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.
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.
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.
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.