When Raskolnikov doesn’t do what I want it to do…

So although I’ve been able to knock things out of the park with my Krasnogorsk FT-2 ultrawide camera “Raskolnikov,” not every experimental shot that camera has produced has proved successful.  I suppose that’s the nature of the beast; you fail until you succeed.  It’s part of the learning process.

One thing I definitely learned regarding using this camera… make sure you have the correct film in the camera before you go out to shoot.  It takes a long time to wind the film in this camera to the next frame, and it takes an even longer time to swap out completed cartridges, load new ones, and re-assemble the camera.  Heck, the Statue of Liberty could take five steps inbetween the time it takes for me to insert new film. 🙂

Two weeks ago, I tried photographing the North Albany St. Patrick’s Day “Limerick” parade.  I figured I would use a couple of rolls of Kodak Ektar 100 color print film for this … until I got to the event and instantly remembered that I packed a cartridge of Svema 125 black and white film for a forgotten photo trip… so I had to use those shots up before I could put in the color film.

Damn it.  The stuff I have to remember… GRRRR….

Oh well.

Experiment with Krasnogorsk ФT-2 “Raskolnikov” camera

PARAMETERS: To photograph the North Albany St. Patrick’s Day “Limerick” parade


SOFTWARE: One roll of Svema 125 black and white film, expiry approximately 1990’s.

 Svema 125 35mm

☭ ONWARD, COMRADE! ☭

And although I was able to get a few good shots from my location… black and white film was the wrong formulation to use.  Bad Chuck.  Bad, bad Chuck.

Oh well…  At least I got this shot.

limerick 4
North Albany St. Patrick’s Day “Limerick” Parade. Krasnogorsk FT-2 camera, Svema 125 B&W film. Photo by Chuck Miller.

All right.  I’ve got this Kodak Ektar film packed in a Raskolnikov cartridge, may as well use it for something.

Last Saturday, I drove over to Washington Park.  The snow had almost melted away, and I wanted to see if I could get a nice panoramic shot of the Soldiers and Sailors monument.

Now for this one, I should have used the Svema film.  But no, I pulled out the Kodak Ektar 100 color film.  And on a cloudy day, with a camera that has one fixed f-stop (approximately f/5.6), I should have waited until another day.

But not me.  For better or for worse, I went for another photographic experiment.

Experiment with Krasnogorsk ФT-2 “Raskolnikov” camera

PARAMETERS: To photograph a panoramic shot at Washington Park in Albany, N.Y.


SOFTWARE: One roll of Kodak Ektar 100 color film.

 Kodak Ektar 35mm

☭ ONWARD, COMRADE! ☭

And although I did get a reasonably good shot of the monument, I could only get the monument in an angled “profile” shot; any shots I took that were straight-on eventually produced crop-topped monument pictures.  I wasn’t far enough away from the monument to get a decent shot (the camera has sharp focus from five meters to infinity), and I was just too close to the monument.  Argh.

I did get this shot, though…  if it means anything…

Soldiers and Sailors monument, Albany, N.Y.
Soldiers and Sailors monument, Albany, N.Y. Krasnogorsk FT-2 camera, Kodak Ektar 100 film. Photo by Chuck Miller.

I guess I can take some solace from these failed photo experiments.  I did get images from them, and I’m getting more comfortable with Raskolnikov’s positives and minuses.  In other words, I’m “dialing it in.”

And as much as I would love to take perfect photos every time with this camera, I’m going to make mistakes.  And it’s only in the process of learning from these mistakes and errors that I can eventually create award-winning constructs and breathtaking imagery.

It’s like understanding that you know how to throw a javelin… but the true skill is to throw the javelin so that you don’t face-plant in the process.

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