Yesterday whilst the rain rained and drizzled I was looking for some filters and found a pack of Velvia transparency film. It’s a year out of date but should still be fine. I can’t remember where it came from as I don’t buy colour film. I only get HP5.
I could have done with the amateur stuff as the professional will be less likely to tolerate my exposure guessing. It is a funny thing that digital gives us exposures to within a hundredth of a second and lots of ISOs and yet a RAW file can be pushed and pulled six stops. I have to change heads to work film. I have an incident light meter and take a reading of the ambient light and if there are a lot of light colours in the scene drop the exposure a stop.
I decided to get the Bronica out, give it a good clean and put a battery in it. I loaded up a film back and was ready for business. I even remembered to take the little notebook and a pencil to jot down the settings. It was at this stage I found a beautiful set of dioptre lenses. I got to thinking and decided to pop 5 dioptres onto the 150mm lens. This got my minimum focus distance down from 5’ to about a foot. I went out and baited a Privet flower with some honey and took five shots of Bumblebees. It will be interesting to see how they turn out. The clatter when the mirror goes up frightens me but didn’t seem to bother the bees.
I don’t know how old these lenses are but they don’t make stuff like this anymore even the dust cap is machined from the solid.
I am wondering if I could get a used Phase One back machined up to fit this camera as it is a joy to use. The lens focusing is silky smooth and the aperture stops have a nice positive click. The shutter is an electronic leaf but will work at 1/500s without a battery. I did get an old Vivitar strobe out but can’t find a sync wire for it.
I really must start using this camera more often as it is a real pleasure just to handle. Tomorrow I will bracket an exposure if I can by pulling the dark slide out a bit at a time. The little lever above the winder disengages the film advance and just allows one to cock the shutter. The only thing this camera is missing is mirror lock up but despite the clang it doesn’t seem to affect the end result.
Here it is all ready to go. This lens is 75mm so a bit wider than standard for medium format.
The view through the view finder. I do have a prismatic top for the camera which also gives auto exposure metering but the meter is not in the first flush of youth so not reliable. It is a little odd that it does not meter a stop or two fast or slow but seems a bit random. I don’t bother with it anymore.
I’ll give it a really good clean this afternoon.