I'm a sucker for a good car show and I got to attend an annual show held at the Georgetown Airport a few weekends back. It was a beautiful day and I enjoyed wandering around. I can easily lose track of time while checking out classic cars and I came away with my first sunburn of the year on an unseasonably (even for south Texas) warm February day. While I remembered all my camera gear, I forgot to put on some sunscreen.
I had a couple new-to-me bits of photography gear with me at the show. Recently I acquired a Fujifilm XF 18mm f/2 lens for my X-T2 camera. I was curious about this lens as a possible replacement for my rarely used 16mm, which is a big, heavy beast to carry around in my bag. Additionally, I had a Nikon FM film camera with a 50mm f/1.4 lens that I acquired in a trade sometime back and never had a chance to try out. The FM was loaded with some inexpensive Agfa color negative film. The colors from this film are have a nice subdued look and I like how I don't have to do much of anything to the film scans I get back from my lab.
Nikon FM, 50mm
One of the nice things about shooting the Fujifilm X-T2 is the great dynamic range. Color negative film holds highlights rather well. The X-T2 is arguably stronger in this area with the dynamic range modes in camera. I usually shoot in JPEG mode for events like this and I'll set my ISO to 400, even on a sunny day. This enables me to turn on the X-T2's auto DR mode, which will automatically underexpose a stop as needed for highlight control, then lift the shadows in its JPEG processing engine. It's a neat trick.
Fujifilm X-T2, 18mm
I performed a little experiment by photographing the car below with both cameras, using an 18mm equivalent lens on each. It was a dark car and I shot the shaded side. The shadows are more open in the film version but the digital wins with greater detail. Yes technology is a wonderful thing.
Maybe I'm just being nostalgic about film. The digital images are sharper and cleaner without the film grain. The dynamic range of today's cameras is remarkable. Still, there is just something about film that I like. Maybe it's just that it detaches me from the world of modern technology for a while when I shoot it. I tend to favor manual cameras like the FM. No batteries needed, no meter (the FM has one but I chose to shoot sans battery), no complex menus. It seems appropriate for photographing those beautiful classic cars. It's an overall experience of a simpler time.
You can see more shots from the show on my gallery site here.