Thursday, May 16, 2013

Skeletons From The Closet - April Results - Agfa Solinette II

April's SFTC camera was the Agfa Solinette II.
 
(Click Here) to read about my Solinette.
 
So, how did it go? Honestly, I'm getting tired of guess focusing. My last two SFTC cameras - the Zeiss Ikonta folder and April's Solinette are both guess focus cameras. It can be fun and refreshing to work without a rangefinder or through the lens focusing. However, I did come up with several images with both cameras that were just not quite sharp enough. That's frustrating, especially when I can see how good it could've been.
 
Here are some more images that I shot with the Solinette.
 
Spring is Here!, by Reed A. George
Agfa Solinette II 35mm Folding Camera
 
You may recognize the house below from one of my pinhole posts.
 
(Click Here) to see how it looks in black and white through my pinhole camera.
 
Thornton House, Manassas National Battlefield, by Reed A. George
Agfa Solinette II 35mm Folding Camera
 
Here's a quick grab shot of an early spring barbecue in preparation. I really like how the color in this shot came out. It's a trivial subject, but I think it shows how the Solinar can perform when you get things right.
 
Burgers and Dogs, by Reed A. George
Agfa Solinette II 35mm Folding Camera
 
I'll wrap this up with some shots of an activity that caught my eye - window washers on the gigantic curved glass structure where I work.
 
Spring Cleaning #1, by Reed A. George
Agfa Solinette II 35mm Folding Camera
 
These shots were easy, since there was plenty of light and I could shoot at about f11. Of course, the guys working on the glass wondered why this crazy guy with an old camera was taking picture of them.
 
Spring Cleaning #2, by Reed A. George
Agfa Solinette II 35mm Folding Camera
 
Spring Cleaning #3, by Reed A. George
Agfa Solinette II 35mm Folding Camera
 
I like ths shot above especially. I like how you can see the guy on the left clearly, while the guy on the right has made an interesting pattern of cleaner on the window in front of him.
 
Spring Cleaning #4, by Reed A. George
Agfa Solinette II 35mm Folding Camera
 
The fact is, this little folder is capable of making some nice images. I really like how the Solinar lens represents color. With a maximum aperture of f3.5, applications in low light are very limited. In today's word, f3.5 seems so slow. However, the truth is that a wider aperture would make guess focusing even harder, due to the reduced depth of field that would result.
 
I actually had trouble finding the right circumstances to shoot this camera last month. It's not that there aren't plenty of places this camera does fine in; there are just many more where a little more aperture, or some type of focusing aid would have made it more useful. So, I found that I couldn't really rely on this camera to be anything like general purpose. I made it a point to carry it all month, but found limited opportunities to use it.
 
In May, I'm shooting my Minolta Autocord. This is also an f3.5 camera, but has the benefits of the big 120 medium format negative, and gorgeous ground glass focusing capability. We'll see if I can get more use out of that.
 
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