Found Kodacolor

I found an envelope of film marked “A. Robinson’s USA trip – July 1966”.

Sorting the film out (it had been clipped into three frame sets) I had six rolls of “Kodacolor – X”, roughly covering:

  • Puerto Rican Day Parade – New York
  • Niagara Falls
  • A plant visit
  • Washington and suburban dwellings
  • Interstate travel and suburban dwellings
  • San Francisco (and some end frames from Australia)

What else do I know? This camera was bad at frame spacing sometimes and also damaged the sprocket holes at different times. The colours have held up surprisingly well actually:

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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.

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.

<http://www.dmin-dmax.fr/photoe2b.htm>

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.

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?

So, I bought a pile of 65mm negative film

I found a good deal on some 65mm film. Now what?

My plan is to slit it down to make 220 film. I like my Hasselblad 500c/m and the E6 out of it is just amazing on the lighttable. So, how to cost effectively shoot more? Hence, the 65mm film.

Since 120/220 is nominally 60mm wide, how hard can it be to accurately trim 2.5mm off each side? Hmm…

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But I’m getting ahead of myself here. What are my options for exposing this stuff? With a usable space between the sprocket holes of ~52mm, we are not very far from the actual 56x56mm image area of normal Hasselblad images.

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The A12V back is a 4.5×6 back that gives you portrait format 645 on standard 120 film, at the expense of image area on the right and left. Given I have the sprocket holes already taking up space, the loss offends me a lot less. So lets slip the film into the back and mark the maximum image with a pen:

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It doesn’t look too bad. By the way, the thick (badly aligned) lines are actually a 60mmx45mm. So the A12V is noticeably smaller than that. Closer to ~53×39, but still a very good option and likely to give the A12V more work than it currently gets.

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What about an A12 6×6? Actually, this doesn’t look too bad does it? The sprocket holes are only just intruding into the image area. I’m liking this more and more.

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Ok, can I process this stuff? If I can’t easily get it into my reels, then life gets much harder. On my first try, the radial spokes in my stainless steel reel kinked the film and made loading impossible. So, I trimmed ~2mm off one side. Much better, I could load, but the film still kinked at each spoke, so another 2mm off the other side. Very good. The film loads easily (the base is much stiffer than the commercial 120 I’m used to) and has a very small amount of play side to side. Just like normal 120.

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Now, of course, I need some way to slit 33 inches (840mm) of the stuff to make 120 and twice that for 220. In the dark. Without cutting me too. Time to go to the hardware store and start experimenting.

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