Sunday, June 23, 2013

Week #17 - A Shur Shot!

Week #17 – Target is a Shur-Shot!

Agfa… known for some really great cameras, and some horrible cameras.  Sounds typical of all the camera makers.  But Agfa is most well known for their Isolette cameras.  Oh, but not always in a good way.  Sure, they are best known for their easy entry into Medium Format photography, with a very good and exceptionally sharp lens, even their cheap Agnar lens.  Of course, if you were lucky enough to have an Isolette with a Solinar lens and Prontor SVS shutter.  The top of the line lens couple to the top of the line shutter, along with a coupled/uncoupled rangefinder, and you have one of the best models to enter into Medium Format on a budget.
The only problem, of course, with the Isolette, regardless of the model, is the grease on the focusing helical.  Known as the Green Goo, or a long-curing cement!
Yes, it’s terrible…
But I was not using an Isolette, or a Solinette, or even anything resembling a even remotely “advanced” camera at all.
In fact, the camera I was using was….
Drum Roll please……..
A Agfa Shurshot B2 box camera.  This camera has a focusing range of about 8 feet through to infinity, but not really infinity, as the lens isn’t close to sharp enough.
BUT that said, pulling the F/Stop key and you increase the depth of field to include even Infinity… but close focusing of 8 feet doesn’t really change.  it stays at 8 feet..
Of course, closer than that is rather pointless with this camera.
AgfaWK17,jpgSimply put, it is about as basic as you can get, without being a snapshot camera.  It has two Aperture settings, which is around ƒ/12ish to ƒ/19ish or something there of.  It has 2 shutter speeds.. 1/30s or 1/50s approximately, and BULB which is controlled by a slider to lock the revolving shutter.
The camera itself is basically just a cardboard body, well a little more than just cardboard, with a metal front fascia to hold the lens cover plate, shutter cover, and viewfinder lenses.
The actual Meniscus lens is located inside the body on the film transport carrier.
I loaded this camera with Kodak Tri-X 400ASA film, expecting some mediocre weather, but was surprised with some incredible sunshine for the week.
Big, bright, and bold lighting… lots of shadows, hotspots, and the like…
yay….  With a camera I’d be lucky to control exposure indeed!
There is also a yellow filter built in, but when you’re shooting Tri-X at 1/30s or 1/50s (I think it’s 1/30s) you need as little light as you can get during the day…
Cloudy and rainy perhaps?
Well wasn’t I unpleasantly surprised when the week, minus one day, was bright, warm, and full of sun….  Yeah..Tri-X, not a smart choice!ShurshotTXWK17Scan-130615-0003ShurshotTXWK16Scan-130615-0002ShurshotTXWK17Scan-130615-0001ShurshotTXWK17Scan-130616-0001ShurshotTXWK17Scan-130616-0002
Even so, I still managed to control the exposure somewhat, and found that my week was quite enjoyable with such a simple camera…
Starting it on Monday and ending on Friday (that’s not 7 days!) I was able to fill the 8 frames with typical snapshot goodness….
Or… maybe not!
Time to start enlarging some of these images and seeing what else I can do with it..
Or not!
Until next time….

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