Remember that beautiful 1960s FED-3 rangefinder I showed you last week? Well, I just developed the first roll of film, and the results are…odd, to say the least. For technical reasons I’ll outline below, all of the photos are dramatically overexposed, marred with scratches and stretches, and tinted psychedelic shades of cyan, yellow, and magenta. They’re positively bizarre.
The photos are kind of cool in their own trippy, dreamlike way, I guess. They definitely embody that dumb lomography maxim that a photo’s idiosyncratic deficiencies are what give it character. The colors are quite fantastic – it’s just a pity that you can’t resolve more detail in the images. I find it kind of humorous that such a serious-looking camera can produce such silly photos.
Anyway, here you go:
So, what went wrong? The blame lies not with the camera, but with the roll of film itself, I think. And with me. As I was finishing the roll, I noticed that the film wasn’t actually attached to the spool (the one inside the canister, not the take-up spool), and so it wasn’t rewinding at all. So, I popped open the canister, removed the spool, manually rewound the film around the spool, and then sealed it back in the canister. I did this at night in my bathroom with the lights off, but in my haste I didn’t seal the door, I think enough ambient light seeped through the cracks to taint the film emulsions. This would explain the images’ uniform overexposure, and, I think, the color distortion. If there are any darkroom experts out there, please weigh in.
Also, the film wasn’t fully perforated, and it so didn’t always advance smoothly, leading to some stretching and scratching. Remember those hanging chads that fouled the 2000 presidential election? It was sort of like that, except that my chads didn’t result in a seminal Supreme Court case, just a bunch of crappy photos. Considering that I paid just $2.50 for the film and the development, I can’t really complain.
I’ve loaded another roll of film, but it’s also not attached to the spool, so I’ll have to rewind it manually again. (I’m not sure what went wrong with this batch.) This time, I’ll try to do it in complete darkness. Stay tuned to see how that one turns out.