Tag Archives: processing

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.

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.

Kodak High Speed Infrared Film

A while ago I was given some infrared film. It had expired, but had been kept in a freezer or a fridge since it was produced.

I read up on using it and checkout out some sample photos. Mainly I saw landscapes so decided that was my focus too. This website gives even more details on what to expect and how to use it. It also mentions that the felt on the opening of the cassette is not infrared tight so the warnings on the box and tub are important to follow.

DO NOT OPEN THE TUB OUT OF A DARK BAG. That means you have to load the camera inside the bag. The article also mentions a filter. So before I did anything I ordered an infrared filter on eBay. I got a cheap one as I only had one roll of film. You can use the film without a filter but what is the point of that, it would end up looking like a regular black and white film. I won’t go into lots of technical details, you can do the research too or read the blogs I have already linked to.

I decided to use my Minolta XG2 for the test for these reasons:
1. I knew it worked
2. The lens had an IR diamond on it.
3. The light meter was through the lens.

I set the camera to 100asa and attached the filter. Even though I could not see through the filter, the camera often chose a surprisingly shorter exposure than I expected. It was not short enough that I felt I could do without a tripod, so I took a mini tripod on a walk around Dewsbury Country Park. I only took a few shots as I decided to use some of the roll as a development test as I didn’t really know if it would work or if I could develop it.

Here are a few shots from that first test. I developed it in Ilfosol 3 for 10 minutes at 20 degrees.

To focus I removed the filter and reattached it carefully after. You have to turn the lens a little to the right as IR needs a different focus point than regular light. The other blogs will explain that more clearly. Anyway, the results were interesting. So I took the rest of the roll to another park, where the camera jammed due to a long exposure issue. I only managed a few more shots there before returning home to deal with the camera.

I fixed the camera with the method mentioned in this post. At this point I almost gave up on the film as it was a little awkward to use. The whole “keep in the dark” issue meant I could not just take out the film to look at the camera closely. But with only having one roll I persevered, but was looking forward to finishing it.

Once sorted I decided to finish the roll with a different filter to see what would happen. I chose a regular red one. Here are some results.

As you can see, especially with the path photo, you lose some of the IR effects with a red filter. The image is slightly sharper, but where is the fun in that.

I don’t think I will try it again though it was interesting. Afterwards, the giver of this roll gave me 11 more rolls which I will be selling on eBay if you are interested. Or you can send me a message if you would like to buy a roll.

Adox Golf 63 S

The name on this camera had worn off and it took me a while to play around with combinations of letters to find the name. Then I took it outside to take some photos and the names popped under the sunlight.

After a quick search for Adox Golf, this version came up. The linked site said the shutter was designed to run dry so it had no lubricants. That meant it was not prone to sticking. I found this to be true as the shutter on this 1955 example worked perfectly. The lens was also clear of any haze or fungus. So far so good… and after that the fun began.

My first attempt at using it had disappointing results. My bottle of ilfosol 3 was almost empty and when I mixed had a weird colour. In my head I thought, oh that is depleted I shouldn’t use it. Then I thought, what the hell…I wonder what would happen. When I had finished the processing I found a very, very, very light set of negatives. I didn’t think anything would scan from them but I tried anyway. I ended up with these very grainy shots.

I also mistook the white lines for developer issues as I had never encountered them before. So I loaded up another roll of film and took it out again.

As I had to go into Leeds to buy new chemicals I took the camera with me. This time the results were better to a degree, but there were still issues.

What are those weird light leaks? So if it wasn’t the processing, it must be the camera.

I have tried a few cameras with bellows and have never had an issue with them being damaged. Even with the Victorian camera, the bellows were ok. I guess I have been lucky and ended up forgetting about them. But it seemed that this camera did have an issue somewhere and I suspected the bellows, Occum’s razor. I did a little research on how to check the bellows.

I turned off my room light and shone a torch through the outside of the camera bellows.

Voila. These are only a few of the leaks, there were more on the other sides. Ok, so the lens seemed fine, the timer was working, the camera was in generally good condition and importantly, I liked using it. How can I fix these pin holes cheaply and easily. This camera is very cheap to buy so an expensive repair would not be worthwhile. I read a few places that a glue and paint mixture would work so I tried that first. It didn’t look great, but the light leaks were gone.

I shot another roll that I took at the beautiful Hardcastle Crags. Gosh, they would be nice if the light leaks were gone.

