Monday, August 10, 2009

A Day Without a DSLR - Results

Got the pictures developed from our trip to Knott's Berry Farm. Not as good as I was hoping but better than I expected for a disposable camera and given my inexperience with film.
The scenes had wide ranges of contrast, making it a technical challenge to capture the image correctly. Although I had no exposure control, the pictures as printed have reasonably correct exposures, which I think is due to the forgiving latitude of negative film.
I'm wondering how much additional detail can be squeezed from the negative, if for example, contrast was reduced. (It seems that the contrast in the pictures is set too high.) I ordered a CD of the pictures hoping to postprocess the images. However, it seems the CD is a scan of the print, not the negative, so there wasn't much I could do to adjust the exposure and contrast, and no additional detail was available.
I'm still intrigued by negative film's dynamic range and have added to my to-do list sending one of the negatives to a PMT drum scanning service to see just how much detail I can get from film in scenes of wide contrast. If the results are satisfactory, or maybe even if they're not, I am strongly considering buying a film camera for 'critical' shots (and to do capture wide angle shots). Given the results I got when I had zero control over exposure from a disposable camera with a plastic lens, I've gained some confidence in getting usable shots from a more sophisticated film camera.