I took the Exa to the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg with a roll of 3M Scotch 100 color film.

First, for those who don’t know. This is the Exa Version 1. It was originally owned by my wife’s grandfather. It was made in 1951/52. It was one of, if not, the first affordable interchangeable lens SLR camera.

I found the film in a dresser drawer that had a bunch of random crap in it. It was in that drawer for a very long time. I was pretty sure it was unexposed. I had to pull a few inches out to check for teeth marks or any evidence that it had been run through a camera. The 3M Scotch film is apparently very sought after by expired film buffs.

It takes a little time to frame a shot and focus it with this camera, so Friday seemed like the best day to bring it to the race. Looking down through the viewfinder, left and right are reversed, which is weird. Using the viewfinder in the bright sun is not ideal, which can lead to the focus being a little off.

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I didn’t try anything too crazy, though I did try some panning shots (see the header pic). I tried to take the same types of pictures as I took with my DSLR. Because I pulled a few inches of film out to examine it, I lost some useable frames.

The film itself is interesting. The colors are nice, which is why it is sought after. I found it to be excessively grainy for a 150 film. But it had been stored loose (not in a container) in a drawer for who knows how long, so it probably wasn’t in top form.

My take-away the recent film shooting is that I really love the Exa, but it is to be used when I have time to stand around and set up the shot. The Yashica Electro 35 would have been the better choice to take to the race. I really, really love the expired Fujicolor Superia X-TRA 400 that I found in a kitchen drawer (see it in use with the Exa here and the Yashica here). I love that film so much that I just bought six rolls of it on Ebay tonight.

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And with all that rambling done, here are the pics. Finally. I did adjust the contrast of the negative scans just a bit, and maybe adjusted the white balance a little, too. Nothing that couldn’t be done in the darkroom when making prints.

The first ones here are the panning shots. The last in this group is just a shot from the grandstands with Tampa Bay in the background.

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The rest are from the paddock.

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I wish I would have waited a little longer to pull out the Exa. I wasn’t quite in “the zone” yet that day as far as finding things to take pictures of. Oh well... next time.