5 Frames with an Argus/Cosina STL and Fomapan 400 after the Season’s First Snow – By Dan Smouse

Stopping on the native Salvation Military retailer at any time when I discover myself in Kenai has develop into an everyday custom for me. I am going there on the lookout for the underappreciated movie cameras of years passed by. Sometimes, I stroll away empty-handed however my monitor file of discovering very useable classic cameras retains me coming again. On this explicit day although, I left with not one, however two 35mm digital camera our bodies full with lenses. They had been each guide focus our bodies however they every represented a distinct technology of cameras.

The Digicam

The eldest of the 2 was an Argus/Cosina STL carrying a Cosinon 55mm f1.4 lens, the opposite a Minolta x-370s with a Minolta 35-70 lens. The overall value for the pair was slightly below $6. Each of them got here house, had been inspected for operate, after which dutifully positioned on the shelf. By all accounts the Minolta appeared almost pretty much as good as new. It powered up and all features appeared, effectively, practical. I made a psychological be aware to in the future put a roll of movie by it.

The Argus/Cosina, then again, had seen higher days. In some unspecified time in the future in its historical past it had clearly been dropped; the nook of the physique adjoining to the winder was deeply dented, the body counter winder was damaged out, and the counter not labored. Including to this, the lens had its personal downside. Fortunately, the main target ring was easy and the apertures clicked in properly. Sadly although, a couple of third of the inside of the glass had a really tremendous spider internet of haziness. What would have most likely been a tremendous lens was in lower than stellar situation. To the digital camera’s credit score, the shutter nonetheless wound and fired with the fantastic sound of an SLR. Winding and firing a mechanical SLR is considered one of life’s easy joys so it was positioned on a shelf inside simple attain the place it might function a type of “fidget” for me after I was working at my desk and wanted a distraction.

The Choice to Shoot

It has been stated that familiarity breeds contempt however that ongoing proximity usually breeds desirability. Most actually the latter was true with my proximity to the previous Argus. The extra I dealt with it, the extra I needed to shoot it. Truthfully, the digital camera was in fairly glorious situation regardless of the beforehand talked about injury. The glass was fairly a multitude however I puzzled if that may simply add some “character” to any footage shot with it. It took just a few weeks however lastly the choice to shoot a roll by it was made. It was right here that Fomapan 400 enters the image.

The Movie

My movie inventory consisted of a number of rolls of Portra and a roll of FP4, none of which I needed to doubtlessly waste on an exploratory roll by a digital camera that had a major probability of finally being faulty. I wanted one thing reasonably priced which might be ok to supply useable footage with whereas on the identical time not a movie I’d actually care about if the roll was a bust. I had beforehand shot with Fomapan 200 and for the value I had been fairly impressed with it so I regarded into what was in inventory at B&H. In the end, I made a decision on their 400 pace “Motion” movie as I needed one thing a bit sooner in order that I might cease down a bit (I don’t absolutely belief my guide focusing expertise and like some margin) whereas nonetheless sustaining useable shutter speeds and at underneath $5 a roll how might I am going mistaken?

Time to Shoot

Shortly after the movie arrived, we had our first snow of the season which wasn’t precisely the circumstances I hoped for however as this was Alaska, I knew it was now or wait 5 months for the snow to be gone. Over the course of the subsequent couple of days I trapsed across the space the place I dwell capturing no matter caught my fancy. The brand new snow had eradicated any plans I had made for the take a look at roll so I made a decision to only shoot. I accomplished the roll and despatched it off to be processed, unsure with what to anticipate. Every week later, I used to be notified that my scans had been uploaded, prepared for viewing. I opened them to discover a very good shock. After I did my half, the pictures regarded good. The images had been suitably sharp with good distinction and a tasteful quantity of grain. The lens resolved very properly and if I hadn’t recognized in another way I by no means would’ve thought it to be lower than pristine.

Will I shoot the Argus once more? In all probability not. It was enjoyable giving it a whirl however it doesn’t measure as much as the expertise of my “common” shooters. I’ll, nevertheless, be shopping for extra Fomapan 400. It is a perfect movie for testing the random cameras I discover at a value level that doesn’t make me wince.

You possibly can see extra of my work on Flickr (here) and IG (@in_the_image_photog). I additionally share my ideas on life and theology at A Float on the River. God bless!

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