First Roll From The Exa Is Back

f/2.9, 1/100

I sent the first roll from the Exa off and the scans were done today. I also sent off the mystery roll from the Yashica. Sadly, the Yashica roll didn’t have anything on it. I was pretty sure it was completely used, but maybe it got loaded but never exposed. Or maybe after 35 years, it was just undevelopable. The negatives are being sent back, so I’ll have a look at them myself in a few days.

EDIT: For those that have no idea what this is about, read this post first.

But on to the roll from Exa that I took. The film I shot with was Fujicolor Superia X-tra 400 that I found in the house. It’s probably 20 years old. These shots were really just to get a feel for the camera and to see how it performed. I did run the scans through Lightroom for some very minor color and contrast adjustments.


As far as the camera, it’s fickle. When shooting at f/2.9 (the largest aperture) it’s hard to get the focus on exactly what you want. Like the cat picture. I wanted the head in focus but I was a little off. Looking down through the viewfinder is a little weird, but I’ll get used to it.

The depth of field at f/2.9 is really really shallow on this thing. Even f/4 is really shallow. Another issue is that when shooting at 1/25, the camera gets enough shake to make everything a little fuzzy. The shutter button is on the front face of the body. Pressing it contributes to the movement. The shutter itself also causes a lot of vibration. I think a tripod and release cable should be enough to get crisp shots every time at 1/25.

Here are the pics in the order they were taken. Some are of the same thing in different conditions and/or with different settings. I’ve put the settings for each picture in the caption.

f/2.9, 1/100

Selfie in the mirror. I probably moved a hair after setting the focus and put the mirror out of range. I could probably get away with f/4 and 1/50.

f/5.6, 1/50

I thought there was enough light for this shot. I guess not. Not even close.

f/2.9, 1.25

This came out exactly like I thought it would.

f/2.9, 1.50

These first outdoor day shots were on a very overcast afternoon.

f/2.9, 1/100

Photographing red objects sucks.

f/2.9, 1/25

Camera vibration at 1/25.

f/4, 1/25
f/4, 1/25

On these two, I set the focus at 40 feet. With f/4, the field depth should have extended to infinity. It did not. The 1/25 shakes also mucked them up. On the second one, you can see the tree is almost in focus. It suffered from less shake, but you can clearly see the field depth isn’t what I thought it would be.

f/2.9, 1/100

I was trying to get some more flowers in focus, but again, the tricky viewfinder made it hard to do.

f/4, 1/50

Again, the shallow depth of field and the slightest movement put my subject out of the focal area. Even at f/4, there is no wiggle room.

Now on to the picture shot in bright sunshine.

f/2.9, 1/150
f/11, 1/50

With two very different apertures, red still sucks.

f/2.9, 1/150
f/11, 1/150

Same shot, different aperture. Also, unlike the same shot from the cloudy day, the focus was set to infinity.

f/5.6, 1/150

This picture sucks. I think I triggered the shutter before I was ready.

f/8, 1/150

The pelican was stitting on the sign. He flew off right as I went to take the picture. I flinched and tried to bail on shot, but it was too late as I hit the button. Oh well.

f/4, 1/150
f/8, 1/50

Same shot, different apertures and focus settings. The top was set at 40 feet which should have extended to infinity but nope. The bottom was set at infinity and came out how I expected the first one to. Live and learn.

f/8, 1/150

The focus was set at 20 feet, which should have got everything past the first two trees in focus. Nope.

f/5, 1/150

The focus was set at 40 feet again and should have extended beyond to infinity. Nope. A nice section of water about 40 feet out is perfectly in focus. Had this been set to infinity, it would have worked.

f/2.9, 1/00

This was just the same as one of the cloudy day shots with a different shutter speed to compare exposure levels.

f/11, 1/50

For the last shot, I went with something a little more interesting. I focused on the flowers and wanted the tall palm in the distance to be slightly out of focus with that lovely clear blue sky softening up the whole scene. I didn’t notice the top of that other tree sticking up in the weird viewfinder, but whatever. I may edit that out just because I really really like this shot.


So what did I learn from this test roll? Infinity will still give a great depth of field. Be very careful when shooting something within 10 feet at anything larger than f/8. Shooting at 1/25 is risky without a tripod and shutter release cable (which I just got for both the Exa and Yashica). The bokeh from this lens is fucking amazing.

Now that I know the quirks, it’s time to get weird. Next up is long exposures at night and maybe some double exposures. I also just took the Yashica out for a few shots tonight and hope to finish the roll by the end of the weekend.

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