Tag Archives: expired

Altering the DX Code of Film

Well school has started in some areas, not in others. Either way it is highly unlikely a supply teacher gets a job on the first day and I did not, so I am at a loose end. That being the case, why not experiment?

I read this article recently and found it very interesting. I thought why not try it, so I did. I won’t go into the technical details as the original article has all that and the history of DX coding, read that post.

The article gives a link to a template which I downloaded. To alter the codes I had to delete the frame around the codes then the tables and texts become more easily editable. Plus as I wasn’t using labels the frames did not matter to me. I made my own page of a variety of different codes and also added a code for the +1 and -1 exposure rating because I could.

Next I found a test film to glue it on, meaning I just use the film to test the loading functions of cameras without wasting an actual film.

As you can see the film is actually a 100, but the code I tried was 400.

So the camera should show 400??


OK, so now for the actual film I want to try. An expired one I found in a point and shoot purchase. Recently I have acquired lots of point and shoots, so this hack will be very useful in trying out those cameras. Only….the first film I chose was a 200 and I set it to 50.

I tested it in a Canon EOS 300 before putting it in a point and shoot as they sometimes do not let you know the film speed on the display panel. Once I knew it was working I had to pick a camera, and there was the rub. Many point and shoot cameras have a limited ISO range. The first one I picked up was a Yashica Zoomate 70. As you can see from the photo below, the DX contacts were not a complete set of 6. On checking I found it only recognised films from 100 ISO. Hmm…

I had a look through the cameras I obtained and checked the contact points. The Pentax 738 had more than the Yashica and I found it accepted films starting from 25 ISO. Perfect.

So I put the film in there. Now you will have to wait for the results 🙂

Pinholes with expired Svema

Continuing with the photo posts, I have tried my pinhole cameras again. This time with Svema 125 film from around 1990. The first camera I reused was the Ondu. Each of these were exposed for 2 minutes, on a tripod of course. The film was developed with ilfosol 3 as that is all I have right now. I presoaked the film for 5 minutes, then developed for 14 minutes at 20 degrees. I found that over developed the film, so will try 10 minutes next time. I used water and a few drops of vinegar as a stop bath, then fixed it in the regular way.

The photos are very grainy. I have a love/hate relationship with this pinhole camera. I think the actual camera is beautiful, but am struggling to love the images it produces. The one where I shot straight into the sun had a black hole where the sun was, I deleted that so the rays would be more of a focus.

The next camera, and only other pinhole I tried was the Diana F+, the multi functioning toy camera. I mainly stuck with the 2 minute exposures except the ones inside. One of them is 4 hours long. Now to be fair, I screwed this film up royally. I HIGHLY do NOT recommend trying to thread an old film onto a developing roll in a dark bag when it is hot and humid. I just could not get it to go on. It just kept getting stuck, bending and I was touching it all over the place. I did not have fun!

But you can see the Diana is not as sharp as the Ondu. And if I do bother with Pinholes again that is the camera I will choose. But why, it is just not my thing. I would prefer to put the film in the Kiev 88 or another medium format camera.

I hope my next post has much sharper photos 🙂

Fujifilm Epion RVX (APS)

I saw this camera on Instagram and I was smitten. Look at it, LOOK!! Can you see it? It is very well camouflaged. I searched on eBay and low, there was one, just one…and it was in Japan. But it is an APS, dwindling film supplies. Then along came Asographic and there was new hope on the horizon! So I can buy the camera?? YES!

It arrived in mint condition, not a blemish or a scratch, which is amazing considering it is a heavy duty camera. I love HDCs, they always seem to perform well and have super sharp lenses. Gosh, I think I am setting myself up for disappointment.

It turns out there are quite a few of these for sale online in Japan, but not a lot of information about this camera. Here is some, but you will need Google Translate or equivalent. It states the camera was released in 1997, it also has quite a lot of technical information. Though, from the photos above you can see there is a 25mm lens, quite wide. Plus the minimum focal length is 36cm, pretty good.

I loaded up an expired Truprint film and went for a walk…which a wrote about on another blog here.

I have used expired Truprint APS film before and it always seems to be quite warm. Comparing the digital photos to these, I prefer these. They are sharper, more detailed and I was less worried about damaging the camera..due to the HDC.

