A few months ago, I got a bee in my bonnet to purchase a medium format film camera…..the Contax 645 with a Zeiss 80mm f/2.0 lens. Crazy, right? Why try to learn a whole new system when what I have works perfectly fine? Well……. not crazy ….. because I love to learn. And learning to shoot film has been on my professional bucket list for some time now. And with a family wedding on the horizon, I thought now would be a good time to take the plunge. Oh, no worries! I’m still going to shoot the wedding in digital, but I do hope to shoot some in film as well — some the portraits before the wedding. The only crazy part is the waiting for scans to come back!
But the waiting was worth it……. I’m so in love with this image….. perfect skin tones straight off the scan….. and the dreamy depth of field thanks to the Zeiss 80mm lens at f/2.0. Perfection.
I shot one roll of Kodak Portra 400 and one roll of Fuji Pro 400H, and with that little bit of experience, I think I like the Portra better. At least with the skin tones of my children, it seems to be a better match. But honestly, at this point it could be simple user error. 🙂 I felt so lost not being able to look at the histogram and LCD and see if I was doing OK with exposure.
Another thing to get used to — manual focus. Yes, the Contax 645 does have auto focus, but it is pretty slow and the focal point is only in the middle. So manual focus is best. In this image you can see that the focus fell on his sleeve instead of his face, but in my book, it’s still a keeper.
Using the “Sunny 16” rule here to guesstimate exposure.
And here, I was trying to make more of a silhouette. Interestingly, there is much more detail in the shadows than I would expect from a digital exposure like this.
And the lucky capture of the almost 11 year old who hates having his photo taken.
My first impressions of my adventures in film — complete love.