The Leaf Shutter And The GT 40 - Look Into The Lens

on March 31, 2015

Those of you who operate the Hasselblad 500-series cameras can go to coffee. As can the users of Fujifilm X-10, X-20, X-30, X-100 series, Canonets, Bessamatics, and Crown Graphics. The rest of you stick around.

The reason they have gone is they know what the leaf shutter can do in bright sunlight. And you can stop laughing - yes, I know they can stick open or go slow but if you have them serviced regularly by Ernest you won't have that problem. What I mean is they can synch with flash at high speed.

Ah, you say, I have this setting on my super flash that says high-speed synch and there is a setting in the menu that says hyper-super flash and if I download an app and send a command to Cheyenne Mountain I can get mine to synch at 1/250 of a second...good for you - at least you recognise that you need to do something - but leaf shutters do it so simply.

The shot you see was taken in bright Sunday sun on a community oval. The ISO was 200, the aperture was f:11, and the camera - a Fujifilm X-100 - could be left to its own devices to deal with the exposure of the background. The fill flash was an old Metz Cl-1 that could be set onto one of the automatic settings and left to IT's own devices. All I had to do was stroll around and point the thing at the Cobra cars.

Never mind thinking or apps or the superhyper whatever. If I wanted the background darker, I dialled the compensation dial on the X-100 to - 1 or -2. If I wanted the car brighter I dialled the Metz to one click higher. I never did have to go to a full power dump - even in full sun.

Those of you who want art can do otherwise - modifying the light or tilting the horizon or draping dead fish on the cars just as you please. I am delighted with the sort of fast clear illustration that a Fujifilm leaf shutter camera produces. And when there are subjects that are exotic, colourful, and available like the GT40 Ford I get exactly what want.

Note - when you are taking race car pictures you have to squat down a lot. Three formula ones and a sports car equals a half hour at the gym.