I love it. I have already loaded it up with another roll.

Keep or Sell: Though I thought this camera was gorgeous, the dwindling supply of film made me sell it. I decided to keep just one aps camera, and this wasn’t the one I chose.



Found Film and Lomochrome Purple

This is a different kind of post, a film post as opposed to a camera post. I got two films back today and both have a tale to tell, so tell it I will.

Firstly, I bought a junk APS camera for $1, which I haven’t written about yet, and I could not get the film door open. I tried yanking it, sweet-talking it, but nope. Then I put a battery in it and low, there was a film inside. So, the camera did a very good job of protecting it. BUT, did the camera work? I hadn’t tested it yet. Was the film ok? maybe not as I tried to yank open the door. In the end, there were too many unknowns so I pressed the rewind button and put in another film. The film I retrieved was a Fuji Nexia 800, quite rare these days with the ever dwindling supply of APS.

I decided to use the found film in a known camera. Now, here lies the problem…all APS film is unknown so to speak, as it is all expired. So, why not use this film in the unknown camera. Because I would not know it if was the camera or the film. Minolta Vectis to the rescue. I knew this camera worked very well and it accepted film that had been rewound midroll. When I put the film in though, it did not accept it. The junk camera I found the film in had set the code on the film to 3, ready to process. Here are the cassette codes.

  1. Full circle: Unexposed
  2. Half circle: Partly exposed
  3. Cross sign: Fully exposed but not processed
  4. Rectangle: Processed

Then I remembered the old, use a pencil in a tape cassette to rewind it, trick. Maybe not a pencil, but a screwdriver?? I rewound the cassette so the code showed a 2, and put it back in the Minolta. Goodness me, if it didn’t go and load 🙂 I never thought that would work.

So off I go on a walk around a river in Tokyo. And finally, I got a cd back with viable images. The film was great, perfect even…an absolute steal for $1.


The second film I got back was a Lomochrome Purple. The last time I used a lomochrome film, I forgot to ask for a cd and my scanner could not handle it at all. I was very disappointed with the results. This time I put the purple in the Olympus Mju I had just tried and remembered the CD. Holy crap, there was a huge difference in quality. I have changed my mind about the film and I am so in love with the camera. This week I had the pleasure to try a very expensive camera and I was impressed. This Olympus was $3 in a junk bin, and I think it is better. Sure it doesn’t have some of the fancy settings, but wowee, it is sharp. Here is the test roll I took around Akihabara.

The result from the Olympus makes me think that I will probably sell all the other point and shoots I have…apart from the one other Olympus Mju I have.

Zenit TTL

The first film camera I ever owned was a Zenit 11. I saved up for it when I was a teenager and it was really all I could afford. It was manual and had a little pin that you had to match up to another pin to find the correct setting. It felt like a brick. I couldn’t afford the more advanced TTL which had a Through The Lens metering system. Looking back now I know that the 11 taught me a lot, aperture, speed and stuff. But at the time I wanted the next step up, the beginnings of camera envy. So when I saw one on eBay for a pittance I dived in.

I really had forgotten what a brick it was. I put in some expired film and went for a walk around Leeds. I felt weird trying to street photo there, it seemed much more aggressive than Tokyo. On the whole Japanese people are reserved and non-confrontational. Yorkshire people are made of different stock and a few told me right up front to stop and “F… Off”. Apart from the main gentleman you see in the photos , who was very interested in the camera and asked why I had a zenit. But, in the end I gave up and went to the Corn Exchange.

As you can see they are all a bit under exposed. As the camera is not voltage reliant I thought maybe it was the fault of the film. So I tried another half of a film.

The shot straight into the sun is a little funky and the camera could not handle that. The rest are ok, maybe a little over. Either way my camera seems to be a little hit and miss on the TTL side. The comments on this blog say basically the same thing, a brick of a camera with an unreliable metering system. The camera is a bit of an eye catcher, but there are much better cameras out there for not much more money. There are even better Russian cameras. There is nothing really special about this one to go into major technical details, the quickest speed is 1/500th. The usual accompanying lens starts at f2 to f16, so nothing really special there either. A no frills, cheap camera that weighs as much as a small car.

Keep or Sell: Sold.




