Californication ( Cheap as Chips)

Discussion in 'Landscape and Architecture' started by Chris Dodkin, Nov 23, 2011.

  1. Chris Dodkin

    Chris Dodkin West Coast Correspondent

    Film has been shot, and scanned, and the results are in! ;)

    Here's the camera - Canonet 28, 35mm rangefinder from the early/mid 70s.

    The lens is a fixed 40mm f/2.8 Canon lens. It has fully programmed auto exposure with shutter speeds from 1/30 to 1/600 (shown by the meter's needle in the viewfinder), and manual control of f-stops for flash (f2.8-f16).

    The film speed range for auto exposure is from 25 to 400 ASA. It uses a Copal leaf shutter and has a coupled rangefinder. It was made in Taiwan (Canon switched production from Japan to save $$$).

    It has a great idea for a light meter - A CdS photo cell above the lens within the filter ring, so when you put on a filter, the auto exposure is automatically adjusted for that filter - neat! :D


    The camera needed cleaning, but other than that it worked just fine - the meter still worked!

    I used expired Ilford Pan-F (50 ASA) - Thanks to Pete for the suggestion - And had it developed and scanned at the local 'pro imaging' place in Carlsbad (North Coast Photographic).

    I held a yellow (2K) filter in front of the lens to assist in the tonality of the images.

    Here are my 3 frames, illustrating my new home - California:


    Lifeguard Station 29 - Carlsbad State Beach


    20th Century City - Century City, Los Angeles.


    Palms Towards The Sun - Early morning in Costa Mesa.

    All three shots were taken on the same day, as I drove around SoCal for work.

    All in all a very pleasant experience, and I'm loving the scans I get from the Pan-F film.

    The camera was challenging, because I had to actually think about everything before each shot - shutter speed and consequently aperture and DOF - Focusing (I failed to focus at all on 3 out of the 36 frames!) - Composition through the viewfinder with potential parallax errors - No review on the camera back (I found myself automatically looking at the back of the camera to confirm the shots I'd taken).

    The fixed lens was also a challenge, and at 40mm was a narrower field of view than the 24mm I'm used to using at the moment on the DSLR.

    I enjoyed it so much I bought a second, higher grade Canonet, the GIII QL17 - and will be trying that out in the near future.
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2011
  2. Brian Moore

    Brian Moore Moderator

    Three very nice images, Chris. I find #1 especially striking. (Lifeguard tower 29 I'm talking about.) Very nice indeed!
  3. Chris Dodkin

    Chris Dodkin West Coast Correspondent

    Thanks Brian - I got a couple of good shots of the lifeguard station, but figured I'd mix it up a little, and just use one in the final image set of three.
  4. Dan Cattermole

    Dan Cattermole Dan Down - The Steampunk Womble

    For thuck sakes Christopher!! I've just got my camera for the challenge....... These shots are FANTASIC!!!! I might as well chuck mine in the bin! Blown Away.!!!!! :0 :D
  5. Dave Moss

    Dave Moss Active Member

    Was thinking the same Dan why did I bother lol(at least i made a profit:p) Great shots Chris
  6. Dan Cattermole

    Dan Cattermole Dan Down - The Steampunk Womble

    Haha! I keep coming back to have a look at them.... Lol.
    Got to up the game on this challenge guys! Lol.
  7. Pete Askew

    Pete Askew Admin

    These are superb Chris. Framing and exposure just right for the subjects. Pan F looking its best and controlling the contrast nicely. And, more importantly, a photographer delighted with the outcome. As for a favourite: I'm torn between the cityscape and the palm trees. I'm not keen on the angle of the composition of the lifeguard tower - I would love to see a more 'conventional' representation of it though as I really love the tones and lighting.

    All-in-all a stunning set.
  8. Chris Dodkin

    Chris Dodkin West Coast Correspondent

    Thanks chaps - I'm really happy with the way they came out, but it was all pretty random on the day, in reality.

    I was in point and shoot mode, and the shots presented themselves during the day without any great planning on my part. I just decided to take the camera in case I saw something.

    I spotted the palms as I pulled into a mall in Costa Mesa to get my early morning Starbucks on the drive up to LA. The sun was just up, and I figured the silhouette might look cool, and that it would be an unusual view for the British contingent on RPF.

