Comparisons

Posted 2011.07.15 20.47 in Photography by Stephanie

One subject, two films, three cameras, seven shots.

Last weekend I decided to go shoot some film at a local historical site – Bovaird House. Primarily, I wanted to test two cameras to see how they were working. I brought along a third that was almost out of film, figuring to finish that one off too.

When I got there, the thought occured that in addition to testing the cameras, I could also compare them. So for almost every shot, I shot twice, with two different cameras. This was not a scientific test or anything, it was mainly just done for curiosity – the pictures aren’t framed exactly alike, the cameras were very different in some respects, with different film and so on.

Still, the results are interesting, even if they aren’t exactly meaningful.

The first camera was the Olympus XA-3, which was loaded with ProMax 400, an inexpensive black and white film that I substitute for Ilford HP5. This was a new acquisition and was the first roll I’d put in the camera, and was primarily what I was testing. The XA-3 has fully-automatic exposure, and zone-focusing, with a 35mm focal-length lens.

The second camera was the Minox 35GT, which was loaded with a store-brand colour film, also ISO 400. I’ve run some rolls through the Minox before but had not used it in some time and wanted to have another go with it. The 35GT has aperture-priority automatic exposure, and distance-guess focusing with a 35mm focal-length lens. I tend to set the aperture for “sunny-16” and the focus either at the hyperfocal distance for wide shots, or for closer shots I try to ensure enough depth-of-field to compensate for my bad guessing at distances.

The final camera was a store-brand single-use / disposable, loaded with ISO 400 colour film. I’d recently re-discovered this camera as it had been forgotten in the glove-box of my car, and consequently spent 2 winters and 1 summer in there. There were a few shots left on it, so I figured I’d use it up and see if it was any good. The disposable has a single fixed aperture and speed – probably f/11 and 1/125 or thereabouts. It has a wider lens than the other two, roughly around a 28mm focal length.

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