Gear Review: Viltrox 35mm f/2 for Sony E Mount

The whole process of putting the video review together was a huge headache, so I am going to keep this short. Real short. 

The lens is gross and I don't like it - even for the price.

You can hear more about my curmudgeony opinion in my terrible video mini review here: 

For the rest of this review I will just post some pictures I took in the few days that I tested it. I never even got around to giving it a real test since I liked it so little. Enjoy!

My First Roll Of Film - David + Hayley | Ventura, CA

After nearly 10 years as a photographer, I finally shot and had my 1st roll of film developed and scanned. It's something I've wanted to do for years, but just never saw it through.

About 8 years ago I bought some old gear from a friend, including a Canon 50e and some old 35mm film. I put in my first roll of film and fired away. I took my first roll into the local Walgreens to have it developed, but they said their machines couldn't develop this type of film. I tried another store and they shipped it off to a lab to have it processed. A couple weeks later I came back to pick it up, but they told me the lab couldn't process it. No one would develop this type of film anymore. Frustrated with the whole experience, I gave up the whole venture. Film was dead anyway right? Jk, in the next few years through the wave of hipster retro coolness, it blew up. My loss.

About 3 years ago my wife picked up where I left off and shot a roll of 35mm film. We had it developed at Costco, they threw away the negatives and gave us some 4X6 prints. I asked if we could get digital copies and they said no, they don't do that any more. Lame. Another attempt fell by the wayside.  

Fast forward to a few weeks ago, I finally have a little extra time and I am eager to try something new. Film! I'm going to give it a go again! We had an upcoming engagement shoot in Ventura, I knew Kim's photos would be downright groovy-awesome as they always are, we had a totally bodacious couple to shoot, and the golden salty air waves of downtown Ventura - what better time to shoot a roll film? I loaded a new roll of film and prepped everything the night before to insure it was ready to go the next day. The next day I woke up, and to my dismay found the back door of the camera hanging wide open. What the deuce!? I looked at the latch and it had crumbled to pieces. There was no getting that door closed. "That's cool," I thought trying to collect myself, "I wanted to run by Dexter's Camera on the way any way. I'm sure they'll have something."  A quick pit stop, turned into over an 1 hour pit stop. They couldn't fix my camera, so I thought I'd just pick up an old 35mm point and shoot. It's the same film either way. The first one I choose won't even turn on. I finally settle on another and grab a roll of expired "Vons 200 speed film" from the bin on the counter. I get to the car to test it out and it keeps misfiring. After pressing the shutter a couple dozen times, I can only get it to take 2 exposures before it rolls all the film back into the canister. Now I have 2 broken cameras and the film I just bought is inaccessible and has 2 wasted shots on it. I'm really frustrated at this point, but I'm determined not to give up this time. I take it in for a  partial refund, he retrieves the retracted film, and suggests I try duct taping my original camera shut.  No idea if this going to work, I go ahead and give it a try, load the partially used and expired film, set the ISO to 400 so I can pull it 1 stop (only to find out later I did this backwards and pushed it 1 stop), Gorilla tape the heck out of the camera and pray it works.

All that to say, I'm really excited to blog my very first roll film. Despite all the headaches, not knowing if the camera was sealed enough, what the expired film was going to look like, messing up my push/pull settings by 2 stops and now coming back with ultra grainy images, I'm still really happy with the results. 

A special thanks to David and Hayley for making this shoot really fun, and to my wife for putting up with me during the whole process. Enjoy!