Learning Curve

February 11, 2010 at 3:48 pm 1 comment

Sitting in Manic , Alex is marking and I am reviewing the photo session I just had with my Crown Graphic 4×5. It was quite the eye opener when I shot an “easy” setup using the roll film back. All I wanted to do was test the camera and film back. I got out the manual, loaded the film into the back then went and took one shot. I put the camera away and went to do something else. I guess I was going over the process in my mind because all of a sudden it dawned on me that the way I loaded the film couldn’t be right. I went and pulled the dark slide back on the film holder and sure enough, the yellow paper backing was facing the lens. I checked in the manual again and there, in black and white was a little 6 word phrase I totally missed, “with the black side facing outward”. The Minolta Autocord has the yellow paper on the outside but I can guarantee I’ll never make that mistake again. Anyway, the whole roll was scrapped because I couldn’t figure out how to save it. The next roll I loaded was a roll of black and white film. This time I reread the manual AS I was loading the film. Once it was all in and closed up I picked up the camera, put it on a tripod and headed out to the balcony. I wanted to test the shutter and apertures and make sure the camera and film holder were completely light tight. I also wanted to check the range finder to see if it was properly synced with the focus. The first shot was the range finder check…………..

As you can see it passed. The light tight test also passed as there was no flaring in the image at all. I selected my next scene and proceeded to shoot again. When I went to wind the film to the next frame I couldn’t remember if I had removed the dark slide for the last shot. That happened a few times so I just removed it completely. I took pictures of the same scene and varied shutter and f stops to check for consistency.

The frames are all pretty well consistent. I would shoot and then I would wonder if I had advanced the film. I had eliminated the dark slide confusion and had discovered the advance film problem. On this camera, using the 120 film back, the shutter and film advance are two separate functions. Once I had the film developed, I found one blank frame where I had left the slide in and three double exposures where I had forgotten to advance the film.  This made me realize I would have to come up with a procedure and make sure I follow it every time I use the film back. So, the process will be; 1 ) load film into holder making sure you do not advance to first frame, 2 ) Place film back on camera, 3 ) If frame counter is greater then one, skip to 4 otherwise advance film to frame number one  , 4) Remove dark slide,  5 ) Compose scene and focus camera, 6 ) Determine exposure settings and set aperture and shutter speed, 7) Take photo, 8 ) Wind film to next frame, 9 ) If finished, replace dark slide and remove camera back otherwise return to step 5.

Here’s my Crown…………………..

You really have to slow down with this camera. Just wait until I start shooting with the 4×5 negatives…….I’ll tell you all about it when it happens

Entry filed under: Alan's Blog. Tags: , , , .

It’s Been Awhile…….Time to Blog Two Months Later

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. photographybyodille  |  March 1, 2010 at 6:39 pm

    This made me chuckle – always read the instructions. It’s easy done though, I haven’t actually put one in back to front but I did once shoot a whole ‘roll’ with no film in!

    Reply

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