This photo of Canada Steamship Lines laker Salarium was taken on January 24, 2020. The camera was set to aperture priority at f/11, which resulted in a 1/400 shutter speed with no exposure compensation applied. All of that is recorded directly on the film.

It doesn't say what the camera can't know – that it was on my Jobu Algonquin, which is pleased to finally be supporting a big camera. (Well, I'm guessing at the last part, but I'm fairly confident about that.) It's taken with a cable release and mirror lock up, using the Sigma 24-35/2. I've since learned to change the data imprint to show the focal length instead of the date for when the precise day doesn't matter, which it usually doesn't. The file creation date is embedded in the metadata and the file name, and usually that's close enough.

It's on Kentmere 400, which is the jpeg of film photography. I like the tones, but it's brittle. I wish I had been using HP5 or one of the deltas instead, but I'm not sure whether I want it smoother or coarser.

I also took a photo with my digital camera because I didn't know if I would be able to read the boat's name from the film photo. That turned out to be unnecessary. There's plenty of detail and magnifying the 20Mpx scan to 300% is quite satisfying.

And now a short digression.

This photo was taken at the same time and place, but using my Harman Reusable camera. It has a slightly different look to it, and it doesn't do data imprinting. Happily I do know the aperture and shutter speed it was using, because they're always fixed at the same values, and while it wasn't on a tripod, it was resting on a camera that was on a tripod. So that's almost the same thing, and I can safely say that this is as good as its image quality gets.

This was also taken with Kentmere 400 – the plastic camera came with two rolls of them, simultaneously my first and last. Its greater contrast helps the toy's plastic lens, but I prefer something milder, and K400 isn't significantly cheaper than HP5.

The funny part is that I like both photos, but can't imagine taking matched photos of the same subjects with these two cameras again.


And now a longer digression, added at the end of February:

Here's Salarium again, taken almost a month later and much later in the day, using the Zeiss Ikon and 35/2 lens with an orange filter. It's also on HP5, lightly pushed to 800. So setting aside completely different grain, filtration, tonal range, lighting, camera equipment, and support system it actually compares quite well to the level of detail recorded with the F6.

To do a fair comparison I should put better film in both and take the same shots at the same time. After all, that's what I did for the Harman camera. I should use Delta 100, because that's an excellent and well-known film, but I'd probably use Ortho 80 because I have more of it. Besides, I tend to think of the Deltas as the film to use when I should probably be using a digital camera.

And with that said, here's what Salarium looks like in colour. It's easy to see why the orange filter had such a dramatic effect on the hull, and it cleaned up the rust on the white parts of the ship as well. It's too bad the orange filter didn't provide contrast against the sky – it was more hazy than blue – because that would have given it a redeeming benefit.

The detail in the digital image trounces the film photos, as it should. It also doesn't hurt that the digital file is a panorama that's over ten thousand pixels wide, because the 50/2 on my Fuji wasn't wide enough to record the entire boat in one image.

While I may look at comparisons between the different cameras and filter colours in the future, I promise it won't be of photos of this boat. I've certainly seen enough of it to last me for a long time, and I like the lakers that put in at the port.