Kyocera Samurai 4000ix

I was so excited when I saw this camera that I missed the all important APS symbol on the back. My rule is never to buy an APS camera as the films are no longer manufactured and therefore can only be bought on eBay for a song. But I wanted another, working samurai camera. I thought it would be like the other one, a half frame. But no, an APS it was. So I coughed up and bought 2 films. One for me and one for the lucky person who might buy it from me. APS film was introduced in 1996 and ceased being produced in 2011, just a 15 year life span as apposed to the 90 years of 35mm which is still in production.

This camera is from 1998 and has a 30-120 zoom lens. It worked perfectly. No focusing issues like the last Samurai I owned. It is a basic point and shoot camera with the 3 settings that were common to all APS cameras.

It is comfortable to hold and use, palm sized and light. I put it in my pocket and cycled to a shrine a fair distance away. Two birds with one stone. Getting out and about and testing a camera.

Getting the film developed was easier than I thought, Yodobashi Camera processed it the same day. When I went to pick it up the store clerk smiled at me when I approached and said pretty APS lady. He meant the  pictures not me 😦 and remarked the colours on the index print were pretty and said for an old film it was very good. He was right.

I wish the film wasn’t so hard to get hold of as I really liked using this camera and am very impressed by the quality of the shots. All sharp, colours great. I did use the different settings, but when the film was scanned the whole frame was used.

Olympus 35DC

This is an Olympus day. The second post for today is for the Olympus 35DC. There are two versions of this camera and I have both, lucky me. I haven’t tested the other, but this one has a button on the bottom that overrides the shutter lock in lowlight conditions. The other has a battery check button. Why there are two version I do not know, why they can’t both have the same features I do not know. I do know that one has a metal shutter button and the other has a plastic one. So I am guessing it is due to the date of manufacture as with the Olympus Trip. The DC was introduced in 1971 and used a mercury battery. As I have a few of these types of cameras I have some adapters so I can use regular cell batteries.

This one looked very clean and no corrosion in the battery compartment. Once the battery was inserted the light meter worked perfectly. The light seals disintegrated in my hand, so I changed them. I really have to get neater at that.

Then I took it for a spin, with some very old film, around Akihabara and immediately took it to be developed at Yodobashi Camera who do a cheap one hour service.

As this is a rangefinder, there are two images in the viewfinder that you have to bring together to focus. It is not zoned like the Olympus Trip. I prefer this kind, but it is not quite so quick as zoning. So excuse the colour cast…

This day has reaffirmed my love for Olympus cameras. This one was so easy to use and the f1.7lens is so sharp and clear. A fantastic find for a junk bin. I won’t be keeping this one as I have the other find that I have yet to test. Finger crossed I find out the other works before I sell this one.

Ricoh LX-55W

Another $3 camera and a nice cold, sunny day so I took the camera to the zoo!

I was attracted to this junk bin purely by the brand, Ricoh. Here is a quote about the company.

“Although perhaps better known for its office equipment than its cameras, Ricoh has in fact been producing cameras since 1936, during which time it has garnered a loyal hobbyist following, and was one of the early innovators in the digital camera market. By the 1990‘s the company had become well known for producing luxury enthusiast-level 35mm compacts with high quality optics. Today Ricoh offers a range of stylish enthusiast-level compacts (plus a couple of water/shock proof models) and the unique GXR system, which uses interchangeable lens/sensor units in place of the usual bayonet lenses.”

My first impressions of this camera were not so overwhelming, no zoom. Maybe not the best choice to test at a zoo. It was clean enough, but the light seal by the film window disintegrated on touch. I put on a new one and as you can see I did a bang-up job…not. With the back closed you can’t see what film is in. It is light tight though.

The camera is from 1994 and uses 2 AA batteries which is handy, it is splash proof so would be good for street photography on a wet day. Not much else to say really other than it has a fixed focus lens and does have a panoramic feature. I will not be keeping this one as I have others I prefer more.

Here are some shots from the day. There were a few of my friends which I will not be posting here, except the very 80s one with the post coming out of his head. We did this on purpose to go with the camera mood.

As you can see it performed very well in most conditions, it even takes selfies 🙂 The expired film didn’t do too bad either. Not bad for a 20 year only camera and a 10 year old film.