Street photography with Canon AE-1 and FD 70-210mm

Today I tried something a bit different. As you may know, I am a huge fan of my Olympus OM-1 and 50mm lens. Today though I really wanted to take my Canon AE-1 for a spin and just to make things more interesting, I left my 50mm lens at home and swiped the dust of my 70-210mm tele zoom lens. I usually don’t like teles OR zooms, but actually it was a lot of fun. I really enjoyed the ability to shoot from a distance, because getting close is my biggest hurdles. It was a pain to carry around though, because it is a heavy and very large lens. It wasn’t too much a attention magnet as I though and it didn’t seem to narrow the shooting angle down too much. All in all, a very pleasant experience.

I headed to central Helsinki, which is where I typically go for photo walks. I found a good vibe on the market square that gave a nice classic and nautical looking setting for the images. The old cobblestone ground looked awesome after the rain! I also absolutely love heavy overcast. It gives such a nice mood to black and white images.

I had couple of hours to spend and I approached this shoot as a practise session. I wanted to get rid of my tension and just shot away without trying to over think. I got a fair amount of nice images. Not anything too interesting or mind blowing, but nice images none the less. I really just wanted to go out and practise and try the gear setup.

I had only one roll of Tri-x in the freezer so that was my film of choice. It was a rainy early autumn day and I had a tele lens. I pushed the film to 1600 to give me faster shutter speeds. Sure enough I was able to get sharp photos. I shot all the images with 1/500 or 1/1000. Pushing two stops will of course increase grain, which wasn’t a concern, because I actually wanted to get a rough look this time. Contrast was a concern and the images turned out a bit too contrasty. I used AE-1’s shutter priority mode and I’m not a great fan of the AE-1’s metering, I was too lazy to go full manuél this time, which was a bit of mistake. If I would have calculated the exposures myself, I would have over-exposed just a tiny amount to avoid loss of shadow detail. I knew that pushing Tri-x this much would do that, but like I mentioned, I just wanted to go out and shoot, without thinking too much.

I have ran out of D-76 so I used Rodinal for the development (standard dev), which I have plenty of left. I was going for a gritty look, so Rodinal was a good choice anyways. I was actually expecting even more grain after heavy pushing and using Rodinal.

And just in case you’re wondering, the wacky retro borders are done in Snapseed, which I also used to adjust some of the curves etc.

2 Comments

  1. Pingback: Loving the canon FD 35mm lens — street and forest photos – Attempts at 35mm

  2. Pingback: Study finds telephoto lenses are really good for street photography too – Attempts at 35mm

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