Category Archives: home processing

Return to the Diana F+

Hello fellow covidians, today I decided to try a few pinhole photos. World Pinhole Day is at the end of this month, so why not spend some of this time to return to that format. Just before the “events” I sold my Ondu pinhole camera in order to get a new lens for my digital camera. I haven’t missed it at all, but now I didn’t own a pinhole camera…or did I??

Oh Yeah, the Diana F+ has a pinhole setting. Also, I could use some of the regular lenses to finish the film. I decided to use an old TMax film, that has been lying around for a while.

The pinhole of the Diana has a diameter of about f150. My phone light meter said that would be about a 5 minute exposure inside and about 30 seconds outside as it was cloudy. Roughly. Throughout the process the main issue I had was getting the shutter stopper thingy in the right place.

I wandered around my house and garden, as the government has requested and took a few photos.

Developed the film…

The film looks pink as it needed longer in the fix, or so a knowledgeable friend told me.

These are the results from my Diana Day.

As always I am a bit disappointed with the pinhole results. I expected the shots to be much wider and sharper. I think this camera might be on my “to sell” list when all this is over. For the remaining shots I tried a few different settings.

The fisheye.

The 55mm with the flash.

Poor dad, he hasn’t been away from the home for 15 days now.

The 55mm without the flash.

Bear hunt bears for the local kids.

Yeah, I think I might sell this set-up. The film didn’t really help matters. The combination really isn’t my favourite. Hey, covid quiz…can you find the film numbers and kodak impressions from the paper on the photos?

Anyway, I much prefer Holga cameras to Lomography. I might sell this and use the money for a 120 Holga.

Kodak Six-20 Brownie Model E

This was one of the cleaner examples of Brownies from my job lot. I gave it an extra clean as the front pops off easily and, well, I could. It is also one of the prettiest from the collection. Look at it.

There are two versions of this camera, this is the second which was released between 1953-57. You can tell the difference by the horizontally striped design faceplate, plastic winding knob, and a plastic shutter release button. This version of the Brownie has more features than most models.

  • A built-in sliding portrait lens for close-ups
  • A yellow filter for use with black and white film, adding contrast
  • 2-pin flash contacts…though you might not be able to use them
  • Tripod sockets for landscape and portrait photos
  • A shutter lock stops double or accidental exposures…though I do think I got a couple of them on my test roll
  • A cable release socket

I loaded mine with Fuji Acros and took it to Wales for the weekend, though I did take all the shots at one destination…Goodrich castle. I decided on that destination as I have just bought membership to English Heritage. Basically for the cost of visiting this location was more expensive than the monthly fee, so why the hell not. This year I have decided to resurrect my other blog and want to visit more castles and stuff. But this blog is about the camera.

…And this camera was great. It just worked. The shutter release was a tiny bit juddery, but nothing serious. The viewfinders were big and bright, though you do have to look at just the right angle. The only thing that detracts from this version of the Brownie is the Six-20 in the name, meaning you have to respool 120 film in order to use it more smoothly.

But respool it I did, and here are the shots I got from this camera. Actually a couple of the shots were taken by the person in the photos. She is now the proud owner of this camera and has set herself the goal of learning to use it and develop a roll of film.

These are the shots from that excursion.

The first couple of shots do look like there is a double exposure, and that is possible on this camera. I can’t be totally sure as I wasn’t holding the camera the whole time the film was inside. But for a 60+ year old camera, the results are very nice. If you are going to get a Brownie then this version is a great one to have…apart from the re-rolling of course.

Kershaw Eight-20 Penguin

This is the second crappy photo post for the day after my break. It is disappointing to post crappy photos, but as this blog is a record of the cameras I have used, I decided to go ahead and post them anyway.

The camera was in the job lot of box brownie cameras and as it was a nice day I decided to try it out. Because it is called penguin!!! How cool is that. Besides that, look at it…

I also decided to try it out because I had some expired film left and thought, why not. It turned out it wasn’t such a great decision for a number of reasons.

  1. There was no viewfinder on the camera. I ended up using a spirit level attached to the camera with bluetack and guessed the rest.
  2. My chemicals were expired, bugger!
  3. I could not get the film out of the camera, the winder knob was stuck.
  4. I took the camera to Conisborough Castle and when I saw the tower I couldn’t help myself and climbed it….I am not supposed to put any extra strain on my knees right now…but…castle!

