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.
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)
Later price and then 1/2 price
Exposure instructions right on the backing paper
It performed well for film 37 years past its “develop by” date
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
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)
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.
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
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 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.
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.
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.
The extra exposure from the back being opened created what looks like the Sabattier 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.
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.
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
Watering can on stump: f/4 at 1/15
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$700 from Liu’s Camera & Radio
This was during the period when the Hong Kong Dollar had a floating value in relation to the US Dollar. According to the Federal Reserve, the exchange on 16 August 1982 was HK$ 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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