Return to Film Photography

Going through my photo albums it appears that my last roll of film was shot sometime in 1999, and after almost 20 years I have decided to shoot some film again.

Why? Firstly for fun, and secondly to challenge myself a bit.  With digital we have too many second chances; we shoot, review – not good, shoot again, review …  and so on until we get what we want. With film one needs to learn to get it right first time, every time, with no reviews.

I bought a film camera kit from a local lad consisting of a Canon F-1 and two Canon A-1 cameras and quite a few lenses, most notably FD 28 mm f/2.8, FD 50mm f/1.4 and FD 100mm f/2.8. All cameras look in near mint condition, however have a few issues.

The F-1 seems to have a shutter capping issue (see a sample photo) and requires a visit to technician, if one can be found in Brisbane. I love this camera, the light-meter in the viewfinder is awesome. However, it’s a heavy piece of gear and needs to be fixed before it can be used.

The two A-1s are much lighter but the LED light-meter in the viewfinder is somewhat primitive when compared to that of F-1. One of the A-1s had the shutter squeak but I managed to fix that by following instructions found on Youtube. The other one seems to be alright.

Both A-1 light-meters tend to overexpose a bit, when compared to F-1 and to 5D mk III metering. I shot a black and white roll and the overexposure is consistent between 2/3 and one full f-stop.

This is what the difference looks like between original image and adjusted one.

 

The current film I have in the A-1 camera is a Fuji ISO 100 roll, but I’ve set the camera so it thinks it’s an ISO 160 film. That should bing the exposure in line.

I’ve got the film developed and scanned at the local lab as I don’t have any facilities to do so at home, although I would love to have my own dark room.

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Sony A7 II – using MF assist with the lens adapters

Sony Alpha and NEX cameras have two very nice features that make manual focusing a pretty effortless exercise. The first one is focus peeking, where the areas in focus are highlighted in a selected colour, and the other one is manual focus assist (MF assist).

Screen Shot 2015-07-29 at 22.48.31The way MF assist works is that when the camera is in MF mode, the preview screen on the LCD display or EVF is magnified, making it very easy to see when the subject is in focus. Once the MF assist is enabled, all you need to do is to turn the manual focus ring on your lens and the magnification kicks in.

However, if you are using third party lenses with the lens adapter in manual focus mode, the screen magnification doesn’t work. You can turn the focusing ring all day long, you will only have the benefit of focus peeking but not the MF assist.

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Using Sony SEL1018 lens on the full-frame Sony A7

Sony SEL1018 F/4 10-18mm Wide-Angle Zoom Lens was made for the E-mount APS-C range of cameras, e.g. NEX-6,  Alpha 6000 (A6000) etc. Normally, using this type of a lens on the full frame cameras, such as A7, would cause a very heavy vignetting where the image, unless seriously cropped, would be pretty much useless.

Here is an example of using Sony SEL35F18 35mm f/1.8 Prime Fixed Lens on the full frame camera.

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The E-mount APS-C lenses work fine with the full frame E-mount cameras when the camera runs in the crop-mode, but at cost of a reduced resolution.

However, the Sony SEL1018 f/4 full frame sensor coverage is surprisingly good, with the vignetting being a real issue only at the ends of the range. When using the lens between 12 – 16mm, the vignetting can be very easily addressed in post processing.

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