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Photographing Old Cars With Period Correct Cameras?


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Playing with old photo technology requires much the same mindset as playing with a Stanley steam car.  You can get there, but at the cost of a lot of time and effort. If the objective is to take lots of good pictures quickly and cheaply, or get where you're going fast and in comfort, use a digital camera and a modern car.  But if you have the time and (mostly) enjoy the effort, do it the old way.  You'll learn a lot, probably find new friends with similar interests, and have a great time.

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10 hours ago, 30DodgePanel said:

Unfortunately that’s a lot of money for that camera with no plate holders.  Without them, you’ll be unable to use it.  

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My roll of 620 film showed up. I ordered B&W ISO100 speed. I have the following f-stops on my Kodak Vigilant Jr Six-20:  12.5,  16, 22, 32

I could use a few reminders on when to use what.  My limited understanding is 100 ISO needs a bright sunny day.  The lower the f-stop the larger the lens opening. The larger the lens opening, the shorter the focal depth. The larger the lens opening the more light that enters. Am I on the right path?

 

The shutter has 3 speed settings:

1:Instant. Push lever, shutter opens and closes quickly.

2: Push lever and hold open as long as you like, when lever released, shutter closes agin,

3. Push once to open shutter. Release lever, shutter stays open. Push lever again to close shutter

 

So an example:  Sunny day. A car maybe as my subject. Close up shot so shallow dept of focus. F12.5, quick snap of the auto shutter?

Back up some. Medium range shot. F16-22 range? Same shutter speed?

Distance shot. F32? Same shutter speed?

 

Lower light, try a few with the timed shutter? Say evening light... F12.5 Shutter speed 1 second?  F32  1.5 to 2 second shutter speed? Probably try and use a tri-pod for all shots.

Any tips are appreciated.  Thanks. Keith.

 

 

Screen Shot 2020-08-24 at 6.52.50 PM.png

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here is a photo of my car done at a civil war event using silver nitrate film. It was developed right there in the field. Its pretty neat and I think old film of all kinds gives some effects that are not really possible to get with photoshop. I especially like the rolling shutter effect you get when something is moving past the camera quickly.  I will admit that the process here produced a photo that was a reverse image and that the one you see here was flipped with photoshop.

18485932_1952330071666855_834008590811556145_n.jpg

Edited by Linus Tremaine (see edit history)
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19 hours ago, keithb7 said:

My roll of 620 film showed up. I ordered B&W ISO100 speed. I have the following f-stops on my Kodak Vigilant Jr Six-20:  12.5,  16, 22, 32

I could use a few reminders on when to use what.  My limited understanding is 100 ISO needs a bright sunny day.  The lower the f-stop the larger the lens opening. The larger the lens opening, the shorter the focal depth. The larger the lens opening the more light that enters. Am I on the right path?

 

The shutter has 3 speed settings:

1:Instant. Push lever, shutter opens and closes quickly.

2: Push lever and hold open as long as you like, when lever released, shutter closes agin,

3. Push once to open shutter. Release lever, shutter stays open. Push lever again to close shutter

 

So an example:  Sunny day. A car maybe as my subject. Close up shot so shallow dept of focus. F12.5, quick snap of the auto shutter?

Back up some. Medium range shot. F16-22 range? Same shutter speed?

Distance shot. F32? Same shutter speed?

 

Lower light, try a few with the timed shutter? Say evening light... F12.5 Shutter speed 1 second?  F32  1.5 to 2 second shutter speed? Probably try and use a tri-pod for all shots.

Any tips are appreciated.  Thanks. Keith.

 

Hi Keith:

 

You are definitely on the right track.  The main problem I see with your situation is that you have no idea what the actual shutter speed of your camera is for the "instant" setting.  Have you tried doing some research on the Internet about your camera?  You might be able to link up with someone in the old camera hobby who could tell you the actual shutter speed.

 

The first thing you should do is download one of the available light meter apps for your smart phone.  The one I have for my Android phone is called simply "Light Meter - Free."  There's one that's very popular with Iphone users, but I can't remember the name right now.  These apps work really well and enable you to get a good reading on what your shutter speed and lens opening should be (once you know your shutter speed, of course).

 

In the absence of any information about the shutter speed, you will have to just experiment until you can figure it out by reverse engineering.  Here's a good rule of thumb for you:  in bright sunlight, your shutter speed should be equal to your film speed at F/16.   My guess is that your "instant" shutter speed is probably somewhere between 1/50 and 1/125.  So my first suggestion is that you try some shots in bright sunlight with your ISO100 film and see what you get.  You can try some bracketing by taking three versions of the same shot, i.e., at F/12.5, F/16, and F/22, and see how they compare.  That way, you will get an idea of what the actual shutter speed is.

 

I don't think you will find the other two shutter settings very useful unless you're taking photos at night.  Even the quickest "open and close" move is probably going to be a very long exposure for ISO100 film.

 

Feel free to PM me if you want to discuss this further.  Good luck!

 

Neil

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17 hours ago, Linus Tremaine said:

here is a photo of my car done at a civil war event using silver nitrate film. It was developed right there in the field. Its pretty neat and I think old film of all kinds gives some effects that are not really possible to get with photoshop. I especially like the rolling shutter effect you get when something is moving past the camera quickly.  I will admit that the process here produced a photo that was a reverse image and that the one you see here was flipped with photoshop

 

That is a very cool shot!  If it weren't for the contemporary outfits it would definitely look period correct for your Lincoln (which is beautiful, by the way)!

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No, Linus, it was empty. The cover is that horrible red stuff that leaves dye on your fingers or marks if you accidentally put a cup on it, but the album and cover are like new. Someone very carefully labelled the back spine and that was it. What we aim to do is take some photos, get them to look 1906 ish and make up the album.  The trouble is you can’t exactly do the grand tour in a 1906 Model K Cadillac. Maybe the cows down the road or a quaint church. 

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