Anyway, apart from the missing viewfinder there didn’t seem to be much else wrong with the camera. It is a simple, metal, folding camera from around 1951. There are two aperture choices f11 or f16, one speed – probably 1/50th, and a distance scale that moves from 6ft to infinity. That is it. As you can see on the photos I put tape around mine as I can’t confident it would be light tight, funnily, I didn’t check the bellows as they seemed to be in very good condition.

So as I said, I used a spirit level to try and keeps things straight and for the most part that worked fine, I might use it on other box cameras. But, as I said my chemicals had issues, something you don’t know until this happens. Once developed the film was opaque which makes me think my fixer was exhausted. The only problem with that theory is that another film developed after was fine. Oh well, it still gives me a chance to see what the camera can do.

I honestly couldn’t be bothered to get rid of any hairs. There are a couple of shots that are obviously not straight. I found the shutter button to be quite sensitive and it took the photo while I was playing with the camera.

So final result. This is a camera that will look nice on a shelf, but not worth the effort to use it with film. I am going to donate it to a film project I was asked about. Someone contacted me for old cameras to go in a display, here, have this one 🙂

Developing E6 Slide film in Black and White chemicals

Hello again, I have a few posts in my draft folder so I feel more at ease now. Plus the days are getting longer and I have been able to get out. My knee is healing so all is well in the world. That being said I think I will start posting a few things again. And this post is exactly what it says on the tin. I wondered what would happen if I developed some slide film in black and white chemicals, if the title didn’t let you know that already.

When I research the idea every post said, don’t be daft, why would you bother. But I want to bother, because I can be bothered. So in the end I decided to do it anyway. I took a few shots and developed them in Kodak d-76 1:1 concentration for 16 minutes at 18 degrees. Then fixed it for 10 minutes. There were no recipes out there so I decided to try the same times with a longer fix as when I tried c-41 in black and white chemicals. I also over exposed the film by a few stops for good measure, it was expired film so it couldn’t hurt.

So what were the results?

The negatives were very dense due to the film’s base layer. The end results were very much like the C41 results. Oh, I didn’t see the point in de-hairing them. So at the end of the day, with lots of light and lots of contrast, the shots are interesting-ish. Nothing worse than some very old black and white film I have tried before.

It was an interesting experiment. One that I doubt I will repeat.

Kodak Duaflex

Finally, finally!!!! a day with a tiny bit of sun and brightness and I just happened to have camera fully loaded and ready to try. This is the very smart looking Kodak Duaflex which was available in the UK between 1949-1955.

If you want a closer look at this camera, I found a really neat 3D model of it here.

Mine is in pretty good condition considering the age. It has a 75 mm Kodet lens with a fixed aperture of f15. I would guess the shutter speed is about 1/50th or less. There is an option for bulb setting, but that is it really. I have seen a few posts on instagram or blogs about attaching a digital camera to the enormous viewfinder. My example is a little dirty, but still very bright and clear. I might be tempted to clean it and try this type of photography. The square shape of the camera means this type of photography might not be too tricky…now I am even more tempted, but I think I will wait for the spring and longer, brighter days.

As for this camera in its current state, I like it. I liked using it, I like how it looks and I love how the shots came out. They have a definite look to them, a real tapering off of sharpness. I used mine at a local park during a few minutes of sun.

I am definitely going to try this camera again, maybe some portraits to really show off the bizarre focusing effect.

Here are a couple of the images quickly processed using the Snapseed app on my android phone.

Kodak Instamatic 33

This camera came as part of a job lot and it meant, finally, I had a clean instamatic. One that seemed to work perfectly, one that I might be able to use the Fakmatic in with relative ease. Having previously tried the adapter and failed, I had given it away. I cheekily asked the receiver if there was a possibility of getting it back and voila, another chance for the 3D printed device. There are other ways of using instamatic cameras, like reusing an old cartridge or adapting a 35mm roll as in this video but I really wanted to use the fakmatic.

This instamatic was manufactured from 1968 to 1973 and accepted 126 cartridge film. It has a fixed-focus lens and a two-speed shutter – 1/40sec and 1/80 sec. You select the speeds with the weather symbols on the front of the camera. The aperture is set at f11 for the 43mm lens.

