|Gear: Konica EYE
Film: Kodak Tmax 400
Dev + Scan: Rewind photo lab, Glebe
Shooting Location: Newtown, Sydney, Australia
Hello everyone :-) My name is Janie, I am 1/2 of Beginning Film and a designer by trade with a background in interior architecture. My first introduction to film was actually through my partner, Freddie, who is an incredible photographer and lived in Japan at the time. Since then we have started Beginning Film and I happily manage all the behind-the-brand creative things while Freddie being the main camera guy that I learned most of my camera knowledge from and still is learning!
"Beginning Film" and "First Roll With" was driven by the determination to learn and start something new, as well as the fresh perspective from me (a beginner in progress) and my partner (a professional) and allowed our approach to film to be equally empathetic to both the beginners or pros groups, which we felt lacked in the market.
So, back to why you really came to this post for -- the Konica EYE! We have actually had this camera in storage for a long time, for no particular reason, really. Just by its looks, the camera doesn't seem all that special, it was like a copy of the Olympus PEN EE. Nonetheless, Freddie and I were headed to Newtown one day and felt like a good opportunity to test it! I chose to shoot with black and white film so I could think less and focus more on composition.
I was interested to shoot with the Konica EYE largely because I love shooting half-frame cameras. Not only does it double your roll of film, it also allows you to experiment with some cool compositions/collages. Here I stitched together 3 photos in one longer panoramic style photo.
Shooting with the Konica EYE was very easy, the only manual adjustments you need to do is the zone focusing (from 1m to infinity), which is controlled by a focusing ring around the lens. The viewfinder of the EYE is very bright and contains the focusing and shutter speed info, which was really helpful as I tended to forget that I had to manually focus. Loading film in the EYE is easy too, but I'll admit I made the classic rookie mistake of not loading the film properly and didn't realise until 20 shots in.
Freddie and I were stunned at how sharp the images turned out! A lot of definition in detail and shooting in black and white brought out those details even more. The aperture range (f1.9-f16), which is selected automatically via the EYE's selenium meter around its lens, gives a nice depth of field to portraits too.
If I could do one thing differently, it would be to pay more attention to the focusing. At the beginning of my roll, I was quite carefree with my images, well, because the EYE pretty much does most of the job for you. All I needed to do was to press the button (and of course, focus!). At times I would completely forget about focusing, and slowly became more mindful as I got used to the camera more. Also noting that the EYE has a max close up range of 1m. Anything less than 1m will be blurry. Here's me testing the focusing:
I also tested shooting moving objects, like moving cars and bikes. They turned out great!
Overall, shooting with the Konica EYE was really fun. The half frame aspect is really quite forgiving and gives you the creative freedom to just snap away. I shot with a 24 exp roll and it gave me more than double at 52 images, that is more than enough for a day's test roll! This camera can be a great and unique addition to anyones current collection, it's a camera that will last (be sure to keep the selenium meter protected with a cap when unused as it will become worn off by the sun) and I definitely recommend picking it up if you ever see one!
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