Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Car Show Color

Many of the cars at this big car show are starting to seem like old friends as I have run into them many times around town since moving to Albuquerque four years ago.  I think I first shot this '36 Ford coupe three years ago at another show site with my Argus A2F.

My XA2 generally performed well with the Fuji 200.  I was surprised, though, to find a couple shots underexposed by about two stops that were made in bright sun.  A quick google search reveals that it is not an uncommon issue with the camera.  People often recommend changing batteries, but I suspect the programming and placement of the auto-exposure system.  I came across a comment by light-seal guru, Jon Goodman, suggesting that shading the light sensor under a high sun with your free fingers would alleviate the problem.


Jim said...

Ah, so the XA2 is not without its quirks!

You got a fair amount of grain in these shots. You made pretty good use of the bright sun bouncing off fenders and brightwork.

Mike said...

Yes, all these little film cameras have their quirks and design trade-offs. I think Olympus mostly did a good job in balancing compactness and performance. The rest is up to the user.

Film choice is another complicated topic. Fuji 200 is about the only thing I see on shelves these days that is reasonably priced and resonably good quality. When I want finer grain, I choose Kodak Gold 100, but that has to be ordered on line.

I used to prefer Kodak C41 B&W for shooting in my compact 35s. It has good speed, virtually no grain and preserves detail in shadows and highlights. The price has gotten prohibitive for me, however, and you also can't buy it over the counter any longer.

Jim said...

I shoot Fujicolor 200 too, simply because I can get it for under two bucks a roll at my favorite big-box store. The thing that surprises me about thee car shots is that they seem to be grainier than I expected, based on other Fujicolor 200 shots you've posted at other times. I couldn't tell whether my memory was faulty or whether there was something else about the camera/film combo that might create that effect.

Mike said...

You could be right about the grain being more prominent than usual in these car photos. I think it is likely that a stop or two of under-exposure will emphasize grain. It is hard to judge without some actual comparisons and there are always the uncontrolled variables in shooting color including which drugstore you go to for the processing. I'll try to dig out some Fuji 200 negs shot with other cameras and compare them to these.