A few weeks ago I was headed to a wedding with my newly acquired Maxxum 7. It was an indoor wedding with an indoor reception at a venue I knew to be dimly lit. Since i was only taking the camera for fun, I grabbed a roll of Fuji Superia 800 of unknown provenance: I had acquired it in one of my Craigslist film buys.
I felt like I had grabbed a couple nice shots during the night, and thankfully the negatives confirmed my feelings. There was a little developing residue left on the negatives, and at this point I’m about ready to buy some specific film cleaner to see if I can quickly and easily eliminate the various residue spots I’m getting from the stabilizer needed. So the scans aren’t clean, and it’s just part of my home developing process that needs significant improvement.
One of the first photos I seem to take at a wedding is the centerpiece. This was exposure #1 on the roll:
I’m pretty sure the lens I used was the Maxxum 50mm. I wish I would have moved the pepper shaker!
Wait a second! It just occurred to me that the Maxxum 7 has all that data about the last 7 rolls I’ve shot. The camera imprints data information on the film leader. I learned on this roll that if I scan that leader as part of my process, the scanner picks up the information as a picture, so I can easily use it for cataloging my negatives and have the information at my disposal for either posts or simply to learn from how I did something.
What that tells me is it was Camera #1, roll # 57. So then I use that information, and as long as it was one of the last 7 rolls, I will still have the data. After that, it starts overwriting the oldest data. So here’s the data screen for that roll:
It’s in area 3, which is actually my third roll because I cleared the data when i got the camera. It also gives me the film ISO, which might be a good confirmation or useful if I accidentally don’t keep the leader. When I use go into the data on the camera, there’s a wealth of information.
This is the data for the centerpiece picture. You can see it gives me the date and time. It gives me the mode, shutter speed, and aperture. It also provides the lens information, exposure compensation, flash, and focus, as well as the frame number. Holy smokes! This is incredible information to have at my fingertips on a film camera. I know the Nikon F5 holds a lot more data, and maybe the Maxxum 9 does too, but I’m not sure it’s readily available on camera like this. So as long as I keep up on my developing, I’ll have this info. Maybe I’ll consider adding it to my tag info on my scans. Anyway, back to the pictures.
There was one picture that when I took the shot I thought it had the potential to be pretty special, especially as a fairly candid shot. The bride was circulating through the tables, and I was talking to another guest when she walked into some sunlight filtering through the window. I said her name, and grabbed the shot when she looked back.
I also experimented with some dance floor shots due to the odd looking lighting. I thought if I grabbed the shot at the right time that I could get people in polka dots. It worked.
Both of those shots show some grain, but it is consumer grade 800 speed film. Maybe it’s a little expired, but I think the results are more than acceptable. As i went looking for some other 800 speed film photos, it occurred to me this might be the first fast color film I’ve shot since my airport scanning fiasco. I normally shoot Portra 400 or push Ilford HP-5+, so this might not bee too excessive grain wise.
Another of my favorite shots is one of my wife laughing. She hates her picture taken, but I think she’s starting to appreciate my love of film and of her. Maybe I can start getting her to pose a little more often, but I really like these types of candid shots.
Several other shots turned out well. So once again, this 50mm prime lens caught more winners than average in my book. And the Fuji 800 did well. I have a couple more rolls from that lot, so I won’t hesitate to use it when the situation arises. Rolls like this one are exactly why I wish I’d just fire my camera more at all events. Hopefully it gives me the motivation to shoot more at family functions.
So get out and shoot more film. You can always buy more film, but the moments they capture are here and gone in an instant.