Lo-Fi with a Praktica

Yesterday I developed a roll of Ilford FP4+ which had been in a Praktica MTL3 for around eight months; a side-effect of having too many cameras to choose from.

The film had first been exposed at the Tees Transporter Bridge and it was apparent that the film wasn’t winding on properly as there were a few overlapping frames at the start. There were also some light leaks, and the Helios 44 lens I used at the end of film wasn’t reliably stopping the aperture down.

So technically, it wasn’t a tour de force.

However, there were some frames that seemed to offer an old-worlde charm to I decided to accentuate that effect by adding some toning and vignetting in Lightroom.

The six frames below were shot at Washington Old Hall, a National Trust property which was the home of the ancestors of US President George Washington.

Once you’ve tried large format film the limitations of 35mm become more obvious, but sharpness isn’t everything. Perhaps the best thing to do it to embrace the characteristics of 35mm – and the rather soft Pentacon 50/f1.8 lens used for most of these shots – and work with the grain, so to speak.

After a few months more the camera was taken on its’ next outing to Jesmond Old Cemetery, where there was some snow on the ground. This time I used a Helios 44-M 58mm lens.

After unloading the film I noticed that the focus ring on the Helios was loose and the aperture wasn’t stopping down. Those who love repairing cameras and lenses would have this fixed in no time but I’m not really a DIY fan so this might be the end of the road for my Helios.

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