A poor man’s full frame – The beginning


Past Saturday my Princess and I watched “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” on my 27″ iMac. I had seen it before but wanted to share this intense and beautiful movie with my love.

The famous photographer in the film, Sean O’Connell and played by Sean Penn, is pictured as a purist who still uses film. And is a 35mm SLR camera not also a Full Frame?
Yes it is.

My father left me an extensive collection of slides documenting my early years so I bought a second-hand film scanner in 2005 or so. Occasionally I shot a few colour films too. When a few years ago, during a trip to the Opal Coast in France, my Nikon F100 died, it stopped using film altogether. I shortly owned a Polaroid SX-70 and a Holga 120 but the so-called Lomography thing never got me interested enough to dabble with.

I guess there is a time, a momentum, for everything. The movie woke something that had been lying dormant for so many years.

The next day, after dropping my Sweetheart at her place I opened my Ali Baba cave. It is a cupboard filled with my photo gear.

I had no lens for the 100% mechanic Nikkormat and I did not want to lug around with my heavy and still working Bronica ETRS and its 4 lenses. The Nikon F80 did not appeal either because it is fully electronic.

On the Internet I found an Olympus OM-1n with a Zuiko 50mm f1,8 for 40 Euro and the seller did not live far from my hometown.

Later on I got my Minolta Elite Scan 5400 out and connected it to my iMac. It did not work though and there are no drivers around as the scanner has been discontinued ages ago.
No problem. I visited Silverfast and downloaded a demo version of their scanner software Silverfast 8. It supports both the Minolta scanner and OSX Yosemite. It worked flawless so I purchased a 49 $ license.
I was almost set to go.

Monday, after work, I visited the guy and found the 30+ year-old camera to be as good as new. I could hardly believe my eyes. The camera takes one battery for the build-in light meter but it works just as fine without.

At the camera store I bought a battery for my Gossen Variosix F light and flash meter, a roll of Ilford Delta black & white film and the necessary chemicals to develop the film.

Over the past two days I shot 34 frames simply to test the camera. I even took the trouble to set up a studio flash with a flash-cord. The Olympus syncs at 1/60th and finding the correct diaphragm is a piece of cake with a flash meter.
Then it was over.
My analogue memory card was full.
I was ready to proceed to the next step.

Digitally shot with an Olympus OM-D M10

Digitally shot with an Olympus OM-D M10

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