The journey of shooting film after many years of shooting digital sometimes feels like you're starting all over again. Such was the last roll of Tri-X I shot on a very simple point and shoot that I nabbed from the local Mission thrift store. I spotted this camera still in its factory box and noticed right away that it had an f2.8 aperture. This usually means one thing, it was in it's day more of a prosumer than consumer type of camera. I was making a work trip to one of the northern most places I had ever visited and as always I tend to bring a camera with me. One of the great things about a point and shoot 35mm camera is that you can go about your day and not really pay that much attention at all to the settings. This is important to me when I travel for work because I don't have to necessarily commit to anything I can just shoot casually.
The Pentax PC35AF is actually a pretty versatile little camera. It has pretty sharp 35mm f2.8 lens that is concealed behind an 80's style sliding door for protection with a spring loaded release that feels nothing short of snappy. The PC35 sports a selectable ISO range between 100 and a 1000 with an additional switch that pushes an additional 1.5 stops of light should you be in a backlit type situation. What is specifically great about this 80's shooter is that it has a pretty great zone auto focus system to boot.
Over all I quite like this camera. It's not as small and compact as some of the cult cameras people are paying crazy amounts of dollars for but for a $5 thrift store find I was more than pleased. In fact the tiny bit of extra bulk makes this camera much more enjoyable for me to hand hold. Below are selection of images I shot. The film I used was Tri-X 400 pushed to 1000 (Because that's the max the Pentax will go). I then developed it in Ilfosol 3 for 11.5 min with a dilution of 1-9. Check out the grainy goodness below.
Shooting medium format film (120) is an incredible experience. Seeing the detail that is revealed from the larger negative is even better. Below is my first ever roll shot and developed with my new Yashica Mat and I will be giving a quick review of my experience with this classic TLR and Kodak's legendary emulsion. First of all here are a few thoughts that I have about the Yashica TLR. Composition within a 6x6 square frame takes some getting used to and requiresconsiderable thought when making it happen, not to mention the challenge of using the disorienting waist level view finder. The mechanics of this camera are incredible and the build quality is some of the best I have ever held. I have yet to see or handle a Rolleiflex but If is is better than the Yashica it must be amazing. As far as the optics go the lens stops down to a respectable 3.5 and is incredibly sharp as you can see by the images below. What more can be said other than it is a fun yet challenging camera to operate. There are many reviews of the Tri-X 400 film on the internet so I will just give my first impressions. The three Observations that I see with this film in 120 format is that it seems to be sharp and full of detail. The dynamic range of this black and white film also is truly amazing. I am always impressed at how a well exposed negative can outshine a digital file in the highlights almost all of the time. During this journey of shooting film I have been trying to discover the pro's and con's of both analog and digital image making. I thought initially that I would end up landing 100% in the film camp as I fell in love with the nostalgia of the cameras and the wonder of waiting to see your image, but now I can honestly say that there is definitely a place for all types of image making in my world.