Week Thirty Six, Bencini Comet 3

July 12, 2017


I am by now settling into particular formats, styles and types of camera I like and want to explore further. I still however have a yearning for a folder of which there is one I have my eye on, and a little box camera. The Comet falls into the posh box category. A fixed shutter at 50th or bulb with a fixed aperture of f11, there is a focus ring on the 65mm lens requiring guestimates. The camera itself is very stylish with typical sleek Italian styling, made c1952 of polished aluminium trimmed with black leatherette giving this tall thin pretty boy a classy look.

So with an eye on @SummerFilmParty I picked some film, first up Lomography colour negative 100 expired was the only film I had that qualified and I was prepared to risk cutting down to the 127 format it takes, then I picked out similarly expired Ilford delta 100 I knew previously had shot pretty well. Cutting down 120 film to 127 has risks so these were fair game as practice rolls.

I knew the Lomo 100 needed shooting much lower than its native 100 having shot one before badly at asa 50 so I rated it at asa 25 and set off on a walk through town and along the seafront, I struggled to be honest, and its slowness just wouldn’t let me get into the shadows so I ended up concentrating on more open cityscapes. It was hard hot work in blazing sun, I just didn’t feel it. The camera itself was nice to use but the 16, 2cmx3cm half frames seemed to never end! I was hoping for some nice colour shifts to compliment the Lomo film but results were flat low contrast bland images, I felt I had let myself down. I put the softness down to the expired film but some of the resulting compositions had me at a loss, there seemed to be a trend toward down and to the right. I put this down to my holding position as the viewer is directly above the lens so should be straight forward.

I loaded the Delta a couple of days later, it was still bright but lots of grey clouds meaning I was in safe black and white territory. I was determined to make up for my first roll and work on composition. I took a trip over the bridge to the Cornish side of Saltash passage as a scouting mission for future personal work. I took a little yellow filter that I could hold in front, but the lens just wouldn’t marry up with any hoods. I used sunny 16 for exposure with a quick preliminary meter to set the tone. I worked hard on composure! Trying different things, I fully expected some loss of shadow detail and knew the delta would have some issues, lack of hood gave a risk of glare but I could live with that. I wasn’t however expecting such soft images particularly toward the edges! The down to the right was clearly there again even with my careful framing. I was somewhat frustrated!

I have to say, given the effort in the design and styling I expected more, lens quality was definitely overlooked!  I was pretty disappointed, the simple Kodak brownie box knocks it into a cocked hat. That said, it is a perfect candidate for Lomo budget colour photograph that seems to be trendy once you get used to its little issues.

Let’s quickly move on… :s

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