Feb 16, 2017

30-30-30 : Day 01 : Canon P

Day one of 30/30/30 project. I've done a 52 week project before (when I was first starting to get serious), I've done 35 days of 35mm when I shot more on digital and I suppose I like the structure and purpose it provides to get out of the normal routine and shoot more than I tend towards doing. For this one, I'll allow myself to finish out rolls that are already loaded. I'll allow changing lenses between days, so you may see the same camera body or lens multiple days. I have a lot of equipment but I'm not sure I could do 30 altogether distinct setups.

Purpose behind this project: Get out and see more of the new digs in Portales, New Mexico and meet people while out photographing and hopefully getting them to allow me to take their photograph. Also, get some fresh negatives out of the equipment I have and make notes about what equipment I really like using to help pare down the collection and provide samples for the sales adverts when the pieces I don't enjoy as much get put up for sale.

Setup for Day 01 (Feb 15th, 2017):

Camera: Canon P rangefinder (35mm film)
Lens: Canon 50mm f/1.5 LTM (Sonnar clone)
Film: Kodak Panatomic-X 32 ASA (black and white, expired 03/91)

Scans will get uploaded here after I develop the negs.

Mini-review of the setup:

Canon P: Very good handling, viewfinder is indeed cluttered with the ever-present 100mm focal length frame lines always being present but it wasn't too hard to ignore that. Can barely make out the 35mm frame lines with my glasses, so this is probably best for 50mm or 100mm for me. RF contrast is fair, I definitely had to find hard contrast lines which weren't always available where I wanted to place the focus. The viewfinder is noticeably in need of cleaning, so will do that before I make any final decisions.

Will need to compare the other Canon RFs before I make a judgement to keep or sell.

Canon 50mm f/1.5 LTM: Good handling. Infinity focus lock is annoying when shooting wider scenes, I may disable that (without removing it, as that is almost surely effectively losing it) and re-shoot with this lens. I have a number of fast Canon 50mm lenses so need to pare down the collection, this is unique in optical design amongst them so has a good chance of staying. It's very "dense" feeling, which is both good and bad. Gives a nice first impression of being well built and solid, but would be heavier toting it around all day on travel. We'll see if I like the results of the Sonnar design vs the other lens' Planar or modified Planar designs.

Need to compare to other lenses' image quality before I decide to keep or sell.

Kodak Panatomic-X: Obviously slow when brand new, I rated it at 25 ASA, roughly due to the age. Great for keeping within vintage camera's 1/1000th max shutter speed and still allowing wide apertures. I bought a fair number of rolls of this film from a retired photog in San Diego right before we moved to Portales, so hopefully it was stored well and gives good results. Have not used this before, so looking forward to seeing the results from the scanner.

They don't make this film anymore, so would have to find another stock to try and replicate this if I do end up liking it. Being able to shoot wide open during the day without a filter is a nice change.

Here are the images (click on any of them to see larger, highly recommended):

Downtown Portales, NM 

Near downtown Portales

Old grain elevator building 

Modern elevator still in use

Another view of the old elevator (from north side)

Different aperture, I believe. 

Busy backyard skyline

Why build a fence when you can grow one?

Minimum focus isn't too terrible, 1m

Tumbleweeds built up against a fence on west side of town

West side past the edge of town

Someone had abandoned 4-5 of these exact same cars around this building.

Derelicts everywhere.

Again, this is maybe 4-5 blocks from the commercial downtown.

"The plane," an F-111D

For sale

Old train station

Train station #2

Train station #3

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