This is a cool camera. The images I’ve gotten so far are kind of funky. Exposure and focus are pretty good but the color balance is nuts. I think it’s the expired Impossible Project film — every batch gets better but it still doesn’t have the stability or shelf life that Polaroid’s integral films had. Yet. Scanned on a 600DPI Canon MF8350, straightened, and cropped.
A viewer on the 52 Cameras channel on Youtube has a Maxxum and the film counter stays at ‘0’. I ran through a few checks on mine that might be helpful.
First, the easy stuff — check that the batteries are fresh and making good contact. The LCD can be on when there’s not enough juice to run the film transport motor. LCDs are very low power compared to motors. Some people recommend against it, but I’ve had good results cleaning battery contacts with a pencil eraser. If the contacts are really corroded, take off the battery holder, take out the batteries, and soak the holder in white vinegar. When it stops bubbling, rinse it off, dry it thoroughly, and try again.
Open the back, turn the camera on, and push the back catch with something small like my trusty cocktail straw. Watch the sprocket — it should turn. With no film, my camera tries four times. You’ll need to push the button and slide the back release down so you can close the back again.
Last, there is a little roller on the inside of the camera back. It should turn freely so it will hold the film against the take-up spool.
That’s it for checking and verifying things I can think of. If anyone has more tips, please chime in in the Youtube comments. I was invaded by spambots and had to turn comments off on the blog.
The 52 Cameras Maxxum 7000 video link.
Worst case, check Etsy, shopgoodwill.com or that online auction site. Maxxums are still really cheap.
As far as treating this like an experiment, I did pretty much everything wrong. I had nothing but variables.
I used a camera I’d never used before.
It was loaded with unknown el-cheapo 400 film that came with the camera. The label, including the DX coding, was a sticker. It wasn’t even Lomo-branded, just a sticker.
I’d never processed color print film before so saying I’d never used the chemicals (Unicolor C-41 kit) before is kind of redundant.
Just to be a complete fool, I used a reel and tank I’d never used before too. It’s a Paterson set I got from Goodwill. The plastic reel is almost the same as the Yankee I used for the 120 B&W but I had a heck of a time getting it loaded in the dark bag. And, of course, the tank lid leaked like a $#@! when I inverted it.
I also ignored the camera manual where it says not to bother using it indoors. I tried to catch the cats in action in the house and got a whole lot of nothing.
Astonishingly, I got 11 frames with something on them. Eight of them are even reasonably well exposed.
Here are three with a wee bit of visual interest.
Some crops from the raven photo.
There is a lot of exposure variation from lens to lens but that’s part of the adventure with strange, cheap cameras. It’s a lot of fun to use so we’re already burning through another roll. Negatives scanned at 4800DPI on a Canoscan 9000f and resized for upload. Straightened, cropped, and a small color tweak in Photoshop.
Based on what I’ve learned from processing this roll, the next one will get a rinse between the developer and blix. I’ll also do a post-stabilizer rinse and Photoflo — there were a lot of water spots. I’ll practice with the Paterson reel and use the Yankee if it’s hosed. I may use the Yankee tank any way since it doesn’t leak. I need to get some small containers so it’s easier to keep track of the age of the chemicals.
a superficial or insincere display of concern for the environment that is shown by an organization (1)
Out of six pages (three sheets) almost three are ads and filler. Subtract the useless white space on the first page and the whole thing, including Important Notices could be one double-sided sheet. I could use electronic billing/payment but Sprint’s password policy — the strongest password their system will take — is laughably weak.
(1) “greenwash.” Collins English Dictionary – Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition. HarperCollins Publishers. 29 Jan. 2015. Dictionary.com http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/greenwash.
Expired Lomo ISO 100 B&W that came with M’s Diana. I’m pretty sure it’s really Shanghai or Lucky. The emulsion and backing paper are really thin so longer exposures have the same problem I had with the Voigtlander (week 9). What looks like grain or a noisy scan is the texture (and sometimes the dots and numbers) of the backing paper showing on the negative.
A few shots came out OK. I’m really happy about that since this is the first roll I have ever processed. I used Diafine, because it’s pretty much idiot-proof, and Arista Universal Rapid fixer at ~ 70F.
Scanned on the Canon 9000f at 1200DPI. Straightened and cropped but no exposure tweaks.