5 Frames with FPP Low ISO 1.6, Pentax *ist and 50mm f/1.4

I had to learn that it is good to trust the camera sometimes. especially if it is a camera that has rarely let you down. I tried my first roll of this film in a prior post on my blog. ISO 1.6 was outside of my comfort zone and I waffled on how best to expose. Go for the manual settings recommended on FPP’s website or set the camera up appropriately (ISO 6 and +2 exposure). And the results were as mixed as my approach to exposure. Went with an odd duck SIGMA SA-7N that time around. The camera’s exposure-ing worked out far better than the manual settings. Predictable. What was less predictable and a bit baffling was the flares and other light-related aberrations.

FPP Sun Color ISO 1

Not sure what happened with the flaring but as far as the exposure goes I decided that I would no longer second guess the camera. I have used 200, 400, and 800 ISO film enough that I can somewhat guesstimate exposure settings if I had to. ISO 1.6? I do not stand a chance.

This time the tool of choice was the Pentax *ist and FA 50mm f/1.4 lens. I used the same settings as my first roll, ISO 6 and +2 exposure compensation.

Sidebar: I find it interesting that these inexpensive SLRs are able to accommodate such a low ISO while two, more fancy pants cameras, namely the Konica RF for example, could not. That low of an ISO would not allow me to dial in any exposure compensation. A win for the inexpensive odd ducks.

So… ISO 6 with +2 exposure comp, carry the two, and hello ISO 1.5 or thereabouts. This time I ignored something that threw me last time. The broad daylight manual setting suggestions from FPP’s website. Last time I second guessed the camera on and off all day… and found out afterward that I should have trusted the camera. I decided not to repeat this mistake.

Unlike last time I did not attempt any low light interior shots and stayed with broad daylight. As usual developed at home with Cinestill CS41.

The resulting pics this time? All are properly exposed. All 24 (All FPP saw fit to give.) came out and here are five of my favorites from the roll. Choosing 5 was more difficult than usual since I liked a good many of these photos.

Pentax *ist - 50mm f/1.4

Pentax *ist - 50mm f/1.4

Pentax *ist - 50mm f/1.4

Pentax *ist - 50mm f/1.4

Pentax *ist - 50mm f/1.4

Well, that wraps up my foray into ultra low ISO films. Will I buy more? I am glad I imagined you asked. At first, I thought likely not. Simply put there were insufficient tangible IQ advantages to outweigh the limitations of using such a low ISO. But it does have a unique look and trying something different was fun though so who knows?

I appreciate having this opportunity to share my experiences with these lenses.

Eric L. Woods

I shoot a variety of new and old digital and film cameras. Industrial Engineer by education, IT is my vocation, and I really enjoy using, testing, and writing about cameras. All three of the latter are very therapeutic exercises for me. If you are so inclined my blog address is ewoodsphoto.com and I can be found on twitter and Instagram. All the best to you.

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4 thoughts on “5 Frames with FPP Low ISO 1.6, Pentax *ist and 50mm f/1.4”

  1. Very interesting, Eric, and some nice results. Definitely an “out there” film! It’s difficult to tell on my screen so…. what is the grain like? I’d like to think it’s incredible but, you never know.

    1. Hello Will. The grain is very fine. Very impressive. If you click on the images you should be able to zoom in on them in Flickr. Than you for reading and your comments.

  2. It is fortunate, I think, that these odd films are available for experimentation and what not. I try things like this from time to time and it always helps me to think about what I am doing, and can at times produce some very interesting images. It spices up a shoot. I like your chair shot very much and the colors with the Pentax shots are fun. That first picture with all the dust and flares, are you sure you didn’t double expose it? I only ask as if you turn it sideways with the left side becoming the top, the flare looks a bit like a forest scene. Maybe not but it is an odd shape for a flare. Thanks for your post!

    1. Thank you David. I agree with you about experimenting with odd films. Regarding that first shot a double exposure is as good an explanation as any. But that camera and film combination created flares on quite a few frames so I am not sure what was going on. This only happened when using this same film with the SIGMA SA-7N and I am not sure why. Has not happened with that camera and any other film. Has not happened with that film and any other camera, as I ended up confirming in this post. I do know that if I do use this film again it will be with the Pentax *ist. A great little camera. Thank you again for your kind words.

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