Also, as it was a lovely sunny day so I had some of this before developing…

Big mistake. Apparently I was drunker than I thought and when I poured out the used developer it looked like this…and the final film like this…

WTF??? Where are my beautiful photos from the Yorkshire countryside?? I checked the bottles again. OOOOOHHHH, apparently if you try to develop fomapan by using the stop bath first, then developer, then fixer…it comes out blue, like the gin.

Fourth film, really fourth?? I was determined to get a good roll from this camera. Weirdly, I still really liked it and hadn’t lost the plot with it yet. Why did I like it? It has no capacity for double or multiple exposures, it has no rangefinder, the lowest aperture choice was f6.3, and the fastest speed was 1/200th. I think my love started with the funky way you loaded or removed the film.

Look at that, what a cool, convenient thing. You pull it out and down and the film is then very easy to load. Then there is the button to open it, push and whop, it swishes open. And then, when it is closed it is nice and compact and fits into a large pocket. Plus it is so cheap you don’t mind whopping it and whapping it in a pocket. There is also a red indicator by the shutter and wind on wheel that lets you know if the camera is ready to be operated.

Before I loaded the fourth and I have to say final film, I decided to check the bellows again. There was still a small leak so this time I decided to use black nail varnish and no gin. (See comment section about this, nail varnish really doesn’t work well and is a quick fix only)

Here are the final test results.

The negatives still had a couple of tiny leaks evident, but except for the last shot they weren’t so bad. I used the film very quickly so the light didn’t have time to really spoil anything else. When using glue or varnish, you need to wait a long time for it to dry as the sticky consistency will do exactly that when the camera closes. It will stick together and the holes reappear when you open the camera again.

I will put another coat of nail varnish on the camera if I decide to use it again, but I doubt it as I have a few other medium format cameras without deteriorating bellows. As for recommendations, this camera can be found quite cheap so it would be a good buy. Just check the bellows before buying it or trying it with a film. Plus it looks nice on the shelf

Also, for a great article on breathing new life into old cameras, check out this link. You will find details of many kinds of repairs. Oh and I recommend the gin too 🙂

Contax RTS III

While taking part in my first vintage fair I was contacted by a reader of this blog who made me an offer I could not refuse.

“Would I like to try a Contax RTS III with a lens of my choice?” he asked.
“Erm yes please!” I replied without much delay.

So at the fair he brought in said camera as promised with a 28mm lens as I already had a 50mm. He also brought in a box of other items including a 500mm mirror lens with a Contax adaptor.

Here is the camera with the wide angle attached.

My goodness this is a heavy camera, but as you can see in perfect condition. I think if I had owned this camera it would have been a lot more scratched up as I carried it and swung it around. Mr Generous really did look after his stuff. Everything in his box of goodies was in its original box or a bag and labelled.

This camera was first introduced in 1990 and you can find all the technical details you like on this page. Really far down on that page you will see details of a ceramic film pressure plate. This other site also mentions it as a starred feature that ensured a flat film plane as it was enhanced by a vacuum. Well, that is impressive. This reviewer said it felt and looked like a Porche of cameras. I have to agree. Even though it was heavy it was surprisingly comfortable to hold, the hand grip being just the right size for my tiny hands. The diopter adjustment made the already bright viewfinder a delight to look through.

As I had this camera for “as long as you like” I decided to put a few films through it and experiment a bit. So for the first film I put in some Kodak EPH P1600X slide film that I had been given by another reader. In fact he gave me a fair bit of this now unavailable film. I wish I had read that link before as it mentions it is a rare 400asa film that can be pushed to 1600…oh I think that is what the ‘p’ indicates before 1600x.

And it says it right there on the tin! Push once for 800, twice 1600, thrice 3200.

Well, I really should start reading instructions and reviews before I use things, but where is the fun in that. Anyway, nowhere does this film have 400asa written on it, not even on the box, you just have to be clever enough to know it??

So as I thought the film was 1600asa and it was from 2002, I set the camera to 1250, moving the dial two places lower on this camera. First I tried the 500mm lens, as it did not have an aperture dial I used it at various settings. I tried aperture and speed mode hoping the camera would figure it out the aperture of the lens. I also tried manual, guessing the lens was an f8 as I had seen other lenses with the same sized aperture. I took ten shots then changed to the 28mm lens.

Then I made some calculations. Sending the E6 film off to be developed would take at least a week and cost about £15 with postage. I have at least 12 rolls of slide film. Gosh that would be expensive.
An order of Tetenal Colortec E6 would be about £50, arrive the next day, and possibly develop 30 films if I could do it. And there is the rub, I have never done E6 processing before. In Japan you could only get black and white chemicals due to government restrictions on the chemicals needed. So I had next to no experience with colour processing. How hard could it be?? Be brave I thought, chemicals ordered!

