In January, some friends and us decided a winter break would be nice. After some initial head scratching as to where to go, our minds were made up when Deerhurst Resort in Huntsville offered a special.
When we got there, it was bloody cold; most of the time around -30 degC ambient. The coldest weather I’d ever been in. It was, however very beautiful – frozen lakes, icicles in trees, and lots and lots of snow.
I took two cameras up, the D700 with a standard zoom and a 50mm lens; and a Voigtlander Bessa R2 rangefinder with a Leica 50mm Summarit f1.5 lens manufactured around 1950.
We all decided to go snow shoeing, and I reasoned that the Bessa would be the go as it is a nice camera to throw around your neck, not getting to heavy on a trek. I threw in some E6 slide film and off we went. It started out well enough, but it took only about 20 minutes for the battery to die from the cold, which wiped out the meter, so the rest of the exposures were a bit of a guess. I based all my assumptions from those first 20 minutes, then adjusted up or down if I could see the scene was brighter or darker.
When I eventually got the film back I found that while my up or down exposure guesses were largely correct, I made the classic mistake of under exposing almost every thing – the bright snow had given a reading of about two stops too bright. Anyway, I scanned it, and found it was somewhat correctable on Photoshop.
What interested me though was how sharp the images were, both scanned and looking at it off the film through a loupe. Admittedly I shot most at f4-f8, the area of best performance for this type of lens, but for a 60 year old lens it was amazing, and certainly a lot sharper than a few new lenses I've used.
Good people, good fun, good photography = good times!