Sunday, October 14, 2012

Disappointing Fruit of Misguided Labor

Kodak Brownie Bull's Eye FujiFilm Neopan Across 100 Arista 76 1:1 - Sometimes things just do not work out. I acquired a Kodak Brownie Bull's Eye Camera sometime ago and have been dying to try it out. Two weeks ago I respooled roll of FujiFilm Acros 100 120 film onto a 620 spool and loaded the camera. That seemed to go smoothly enough, but life got in the way and it was not until this weekend that I actually got out to shoot the roll.

The Bull's Eye has a "guestimation" focusing system. Basically you guess the focus and set the distance. The camera also has a "fixed" focus setting, where the lens locks at 10 ft and everything from 6 ft. to Infinity should be in focus. Being my first time out with this camera I decided to use the "fixed" focus setting, so I set the lens and threw the camera into my bag and headed out. I happily roamed downtown Lynchburg VA. snapping the 8 6x9cm frames.

On returning home and removing the camera from my bag I discovered mistake number one. Sometime while sliding the camera in and out of my bag ,I knocked the lens off of the 10 ft. "fixes" focus point. Worse yet, I moved it to the close side, so the lens was focused at somewhere between 4 to 10 feet,,, CRAP! Oh well, at least some of the shots should come out. When I went to unload the camera I ran across mistake number two. The film hand wound very loosely. The film was not fully shielded by the sides of the 620 take up spool. This was probably caused during the respooling process by my failure to keep enough tension on the film. Making matters worse the take up spool fits snuggly inside the Bull's Eye and the loose wind meant I had to pry the roll of of the camera with a screw drive,,,, crap, Crap, CRAP!

Pushing forward I developed the film. Luckily the loose wind caused nothing more than some minor edge fogging. That is where my luck ran out. Apparently, the focus on the camera was knocked out of position prior to the first shot. All the shots would suffer from a severe case of near sightedness. I proceeded to scan the film and confirmed my worst fears. The image above shows the results. Though image has a great retro look, and the poor focus would not be uncommon for the cameras of the time, I cannot help but imagine it would have been great if correctly focused.

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