    The cityscape was taken from the reception area of Irell & Manella LLP (Big law firm in LA) - My tech team were there turning-up their new Cisco phone system, and as I waited in reception I spotted this view from the windows. I held the camera lens onto the window glass (which had a strong tint), lined up the nearest building and set the focus for infinity, and hoped! The receptionist gave me a hard stare! :D

    The final shots of the day were back at the beach near home, and were a rush to get the last rays of the sun, and then get the film up the road to the dev lab before they closed for the day.

    Pete - I was torn on the lifeguard tower as well - although I really like the final shot I used.

    I did have this one, which I liked, but wondered if folks would 'get it', as not everyone has seen a lifeguard tower before and it was a bit abstract.

  9. Pete Askew

    Pete Askew Admin

    Well, it might have felt random but it turned out pretty well. And I do prefer the more abstract version. It's funny though, although the railing etc are the only part truly in focus my eye is drawn to the horizon and I keep looking at the clouds there. I think that is helped by the horizon falling just at the centre of the platform. I find a definite line of up the steps, rail then horizon. What about anyone else? Do you read it in a similar way?

    What is that in the bottom LH corner though?

    Do you know what developer the lab used? My guess is it was done by hand.
  10. Chris Dodkin

    Chris Dodkin West Coast Correspondent

    I think bottom LH corner is someone paddling in the ocean Pete - that or a great white shark! :D

    Funny, wife and son #1 prefer this shot as well :confused:

    No idea what they used to process the film - I'll phone and ask
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2011
  11. Chris Dodkin

    Chris Dodkin West Coast Correspondent

    Pete, they said it's Clayton FS 76 chemicals.

    Clayton F76 Fine Grain Film Developer Liquid - 1 Gal 11 0717 B&H

    Machine dev - equipment run-down from their website:

    North Coast Photographic Services

    The scans were done on this:

    Noritsu QSS-3212:

    The award-winning QSS-32 Series delivers a powerful combination of superior performance and outstanding flexibility. QSS-32 Series Minilabs provide some of the best productivity numbers in the industry and are backed by Noritsu’s world-class service and support.

    Produce up to 1,620* prints per hour for exceptional productivity
    High-speed processor for enhanced workflow and shortened processing time
    State-of-the-art 300 dpi Laser Printing System
    LED light source delivers fast high-quality film scans with virtually no maintenance required
    Produce jumbo panorama prints up to 30.5 x 91.4 cm (12 x 36 in.)
    Automatic dust and scratch correction
    Digital ICE™ technology enables you to automatically remove dust, fingerprints, and scratches on scanned film, turning flawed images into beautiful, blemish-free prints

    Some nice kit they have there!
  12. Davie Hudson

    Davie Hudson Well-Known Member

    outstanding work :)
  13. Pete Askew

    Pete Askew Admin

    AH yes, I see it now. I didn't have the right scale in mind. So it's a person or a 2m tall seagull!! Maybe the one that's been eating at Ruby's Diner!! :)

    Thanks Chris. Don't know the dev but I guess it is based on one of the standards.
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2011
  14. Chris Dodkin

    Chris Dodkin West Coast Correspondent

    Pete - being California, I suspect the dev is some environmentally friendly version - we don't allow 'proper' chemical here, just stuff that won't harm flipper and his friends :D

    Same for paint, car wax, furniture polish etc etc
  15. Paul Lange

    Paul Lange Moderator

    Wonderful stuff Chris, I'm now left wondering what the hell am I going to do for mine now. Surprised you didn't go 16:9 on the last. Is cropping allowed under the rules, I cant remember.
  16. Brian Moore

    Brian Moore Moderator

    Wait,..."Digital Ice", I have that in my scanner. I gotta try it!
  17. Chris Dodkin

    Chris Dodkin West Coast Correspondent

    Paul - no croppage allowed - otherwise I'd have been straight to 16:9 :D
  18. Darren Turner

    Darren Turner XProPhotographer

    brilliant write up & pics chris sounds like you had great fun, my cam arrives tomorrow & i cant wait.
  19. Darren Bradley

    Darren Bradley Active Member

    Chris, you've convinced me with all this B&W business! I love your shots - I think the palm trees are my favorite.
  20. Ben Jennings

    Ben Jennings Member

    Love the shots Chris, really like the tones you have in them. I can only hope my Canonet shots turn out as nice as yours. They are lovely camera's too which a bonus, I think I will be doing the same as you and picking up a newer model, mine's an original and as such the selenium meter has died which is a shame.

    By the way, just to make you feel better, you're not the only one who checks the back of the camera to see what the shot looks like. I do it constantly and then laugh out loud at my own stupidity.

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