Elitechrome is colourful….

Finally, I’ve found the time to start developing my slides from the German trip last year. And fortunately they look great so far. 8 rolls drying, another 4 to go. I had picked up a bunch of Kodak Elitechrome 100 off eBay. Match to a “new” Leica that I’d only put one roll of film through before leaving was taking a risk at best. (I did take my D90 too)

Initial observations are that I tend to underexposed the Leica IIIf a bit. However, when you consider that I was using a 5cm f/3.5 with frozen aperture blades and sunny-16 metering, the results are fantastic. I can’t believe just how well the low light stuff came out. Having used SLRs for nearly my whole life, anything below 1/50th was just accepted to be risky and usually a waste of money on developing costs.

Since the logic was to take a German camera on a Berlin trip, you could argue that I should have shot Agfa. There is the availability issue of course. And working though my grandfather’s Agfa slides, which have faded to various shades of brown. My mother’s 1960’s trip to France by comparison remains very nice on Kodachrome.

Why do I want a 4×5 camera?

I struggle to use my Hasselblad as much as I’d like to. Being out and about with a 6 yr old really demands a good AF system for the inevitable single handed shooting required.

So 4×5 seems like nice to have, but no real purpose.

I still want one.

Maybe the solution is a press-style camera? The modern travel 4×5’s offer something of a halfway house. The inconvenience of larger formats, but lacking the ability/hassle of camera movements. Of course I could just build a wood box and get started. That would force procuring a lens, film holders and developing gear. I’d be sloping down the slope well by then.

Ah, falcon central locking

Well. Today was the day to fit a new drivers door lock actuator.

eBay gave me an after market part. Door lining off again. Mechanically an easy fit.

But. Not. Working.

Eventually, I worked out it was half phase out of sync mechanically/electrically. For me the way to solve it was to open the actuator drive and wind it to the position the car was expecting electrically. Everything is nice now.

Stuff I Found in My Old Man’s Darkroom

Or garage.

Or both.

So, having bought Dad a Super Speed Graphic, it was time to get his darkroom back into shape. Over the years since digital had come to fore, the darkroom had become a time capsule/storage area.

A previous visit had cleaned out the old bar fridge of film and turned it off (the seals were long gone, and this drain on the power bill wasn’t needed). I did get some nice Pan-F with a 1980 expiry. Shot that at ISO 30 and it came out great.

This time around there was stuff stored from my bedroom (hmm, I’ve been gone almost 30 years, where does the time go?). Magazines, tools, stuff!

New storage shelving, breakup the dying chipboard stuff. Store things to keep, dump the stuff not needed.

End result, a functional space. Admittedly the taps are seized. That is a job for a subsequent visit. But there is space to use the enlargers, load film into big cameras, and mix developer.

I’ll take the win.

What?! Did I Just Lock-Up My Hasselblad?!

Working fast to pack before heading up the coast to visit my dad. Packing clothes for my daughter, darkroom supplies for my dad. And packing my 500c/m (actually dad’s) with my newly purchased 50mm.

From experience, the Hassy goes best into the box with the lens off. No problem, twist, buzz (buzz??????!!!!!), WHAT!

The infamous lens shutter trip during lens change.

OK, spin the coupling and recock, easy right? Nope, this is the hard-lockup. Ok, too hard to do on a deadline, pack a different camera.

Today was the day to internet-fix it or pack it up for professional help.


This one needed the full treatment as described at the link above. But it did work and everything is nice again.

Still, I should probably schedule a CLA.

More menus

As we saw in the last post, I was struggling to use the newer style GtkBuilder methods to start replacing bits of the application kludge3d. But my simple minded approach was giving me some grief:

 #include <gtk/gtk>
int main(int argc, char **argv)
    GtkWidget *window = gtk_window_new(GTK_WINDOW_TOPLEVEL);
    GtkBuilder* builder = gtk_builder_new_from_file ("test.ui");
    GtkWidget* menubar = GTK_WIDGET(gtk_builder_get_object (builder, "menubar"));
    gtk_container_remove(GTK_CONTAINER(gtk_builder_get_object (builder, "mainvbox")), menubar);
    GtkWidget *vbox = gtk_box_new(GTK_ORIENTATION_VERTICAL, 10);
    gtk_box_pack_start(GTK_BOX(vbox), menubar, TRUE, TRUE, 2);
    gtk_container_add(GTK_CONTAINER(window), vbox);
    return 0;

This isn’t so promising:
and the runtime warning isn’t clear (though as we’ll see, it’s correct)

(a.out:5940): Gtk-CRITICAL **: gtk_box_pack: assertion ‘gtk_widget_get_parent (child) == NULL’ failed

ToGoogle! Ok, consensus is that my menubar widget already has a parent and so the mainvbox is complaining when I try to add the menubar.

Memories of making my own container widgets in Windows and Gtk+2.x, I need to reparent my menubar.


gtk_widget_reparent has been deprecated since version 3.14 and should not be used in newly-written code.

Use gtk_container_remove() and gtk_container_add().

Great, at least I know to add :

gtk_container_remove(GTK_CONTAINER(gtk_builder_get_object (builder, "mainvbox")), menubar);

And, it works:


blank and sad film

So, I have a 400′ roll of colour film.

Test strip comes out blank.

Processed in known good B&W developer comes out blank (not even edge markings).

Ok. I guess there is something wring with the film. Storage? (ebay purchase)

Last try, take some out into the sunlight. Then pour fresh developer into the tray with the lights on. Remjet wipes off the back, and a blank pink frame emerges from the fix. I hate it when stuff doesn’t turn out. It was cheap though.

What now?

GTK+3.x and menus

So, having got kludge3d to the “starts, but doesn’t work” stage, I need to start implementing all the bits that got commented out along the way. For example, there are no menus because the method that was being used (GtkItemFactory) is deprecated (and so is a pain to compile) – time to move to the current methods.

Which would be great if the docs were clear for my use case.

See, I don’t want to just move the whole application over to a Glade designed interface, or use GtkApplication. The sane choice (I thought) was bring things over in a working, if minimal state.

So, I can use glade to build a menubar, save the result to xml. Then I’m failing to add the GObject I load out of the GtkBuilder to the application window I’ve created manually. And every tutorial assumes that I plan to just move everything to glade.

Frustrated, and considering my options…