about big enough to work on 35mm although the corners often vignette depending on aperture and focus distance.
The roll of Portra (as well as the others in the previous posts) was developed at Dwayne’s in the USA. I had them make prints of this roll and it is interesting to compare how my scans and digital editing compare to a standard print. Often they are quite similar in that we both agree on colour balance and brightness. I tend to prefer a bit more saturation and contrast than Portra provides so I enhanced both on many of the images using Photoshop.
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!