Today, I got my negatives back. Last week, I went down to the frigid shore of Lake Erie at Buffalo's inner harbor to shoot some film. I took 6 exposures of 4x5 Portra 160 (I had shot the other 4 the night before, but somehow forgot to mail them,) and a roll of Ektar 100 35mm.
Long story short: The Minolta didn't hold up so well as a landscape shooter. I took most of my exposures at f16, and they look pretty bad. A large part of that is almost certainly the scanner. The E700 works well enough, but I'm certain that I'm losing a large amount of resolution and dynamic range. Still, they don't look awesome.
Coming off the large format, having 36 exposures to work with provided an almost unbelievable amount of freedom. I tried a variety of exposure settings, but I feel the images where I exposed for the sky look best. Keep in mind, these were taken after I'd run out of 4x5 film, and the sky was actually looking better. If I'd known, I would have saved one sheet of 4x5 for the sunset.
The 4x5 images, on the other hand, look pretty good. I wasn't shooting any sort of spectacular setting, so they aren't fantastic as photographs, but I finally feel like I've gotten the hang of exposure. The large format photos all came out properly exposed (with the exception of one screw up, which I'll get to in a second.)
For the first time, I really fiddled with lens tilt in these images. Wide open, this threw the majority of the image out of whack, but stopped down, it puts the entirety of the frozen lake in focus. The trick is remembering to stop it down after composing your image.
That image is fried. I set up the image and metered at f32, but forgot to stop the lens down before taking the shot. I actually realized this right after I took it, so I knew which one it was, but I opted to develop it anyway. The coolest part, I think, is you can see the lens tilt's narrow focus effect, even in the torched photo.
For fun, here's a crop from the above image. The resolution (even on the flatbed scanner) is pretty striking. The dynamic range of the Portra is amazing. I didn't change a thing in Photoshop. I vastly prefer the Portra to Ektar. I can add saturation in post, if need be. Between the dynamic range and accurate color reproduction, I'll be shooting that exclusively (after I try slide.)
So there you have it. I'll most likely post more of the 35mm stuff, but to be honest, a lot of it is pretty redundant. Also, I have a steak and Arrogant Bastard Ale waiting for me downstairs, so I'm going to stop thinking about photography for a minute.