I haven’t completed any reviews for a while, busy life and such. So this is a photo post.
I decided to try out my Mamiyaflex C2 again. It has been stuck in a cupboard for a while, which is a real shame. It started when I took it to Blackpool and the exhibition I am feature in. I had taken a few cameras to show and , it garnered a fair bit of attention. Someone even offered to buy it, but as is the usual case, that made me love it more and decide not to part with it and make better use of it. So the weather being of the typical crap kind and time short I decided to pick a subject that was handy and compliant. Hello Daddy. Stay still, watch TV, don’t look directly at me…I am Medusa 🙂
Once developed, the film had the usual few white hairs which I removed post processing. BUT they had lots and lots of tiny black fibers, what is the deal with that?
White hairs is a blocking of light, an actual hair. A black thing is light getting through, it is within the film base?? yes??
Hmm the only thing i did differently with this film processing was during the agitation stage. I used the little stick instead of inverting the tank. So is that it? All help and thoughts appreciated.
All that being said, I still love the photo of my dad. He can be quite patient at times.
This week has been quite busy photographically for me. Firstly I went to Blackpool to visit the exhibition which has moved there from London. While there I was invited to give a talk about film cameras on the 4th October. I haven’t planned yet what I will talk about as I was just asked. But I will explain the process I used to produce the photos in the exhibition. I will also take along some cameras to show how I have reskinned some in various designs.
Here are some examples.
The other announcement is that I will be at the vintage fair in Wakefield on the 12th October. I will have a few cameras to sell, plus other odds and ends. Last time it was there I spent most of the time chatting and convincing people that film is still alive.
Please come along and say hello, there will be a few bargain point and shoots to buy. Anything I sell me allow me to buy more film and enjoy my hobby a little longer.
Having seen some APS double exposures on Facebook and Instagram I decided to have a go myself. I have previously reused found APS film by moving the cartridge symbol back to one with a screwdriver. So I figured reusing a whole roll shouldn’t be that tricky either.
For the first trial I put the shortest roll of film I had, a 25exp 200iso Truprint, in a Canon IX7. I chose that camera as it is the only APS camera I have where I can override the film’s preset iso. I set the camera to an ISO of 80 and shot the first pass of the film in my garden and local park. I took photos of textures and nature. I really didn’t want to put too much effort into finding locations as I wasn’t sure it would work. The following day, while I was completing a Wherigo cartridge, I took the camera along for the second pass. The camera was still set at 80 iso. As all APS is out of date I wanted to overexpose the film slightly. If you use a regular point and shoot I actually think expired film could be used twice at its regular iso with no adjustments. For the second pass I took shots of buildings and street furniture. Again, I did not put much effort into the process.
So how did they turn out, these shots that I did randomly with little effort or planning?
Well not bad if I do say so myself 🙂
The magnetic aspect of the film seemed to assure that the two passes lined up perfectly. I think that would be true if you chose to use two different camera. I think that will be my next experiment. It certainly was easier to create these than with 35mm film in a camera without a multiple exposure feature. Plus this way you can use two different locations and times. With regular double exposures on film you have to take one straight after the other, not so with these. That gives a whole new scope to the genre.
I have already tried this camera, but I gave that away ages ago and found this one for $3. There is a BC version which means black corners indicating more vignette. As you can see from my example photos the original camera already has quite a lot of vignetting.
I was quite excited to try this camera again as every 120 Holga I have tried has had pleasing results. I didn’t really give this one a chance when I first tried it as, but my opinion of fantastic plastics has chanced since then.
As I was going to London for the 100 heroines exhibition, I decided to take some time to try this camera in an area I have not visited before. I did a search for places to see if you have already seen the top tourist spots and Shoreditch came up as a choice. For fun I thought I would try to capture the graffiti around the area with a black and white film. I loaded a Fomapan 100 with the intention of push processing it to 400. I thought it would have a different look to it and show off the vignetting.
