Sunday, August 06, 2017

Acros; Day Two

I used the second half of my roll of Acros in the Retina I during a walk through the riverside woodland.  The sky was hazy and produced nice light in the cottonwood forest, but presented a challenge for the little viewfinder.  Most of the shots required an aperture of f8 or f5.6; that worked ok for subjects at a range of ten or fifteen feet, but anything closer got rendered sharply mostly by luck.  The Retina I has a very smoothly operating shutter release, so I was comfortable shooting it as slow as 1/25, but that still did not get me acceptable and predictable depth of focus. 

Had I given a bit more thought to my equipment and where I was taking it, I could have brought home quite a few more good shots.  For instance, I have a couple of accessory rangefinders that could have given me sufficient precision in focusing on my subjects.  An even better solution would have been to mount the Retina I on a tripod, allowing the possibility of shooting at the smallest aperture of f16.  At a focal distance of three feet that provides a depth of focus of about a foot, while at a distance of six feet the sharp focus zone has a depth of over four feet.   All of that information is made available on the dof scale on the bottom of Retina I.  Next time, I'll pay closer attention.

All of which is not to say that I considered the experience a failure.  I learned something, and I spent a couple hours wondering through the cottonwood forest admiring the lush mid-summer vegetation, oblivious to the cares of the world.  Then, I went home and spent about six hours processing the film, scanning the negatives, editing the pictures and writing up my ideas about the experience.  All good.


Jim Grey said...

A wonderful diversion to be sure!

I recently put some Fuji 200 through an Argus C3 that fell into my hands. I had the opposite problem: on a brightly sunny day, I had to shoot almost everything at f/16 and 1/300. My pocket light meter even wanted f/22 half the time, but the C3 doesn't go there. At least I don't have to worry about anything being out of focus.

I shoot SLRs most of the time now, and I forget how versatile they really are.

Mike said...

You are certainly right about the versatility of the slr. I'll likely shoot my last roll of Acros in the Spotmatic just to give myself a break.

James Harr said...

I find those little DOF dials to be very useful. I think even more so than an SLR TTL preview. Looking through a lens stopped down to f/8 or f/11 in a shady forest and trying to figure out what is in focus is a little beyond the capacity of my eyes these days. I am getting fairly good at judging distance out to say 25 feet or so. Great tones on the fern shot by the way (or whatever that leafy thing is).

Mike said...

The DOF scales on the Retinas and the Duo Six-20 cameras are nicely done and useful. My Kodak Monitor 620 has a very nice looking dial, but it is totally inaccurate, showing a hyperfocal distance at f16 of about 16 feet when it should be nearer to 30 feet. How such a nicely made camera could have left the factory with that error is a great mystery. Before I figured that out I was completely confused by the results from my first couple of rolls from the Monitor.

JR Smith said...

The level of craftsmanship on that engraved dial is really quite impressive.