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Shooting race cars on film using Minolta cameras | SNAP 55 automotive lifestyle and motorsport photography sony alpha
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I’m a big fan of shooting film, but lets be honest it’s a pain in the ass and costs a fortune. But once I planned my 2 day trip to the Silverstone Classic I figured I’d take along the JUGERNAUGHT and the BEERCAN with a few rolls of B&W and see what kind of damage I could do. It’s just backpack space right? The Beer’Jug “only” weighs about 1 metric ton right?

What the hell are the JUGERNAUGHT and BEERCAN? When I look for something to buy I generally look for some unique technology. And oddly, that always drives me to Minolta cameras and continuing on with Sony. I wanted to buy the cheapest, best, most advanced, film SLR in the world and without a doubt that is the Minolta Dynax 7, my JUGERNAUGHT! The lens is the somewhat legendary Minolta AF 70-201 F4, called the BEERCAN because it’s shaped like a kick ass 40 oz can of beer.

In order to increase the number of “keepers” I cheated with my settings. I first used my Sony A7 and F4 70-200 to get settings that produced the largest number of “keepers”. Those shots with the car in good focus, but with some background blur and most important tire rotational blur. I then transferred those settings to the Jug’ using it’s handy dandy LCD panel and started shooting.

So far the best method I have for shooting cars at speed is to go full manual focus and pre-focus on an area of the track, then shoot burst through that area.

Since your subject isolation will come from motion blur instead of depth of field blur, you can really close down the aperture so you don’t have to worry about making sure the car is in the depth for sharp focus. Shooting in that way got me more keepers than I thought I would out of 2 rolls of film. I love the look of these images on black and white film, I wish I had shot many many more.

I only shot 2 rolls of film this time, and interestingly I have now found out they are potentially the same chemical formula. Ilford may make the Rollei RPX 100 film that I used. Even though the ISO is different the look is almost, if not 100% identical. So if you can’t get any Ilford HP5+, Rollei RPX 100 is seemingly the exact same thing, and vice versa!

Maybe next time I’ll shoot an entire day on film, it’s just so damn expensive. But using my cheater method for settings I’m not wasting that much film. It would be great to capture an entire event only on film, maybe next year!


Silverstone Classic 16′

World Endurance Championship Silverstone

Grand Prix of Silverstone