I received an email from the photo lab that I used to develop the 1st roll of film from my Rolleicord Va. The email had the link to the low-res scans from the developed roll of Ilford HP5 Plus 400 speed film. The negatives should show up in the mail in the next couple of days. As I expected, the images definitely aren't going to win any awards but that's not what matters. What matters is that the camera works! I did notice a couple of things though, which I'll cover in a little bit. But before that I wanted to share with you the very 1st image that I took with the Rolleicord:
Impressive, huh? :-) Actually its a pretty poor photograph. Its overexposed and out of focus. All I did was set the camera on the table, take a stab at the exposure settings, focus quickly, and take the photo.
I got a little better with the other images, but none of them are very good. Here's a couple more (from a low-res scan and not modified):
As you can see, all of the images are incorrectly exposed, although the last one (of the building) is ok. I blame that entirely on operator error as I wasn't using any type of light meter. All I did was take a SWAG at the exposure settings and fire the shutter. Once I get the negatives I may try to do some high resolution scans with a couple of the images to see if I can improve them.
I've shot two additional rolls in the last week and for both of them I confirmed my SWAG with an actual light meter (the 1st roll on my DSLR and the other with my new eBay Gossen Pilot 2). Most of the time I was off by quite a bit in my estimate. I expect the next rolls to be better exposed overall. We'll see...
One other thing I noticed, and I think you can barely see it on the images above, is a thin white line running top to bottom (on the right side). It occurs on all of the images, so my guess was that it was a rough spot somewhere on the film transport of the camera. I opened the camera and checked all of the rollers, etc. and did find a small fleck of something that had adhered itself to one of the rollers at about the same spot in the frame as the line. I scraped that off and cleaned off the entire transport just to be sure. Unfortunately, I had run through 2 more rolls of film before I noticed it so we'll see what comes back on those negatives.
The final thing was that I only got 9 images from the 12 image roll. The final 3 frames did not get exposed/scanned. I'm waiting to see if they send back 12 negatives. Maybe they got developed but not scanned. If not, I'm at a loss as to what happened. Maybe I did something wrong with loading the roll. The camera frame counter counted up to "12" and I thought I did everything properly. I guess I'll see what happens with the other two rolls.
Overall, I'm very happy with my decision to get the Rolleicord. The camera seems to work as advertised and any image errors are purely my fault at this point. I'm looking forward to seeing how the next two rolls of film come out. My guess is that they will be a little better than these but I'm still getting to know the camera so I'm not expecting too much. I definitely enjoy using the camera. Its completely different than using a digital camera, which is just fine with me. I think the Rolleicord will help me improve my skill as a photographer while having fun. I'm even considering getting some supplies so I can try my hand at developing my own film! :-) Stay tuned for more news on that front.
That's it for now. Until next time...Happy Shooting!