It’s December 26 – the day after Christmas – and I’m at CameraWorks in Latham. My Krasnogorsk FT-2 panoramic camera “Raskolnikov” is undergoing a CLA – the camera equivalent of a automobile’s tune-up. My camera tech Allen sealed up some of the camera’s light leaks (yep, one of those light leaks came through the camera’s bubble-level, which caused red blotches in the center of my test pictures). He even regaled a few anecdotes about his own panoramic 35mm camera – a Horizont – that he would take on vacations to Maine.
The camera was cleaned and sealed in time for my trip to Windsor, Ontario. So I packed a roll of generic 200 print film in one of the camera’s proprietary cartridges, and drove to Canada.
I did take a set of photos in Windsor, just as a test. But when I got back to Albany to have the film developed, I discovered that McGreevy Pro Lab was closed until after New Year’s Day. Dang it.
No matter. Since I did receive my three extra proprietary cartridges from a European seller (and now have five, which means I can shoot four rolls and use the fifth as a pickup roll), I decided it was time to shoot and see how well this camera can work. And once those were shot and developed… and once McGreevy Pro Lab opened its doors again… I had the new rolls developed and ready for shooting. And here’s how the test shots turned out.
So after much thought and deliberation, I say that Raskolnikov has officially joined my photographic arsenal. Welcome to the shooting family.
Now I should also mention that I took a few “vertical shots,” as you can see here. The thing I have to remember with “vertical shots” is that I can’t have the camera aimed directly even with the horizon. Not unless I have a decent cloudy day to capture the contrast in the sky. Because although I can capture a “shadow selfie” (left), and a motel sign (right), the images are not properly framed.
But then again, I’m still working with this camera. It’s like working with a brand new computer program, or driving a stick-shift car for the first time. At some point, I’ll figure out all the nuances of this camera and then – once I’ve achieved that – I’ll make this camera produce a major award-winning photo somewhere. Don’t you think that I won’t.
Also, I have to be cognizant of the type of film that will work with this camera, and 200-speed film is about the fastest film I can trust in this bad boy. Now I did order some Kodak Ektar 100 from B&H Photo Video, and I also have some slower B&W films at my disposal… which gives me some ideas about future projects as well.
Oh yeah, one more thing. Allen at CameraWorks really sealed up all the light leaks in the Krasnogorsk. I can’t find a stray light leak anywhere in these pictures. Which means I don’t have to worry about a stray streak staining and straining my shots. Shoot, no.
Yeah, I’m going to have fun with Raskolnikov. Just you wait and see. 🙂