7.10.2015

Film Fun Folio #1: Agfa Billy Compur and Fuji Velvia 50

Regularly, I'll be posting scans of some complete rolls of film on here, showing both the good and the bad, and giving some basic information as well a little write up of the shoot as well as the reasons why I selected each camera and film.  Enjoy the trip! 

Feature #1:
Camera: ca. 1949 AGFA Billy Compur 6x9 120 folding camera
Film: Fuji Velvia 50
Locale: Central Maryland
May and June of 2015

It had been a while since I'd shot anything on the Billy Compur, a gleaming Art Deco styled camera that was among the very first folding cameras I picked up.  I'd felt a little guilty about leaving Billy on the shelf for so long, but as the landscapes about turned from a dreary shade of straw into a more lush green, I wanted to give this camera another shot, as my previous results were a bit hit and miss, and I was not sure if this was more a by-product of my inexperience with folding cameras when I first shot it back in the Fall, or if it was an issue with the camera itself.  I loaded it up with a fresh dated roll of Velvia to see how it would perform for its first roll of 2015.




1 - Washington DC - f/4.5 1/50 - I elected to test the sharpness of the Solinar lens wide open for my first image, and got this generally successful result.



2 - Fulton MD - f/4.5 1/250 - Another "wide open" shot using the tree at left as my focusing distance.  This one is less successful than the first, leaving little in the way of a true focal point.

3 - Columbia MD - f/4.5 1/25 - One of the better of the batch, with great color and decent sharpness for being hand held at slow speed.

4 - Clarksville MD - f/5.6 1/250 - A trip to the petting farm on a hazy afternoon netted this image that has a not-so-nice blue hue to it, and lost detail in the shadow areas of the shed.
*Post-Note* - In looking at this image again, I am now realizing this particular camera's shortcoming.  It would appear this camera has a bent strut that makes the lensboard not sit flat.  The evidence of this is that the wire fence all the way on the right side of this frame is perfectly sharp at f/5.6, while all the details to the left of the center of the frame are mushy.  The same fence wire is now indistinct.

5 - Blank exposure, likely wound the film twice.

6 - Clarksville MD - f/5.6 1/250 - Much nicer than the preceding image, this Velvia perfect scene provided some great results that offer a perfect hint of nostalgia. 

7 - Sandy Spring MD - f/8 1/100 - The only shot taken stopped down to at least f/8 and the only one with a distant subject matter, this one manages to work, providing an image that looks generally sharp, colorful, and well exposed.

8 - Cooksville MD - f/5.6 1/100 - A tough lighting situation on an increasingly overcast summer day, the scene renders dark in the shadow areas and washed out in the drably lit areas.  Not quite what I had hoped. 

Thoughts: The Agfa camera performed pretty much as expected which was generally a good thing. However, focus on distant objects is still fuzzy at most apertures and color rendition, while good, is not terribly stellar, even on a film like Velvia in bright light.  Simply put, I've got more capable cameras at my disposal.  I can see this camera being a good candidate with which to shoot black and white film.