11.13.2015

Film Fun Folio #13: Franka Solida and Fuji Velvia 100F

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 #13:
Camera: ca. 1951 Unbadged Franka Solida with Schneider 75mm f/2.9 lens.
Film: Fuji Velvia 100F
Locale: Central Maryland.

Working with this camera is like being in a bad relationship that you keep going back to.  It's arduous, grating, and often results in disaster, but you work within the perilous confines of its many laborious rules, it can deliver some great results.  I'd almost given up on this camera, as its shutter sticks like crazy, and seemed to be out completely, when after some tinkering, it began to work once again.  Thing is, once you get out there and try to shoot it, it is back to its old tricks.  I finally worked around this by bringing a spare lens cap to cover the lens and coercing the shutter to fire a few times before uncovering it for the actual photo. This usually worked, and the results are below. 


1 - Columbia, MD - f/2.9, 1/200 - At the same time I was undergoing my trials with the troublesome Praktica FX3, I took this shot on the Franka.  The sad thing is that it looks little different from the washed out shots on the 35mm camera.  Now I know I took a hasty exposure reading given this result. 





2 - Washington, DC - f/11, 1/200.  Now this exposure is more like it.  Trying to have precision alignment of the image on a small viewfinder camera like the Franka is a bit tough, and I was aiming for a more centered alignment, but this image at least proved the Franka was still very much a working camera.

3 - Fulton, MD - f/11, 1/200 - Even using its fastest speed, the need to constantly prime the shutter proved to be tiring, and I seem to recall nearly giving up and then this happening as I was moving the camera.  The result is unintended blur.  Damn.

4 - Ellicott City, MD - f/8, 1/200 - Likely just as frustrating, but I patiently stayed the course to record a summer version of one of my favorite scenes in the area.  It really works well in the square format.


5 - Highland, MD - f/11, 1/200 - Underexposed, but not horrendously so.  Decent amount of near symmetry.

6 - ???? - f/2.9, 1/50 - No idea where I was or what went wrong.

7 - Jefferson, MD - f/11, 1/200 - Labor Day rambling in Frederick County Maryland allowed me to explore some new scenes in the hilly countryside, and the Franka did an admirable job, in spite of its headaches, in recording the scenes with great color and sharpness.

8 - Jefferson, MD - f/11, 1/200 - Another image that really came out well, from around the same location as the last.


9 - Jefferson, MD - f/11, 1/200 - The signs of late summer are evident in the yellowing of the crops in the foreground, while the mountains in the distance provide a pleasant backdrop to the farm.


10 - Jefferson, MD - f/11, 1/200 - One of Frederick County's many truss bridges is captured in this scene.  I am really fond of how the Velvia 100F portrays the green tones.  


11 - Jefferson, MD - f/11, 1/200 - The color palette to me in this one is very reminiscent of early Kodachrome.  I don't know that I've seen a result from any other E6 film that quite looks this much like the 1940's era product.

12 - Jefferson, MD - f/11, 1/200 - The main area of Jefferson is quiet on this sunny holiday.  I wish I'd have composed without the cars at right.

The second half of the roll in particular, taken on Labor Day, were among the most encouraging of the batch, and gave me a particular appreciation not only for the Franka, but for the often maligned Velvia 100F film stock.  In fact, some of the color renderings very strongly resemble old Kodachrome stock to me.  As a result, I have secured several more rolls of this since discontinued film that I will be putting to use and featuring on here in the not too distant future!  I've also attempted another roll through this tough to use folder, as it seems I just can not walk away from it, in spite of its headaches.