About Me

My photo
I take pictures of things. Mostly with film. Mostly with cameras. I am an engineer by trade. What really makes me happy, though, is to find an old camera at a swap meet or antique store and bring it back into working order with a few hours at the workbench. I then like to take them out and shoot some film. This blog is in large part the result of that activity.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

my front door

Nikon EM 50mm f1.8 Fomopan 100 
A few weeks ago I bought a tank, changing bag, developer, stop, fixer and all the other various and sundries for developing film in my kitchen.  Today I developed the first rolls of film since I took a photography class in college.  When I bought all that stuff I also purchased four rolls of $1.98 Fomopan 100 for the express purpose of screwing them up when I developed them.  Over the last couple of weeks I freely took photos of whatever the hell I felt like on my four test rolls because, well, they are test rolls.  There are many, many photos of my dogs, a few of my kids, a picture of the moon taken from the driver's seat while driving on the freeway (not recommended) and one or two of my living room and one of my front door.


I also took advantage of the test rolls to do a camera test.  From the friendly folks at KEH I recently bought a Nikon EM.  Since I discovered the Series E lenses and read about the EM I thought I might like to try it, so I did.  The Nikon EM is an aperture priority only manual focus slr camera, which means you choose the aperture, it chooses a shutter speed.  If it doesn't like the shutter speed it has to choose, it beeps at you.  You have no manual options at all.  Some photographers would balk at a camera that behaves this way but frankly, if the meter tells me f5.6, I use 5.6.  I realize that there are situations where manual control is necessary, but most of the time, meh.  I just do what it tells me anyway, so why not have IT do it?


The EM was a failure from Nikon's perspective.  It was their first plasticky camera, although it has an aluminum frame beneath the plastic, just like modern DSLRs.  It also was automated, which traditional photographers eschew.  From my point of view, however, bring it on.  I'll happily throw it in my camera bag next to my F3 or F4 and just use it.


The first thing I noticed when I scanned these negatives is how little grain there is.  I wasn't getting this from my local "pro lab".  I complained about this in my older posts, but it really annoys me how easy it is to do it right.  They must really not care about doing quality work over there.  As a result, they are not going to do work for me.   I really like the tones in this photo.  I like the gradients across all the flat surfaces, particularly the front door, and I like the deep blacks and bright whites.   


Tomorrow I assault the rest of my piled up film.  Who knows what lurks in there?

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