It is truly too bad that I dropped and damaged my Pentax IQZoom 170SL earlier this year. My first replacement was a dud. My second works, but I’m getting a lot of blurred photos. Am I just being careless with the camera? Is there something not quite right with this one? My first 170SL was a little magic machine that just delivered, shot after shot. I’m not aware that I’m handling this 170SL any differently.
I brought it to the annual car show in Lions Park in Zionsville. A roll of Kodak Max 400 was in the camera when it arrived, so I shot it. Turns out it was quite expired.
I continued with a roll of Kodak ColorPlus. The lab that has been developing my color film lately sells this film at a good price, so I bought a couple rolls. I’m deciding now that I just don’t like this film very much. The colors aren’t to my liking (the reds are especially oversaturated, and have an orange tinge), and it has a lot of grain.
I finished with a roll of good old Fujicolor 200. I stocked up on the Japan-made Fujicolor 200 before it disappeared from store shelves. Unfortunately, fully half of the images on this roll suffered from shake and were not usable. Now, I had flash turned off for all of these images. It’s possible that led to shutter speeds slow enough that shake would be a risk. But leaving flash on to fill, and get faster shutter speeds, would have led to reflection washouts in these cars’ paint.
This 170SL handled just as I expected. I’ve not done a lot of close work with a 170SL before. The camera focuses from about three to four feet, depending on how zoomed in you are. For these close shots I stood about four feet away and just zoomed in to frame things as I wanted. It worked out well.
I need to test my theory about fill flash being off. I will put another roll of film through it soon, trying flash on and flash off at various focal lengths. I’ll also be extra, extra careful to hold the camera steady, and see if the problem persists.
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