Film Fun Folio #15 - Franka Solida and Astia 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 #15:
Camera: ca. 1951 Unbadged Franka Solida with Schneider 75mm f/2.9 lens.
Film: Fuji Astia 100F (Expired 2013)
Locale: Central Maryland.

It's the camera that, when I'm shooting it, I can't wait to get the roll over with, and when that is done, I can't wait to see the results.  Just after getting back the results from the last roll of Velvia 100F shot on this camera, I elected to give it another go, this time with one of only two rolls of Astia that I had been holding on to, and had no idea what to do with.  I decided to keep it simple in some respects, and keep the stubborn shutter on 1/200 and to adjust the aperture as needed.  Below are the results from this experiment.

1 Lower Marlboro, MD - f/11, 1/200 - My first shot results in a somewhat washed out exposure that I had to contain in post processing by stopping down the exposure a bit.  Overall, not bad, and certainly sharp at this aperture.

2 - Bolivar, MD - f/11, 1/200 - Riding through the low lands between the South Mountains and the Catoctins, I stumbled upon a creamery and tried to get a shot of some of the cows.  The scene was a bit more focused a little bit earlier on the road, and I wish I had stopped then.

3 Middletown, MD - f/11, 1/200 - Oh Snap, part one.  The frame was completely exposed.  Frustrating, as it was a decent shot of an old bridge for which I had to traipse into the middle of a rather busy road to capture from the angle I had wanted. 

4 - Middletown, MD - f/11, 1/200 - Oh Snap, part two. Lots of failed attempts to engage the shutter, and by the time it engaged, I was moving.  Even with this,  the shot was badly overexposed.

5 - Middletown, MD - f/11, 1/200 - I knew the last one was nixed, so I tried again.  Much better result of these interesting scarecrow type dummies, though the green rendering is a bit lacking to me. 

6 - Braddock Heights, MD - f/8, 1/200 - Oh snap, part three.  I sometimes get too complacent in shooting landscapes that I presume the focusing ring is set to infinity, after I've changed it.  Such was the case here. I'd adjusted the focus to about 15 feet but that did me little good with this shot. I realized this mistake only AFTER leaving the location.

7 - Feagaville, MD - f/11, 1/200 - I like trying to juxtapose near and far objects with those in a midrange.  I consider it a good part of composition.  However, the farm in the distance just seems a bit too distant to be as relevant to the scene as I would have wanted.

8 - Feagaville, MD - f/11, 1/200 - I love how this stream cuts a scenic path though this view, and the Franka did a great job of capturing it with the utmost in sharpness.  I can't say I love the way the Astia rendered this scene dominant in green.

9 - Feagaville, MD - f/4, 1/200 - The shot on the roll taken at the widest aperture still displays good sharpness to me.  The scene depicts a very steep hill, though I am not quite sure it is evident in this view. 

10 - Braddock Heights, MD - f/9.6, 1/200 - Knowing I botched shot #6 above, I made a point to return to the location to try again.  After all, this hill opening up to reveal a vast valley was pretty breathtaking when I first spotted it.  I also took the liberty of deliberately allowing the road to disappear in this shot between the foreground and backdrop.  I think it works a bit better this way. 

11 - Brunswick, MD - f/10, 1/200 - My main purpose for visiting this small town was to get a photo of one of these antique four way overhead signals that are still there, albeit dormant.  The Franka, despite the usual hesitations, pulled down a very sharp capture. 

12 - Jefferson, MD - f/16, 1/200 - Framed by trees transitioning to Winter, this church looks sharp on a bright sunny day.  It illustrates the Franka at its absolute sharpest, and readily reveals to me what I like about this tempermental camera. 

Thoughts: One shot completely botched, and two others with some major issues, though one of those was due to "user error."   It's a total pain to use, but the results of the "good batch" from this folder may well be the best of any folding camera in my collection, or any camera for that matter.  This $25 special, with its simple triplet lens produces images that can rival cameras costing far more money, and yet again, I can not wait to run another roll through this frustrating folder.

As for the Astia, it's a decent film by all means, though its rendering of some colors tends to be a bit muted for my tastes.  That said, at least I will be able to have this in mind when I use the last roll of it.