Analog Apex

The blend of analog photography & modern Motorsport...

I'm always up for a creative challenge, so I jumped at the opportunity to really test out the EOS 650 35mm camera during a IMSA race at Virginia International Raceway a few weeks ago with my trusty 50mm 1.8 and a rented 70-200mm. I also had my Hasselblad 500cm with me as well for some more static shots. Lets get right into it! For the Canon I was shooting Kodak T-Max 400 a Black and White favorite of mine and I'm sure many others, and I was also shooting some Fuji 400h Pro for the first time. For the Hassy I was shooting some expensive, yet sexy, and magical, Fuji Chrome Velvia 50, also for the first time. 

  Rahal Letterman BMW M6 blasting down the back of the track...

Rahal Letterman BMW M6 blasting down the back of the track...

As the day got underway I was pumped with how decently well the Canon auto focus held up and dealt with cars hustling around the track some places over 100 mph. It would sometimes go out of focus and not be spot on however I just made sure that I was 100% sure I nailed the shot, because well as we all know, you can't review your images! In total I had 48 shots of black and white and 72 shots of color. 120 shots is not a lot esp when you are shooting all day and want to capture all parts of an event but I made the most of it alternating between the track and the paddock. 

  A gentleman's chariot, Mercedes AMG GT car getting prepped to hit the track...  

A gentleman's chariot, Mercedes AMG GT car getting prepped to hit the track...  

After I got the film back I was disappointed to say the least. More than half of the shots both black and white and color, however most of the color ones were completely blacked out and it was obvious there was a shutter lag issue with this camera, bummer!  However looking at the bright side and staying positive this was the first shots I've ever taken with this camera and it essentially was a trial run. If I would have shot a roll prior I would have caught it, oh well. 

  Team Risi Competizione prepping the Ferrari 488 GT car for track time...

Team Risi Competizione prepping the Ferrari 488 GT car for track time...

Out of the shots I got, I was pretty pleased that they were indeed in focus and offered some great images for the day. Since I did start with black and white, those turned out the most usable images. As it got hotter in the afternoon the shutter issue I feel became more apparent, hence the color not turning out so hot. 

  The Ford GT speeding along full throttle...

The Ford GT speeding along full throttle...

All in a days work it was a fun time to shoot film at a fun event. I did also, get some weird looks, and struck up some good conversation with people who were shooting the latest high-end Nikon or Canon gear with 400mm glass and all sorts of gizmos. They were actually intrigued for the most part, and well when I pulled out the Hasselblad, some even turned away from looking at R8's or Porsches. 

Since then I have fixed the shutter issue for now, "crossing fingers" and still plan to use the camera for several upcoming events and travel, just need to maintain the shutter after each roll to ensure the sticking issue has ended. As a 25$ camera body investment for the Canon, I'm not too worried about it. If it breaks, I'll probably just buy another one. 

As far as the Hasselblad goes and that Velvia 50 Fuji film. Oh boy of course it is probably one of my favorite films I've shot on this camera. It sure is pricey though! At about 12$ a roll $55 for a five  pack it is not cheap, nor is it cheap to have developed, yet I want to buy a five pack and keep on hand for some awesome moments when I can put it to use. Forget really using this film in terrible light, however the dynamic range on it is fantastic, the grain is non existent and the colors are nothing short of Fuji fantastic. It uses an E6 processing method too, which creates a "positive" on the film once developed and in essence "slide film" The film itself once developed looks amazing holding them up to the light and once scanned looks brilliant. The images shown were not altered in Lightroom that much. I just adjusted the highlights and shadows a touch and some other minor dust removal ect.

  BMW M6 of Rahal Letterman in the garage getting some tuning done before the race... 

BMW M6 of Rahal Letterman in the garage getting some tuning done before the race... 

  Race Marshal looking on to the start of the race...

Race Marshal looking on to the start of the race...

This film would be best in early morning shoots, and early evening and even mid day when you have great light. I would also be careful on exposure and if you can push 1/2 or a full stop in camera depending on the light and shadows or else the image could be too dark. I'm happy with my first set of images and can't wait to shoot some proper landscape with this film. 

  The R8 sits in the Paddock as it gets prepped to get on the track...

The R8 sits in the Paddock as it gets prepped to get on the track...

  A driver looking focused and ready to race...

A driver looking focused and ready to race...

Well that's all I have so far! Hope you made it to the end of this long post as it was sort of two or three posts in one. Get out there and keep shooting, and don't be afraid to try something new and expand on something you might not be comfortable with.