Thursday, 24 April 2008

old cameras still work

Just spent a little time with my first roll of colour 120 film in my Bessa (listed elsewhere on this blog, just search for bessa). I can only say that it has passed with flying colours. The image below links to a rather bigger 3832 x 2628 pixel image (which is about 10 MPixels), Yet this is only from a 1200dpi scan of the film. For people used to working with 35mm, that minature format requires 2700 dpi (and preferably 4000 dpi) to get substantial images. Scanning this at even 2400 dpi would give 7864 x 5256 or 41 megapixels.

Dang it all, blogspot resizes it to 1600! Oh well...

Now, this is a 1950's camera. It has no mod cons of any type (no metering, no focus assist, primitive film advance).

Used right, this goes close to giving the sort of detail that you can get with a 1Ds MkIII. Certainly its not as fast to use, or have any features that would make it popular to people photographing Wimbledon or Pro golf, but for an amateur photographer who has a 5 or 6 megapixel compact digital and is seeking better 'landscape' images ... well look seriously at a 6x9 film camera!

I personally like the the Bessa as its a folder, meaning it folds down to a little bit smaller than a video cassette and slips into a side pocket of my backpack. For those who don't feel like an old folder like this you should seriously consider a Fuji GS690 as these are superior optically and have range finders (for focusing the camera).

Size maters (for film that is ;-)

I thought I'd put a few more samples from my flickr account

forest floor

and a detail segment

center segment

click here for full size

notice how the tree I chose for focus stands out? This short depth of field can be an asset that you just don't get with smaller formats (like 35mm or digital).

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