52 Cameras: # 181 — Kodak Brownie Starflex




Barrancas at Pojoaque Pueblo

Barrancas at Pojoaque Pueblo


Light through the leaves

Light through the leaves


Dramatic sky

Dramatic sky


This image was in the video but this is before I cropped & cleaned up. There’s a head in the upper left. He noticed I was shooting a film camera and we talked a bit. His name’s Siddho and he’s a photographer in Santa Fe.
Siddho's head

Siddho’s head




A shout out to Bob for giving me the film. He’s the same guy who lent me his Nikon FM.
Original price (sticker underneath)

Original price (sticker underneath)


Later price and then 1/2 price

Later price and then 1/2 price


Exposure instructions right on the backing paper

Exposure instructions right on the backing paper


It performed well for film 37 years past its "develop by" date

It performed well for film 37 years past its “develop by” date

52 Cameras: # 180 — Bolsey B2




I’ll start with an image that’s in the video. I just metered the scene without compensating for the strong back light. This is what I got:
Goober & Jem: un-adjusted

Goober & Jem: un-adjusted


Using the scanner adjustment to compensate. I can see them but the background is brighter (don’t care) and they look hazy (do care). This is the result:
Dragged the scanner software midtone on the histogram to 60 (default 128)

Dragged the scanner software midtone on the histogram to 60 (default 128)


I tried the Photoshop merge, the same wizard that let’s you create a panorama. It did not cover itself in glory. Several manual variations later, I came up with this:
Stacked the images as layers and played with transparency.  Then used the levels setting in Preview.

Stacked the images as layers and played with transparency. Then used the levels setting in Preview.


I may be able to get something better using layers with a selective erase (I got better results putting the darker layer one top and varying the transparency, which seems counter-intuitive to me) but I’m not sure it won’t look like modern HDR-that doesn’t look real images.

The film & the lens handle wide contrast ranges if you meter properly

The film & the lens handle wide contrast ranges if you meter properly


I have a scanner-brightened version of this too but I haven't tried exposure stacking.

I have a scanner-brightened version of this too but I haven’t tried exposure stacking.


I was trying to avoid cars in the frame and ended up with "Ladies & Gentlemen, St. Francis has left the building".

I was trying to avoid cars in the frame and ended up with “Ladies & Gentlemen, St. Francis has left the building”.

52 Cameras: # 179 — Time Magazine Promotional Camera




I wanted to shoot with this camera before I start modifying it and maybe destroy it completely. Plus, I got an unused roll of film in a camera bag that came with a camera. – some Kodak HD 400. No idea of its age or how it was stored so it’s ideal for a low-expectations camera.

Links mentioned in the video:
https://www.instructables.com/id/Upgrade-Your-Time-Magazine-Promotional-Camera/
https://collectiblend.com/Cameras/New-Taiwan/
1984 Time Magazine camera promo commercial

Most of the Time cameras have the fake motor drive bump out – mine doesn’t. This guy has the exact same camera, right down to the SN on the lens.

Some color tweaks and haze removal but that’s more the film than the camera.


Rug drying in Santa Fe

Rug drying in Santa Fe


Jem - a cat with a purpose

Jem – a cat with a purpose


Trinity's just trying to stay cool

Trinity’s just trying to stay cool

Phound Photos Volume 13

Kodak Max 400 found in a Canon Sure Shot Ace. The film canister doesn’t give any clues about the date. The camera is from 1988.

Some young ladies having fun trying on prom(?) dresses.

Weird to think they're probably in their 40s now.

Weird to think they’re probably in their 40s now.


The film was horrendously jammed. With a good battery, the film wouldn’t rewind and it was at the end of the roll so it couldn’t wind either.
Double exposure

Double exposure


The extra exposure from the back being opened created what looks like the Sabattier effect.

The extra exposure from the back being opened created what looks like the Sabattier effect.


An even more extreme example of the effect.

An even more extreme example of the effect.


Cropping out the overexposure and a little tweaking of levels and this could be a nice image.

Cropping out the overexposure and a little tweaking of levels and this could be a nice image.


There are twelve frames with something. A few of those are salvageable as “normal” images. To get the film out, I had to work in the dark bag and cut it loose from the canister. Then I was able to feed it around the take-up spool in the wind direction until it separated from the spool.

    Some notes & random thoughts

  • The film has a really pronounced curl along its length so it was difficult to get it into the scanner. While researching how to get rid of the curl, I came across a suggestion to iron it. I used a black portion of the film to try it. I did about five seconds and the film picked up the texture of the cotton cloth (old summer-weight PJs, not textured) and the table beneath it. I do not recommend ironing curly film. By inserting the film emulsion down, apex of curl up (opposite Canon’s directions), I was able to get the film holder to make it flat enough to scan. It’s easy to flip the images in post. The scans are OK but the film is in a sleeve inside a large hardcover book. I’m curious how long it will take to flatten. I found some wrinkly manuals I’d put in there maybe a year ago (and forgotten) and they look great.
  • I really want to experiment and figure out how the pseudo-solarization came about and repeat it on purpose. On the first yellow image above, I think the left part was on the spool towards the back of the camera and the image was increasingly shielded by the take up spool as you move right. The same for the rotated portrait format image. I’m guessing the landscape one was a lower frame number so it was more shielded. I’ll have to check the numbers. That the effect is yellow is a good starting point for reproducing the effect. Exposed through orange tinted backing, yellow’s RGB complement… I have a lot of research to do.
  • The camera is a little weird and kind of cool for an f/3.5 wide angle P&S from the 1980s. It has an “Easy Viewer”, a low-angle viewfinder like the Photura, and the left side slides off to become an infrared remote. I have a battery and some dead film for transport testing. If it works, I’ll shoot with it and feature it soon.

