Following on from my previous post on the Minolta SRT 303 SLR camera, I decide to load up the early 1970’s SLR with a roll of Kodak Ektar 100 colour negative film. I have the camera’s original instruction manual so I followed the guide in there. This particular camera is fully manual except for the light meter, which means that you advance the film by using a lever. Then you set the shutter speed on the top of the camera and the aperture by adjusting a ring on the lens. Focus is manual too, by twisting the lens barrel.
The large bright viewfinder allows you to see through the lens and has a clever prism to help you focus correctly. It also has a straightforward light meter where two needles align to get the correct exposure. Correct exposure is achieved by adjusting the shutter speed and aperture. Sounds complicated to describe but in practice it is very straightforward.
I found using the camera really refreshing. It is certainly great fun to take photographs with. The shutter is quite loud, enough to startle a slightly nervous ewe a few metres away! This is probably not going to be the camera for stealth street photography but I do love the sound of the shutter firing. I must admit it took a little getting used to, using a fully manual camera again. A few subjects (i.e. my children) got a little impatient with waiting for me to finish fiddling with the camera and take the shot. A bit more practice and I will get into the swing of it. I might try some still life next time to hone the skills!
After shooting the film I rewound the film back into the canister. There is a lever that folds out on top of the camera, and after a good few turns you feel the leader come off the spool, a few turns more and you can be sure the film is back in the canister. After I had done this I popped the film in the post to Photo Express in Hull. They processed the film on the day they received it and sent the negatives and CD with scanned images in the post back to me. Great service!
The images in this post are all taken from this first roll of film. I have resized them and applied a small amount of sharpening for the screen, but they are shown as shot with no cropping, retouching, colour correction etc. I must admit I really like the colour rendition of the Kodak Ektar 100 film. It is probably not the best for skin tones but is great for general bright outdoor conditions. Seeing the scans on screen for the first time I was really aware of how different the whole film look is compared to the ubiquitous digital camera images. I am certainly looking forward to trying a few different types of film and seeing what results I get. Um, what film will be next?