Film Fun Folio #11: Balda Lisette and Velvia 50

Periodically, 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 #11:
Camera: ca. 1938 Balda Lisette 645 120 folding camera
Film: Fuji Velvia 50
Locale: Oregon and Central Maryland

Velvia is a truly lovely medium with which to work, as it yields intensely saturated colors and excellent grain for landscapes and scenics.  However, it does not come at a particularly cheap price.  Thus, when armed with just a single roll of the stuff and a number of potential hosts, it is not always easy to pick a camera in which to shoot it.  However, as my Oregon trip was in its final day, I had to make just such a decision.  Since I'd just run a roll of Velvia 50 through the Lisette and was optimistic about the results, I elected to stay the course and give the Trioplan lens another chance to team up with Velvia and provide some outstanding color images.  Besides, shooting images on the 645 format allows for twice as many shots as with the 6x9 cameras, an important consideration when keeping within a budget.  

1 - Portland, OR - f/9 1/50 - A bit of atmospheric haze made capturing distant Mount Hood something of a challenge, one that Velvia was up for, and in managed to put just enough contrast in the scene to make the peak discernible in the distance.

2 - Cascade Locks, OR - f/9 1/50 - Though shot somewhat into the sun, the film and camera managed to get a pretty colorful image.

3 - Cascade Locks, OR - f/9 1/50 - This would have been better suited for black and white.  The abandoned cabins on the right side of the scene are almost completely lost in the shadows of this contrasty scene, and Velvia didn't help this. 

4 - Cascade Locks, OR - f/9 1/50 - I thought I'd try a quick attempt at "Nostalgraphy" but the disabled parking space marking doesn't help.  Meanwhile, the scene suffers from blur. 

5 - Corbett's View, OR - f/16 1/50 - Definitely a nice rendering of the scene featured on previous episodes of this series.

6 - Somewhere - f/2.9 1/50 - After spending hours in the air, I couldn't resist trying to snag this image.  It actually worked for the most part! 

7 - Dunkirk, MD - f/11 1/100 - What Velvia does best.  Green scenes under blue skies.  Always a treat to get an image like this back from developing.

8 - Columbia, MD - f/2.9 1/125 - Can you guess what I was hoping to get my focus on?  Did I guess the distance properly?  Not at all.  Oops!

9 - Columbia, MD - f/2.9 1/250 - Didn't do much better on this attempt either.

10 - Silver Spring, MD - f/2.9 1/100 - Oh what a stop of exposure would have done to help this scene.  The sky looks dramatic, but the foreground is murky.

11 - Laurel, MD - f/16 1/250 - Rule number one on manual cameras - check your speed and aperture settings BEFORE firing.

12 - Laurel, MD - f/16 1/50 - That's better.  An improved result by using proper exposure.  This scene was rendered last week on the Praktica FX3.  I think this does it much more justice.

13 - Burtonsville, MD - f/2.9 1/250 - Now that's a better guess of distance.  A shot just after dawn puts a nice glow on some wildflowers.

14 - Burtonsville, MD - f/2.9 1/250 - Better still is this one.  Looking at the raw film on this is really rewarding in a way that the scan can't portray.

15 - Silver Spring, MD - f/2.9 1/250 - Contrast again drowns an element in darkness.  While the backdrop is only slightly overexposed to compensate, the foreground is lost.

16 - Washington, DC - f/11 1/100 - A try at making an "Edward S. Miller" type street scene doesn't quite work, though it is technically one of the better ones on the roll.  

Thoughts: I'm realizing that I have to watch contrasty scenes with shadow when using Velvia, and I'm also realizing that I can't always guess the focusing distance of objects as well as I once thought I could.  That said, I'm still liking the rendering of scenes on this 645 Balda camera, and look forward to getting some good fall scenes using this camera.