I absolutely loved my day in Shoreditch, an area I had not even thought to visit before. Everywhere I looked there was something else to see. Using the Holga was easy and the resulting photos are by far favourite series of photos that I have completed recently. I have already put another film in the camera, a colour one this time. Where shall I take it?
What super weather we are having recently! So my weekends have been spent reading and playing with my toys…cameras and literal toys.
I decided to start a new project just for the hell of it and to freak out my friends. It is based around a toy I got when I was about seven years old. Meet Charlie the Chatter Chimp, though he doesn’t chatter without help any more.
Honestly, if I get bored I tend to find things to do and they might be a bit weird. Some friends call them mini passions, some call them projects, some think I need help. I don’t mind any of those descriptions, I am enjoying myself.
I can come up with projects myself, but there are plenty of creative exercises out there, like this one. I especially like suggestion five, take a roll of film and limit yourself to 24 or 36 shots. Well, who would do that these days?! Or what about suggestion seven, take a something with you to photograph…Hello Charlie 🙂 Though I did think of it before seeing the video, it is hardly original.
And now I am going to demonstrate how dumb I can be sometime…sometimes, I said. I was playing with a camera, a Vito B which I am currently testing.
I added the rangefinder, because I could. When I posted these photos on my instagram feed a friend said, “why not set the camera to f8?” I though fair enough but close things would not be focusing. Then I remembered another friend telling me how he zone focused and didn’t really need to use a distance gauge. And I began to wonder, is my idea of zone focusing the same as theirs? Do I really know what zone focusing actually is? I know of the symbols on zone focused cameras, but beyond that I have not really thought about it. So I googled it and found this great article. And then I felt dumb, the gauges on the lens barrel with the diamond…
I had never really looked at them before. Oh well, I have tested over 270 cameras and never once looked at or thought about that scale. I think this might become a mini passion/project for one of the cameras I will test soon.
What else might I be missing? Well if you read the comments below you will see that I missed the hyperfocal distance which is shown on the photo markings. This great article explains all about that and how it relates to zone focusing.
It would be a great system to understand if you are a street photographer, which I am not. But either way, it just shows you can never be at a point in your life where you can’t learn something new or gain a better understanding of a subject.
For now I will carry on relaxing and enjoying the women’s world cup. Talking of world cups, don’t forget to vote in the Black and White World Cup.
Finally, do you own and Olympus OM 20? If so please check the serial number. If it is serial number 1032853 then please read this article as the camera could be important in a murder case.
As it has been a while since I tried it, plus have only even done pinhole a couple of times before. I forgot how to calculate the exposure. So I lost the first 4 shots as they were too underexposed. Then I remembered the handy guide in the box and adjusted the timings. There are the results from that point.
Now that I have worked out the timings I might try a few experimental shots. Actually the Building shot on the top row has a person running passed the camera, but the exposure was so long she has disappeared. I think I will try this again…but with a slightly more visible person.
Pinhole is not like anything I have tried before. Initially I am always disappointed by the lack of focus. Then I look at the shots in a different way, they make me do that. I look beyond the actual image and think about the process. Pinhole is not for a rich person, a person in a hurry. It is something to savour, to enjoy for just what it is. For me it is a time to be alone, even when I am not.
Lack of Japanese second-hand store bargains in England.
The ever-increasing price of film cameras.
Lack of full-time work, attached to point 2
The act of trying to reduce my collection.
…I am going to start adding more thoughts and musings. You may have already noticed some recommended reading posts. Hopefully, they be photography based, but they might not be. They will not be political or (hopefully) controversial. It is just not worth the hassle.
I don’t think I will publish to a schedule, just as and when I feel like it or have time. I think I have mentioned all this before.
Anyway, while I was thinking and musing about this I was perusing other blogs. One I read has a nice collection of photography blog links. Not only is it a great list…but I am on it 🙂 Big fat grin appears on my face 🙂 Have a look.
Some posts are quick to prepare, process, and write. This post is by far the longest in terms of time and biggest in terms of effort, that I have written.
