NYC2005, the fourth photo trip to New York City, saw the return
to (relative) simplicity in photo gear. After two trips with a
digital camera and a PocketPC and a laptop, respectively, for
image viewing, it was back to a film camera, a single lens,
a bunch of slide film and a spot meter. And of course the
apparatus without which any irritable NYC shooting would be
incomplete, a tripod.
@ - Canon EF SLR film camera
And not along on the trip, but nevertheless bought just to utilize
the zoned slide system:
Contrary to what I wrote five years ago on
Photo notes, there's indeed nothing
in sight that's going to "wipe away" the 35 mm SLRs from my
photo arsenal. The "EF" in the name doesn't in fact stand for
Canon's EF mounting system, but is the camera's actual
designation. A rare bird from 1973 and of a similar sturdy
construction as the legendary F1. An expensive SLR body despite
its age, but works like clockwork -- down to its shutter sound...
(link (listen to the wonderfully precise click of its vertical
The camera bag was the same as
@ - 35 mm Arsat PCS perspective-correction/shift lens, f1:2.8
This is the Ukrainian wonder, a (relatively) budget alternative
for the $1000 Canon and Nikon perspective-correction lenses for
their respective mounts. Despite its origins, the lens is of a
good quality in terms of shapness and IMO excellent value
(review). This lens was the reason for reverting to the film
camera, as getting a PC lens for a digi cam is very difficult,
ie. pricey, requiring a proper digi SLR body to mount the
The one shortfall that occurred was the use of a lens hood. I
had already noticed the forming of vignetting at the top of
shots when the lens is considerably shifted. However, I
assumed the vignetting to be due to mistakenly not folding the
long rubber hood (which can be thus shortened) when taking the
test shots. Which was too bad, because it in fact isn't the
hood itself that got in the way at all, rather than the
metal ring that has the threads to mount the lens hood.
So, the vignetting was going to happen even if the lens hood
was just attached to the lens. Unfortunately, the effect seemed
to be stronger in the final shots than when viewed through the
viewfinder, because I thought I'd rather successfully cropped
the view through the amount of shifting to include only a
minimum amount of vignetting. Didn't quite turn out that way.
But there's always next time...
@ - Soligor Spotmaster II spot exposure meter
Bought during the 1997 trip, but then a disappointment as I
couldn't seem to get the exposures right with no proper
calibration done with a brand new meter. Most of the shots from
atop the 2 WTC top deck, for example, came out badly overexposed.
But, eight years later another plunge with the film equipment and
the spot meter and the results came out, hum, spot on. The spot
meter allowed me to utilize a kind of "zone metering" that gave
total control over the latitude of the slide film and the overall
exposure. By metering different "sections" of the framed subject
(sky, darkest point, point which I want to reproduce as 18 % gray
(in exposure terms) or other significant points like windows of
facade portions) and then entering the chosen aperture and shutter
speed values to the camera, I had as good a control over the
media as possible (without tampering also with the slide
processing). Even though I bracketed the shots one stop up and one
down, the metering was in fact so accurate that in only a handful
of shots did I use other than the unbracketed shot on the website.
@ - Slik Pro 700 DX tripod with the Pro 700 three-way-pan head
The same goes for this as did in the
2000 photo notes, although the number
of individual packings and unpackings of the tripod from the
carrying bag was this time "only" somewhere between 40 and 50...
@ - 7 rolls of Fuji Sensia 100 slide film
Happened to be just the correct amount in order to get the shots of
the intended buildings (usually bracketing one stop down and one up)
as well as some extra "targets of opportunity", but getting consumed
before I got totally fed up...
@ - Canon FS4000US 35 mm film scanner
The final piece of the film shooting puzzle; finally a proper
method of scanning film shots, and in a good resolution. Also
used to rescan many of the first trip shots, many of which in
fact turned out to be very good when using a proper scanner.