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Saturday, October 29

Same field - different treatment


My Rolleiflex SL66E was a 50th birthday present to myself back in March but it's only now that it's getting some regular use. It's not the most intuitive of cameras to operate. There's a particular order in which things have to be done when it comes to loading and unloading and, for a while, I found it easier to simply pick up the D700 when I was going out shooting.
I got it as an outfit with the 40mm Distagon, 80mm Planar and the 150mm and 250mm Sonnars, along with the 45 degree prism finder. I'm getting to like it more and more and feeling increasingly at home with it. I've been out shooting just about every day this week, at least for a little while, and although I still have to stop and think at times, the process of setting it up and firing away is becoming more "automatic".

As I think I mentioned in an earlier post, the frame count when using 6x6 film is an awful lot lower than with the D700. So far this week I've shot and developed four rolls - two Adox CHS 50 Art and two T-Max 100. I have another half-used roll of each in my Rolleiflex 2.8F and the SL66E. I'll probably finish them over the weekend. I suppose six rolls is quite a lot for a film photographer but it will still only amount to 72 frames. That would normally be about 15 minutes work "on location" with the D700!

When I got the SL66E gear I wasn't sure how much use I'd make of the 250mm Sonnar but I'm pleased to say that it's getting as much air time as the other lenses. The two photographs above were taken with it, although it might be hard to believe they were shot with the same focal length. I was driving through the countryside when I caught a glimpse of the line of trees and the furrows leading to them. Without the puddles, I wouldn't have bothered stopping. 

My first instinct was to shoot the image immediately above. The Sonnar was stopped down to f22 as I was looking for a lot of depth of field. I wanted to make use of the camera's built-in lens tilt feature but you have to have the lens racked out a little for it to work and I wasn't far off the infinity setting for this shot. I managed to get a tiny bit of tilt which must have helped to some extent to extend the focus.

I prefer the first photograph in this post, though. It's a completely different take on the scene. I moved the tripod forward about 15 yards and focused on a foreground puddle which has thrown the background nicely out of focus. If I'd had my wits about me I could have used reverse tilt to throw the background even further out. I was annoyed that I forgot about this as it's something I want to explore. Razor thin DoF doesn't suit every subject but it can look very arty if used at the right time. This photograph had the bottom and sides darkened quite a lot in Photoshop (sorry) but it wasn't anything I couldn't do in the darkroom. The other photograph is more or less a straight scan with just a slight graduated burn at the top. Both are from the T-Max negs.

The Sonnar's bokeh looks quite nice in the top pic but it's not a very challenging background and I'll reserve judgement until I see how it handles fussy and bright lines.


Anonymous said...

i liked the first one. was the exposure different? it looks a full stop darker.


Exposure was more or less the same, just treated differently in post processing.