Oh, the sweet joy and mild anguish of packing cameras for a trip when you used to have GAS and therefore now have something of a collection. I quite enjoy it, but I do spend a sometimes-embarrassing amount of time thinking about what camera (and film) to bring on a certain trip. There really is no perfect camera to me, rather, I appreciate different things about different cameras – and would happily cherry-pick their best features and make my own imaginary super-camera. A girl can dream. But surely anything over 3 cameras is a bit over the top for one week in Tbilisi? To me, it is. I even like the idea of owning and using only one camera, but I guess that’s just not me.
I finally decided on Konica Auto s3, still new to me with the exception of half a test roll, and point and shoot Canon Prima AS-1, the widest I ever go with 32mm. I had really high expectations for the Auto S3, partly due to a text on this page, and I got really lucky – one late night when browsing “Swedish ebay” Tradera, I stumbled upon a newly listed one with a buy now-price of 300 SEK (which is 24 GBP), fully working and suplied with both lens cover and hood. Even battery was working.
Along with the cameras went two rolls of Lomography 400 (also new to me), one Portra 400, two Superia 400 and one expired Kodak plus-x 125.
There was one little mishap: one of the six rolls I shot in Tbilisi never really got shot, as the film didn’t wind properly. That was a first for me, and a sad thing to happen on a vacation. I learned something I guess, and at least it was a Superia and not Lomo or Portra. I finally decided I don’t really like Superia.
Lomo 400 on the contrary – that one I fell in love with. Almost as much as Tbilisi (and Georgia, even though we only did have time for a small excursion out in the countryside). Tbilisi: beautiful, architecturally diverse, absolutely delicious food, the birthplace of wine, kind and funny people, very interesting history. Lomo 400: punchy but natural-looking colors, flattering skin tones on pale people, seems to handle underexposure alright.
I should point out I couldn’t immediately tell the one Portra roll apart from the Lomos (when shot in the same camera) when I got the scans. Some photos from the Portra roll actually look quite saturated and contrasty, perhaps that says something about the Auto s3? If I should (try to) spot a difference, I would say Lomo has slightly higher contrast and saturation, but not by much. Greens looked very green on both Portra and Lomo, and that surely says something about Tbilisi. A bit darker and more emerald with Lomo perhaps, but those pictures are not included here. The first and fourth picture here are Portra, others Lomo.
And about the Auto s3? I like it. I’ll keep using it. Perhaps this summer it’ll be my main companion, as Olympus XA was last summer. I’m not blown away, or infatuated as never before, but everything is just very nice: size and stealth, usage and control, the f1.8 aperture and of course the rendering and images.