Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Dead Film, Dead Camera

I had my trusty Nikon F3 loaded up with one of Kodak's now discontinued slide films, one I had never shot before - e100gx, it was a slightly chilly, and misty morning after a late evening rain. I was crouched down in the woods surveying the spring eruption of color near Furnace Run. I focused in on a rain drop covered group of bluebell flowers. Ready to click, but no meter reading, change the settings, nothing, press the shutter button, nothing, turn it on - turn it off, turn it on again, nothing. A digital day it was as I reached for my Canon 7D. "Dead batteries" I figured and made a trip to Batteries + after shooting. New batteries loaded in the F3 and ready to go - flip the power on - nothing. The F3 was dead.
A few weeks earlier the camera was working, albeit slightly erratically - and I had taken a few shots on a hike near Furnace Run(photo below). Where the River Bends...
Now I had to figure out what to do with the slide film already in my camera. I considered taking it out in darkness and putting it in a different camera - and having a few double exposures. Instead I decided that I would finish the role with the Nikon F3's manual shutter release. When the Nikon F3 came out it was Nikon's first camera with an electronically controlled shutter - this scared many pro's who were used to mechanical cameras with only the light meter being run by the battery. To ease those fears Nikon added a lever that would manually trip the shutter at 1/60th. So I went out for a walk around Downtown Akron deciding to use the manual release. I metered some photos with my Canon 7D and I used Sunny 16 for the rest. I tended to over-expose slightly when using Sunny 16 - I think I was over-estimating how much the shadows played in exposure - I should have stuck to the rule more. Semi-Circle 
As far as the film goes - I found it to be just ok for what I was shooting. It seemed so subdued after my last role of slide film - the wildly saturated colors of Fuji Velvia 100. The contrast seems more mellow than Kodak Ektar 100 also(my favorite color negative film). I can see how this film might be good for portrait or outdoor people shots. I found the film to be a little too warm - I actually toned it down just a tad in PS. There was a bit of a purple cast(which after internet research I found seemed exclusive to me) which I think was either a slight expiration issue or a scanning issue. Spaghetti Warehouse and Sky 
The most ironic thing about eyeballing exposure with my Nikon F3 is that the F3 has the best meter of any camera I've ever owned. Anytime I've second guessed the meter the camera has been right and I've been wrong. Even though I'm going to miss it I don't think it will be worth fixing - it will probably cost more than a "new" F3 would on E-Bay. I'll just hold out hope that one will cross my path this Summer at the Flea Market. 
This A-Way 
"This A-Way" - slightly over-exposed. Stacked on Furnace Run 
"Stacked on Furnace Run" Towpath
Towpath Trail Downtown

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