Such is the odd, pleasant surprise of the unexpected. Finding myself camera-less, purchasing a 10–pack of film days before making a visit to my homeland Costa Rica, all the way from Europe. I already had the spectacular news of my mother finding a film SLR in her house in near-perfect state. The finding was, as you might’ve guessed, a Canon A-1 and Canon FD 50 mm f/2.0 that belonged to my father, which had seen complete utter inactivity and darkness for years.
That was before I sent a friend of mine to check the gear, corroborating that the bag where the camera rested probably had some time-stopping powers. Fantasy aside, the only thing needing a fix was a dry shutter mechanism producing the famous squeak these models not–so–proudly carry the burden of…but I already had informed myself on how to solve it.
I chose the ISO 200 film because at the time, still completely new to film shooting, thought a relatively medium speed emulsion would be a good compromise. Given the results, I was probably not too far off with the idea.
Then the moment of testing the camera/film combo came. Two days after strolling packs off of the Juan Santamaría airport, we decided to go to the market to get some groceries. With immense excitement, I went out with my sister, like a once-young kid, to marvel at the otherwise completely ordinary surroundings lit by the tropical morning sun.
Safe to say that a sunny, dry morning in the middle of the Costa Rican valley hardly proved to be any challenge for this film/camera combo. After thoroughly exploring the gear, I had great fun photographing with this camera and the ISO used seemed well suited to the occasion. I was particularly interested in how this film would hold against direct light, and the various scenes where nailing the exposure would make contrast become the star of this work.
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This series is produced in conjunction with Hamish Gill's excellent 35mmc.com. Head on over to read the other half of these stories there.
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