I received this camera over 3 months ago from a new friend. Soon after we started wandering and walking together she mentioned she had an “old” camera in her loft and I could have it, but it probably doesn’t work. Of course when I heard “old camera” I was hooked. I asked questions…
What kind of camera? What film does it take? Does it use batteries? Where did you get it? To all questions, I got a shrug and an “I don’t know, it was in the loft when we bought the house.”
So I just waited and one fine day she brought it over to my house.
*Gulp* It was not what I was expecting at all. I have no experience with this type of camera. I didn’t even know where to begin. These photos are after I dared to open it up and attach the lens.
Talking of the lens, can you see the big gap between the glass and the front of the cylinder? The front element had detached… is it an element when there are just two pieces of glass and a barrel? The front piece of glass was loose and moving around inside the brass barrel. I was going to give up on that altogether, then I looked at the prices of replacement lenses *gulp* and put the whole thing back in the bag/box and put it under my bed.
To be honest the whole project made me nervous and I tried to get rid of the responsibility and the camera. One of the people I offered it to said, “get a grip you can do it.”
So a few days later I took the camera out again and took a deep breath. The first thing I looked at was the bellows. If they were damaged then I was screwed, I could not buy or make a new one. I could possibly fix very small holes. Here is a great resource if you ever need to do that. Fortunately, the bellows seemed perfect, no holes at all. Great start.
Next was to use wood glue on any parts that were split. In my worry and haste, I did not take great photos of this process. The main part that needed fixing was the lens plate holder. That was in two parts.
That part of the camera gave an obvious clue about its history. Ralph Cuthbert was a chemist in Huddersfield, you can read about one of his exploits in this article. And this entry states that he formed a limited company in 1913 and that he died in 1917. As the camera’s label doesn’t mention “Ltd” then I guess it is from before 1913. The Byram Arcade was first seen on a map in 1890, so the camera is probably from after that point.
Another clue was inside one of the film holders, it was a glass plate.
I used an app to turn it into a positive photo.
I posted the photo online and one of my friends said there was an Uncle Tom’s Cabin in Blackpool. After a little search online I found this article. As you can see, the photo in the article is of the same building and if you read the text you will find out the building was demolished in 1908. Therefore, Mr. Watson, we can surmise this camera is probably from around 1900. Bloody hell…and it is now my responsibility. Just to confirm the date, here is a collection of similar cameras with details of dates.
OK, next issue, the lens. I had to put the front glass back in the right place. I know this might make a few people *gulp* just like me. But I unscrewed the only screw I could find and just superglued it back in place. There was no shutter mechanism and I stayed very clear of the aperture blades.
Before I put the lens back together I waited for the glue to fully set to avoid any issues with a residue like I experienced with this camera. Then I screwed it onto the plate and slid it onto the camera.
But did it work, would it focus…I had no idea at this point as I did not know how to focus the damn thing, the lens only has apertures from f8 to f64. So more research was required. First I found articles like this one. Hmm, mine doesn’t seem to have a shutter release at all. This one seemed more likely.
So I need to move the rail somehow, I looked the camera over.
Found it!! This moves and the camera will focus somehow. I looked at the back of the camera and I couldn’t see anything on the glass plate. The image was too light, I needed more lightness and darkness. I took the camera outside but I didn’t have a blackout cloth, would a towel work?
First objective achieved, an image…an upside down image. Now for stage two, getting a negative.
The bag had three plate holders inside, one was missing the middle light shield.
Once the camera was focused you lifted the focusing screen and slid the holder into place. The holder had to be prepared beforehand by inserting glass plates coated in a light-sensitive material.
However, there was no way in the world I was going to prepare and use glass plates, so what is the nearest modern equivalent? 4×5 sheet film. Holy moly it is expensive, plus I need a holder. My heart sank. At the very least I would need.
Sheet film – the cheapest on eBay I could find was Shanghai ISO100 £25 for 25 sheets
Some way to develop the sheets, a 4×5 developing tank adapter around £20+ on eBay
And a loupe to attain a fine focus £10+
At least I already had a tripod and surprisingly the camera fit modern tripod screws 😦
I put the camera away and reviewed my out of work finances. Even if I could get all the things I needed, how could I fit the 4×5 cassette in the camera?
