I am really enjoying my photography at the moment – at least, those times when I don’t drop my notebook in a ditch full of water, lose a timer release somewhere in the woods or watch my light-meter slide off my backpack and bounce into in the Beaulieu River. Partly it’s the time of year – colour everywhere, crisp mornings, all that sort of stuff – and partly it’s the results I’ve been getting with my Bronica.
It’s heavy, but it is a joy to use and the two Nikkor lenses I currently have for it are staggering. My favourite has to be the Nikkor-O.C 50mm f/2.8; it is reasonably fast, and stopped down it is tack sharp everywhere. So far I’ve only seen results in mono – I have a few rolls of Velvia sitting in the fridge waiting to be sent off for processing once I get enough together to get a discount, so it will be interesting to see whether there are any chromatic aberration issues, but based on the extreme corners of my shots so far, I’d be surprised if there was a lot.
This is a crop of the above forest shot showing the very top right corner at actual pixels. I say “actual pixels” but obviously that’s a bit of a misleading term. I originally scanned the negative at 2400ppi, then resized it to 60% before saving as a JPEG for upload, so this is 350×350 pixels or so taken from the corner of that JPEG. It was shot on HP5+ and developed in Rodinal, so there’s plenty of grain, but even so I think there’s a huge amount of detail for what is the extreme corner of the image.
I mentioned the development briefly – this is another thing that I am enjoying the results of. I have been using stand development in Rodinal for my medium format negatives – rather than using the normal 10 minutes or so with regular agitation throughout, I use a weaker solution of developer, agitate for thirty seconds or so, then just leave it sitting for an hour, or longer. I’m not sure I’m qualified to explain why this is a good idea, but the theory is that this produces a greater tonal range in the resulting negative, and empirically at least, it seems to work for me.
So please excuse the deluge of woodland scenes coming up, but I’m having too much fun to stop.