WECC member and film photography enthusiast Nick Bedford has finally decided to jump into large format with an Intrepid 5x4 Mark III view camera.Read More
I had not used my Razzle (Polaroid 5x4 conversion) in some time and decided to take it with me this morning to meet up with fellow WECC members Nick, Rocky, Jeremy & Hannah. If you're not aware, conversions of various Polaroid Land cameras are a great way of making the process of shooting with 5x4 a pleasing and very simple thing. I had my Polaroid converted by the late Dean (Razzle) of Melbourne a few years ago. You can read all about that here.
I had two dark-slides with me which had been sitting in my Crumpler Mild Enthusiast* (old version) for God knows how long. So when I shot through both slides I had absolutely no idea if there was even film in them until I got back to WECC headquarters. Luckily 15 minutes later with my dark bag, Paterson Tank and Mod54 (video available here) and yes we have film and the negatives are ready, one at least.
Rocky grabbed the negative and placed a white peace of paper behind it and held it up to the sun. Using my D600 and Macro 85mm lens he did a quick DIY copy job of the negative which Nick took into Lightroom for some basic post processing.
The first thing I noticed was that I had missed focus. Large format cameras and low apertures are terrible. You really need to close down if you're attempting to hand hold or better yet, use a mono-pod or tripod. I was hand-holding as I feel that is the point of the Razzle Polaroid conversion. What I should have done was pushed the film a couple of stops (400) and closed the aperture down to say f/11 to ensure a better focus. Anyway I screwed up, but for this post it is fine.
Nick grabbed the SD card from the Nikon and opened up Lightroom on his MacBook. Above is the results, from left to right, the negative, basic inversion and adjustments and the final image with a little more contrast to live up the tonal range.
What can I say? Awesome. For all you pixel peeping people, stop what you're doing and shoot some large format film. Now, getting a really great scan is another story.