As you may know, I am not a patient person when it comes to things like this and sometimes I actually “dream” an answer. The next day I woke up and went, “THE BROKEN HOLDER!!!”
If I could cut down the broken holder to take the 4×5 cassette it just might work. Sacrilege? Cutting a Victorian glass plate holder? Don’t care, it is now mine to do with as I please…sorry. Really I am, but it had to be done.
I decided to sell a camera to pay for the things I needed. Bye bye OM2, hello saw and chisel.
I have never tried this kind of thing before, but would you believe it…the 4×5 cassette fit like a glove.
Gosh this is turning into a very long post. Ok, onward and forward, loading the sheet film.
Simples. Plus…don’t forget to take off any movement activated watches with an LED display 🙂
We are getting there. The next issue, no shutter just a lens cap. That meant I would have to use the lens cap as a shutter by taking it off and putting it back on. So the exposure would have to be at least 2 seconds to avoid camera shake or suchlike. Luckily the lens cap was in good condition and attached to the lens when I received the bag.
So this is the sequence of events.
Prepare the 4×5 cassette. Make sure the film shield are showing the white label (or black depending on your own choice)
Find a subject for a photo. This might mean lugging the camera and a tripod to a location.
Find the exposure setting using a light meter, make sure it is over 2 seconds for 100ASA film at f22 (or whatever ASA you are using).
Put the camera together.
Place on a very sturdy tripod.
Set the lens aperture to the largest to let in more light, f8.
Use the towel, coat or something dark to focus the camera on the subject and use the loupe to get a sharper focus.
Reset the aperture to f22 or smaller depending on what is needed for a longer exposure time.
Once focused and framed PUT ON THE LENS COVER
Move the glass focusing plate and slide in the adapted holder with the 4×5 cassette
Put the light cover, my towel or coat, over the back end of the camera and remove the light shield protecting the sheet.
Remove the lens cover and count out the “elephants” needed
Put the lens cover back on
Put the film shield back in with the black label showing
As a film cassette holds two sheets take out this holder and replace the glass focusing screen.
Return to number 2 for the next shot or go home and develop the sheets.
All that effort for 2 shots. For my first test I stayed at home and tried to take a photo of a swan feather I retrieved the day before. That way I would not have to lug the camera anywhere. I worked out that I would need 6 elephants to get an image. I only managed to get one shot as I put the second light shield back in the first slot and jammed it, fogging the second sheet.
Putting the sheet on the developing holder was a pain in the butt. I was sure, even if it worked, it would be covered in finger prints. After the development process I could barely wait to see the developed sheet.
I almost cried. I didn’t care if it was out of focus, I could see a feather. I waited for it to dry and put it on the iPad and took a photo with my phone.
This is the first test shot.
Of course I tried again immediately. As my dad was engrossed in watching TV I took a photo of him. He had to stay very still for eight elephants.
I rushed into Leeds and bought three more cassettes and loaded them up. I was going to visit a friend for some cosplaying photos in an abandoned house, perfect for this style of shot. She could stay still, well the building could anyway. We lugged the camera uphill for a kilometer. I set up the camera.
…and then realised I left the film cassettes in the car, bugger. Lesson learnt.
To finally use the loaded sheets, I took the camera to my local park, double checking I had the cassettes.
And now finally the shots, it took a while to develop them as I can only do two at a time.
Just one didn’t come out, not quite sure why.
Done, completed, success. I have a few sheets left and I will probably take the camera to Blackpool to get a shot of the new Old Tom’s Cabin building. After that, I am not sure I will ever use it again. It is a lot of effort. This part was a challenge and therefore fun, but I much prefer 120 or 35mm.
Now, this post is very long and picture heavy, it seems WordPress is having an issue and keeps losing my pictures. So I am going to upload it before it disappears again.