I finally got some 120 film, to use with the Minolta Autocord, and have tried to get some shots that I never got around to with the Canon. Capturing images with the Autocord was a bit troubling to use at first, because the camera gives so little feedback. At least much less than a DSLR.
There’s obviously no instant review on the Autocord, like almost any DSLR. No way to confirm that you have gotten the aperture and shutter speed correct, and that the image is properly exposed. But while shooting with the Autocord, I’ve learned that there are several other visual and audio cues that I’ve become accustomed to from shooting with DSLR’s that are not present in the Autocord. For instance I am accustomed to the image in the viewfinder going blank when the shutter button is pressed. That tells me the mirror has rolled out of the way so the image that was being reflected into the eye piece is now falling onto the film. The Autocord, being a Twin Lens Reflex (TLR) camera, it has two lenses, one lens dedicated to viewing the image, and one dedicated to capturing the image. The dedicated lenses mean that there’s no need to roll a mirror out of the way. As a result, there is no blanking of the image in the eye piece when the shutter is pressed. The mirror roll up of an SLR provides an audible and tactile feedback. It’s the CURCHUNK sound you hear, and slightly feel when you capture an image. A very satisfying sound, that tells everyone within earshot that someone has just taken a picture. There’s no CURCHUNK when capturing an image with the Autocord, because the mirror doesn’t need to be moved. In fact for several years, I thought this camera was broken, because pressing the shutter button only yields the slightest click as the shutter opens and closes. I associated the CURCHUNK of an SLR with a healthy camera, and wrongly deemed my Autocord a broken relic because it didn’t sound healthy. It wasn’t until recently, when I slowed the shutter speed down to about a second that I actually heard the opening and closing of the shutter, but if there’s much noise in the room, you’ll hear nothing at all. The final difference that I’ll mention here is the image in the view scree. The image is simply reflected from the viewing lens, off a mirror, and onto a ground glass screen. As a result the image is inverted left to right. What you see on the left of the view screen is actually on the right of you. That’s taking some time to get use to, but I’m getting there.
All in all a very different experience. There’s no meter on this camera, so Sunny 16 has been my friend, and “The Ultimate Exposure Computer” (shown above) has been my buddy. When either of those leave me puzzled, I defer to a light meter.
I’m looking forward to posting the results from my first roll of 120. Good or bad, I’ll post all twelve.