Sunday, January 29, 2012

More Sydney photos plus a Superheadz Golden Half review

You can check out all the other photos from this roll on my lomo account.

Let's start at the start: the Superheadz Golden Half camera is a half-frame 35mm film camera. Each frame is split so two exposures can be taken. If you have 24 exp film, you would end up with 48 photos, or 48 different pictures. It's easy to understand if you look at the pictures above. You can divide these up post processing if you wish.

Overall I would recommend this camera, it's reasonably cheap around the internet and an easy starter for film beginners. I particularly like the low-res pictures it gives with a natural blurring towards the outer edges of the picture.

One thing that you must consider is lighting conditions. It has two aperture settings, f/8.5 and f/11 for supposedly sunny and cloudy conditions. You'll be lucky to get a good picture indoors or during particularly dark conditions, but the bonus being you can add a flash for party photos if you wish. This is like most film cameras though - no light, no picture. Oh, and remember to take the lens cap off. I've lost far too many photos by leaving it on.

Overall, it's a fun little camera and I totally love how the pictures turn out. I guess the full-frame equivalent would be a Superheadz Ultra Wide & Slim, although there is no hotshoe and the aperture is fixed at f/11. I finally purchased one, so perhaps I'll review that one day too. I love toy cameras because each has it's own way about things and it really pushes me to take better photos.

Top tips

Choose you film carefully: I wrote a long rant about how you should use 400 iso film for this camera - I was certain that was what I had used. But for journalistic accuracy I checked my negatives and the little 'kodak 200' would prove me otherwise. I'm stumped. So I'll just leave it at this - the higher the iso number the more sensitive the film is to light. This increases noise in theory but the difference between 400 and 200 is not a problem. It's when you start buying film speeds of 800 and 1600 where it might be something to think about. I guess I'd recommend 400 film, but I can't really justify that now, can I?

Take quite a few starting shots: because I have missed several frames due to the fact that I haven't realised that the film may not 'start' until maybe 2-4 frames onwards. There's alway a few extra frames at the end to make up for this.

Scan negatives in yourself if you can: I confuse film developers. This camera is crazy to most, bar perhaps your most experienced lomo film developers. But even they get tripped up, I've had missing frames in scans and silly little things like that.

You probably don't know how keen you are on film photography yet, but once you get to roll 5 you've probably got a bit of hobby going. Film scanners can save money in the long run - you can buy specific film scanners, or there are flatbed scanners that are able to scan film as well - check out your university computers too. Prices vary dramatically, but it costs me an extra $5-$10 AUD roughly for scanning. Remember that you can also scan in your parents' negatives for safe keeping too, so it can be worth it. Just don't buy a 35mm scanner for your 120mm film...

Take the lens cap off: I would almost advise leaving it at home. I don't because the camera floats around my bag and knowing me I would be the only person ever to scratch a tiny sunken lens with my car keys. But it you have a separate compartment, leave it. There's nothing worse than realising you've left the lens cap on and wasted a frame or Kodak moment. Even if you're not using Kodak.

Film is hit and miss: I'm still learning, and film is challenging. And I know a lot about film, and a little bit about photography. Sometimes I get a roll back and there's only a few frames I'm truly happy with. But this is how you learn, and there's nothing better than improving on a skill that not everyone has.

Still not sure? Why not try an Aqua Pix. It's about $10 on eBay. Don't even think about it.

Any questions? I'll answer them below.