Sunday, December 11, 2016

Pushing the Boundary

I have mostly shot 100 speed film in my simple cameras.  With fixed focus, aperture and shutter speed, the box cameras and the point-and-shoots like the Vivitar Ultra Wide and Slim confine the possibilities to a fairly narrow range of lighting.  The 100 speed films like Tmax and Kodak Gold have given me good results as long as I stick to something close to sunny day shooting.  Recently, I decided to try some faster Fuji Superia X-tra 400 color in my little ultra wide to allow the exploration of a broader range of lighting.

What I found was that I could make exposures two or three stops below what my meter recommended and still get good color.  However, the images resulting from such low light conditions allowed very limited enlargement.  Beyond about a 600-pixel width the grain starts to resemble baseballs.  Going in the other direction, though, both the color and the grain structure held up well past the film's rated sunny day limit.

Part of my inspiration to use the Fuji 400 film came from seeing some recent work in the Flickr vuws group by a fellow who calls himself UkrainianSensation.. His picture of the Golden Gate is really an extraordianary example of the capabilities of the little ultra wide.


Jim Grey said...

I like to shoot ISO 400 color film in my 35mm point-and-shoots. It's about the only time I want to use ISO 400 color film, as in my SLRs I tend toward ISO 200 and 100. But those P&Ss seem to be optimized for 400.

Mike said...

I was surprised by the fine grained results in the bright light shots. I'll look forward to playing more with the 400 color.