Monday, September 15, 2014

What Disappoints - and the Hot Car

I am now having a permanent GAS attack - that's "Gear Acquisition Syndrome" as most people are now familiar with the term. My interest in film photography has grown real big this summer - it usually gets big every summer, but this time, it's gotten even more sizeable. I'll cover off all my gear in total perhaps in  the next post.

But what happens when one's favourite set of Gear ends up being disappointing? Let me explain - for many reasons, I favour my Canon EOS Elan-7 - it's super light, even with the battery grip attached, it handles superbly, all controls are very familiar to me, because they're in exactly the same positions as with EOS Digital cameras, it has the biggest, brightest and most accurate viewfinder of all, and as it goes without saying, I can interchange the Canon EF Series lenses between this film camera, and my two EOS Digital's.

The problem is, I'm constantly disappointed by the Elan-7's image quality, and I've only now realized what a struggle it is, although many previous Posts have certainly hinted that something might be wrong here. The thing is, I don't know why this would be the case. When using other film gear, I seem to get exactly what one would expect - for example, with the Yashica Lynx-14, I get absolutely superb photos on any film I try in it; with my FED-5 / Industar-61 combo, I get an "etchy" look that many people have adoringly spoken to in other Blogs referring to that particularly cheap piece of Russian glass, and with the Smena Symbol, I get exactly the Russian plastic LOMO look which people buy (and love) this camera for.

But with the Elan-7, I get results that are simply far worse than I'd expect, usually. Once in awhile, it pulls off a great looking shot, but generally speaking, there is a lack of detail that seems to be limited by exposure range - see the examples below:

Digital - EOS 5D, EF 28-105

Film - EOS Elan-7, EF-40mm, Kodak Ultramax 400

Digital - Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX5
^ See how even my little digital Panasonic pocket wonder outshines the Elan-7!

Film - EOS Elan-7, EF-40stm, Kodak Ultramax 400
Before saying "it must be the film", well consider this - as I said above, no matter what film I use in the Yashica Lynx-14, the results are always spectacular. What about the common denominator with all my film photos - my Epson Perfection v500 Scanner? Well, again - that scanner always gives me what I would expect from every camera I own - consistently I might add; in fact, it's the scanning of my own processed Negatives that keeps me hanging on with film as a major factor. There doesn't seem to be a "Epson v500 look" that comes out common for all cameras - each camera's individuality shines through the scanning to my own eyes at least.

But it occurs to me - the Elan-7 is actually my go-to camera for summer vacation which means it is actually the only film camera I have which spends a lot of time locked up inside a hot car! Extreme heat can rapidly age a roll of film, quickly making a brand new roll behave like an expired roll. This is why it is always a good idea to keep your film refrigerated, or even in the freezer - but film cameras and hot car interiors are a really bad mix. This may go a long way toward explaining what I'm experiencing.

I'll end this with a few more very recent shots from the Elan-7, with no digital camera comparison made:

Field of Soy (I Think)

Roma Inlet

Kathy's Mom Playing Soduku

1 comment:

  1. I have seen that some photographers, and photographic instructors, are uncomfortable writing about photography as art, or lack the practice and knowledge to do so. This is not helping budding photographers.


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