One thing I’ve learned in science is that you should never change two variables at the same time. If the result is good, you’re bound to end up running another experiment to figure out which change caused the improvement. If you’re unhappy with the result, you’re bound to run two more experiments to see if each variable alone was the right choice. Occasionally though, the outcome is exactly what you predicted with both variables changed and the gamble was worth it.
This weekend I decided to shoot some film, wear skinny jeans and listen to some bands you’ve never heard of. My normal go-to film is Kodak 160 NC, which I’ve rambled about before. This time, I tried Kodak Ektar 100 for the first time. But I changed another variable. I have a limited selection of lenses with an aperture ring: a Tamron 28-75 2.8, 50mm 1.8,a crappy macro lens and a vintage Bushnell 135mm 1.8 my stepdad gave me when I got my first Nikon. Since Emily had the 50mm and I didn’t feel like using the Tamron, I gave the old lens a try.
So, two variables. The Ektar 100 has much much finer grain than 160 NC, and the loss of only 60 ISO is totally worth it. The color edges on the magenta side, but still has a pretty appealing color tone. I plan to try out the newish 400 NC film, but I think I’ll be sticking to this Ektar stuff. As far as the Bushnell goes – it’s a tough lens to use. 135mm is quite telephoto and although very smooth, the focus ring generates a lot of resistance and can’t be focused quickly. Not really built for street photography. But I must say, in the right conditions, the lens is really fun to use. If you can focus in time, it can produce very sharp images, and since it lacks modern lens geometry and coatings, light spreads and bounces all over the place in it, going full-hipster when the scene is backlit. These photos are from my wanderings with this setup on Thanksgiving and the day after.