If you watched the fakmatic video you will hear that you have to take a photo, then expose another photo while covering the lens in that pattern. That way you avoid getting overlapped images.

I seem to say this all the time recently, but the weather here has been awful. I managed to use the film ready for home developing over a few days. It was hard to know when the film was finished as I could not hear any squeaking and there were no numbers to check. So once I thought I had taken enough shots I put the cartridge in a light tight bag and felt for the sprockets of the film. I could still feel them, that mean there was still film left. So I took a few more shots, then I repeated the process. The next time I could not feel the sprockets meaning the film was finished.

There were some overlaps, and the beginning of the film was fogged where I loaded it into the camera. One side of the film had the image over the sprockets, but I didn’t scan those to include them.

I kept the camera set to cloudy which meant an exposure of 1/40th at f11. Mostly the exposure is ok, I over developed the film as I though the conditions meant they might be underexposed.

The results look very soft in terms of focusing. They remind me of something from a pinhole camera. All in all I did not enjoy using the camera and I am not keen on the results. I doubt I will be using an instamatic again. Though I have to change my opinion of the fakmatic, that worked really well.

Film Washi S 50 ISO Experience

I bought two rolls of this film ages ago and since then the weather has been absolutely rubbish, dark, grey, and wet. Which, as it turned out, was perfect for reducing the contrast of this very contrasty film. So Washi S, you can read all about the film and its history here. That blog also includes some sample shots. And there is a data sheet here, with some shooting tips.

I decided to put my first roll in my Canon IV SB2 because it had an f1.4 lens and I have only used it once since getting it CLA’d. That is a shame and a tragedy in camera terms. I took it for a wet walk around Dalton Bank Nature Reserve to see some rural graffiti and into Leeds for some “lines”.

Once finally finished, I developed the film in Kodak D76. I have to say the processed film is one of the clearest I have ever seen. I think I am so used to Fomapan with the blue tint, I have forgotten what other films look like. Anyway, here are some of my results.

As you can see, the film is indeed very contrasty. VERY. I think it works well for the lines and patterns, but not so well for run of the mill shots. The blacks are very black and the whites are so white they are sometimes blown out. There are very few grey or mid tones. I love it, but for the next roll I will choose when to use it very carefully, maybe stick to lines, patterns, or architecture.

I think I will also choose a camera with a built in light meter to compare the results.

Processing C41 Colour film in Black and White Chemicals.

My local Pound store has started selling the Geek 10 exposure colour film for £2 a roll.

Though it is only £2, the 10 exposures, then paying for development means it doesn’t actually end up being very economical as Kosmofoto points out. But what if you could develop it as a black and white film? Would that make it a cheap film to test cameras? At the very least, it would make a good experiment.

So, a little more about the film, in case you want to use it as a regular colour film. The ten exposures is literally that. I managed to get 9 out of mine once I had loaded it. To get ten you would have to be very careful while loading, or load in the dark. The cassette feels very cheap, a plastic affair that is tricky to open in order to process the film. I had to rip mine apart. The naff cassette also seemed to hinder the movement of the film through the camera and initially thought I had misloaded it. I found using a film picker impossible, hence the ripping apart option. The actual film inside is rebranded Fujifilm C200, here is another great blog with details about that.

I did some research about cross processing colour film as black and white and there are a few articles online. On the whole I didn’t find anything really substantial about using the developing chemicals I had. I have recently been using Kodak D-76 after switching from ilfosol 3. I did find one chat thread that way down said try a development time of 8 minutes at 20 degrees. But most things I read said don’t do it or it was a waste of time.

So ignoring all the naysayers I went for these development details.

Chemicals used: Kodak d-76 at full strength 1:0
Temperature: 21 degrees
Development Time: 8 minutes (with stop=30 secs, fixer=5 minutes)

Of course the emulsion is on a very orangy base that will affect scanning, but was there an actual image to scan after developing? YES!

The film was quite dark due to the plastic film base, but it scanned quite well considering. The initial scans were quite flat, but I processed all 9 exposures through the Snapseed phone app. To be fair, recently the weather has been rainy and dark so even a “real” film would have struggled.

Some of the shots came out quite well, others were underexposed. Overall, they weren’t so bad. What if I took the film out on a bright day and overexposed the film? The next test? Once the weather changes I will try that and update the post. Either way it was not a complete loss, at £2 a roll it is another option.