You may recall in my initial "Return to Film" write up (or you may not), I was daunted by a focus calibration issue that was plaguing my hopefully triumphant return to film. Fortunately, I caught this when I was only partially through the next roll of film, so I could see a true before and after effect from the shots after I repositioned the lens in its socket and did some rough testing to compare the appearance of focus between the viewing lens and the focusing wheel's guide.
Here are a pair of photos taken before the focus recalibration...
..and one taken after. The focus isn't absolutely perfect, but vastly improved from what it was.
More post-calibration photos follow: A very slow 1/15 shutter speed was used here. Note the vignetting evident at the corners that is natural to the camera and not added in Photoshop. Definitely enhances the retro feel of the camera's images.
As I recall, I shot this handheld with a very slow shutter speed of only 1/8 second! Well, technically I rested it on my belly from the strap as I used the gentlest of pressure on the shutter as I held my breath! It's not entirely still, but I doubt I would have this good of a result with only one exposure taken on my digital camera, backed up into some wild thorn bushes in the woods! I notice a little bit of swirl in the bokeh
When stopped down, the lens is really quite sharp across most of the frame. Taken at f/8, this shot definitely looks quite a bit sharper from those taken wide open.
THIS is exactly what I what I was hoping to get from this camera! The subject is in sharp focus in contrast to the backdrop, while the edges of the image show some vignetting and loss of sharpness. This helps draw the eye to the main focal point and while making this image look like it was taken in another era - precisely what I'd like to use this camera to do! You may note that this is the same image featured on my August 20th weekly photo. Comparing the two, and given the film scan has had no post processing whatsoever, I have to say - FILM FOR THE WIN!
Lens flare - ouch! I didn't even notice it as I composed this photo in Taneytown, Maryland. It's not desirable, but not completely objectionable.
My experimentation with this camera is hardly done. I am certainly looking to do a little more with this camera to create some truly nostalgic imagery, and my image of the old gas pump in particular proves to me that this camera is up to that challenge. Meanwhile, I've acquired a cousin to this Chinese made TLR that hails from 1960's Japan. My first impressions of this surprise new addition will be coming in just three more weeks. Please stay tuned!