Sunday was a nice day and in the afternoon I took my Sinar Norma with me for a walk in the woods.
What a wonderful experience. It was bloody hot and an abundance of horseflies found their pleasure in biting me and sucking my blood. The camera and Manfrotto 074B weighed a ton and so did the metal case with the gear necessary to take large format photographs*. Soon I was sweating and it felt like every inch of my body was itching. With every step, my gear became even heavier.
In a meadow, I made 4 photographs. My plan was simple. I wanted to try Ansel Adam’s Zone System.
I always thought it was something for rocket scientists but then I stumbled across an article explaining it as clear as a bell.
After having composed a detail of the bark of a worn out birch standing in bright sunlight I used my Pentax Spotmeter V to measure the brightest spot in the composition. With no extra settings, this would be middle grey or zone V. But I wanted it to be white without being blown out by the subsequent loss of detail. So that would be zone VII or +2 stops. I measured the shadows and that value fell well into the range of the film, Fomapan 100, I am using. If this would not have been the case I would have made a note, changed exposure and then developed accordingly. But that is an experiment I want to do later on when I am really experienced with the film. I’ll be also switching developer as I ordered a Rodinal based developer as I also want to play with stand development.
For the next image, I measured the shadow part of my composition and decided it to be almost black but with detail. This would be zone IV. I measured the white fluff and it fell well into the dynamic range of my black & white film.
I made 2 more shots and drove back home where I developed the film. In my darkroom/bathroom, I felt how the dark slide of one of the cassettes did not slide fluently. Only after I had developed the film I understood why. I had inserted the film badly in the film cassette. The birch image was wasted, all black, and another image, the other image in the cassette, partly blurred.
I have still much to learn but that is where the fun is.
The Rodenstock Sironar-N 210mm f5,6 MC is tack sharp. It compares to a 90mm lens on 35mm.
The depth of field is very small though. I’m thinking of getting a wider angle lens in a few months.
* Pentax spot meter, regular light meter, notebook & pen, magnifier, black cloth, film cassettes, measuring tape, Toyo 4×5 to 6×7 roll film holder, filters (red, grad, ND) and some other stuff. Well, to be honest, it is the metal case that is the heaviest