I’ve been feeling extremely tired lately I think from the medication I am on for Crohn’s Disease, and just from the disease in general. It’s been really challenging for me to go out in the summer heat to take photos. I can’t really explain the type of fatigue that comes with Inflammatory Bowel Disease. It’s not so much like being tired after a long day. That kind of fatigue usually can be remedied with sleep. The type of tiredness that comes from an autoimmune disease is like waking up in the morning, feeling like you never went to sleep, and you just can’t summon the energy to move any part of your body. From what I understand, this is due to the fact that my immune system is always on. It is so busy fighting the disease that anything else thrown at it just throws me into overload. That’s the best way I can describe it. So I apologize that my articles and YouTube videos have been few and far between. But I still love film photography and I’m still shooting when I can.
Mike Eckman recently lent me his Canon 7 to try out for a little bit to see how I like the older rangefinders. I normally use SLR cameras, but I’ve been having a hard time getting accurate focus while wearing my glasses with them. My focus has been significantly better with the rangefinder.
I decided to take this camera with me on a test run along with a Kodak Premo No. 2 folding camera and my Nikon F with the Nikon clip on meter attached to give them all a good testing.
I had some energy and I had to take advantage of it. It was a very hot day as is everyday in Florida this time of year, so I had to do everything very quickly. There is no taking your time when shooting outside here.
My fiancé and I drove into a town nearby called Tradition. I often go there to shoot because there’s much more to take pics of than in my town. Right away I found a spot to park and a wide lake to shoot. It was the perfect subject because I equipped my Nikon F with the Nikkor 24mm f2.8 lens and the Kodak Premo No. 2 takes wide shots on 6×9 film frames.
I didn’t bring a tripod, because I needed to be quick, or else I wouldn’t last. They were all loaded with Ilford HP5 400 film.
First, I tested out the Premo. I was excited to use this one because it was my first time shooting with a folding camera. It doesn’t have a built in meter so I used the Pocket Meter app on my phone. This camera’s fastest shutter speed is only 1/50th of a second. I knew this would be an issue in the bright conditions that day, but I hoped the large aperture numbers would make up for it.
The f32 aperture definitely made up for the slow shutter speed. It also gave me a very wide depth of field, catching the foreground as well as the wide background.
I put a yellow filter on the Nikkor to help the clouds pop. The first few shots I took with the Nikon F was to test the clip on meter. The meter told me to open wide the aperture. I am not sure why. I knew it was wrong but took the shots for testing purposes.
I have used the meter before in less bright situations, and it was fine. I am thinking that the brightness of the sun, and the reflection off the water threw the meter off. As you can see below the shots were somewhat over exposed.
Next, I used the meter on my phone and metered the sky. This time it told me to close down the aperture. These shots came out better than the ones metered with the clip on meter.
The Canon 7 Mike lent me was equipped with a 50mm lens, not quite wide enough for this setting as well as a built in selenium meter. I did take a couple shots here, but after that I decided to drive on and find another spot.
The built in meter reacted the same as the Nikon clip on meter. It wanted me to shoot wide open, but the shots didn’t come as bad as the Nikon pics.
The shot below, I metered with my phone app. These almost came out too dark, and I suspect that the meter compensated for the bright reflection on the water. I didn’t think of that at the time.
We moved on to another area of the town square. I love the city hall building. I have shot it before with my Argus Seventy-Five. I figured the Premo would be perfect for this tall building.
You may notice the light leaks around the edges. This happened because when I unloaded the film, I found the film was not rewound tightly on the take up spool. I don’t know why this happened, but now I know next time I will have to unload the camera in the dark. Also in the last picture you can see the circles and numbers from the backing paper were burned into the picture. Again I don’t know if this was also caused by the unloading process or if the red window in the back caused light to leak in. To be safe next time I will also tape up the window.
Finally, we drove on to another area to shoot around the bridge. I used the clip on meter again and in shaded areas such as the pictures of the trees below, it metered correctly. Although there was lens flare.
When I metered these shots of my fiancé, the meter again faltered in the bright conditions and over exposed. Not so bad though that I couldn’t correct it in post processing.
I also shot here with the Canon 7 and relied on its built in meter. It didn’t do badly in certain areas. Same as the Nikon clip on meter, it faltered when sun reflected off the lake, but in shots such as the trees below, it was pretty good.
I enjoyed the rangefinder so much that I continued to test it when we returned home. It’s built in meter held up well indoors and outdoors as the sun set.
It was a really good day. It took a lot out of me, but as long as I am shooting, I am happy. I haven’t been able to summon energy lately to do anymore. Hopefully soon I will get out there again, because I hope to do a formal review of the Kodak Premo No. 2, as well as the Nikon F with the clip on meter. I am not sure if I will do a formal review on the Canon 7 because I want to return it to Mike soon. Hopefully I will own one in the future myself and I will do it then. The prices are a little too steep right now. I may try some of the more affordable rangefinders until then. Mike suggested the Zorki. What do you suggest? Let me know in the comments.
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Until next time, stay motivated and keep shooting.