Camera: ca. 1938 Balda Lisette 645 120 folding camera
Film: Fuji Velvia 50
My first roll of film though my newly acquired Balda Lisette was a pleasant surprise in many respects, particularly when it came to color rendition. The Trioplan lens combined with Fuji Velvia film gave off a rich and pleasing color palette that was pretty much unbeatable. The main issues of note however were mainly centered on the sharpness of the lens at wider apertures, a problem that seemed to largely vanish at f/8 or better. Armed with these lessons, I elected to give the Lisette another go with Fuji's flagship film product on my trip west to Oregon, hopeful to see some of the same color magic evident on the first roll, but with the sharpness issues mitigated by using smaller apertures.
1 - Portland, OR - f/16 1/50 - A classic car lot that I stumbled across on my March trip was something that I definitely wanted to deliberately revisit. Here a sunny afternoon provides a nice retro setting for Velvia to strut its colorful stuff.
2 - Portland, OR - f/8 1/100 - Almost regrettably, the lot isn't perfectly set up to create the illusion of the past. The Land Rover type vehicle as well as the cars in the backdrop tend to make getting a shot that looks right out of the 1950's impossible.
3 - Portland, OR dx - Okay, not all of my accidental double exposures turn out to be happy accidents. Maybe if the two signs were facing the same way, it might not be so bad.
4 - Portland, OR - f/2.9 1/25 - With the knowledge that I goofed on the previous frame, it was luckily no more than a short walk to get the shots again properly separated. This shot manages to look OK for being handheld, but still lacks something.
5 - Portland, OR - f/4 1/50 - Better results to be had from this shot, which despite a little bit of blur, managed to come our fairly sharp handheld.
6 - Portland, OR - f/4 1/250 - The Trioplan shows its weaknesses at wider apertures in this shot, with the lettering showing fuzziness. The Velvia didn't deliver a lot of pop in this drably lit scene.
7 - Portland, OR - f/4 1/250 - Missed it by that much. Looks like my focus distance estimate was just slightly off. The fixtures on either side of the pump look to be sharply rendered, but I was aiming to have the panel in the middle be the sharp element of the frame.
8 - Portland, OR - f/4 1/250 - A tough shot to really pull off to make the lighted neon stand out. It's just OK.
9 - Tilamook, OR- f/16 1/50 - Now that's a sharp and colorful Trioplan rendering. Stopped down to f/16 under full sun, I was able to capture the vividness which this scene actually conveyed in person.
10 - Tilamook, OR - f/16 1/50 - Another shot taken stopped down yields some great results, showing the most photo worthy thing I could find in the tourist town of Tilamook.
11 - Tilamook, OR - f/16 1/50 - One more shot taken further out. Great sharpness, color and definition in objects near and far.
12 - Oceanside, OR - f/8 1/250 - I would have actually liked to use a more open aperture for this photo to soften the focus on the distant rocks, but the 250 maximum shutter speed made that impossible. Still, I do like the context of this photo.
13 - Cape Meares, OR - f/14 1/250 - A really lovely scene with proper exposure, focus, and color marred by a light leak on this frame.
14 - Netarts, OR - f/11 1/100 - Overall a very decent landscape composition on a stellar day.
15 - Tidewater, OR - f/16 1/50 - This sand bar jutting against the mountains was quite a sight to behold, but I don't quite think I mastered the composition to convey that, though getting across the feel of this surreal area was a challenge in any medium.
16 - Portland, OR - f/4 1/250 - Opened back up to a wider aperture, the mini-Balda shows it that what it lacks in sharpness, it makes up for in color rendition.
Thoughts: Overall some very pleasant results mixed in with some more forgettable shots. I'm getting the hang of the little Balda and its strengths and weaknesses, and still love it for its contrast and rendition of color. I followed this roll up with another roll of Velvia 50 that I'll be featuring in the weeks ahead.