Last summer my girlfriend and I went on a 14-day trip to Iceland. I Packed four Cameras, a Yashica-635, Leica P, Olympus MJU, and Sony A7R II, along with three types of films: Kodak Portra 400, Fujifilm Velvia (RVP), and Kodak T-MAX 400 but the real JAM was my original Fujifilm FUJICHROME Velvia (RVP). a 50 ISO slide film, which had expired around 2003.
I bought it from a photography store that promised me it had been kept in the fridge. I loaded my Slow TLR Yashica 635 (6×6) and for the next four days, I shot 12 frames with it. I had a lot of second thoughts about lugging around four cameras on a vacation but Iceland is a one of a kind place.
I took the Yashica on the famous Laugavegur trail. It wasn’t the easy way to go but I am very happy I did. Most shots were handheld and around 1/60 second and f/4 or f/5.6. The Yashica-635’s lens has swirly bokeh and it shows. I Tried giving it an extra stop of light wherever I could.
The Velvia really shined with dark skies and flat light, brining deep colors and amazing light. When I got back home, I framed three photos: two of them were from this roll.
When I gave it to the lab, they were very sceptical that such an old slide film would work. When the scans came, they called me and were excited to tell me that the roll was fantastic. I was relieved that all of this effort played out well!
I feel that from all of my ‘smart’ cameras, the Yashica-635 from way back in 1958 and that 16 years expired Velvia 50 really showed my Sony A7R II who’s the boss around light and colors.
I advise you to take the risk on your next vacation. It was worth it for me!
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This series is being 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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