Tag Archives: superb

Slow, really slow

Never put off until tomorrow what can be done the day after tomorrow. -Mark Twain

My blog is finally starting to live up to its name;-) It has been a long while since making a post.  It’s not that I haven’t been taking photos, I just hadn’t gotten around to developing and scanning them.

Well we finally had some nicer weather after what seemed like endless grey, drizzly days so I took the Superb out to stretch its legs. I found a press on yellow filter and hood awhile back that fit so used that this time. I tried some Arista Edu 400 I got from Freestyle and some trusty Tri-x, and developed in HC-110 preparation “H” (1:63, or 15ml per 1l water). The Arista is about half the price of the Tri-x.

superb

At first I struggled with familiarity of the controls, which are a bit unusual even for TLR’s, having been around 6 months since I used this camera, but by the second roll it became second nature and it flowed better. Later when inspecting my drying negatives I saw that I made two double exposures. This despite what I thought was a pretty ingrained habit of always winding just before the shot.  What happens I realised is that I might compose a shot but change my mind at the last second and go look for something else. At the next shot I don’t remember and think I must have already wound it for the last shot..  Old school photography is really good practice for being in the present and remembering each thing- or not:-)  The second roll shot a couple days later was fine. I noticed also a light leak in the first half of the frames on the first roll due to not properly shutting film doors all the way (the Superb has interesting barn doors that snap closed), something I will be more careful with next time.

Loading the developing reel the Tri-x feels more substantial, thicker, and it dries flatter than the Arista (this is helpful for scanning- especially if you have a cheap scanner like mine, a Canon 9000f, whose holders don’t flatten the negatives).  I think I like the look of the Tri-x more, but the Arista works fine for the price.  I can definitely refine my exposure and development with it.

I shot them all at ei280, exposed at 140 to allow for the filter- using my phone exposure app and Sunny 16 depending.  Development for the Tri-x was 11 minutes which seemed about right to me for the lightly overcast situation on that day.  Development recommendations seem to be are really spotty since they changed the film but generally seem to have gotten shorter .  The Arista for 11 1/2 minutes (Arista recommends 6 1/2 minutes for HC-110 B at ei400 starting point on the box), which was sort of a middle of the road calculation since on that day I had both high contrast as well as low contrast scenes on the same roll. Snaps really so not to be too scientific;-)

superb flower arista400 hc110h uncompensated

Straight scan. Exposed for sunny 16 (f16/100 exposed at ei140 due to yellow filter) this would have benefitted from exposing for the shadow and N- compensation development.

Ideally what one should do of course is try to take similar contrast scenes on the same roll so that compensating development can work for all the frames and not adversely affect some. Or take two or more cameras, one for each condition requiring different development. In fact if you are “really serious” you should rewind your roll whether you are finished or not once you have “the shot”, and develop just for that one:-)

Superb.

I remember it like yesterday all those years ago when we spied each other across a crowded, brightly lit smoke free room..  It had a peculiar but elegant design.  A name that dared to be tested. “Are you good enough?”..Intrigued I drew closer to hear more it had to say, but it was silent.  “Yes. No..I don’t know, maybe,” I muttered to myself, retreating a few steps away to mindlessly pick through a basket of picked through filters. Although I didn’t buy it, it was too late already. It was only a matter of time. Well, far too much time really- never a very populous camera even in 1935, they don’t turn up very often!

IMG_1681

Here are some interesting features about this camera that I noticed:

  1. It purportedly has parallax compensation (I don’t know how this works yet)
  2. The film travels horizontally (image isn’t upside down in your viewfinder)
  3. There is a level in one corner on the ground glass
  4. The film winder is a lever rather than a knob
  5. There is a mirror to read the shutter speeds from above (the speeds are written backwards on the dial)
  6. The film back has two doors (only one requires opening to take out the film)

Kids wanted to collect some tadpoles so we went out to the rice fields and I grabbed a couple rolls (Acros and Foma).  The camera was nice to use and I didn’t have any issues except accidentally keeping my finger on the shutter charge lever when pressing the shutter lever a few times (causing the shutter to stay open too long and blurring the photos).  I like the results.  Not just for an 80 year old camera- for any camera.  Now just to find some filters and a lens hood for it.  Let’s see, when’s the next camera swap meet in Ginza??