I found this site and followed it to the letter. I followed the mixing ratios and timings with a quick glance at the pack instructions. If I had known about the pushing element I would have also followed the film guide which I found later. That would have meant adding 5 minutes to the first development stage.

I boiled a kettle to use as topping up water for the tub which I had filled from the hot tap. I put all the chemicals in the tub and took constant temperature readings to check it stayed at 38C. The main issue I had was the wash process, because the sink was full and I have a small kitchen. But in the end it was not as hard as I thought it would be to keep the temperature fairly stable, even on a cold day. I agitated the developing tank every 15 seconds by using the agitation stick rather than taking the tank out of the warm water and inverting it. Then I waited very impatiently for the film to dry.

So the first part of the film was from the 500mm mirror lens.

Well, they are a bit crappy. Underexposed and fuzzy, focusing was quite hard due to the very small depth of field and darker viewfinder. I don’t like the lens very much, though I am glad I tried a free one as I always wanted to buy one for bird watching. The slides were obviously underexposed which enhanced the blue tint.

Here are some of the ones from the 28mm lens.

At first I was disappointed with the results, but then I remembered…Hey, I developed these slides! The film was 17 years out of date and I used it at the wrong settings on the camera and wrong timing of the film processing. So actually, they are not that bad 🙂

These slide also have a blue tint. The ones in the link I shared to before were also blueish. I wonder what the slides will look like when I try another roll and set the camera to 400asa.

As for the camera, it is a bit awesome. I have put a fresh roll of C41 film in it which I will not be processing myself as I want to see what it can do without the hit and miss of my own processing skills. For a Contax camera these can be found for sale at quite reasonable prices. If you are looking for a good quality, manual focus SLR, they don’t come much better than this.

Update: I tried another roll of the slide film today, this time taken at 400asa. I tried a few settings and a yellow filter. I found the yellow filter definitely was not needed and the blue colour cast was probably due to the underexposure of the first film. Some of the new roll were still blue, but some were relatively ok. Either way this roll came out better.

Here are some more from the second roll. It is not my favourite film at the moment, but I will try it in another camera for another comparison test at a later date.

Developing Issues and Darkroom Courses

I recently switched from using Kodak D-76 to Ilford Ilfosol 3 to develop my films. I tended to reuse the D-76 and got used to that process. What I didn’t know or read was Ilfosol was a one use only developer. So when I started developing my own film again, the first one was great. The rest got lighter and lighter, tremendously so. I was increasing the developing time, thinking it was my fault. It was, but not in the way I thought. After the 3rd roll, I went back to the bottle and read the instructions…one use. Crap.

I managed to get images from all the rolls with a fair amount of post-processing, but they were obviously not the best negatives I have ever seen.

It was disappointing as I had just come back from Iceland and had been to a gig in Manchester.

For the busy negatives, they are OK. But the ones with sky you can see a definite issue.

The gig film was the last one I developed before checking the instructions. I actually thought it was blank and didn’t take too much care of it once I took it out of the wash. When it was dry, I saw a reflection of a faint image. To be fair the location was very dark and the singers were wearing black, but still, I expected more.

The first person with the drummer is from Hater, and the lady in the hat is Jennifer Castle. I actually liked both artists though they were quite different. I used my Nikon F2 for both locations, the gig used Ilford Delta 3200 pushed to 6400.

Luckily I did take a medium format and a digital camera to Iceland. I read the instructions again before I developed those…no development needed for the D750. If you want to see more results from that trip you can check out the iBook.

Screen Shot 2018-11-09 at 13.57.44

 

Download it on iBooks. (There are some errors in the description which I have corrected, but the new version has not updated yet.)

 

 

 

 

While I was contemplating the development issues I received an email from an outfit in London. A darkroom! Or rather a Bright Room. They run courses on developing and have darkrooms to hire. I am thinking I might take a trip to London and include this location as a stop. You can never stop learning apparently. But wait, they have a pop-up van…maybe they can visit me and some friends??

Delving into their website more, there is an Artist series, where you learn directly from an artist to see how they work. That is just up my street. OK time to save or sell more cameras to try one of those.

They did tell me they will be starting an online gallery on the 30th November 2018, but I haven’t been able to find a link online for that. Sounds interesting though as I love looking at other photographer’s work. I will look back at the end of the month.

I am glad I can develop my films again, I am relieved I know what the issue I was experiencing actually was.