35mm Film Shoot

Posted: August 8, 2014 in motorcycle racing, Photography, Racing
Tags: , ,


Last weekend I had a event at Square Deal Riders Flattrack in Hapuresville, NY. I am the track photographer there, and have been shooting races there since 2009. The place is wonderful, great people run the events, and great riders participate in the races. The riders support me by buying prints from me on a regular basis.

After five years of shooting it is tough to get something different that the riders will like. I move around the track area, inside, outside, turn one, turn 3, you name it I have shot it. So last weekend I brought along my Minolta X700 35mm Film camera. This is just like the one I used when I was shooting for GATOR Racing News back in the 80″s. I loaded up a roll of ASA 400 film and went to the infield to get some shots. I had my Canon DSLR with me as well to make sure I captured the nights events. The film camera was just something that I wanted to try, and see what I could get with it.


With a 50mm 1.7 lens mounted on the front of my X700 I was ready to give it a shot. I started in turn one on the infield. I prefocused on a area of the turn where I wanted to capture the riders as they flew by. My shutter speed was 1000, and my aperture was set at f8. It was a sunny day so I needed to cut down the light with the aperture. This camera only goes up to 1000 shutter speed. Not like my Canon 7D that goes up to 8000 shutter speed. During practice I snapped a few shots and went back to my DSLR to get some good shots of the riders as they made a few hot laps. All I had was 24 shots on this roll of film, I filled it fast during second round of practice. I saved my second roll for later on in the night during the heat races.


At first it was weird shooting blind, I mean not knowing what my exposer was, or how the composition was. I thought that I was getting everything in the frame, and I hoped the exposure was good. My meter was saying it was good so thats what I went with. I continued to shoot with my 7D for the most part getting 300 shots within 25 minutes. Isn’t that crazy? one camera I had 24 exposers, and no way to see what I was getting, and with my DSLR I filled a card with 300 images, and I knew exactly what I was getting for shots. It felt good using my Minolta, I was getting into it.

During the heat races the sun was still out so I wanted to burn up that second roll before sundown. Well that was no problem with only 24 shots. A couple times while I was pre focusing I snapped a couple shots of the track, bummer “not cool”. After I snapped my final shot on the Minolta I put it away and got back to business with my 7D. It was a great night of racing at SDR as it always is.

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Sunday morning I woke up early to get started on my images, so I can get them done and uploaded to my site for the riders to enjoy. After a couple hours of editing I took my Film to Walgreens to get them developed. I was nervous and excited to get them back, just like back in the 80’s. As my images were uploading to my site http://johnzacharyphotography.com I ran out to pickup my prints. Boy was I shocked when I went to the register to pay for them. $30 for 48 prints? WOW I hope they are decent. So when I got home I opened them up, and well they are ok, but not digital. The colors are bland and the sharpness is soft. I don’t think the lab does any color correction, or anything. They just run them through and put them in a envelope. I put a few of them in my scanner, and imported them into light room to try and bring them to life.

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I messed around with them for a while, and got some keepers from the two rolls. I like the Black n white images a lot better than the color prints. Next time I plan on shooting Black n White and developing the film my self. Then I can scan them into lightroom for editing. All n All the prints came out ok, and I will shoot a little different next time I shoot film. I do plan on shooting more film and trying to capture something different from the normal stuff. Stay tuned for more images from my film cameras. I just picked up a Agfa that I plan on shooting a roll of color film through. Like me on face book at John Zachary Photography to keep up with all of my photo shoots.



  1. jzachary15 says:

    Reblogged this on BUZWORD and commented:

    Shooting film again

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