I headed out today with a plan. High speed, low drag! My 8×10, new Celor lens and three film holders loaded with Arista Ortho Litho. I decided to keep it really simple and head down to the main Huntsville cemetery. It’s the largest and oldest cemetery in the south in continuous operation. The history there is just incredible. You’ll find the grave sites of hundreds born in Europe, immigrating to the States and claiming their final resting spot in the South (who could blame them!). The cemetery is huge and offers a ton in terms of subject matter, and, well, I know it pretty well.
In any event, my plan was simple. I would use the ever unreliable, unpredictable and highly finicky Ortho Litho and I would choose two photographic objectives and then I would shoot across the range of the lens (sort of). I settled on f8, f32 and f64. Ortho Litho “nuances” aside I wanted to try and continue to build my understanding of the Celor’s personality. Yeah, and my masochistic side just wanted another flogging from Ortho Litho.
So, here are the results. These are straight off the scanner without any adjustments. I’ve captioned the details and I’ll share a few comments at the end.
So, what did I learn? I’m going to resist the temptation to rant on the vagaries of Ortho Litho. It’s my love-hate relationship and I own it. Let’s talk about the lens. No two ways about it, even at f64 there’s still a very noticeable softness induced around the edges. I kind of like it. Now, it was for no real reason that I decided to shoot across f8, f32 and f64. I left the tails off if you will not venturing down to f4, f2.8 and f2 or up to f128 and f256 (these are the indications on the barrel of the lens). So, yes, I avoided the extremes. I wanted to shoot across the middle; yeah, it made sense to me.
The net result is the differences are substantial as you move stop to stop. I’m thrilled by this as it really seems as though this lens will offer me a tremendous range of options in terms of composing and creating an image. I love that. I’m just going to have to keep experimenting and that is precisely where Ortho Litho comes in; It’s dirt cheap. But, you’ve probably detected by now that I do have a tremendously perverse relationship with this film. Yeah, it’s perverse alright!