52 Cameras: # 178 — Ricoh XR-2s




This is the same Kodak High Contrast Copy Film I tested in the Nikon FA. Beautiful but challenging stuff. I shot ~ 1/2 roll and got 13 images. Not 13 subjects since I was bracketing. With the film speed all the way down to ISO 12, the XR-2s doesn’t allow exposure compensation so some I shot at Auto (aperture priority) ISO 12 and some in metered manual at ISO 6. Developed in HC-110 dilution H for 11.5 minutes. Still too much agitation so I had to crop in a bit to avoid the over-development near the sprocket holes.
Pot & rock: f/8 at 1/2 second

Pot & rock: f/8 at 1/2 second


Watering can on stump: f/4 at 1/15

Watering can on stump: f/4 at 1/15


Agave: f/2.8 at 1/8

Agave: f/2.8 at 1/8


A fun bit of history – the receipt for the zoom lens in the kit.
In 1982, the Tokina zoom was HK$700 from Liu's Camera & Radio

In 1982, the Tokina zoom was HK$700 from Liu’s Camera & Radio


This was during the period when the Hong Kong Dollar had a floating value in relation to the US Dollar. According to the Federal Reserve, the exchange on 16 August 1982 was HK$ 6.1350 to 1 US$. The lens was the equivalent of US$114. But, a 1982 US$ is worth US$2.67 today so the lens was the equivalent of US$304. For a constant aperture 100-300mm zoom, that’s a pretty good deal.

Random Post for 29 May 2019

When I left the job in Los Alamos, I sent myself a bunch of emails. The digital equivalent of cleaning out your desk I guess.

Remember when Spaghetti Cat was the big thing?

Sticky note portrait by M

Sticky note portrait by M


Zombies and cats just naturally go together

Zombies and cats just naturally go together


Remember when Sweet Brown and “Ain’t nobody got time for dat!” was the big thing?
I took it in a different direction

I took it in a different direction


My friend emailed and the bobcat picture is from October 9, 2016.
Visitor at my friend's house in Santa Fe

Visitor at my friend’s house in Santa Fe


Going waaay back, remember the Partnership for a Drug Free America PSAs?

But try to find the Grape-Nuts commercial where Euell Gibbons asks, “Ever eat a pine tree?”.

52 Cameras: # 176 — Cigar Box Pinhole WPPD 2019


Sites mentioned in the video:
Mr Pinhole: http://mrpinhole.com/
Draw angles on-line: https://rechneronline.de/winkel/angles.php



This camera’s specs:
Focal length: 91mm
Pinhole diameter: 0.4mm
F Stop: f/226
Film diagonal using 4×5″: 163mm
Angle of view: 83.7 degrees
Film: Instax Wide 800 ISO, & Arista EDU Ultra 100 ISO (actually Fomapan 100)


The neighbor's red barn.  1/5 second at f/226.

The neighbor’s red barn. 1/5 second at f/226.


Not a lot to show. I had the Instax and 4 sheets in the holders, one of which became this…
Normally, it's solid green.  I played with it after seeing the color of the rinse water.

Normally, it’s solid green. I played with it after seeing the color of the rinse water.


Not news to anyone familiar with large format (I’m not) but the notch is so you know which way is which in the dark. When the notch is on top, at the right, the emulsion is facing you. In the above image, you’re looking at the backing.

I actually have a 4X5 developing tank. I got it when I bought most of a darkroom from a guy in Santa Fe. He’s getting out of film photography to concentrate on restoring an old Lotus. Sometimes you have to choose and whichever passion is pulling you the strongest wins. Any way, it’s cool but it’s made to do a bunch of sheets at once and it takes a LOT of chemicals. So, I used the “taco” method to develop. You fold, well, gently bend, and put a hair tie around the film to keep it from coming undone. The Yankee tank I usually use wasn’t quite deep enough but I also got a Paterson from the same guy and it clears the 4″ height of the negatives. No reels but you have to keep in the center cylinder so it’s light tight. You can squeeze in 4 tacos but I only had the three to develop.

There’s a good taco development visual how-to on Flickr by Tony.

Rocks near Chimayo, NM.

Rocks near Chimayo, NM.


More rocks.  I lost a lot of the image to a light leak.

More rocks. I lost a lot of the image to a light leak.


This one really is portrait format - I tilted the ball head on the tripod all the way over.

This one really is portrait format – I tilted the ball head on the tripod all the way over.

I’m nearly caught up! Well, I have to scan two rolls and develop and scan another but that’s pretty close to caught up.

52 Cameras: # 175 — Coronet Ambassador




Nice coverage by the old lens.  6X9cm is a lot of film.

Nice coverage by the old lens. 6X9cm is a lot of film.


This one is cropped & contrast tweaked - not sure if it was lens flare or a light leak.

This one is cropped & contrast tweaked – not sure if it was lens flare or a light leak.


I scanned at 4800DPI so it made some huge (20+MB) files. Preview.app on the laptop was really struggling to resize the images. The images displayed while the hamster wheel was working full blast are interesting.
Screen grab of the tree image in the video during resizing

Screen grab of the tree image in the video during resizing