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.
Using the Ansco Readyflash Part1: Spooling 620 Film
There are a lot of sites with instructions for paring down 120 spools instead of re-spooling. Give it a whirl if you don’t mind risking a roll. A couple of examples:
One warning if you decide to go this route: The 620 film slot and the corresponding piece in the camera that turns it are smaller. Make sure the adapted roll is smooth on the ends and rotates freely. Otherwise, the bit inside the camera may rotate inside the slot of the film spool and break it. Filing the end of the spool makes it even weaker. See my experience using a 120 spool in a Rover (Diana) camera.
Film Photography Project 620 film goodies: https://filmphotographystore.com/collections/all/620-film
Ilford HP5 developed in HC110. Beautiful, contrast-y stuff.
For lending me the camera — Thanks Dave!
Amazing collection of Kodak catalogs at Kodakcollector.com.
A clarification: The camera could be as late as 1934. The catalog years overlap — 1932-33, 1933-34, 1934-35. The 34-35 catalog is the first one to show the “Action Front” push button bed release. The 32-33 catalog is the only one that explicitly states the camera is available in black or brown but I don’t know if later model years had the color choice. If it is from 33-34, the doublet was the low-end lens with an f/6.3 or f/4.5 anastigmat as an upgrade and a Diodak shutter option which added 1/10 second to the speeds of the Kodon.
The scalloping at the top of the next image is from re-spooling the film. I didn’t have it perfectly parallel to the 620 spool rim so the film & paper came off at an angle and wrinkled.
Taken with the tape and poster board seals. Still leaked.
Getting the cardboard between the bellows and the folding front was a challenge. Good view of the aperture setting: U.S. 8=f/11, 16=f/16, 32=f/22, 64=f/32.
The back is 6 X 9cm and the front is sized to let the Instax frame slide in.
I still got light leaks between the top and body. I tried yet more tape before giving up and shrouding the whole thing with my dark bag.
I don’t have a proper darkroom so here’s the process. I taped up the Instax film box to use as a transfer station.
I got turned around a couple of times and loaded the Instax frame with the image side towards the lens. I burned through most of a box of 10 prints to get two OK images but it was still a lot cheaper and faster than using negative film (re-spool, reload, process) for each iteration.
Ansco also made a box camera ca. 1926 called the Craftsman No.2A.
Because the shutter is slow I used a Y2 filter (1 stop) for most of the shots on this roll. The yellow provides a nice contrast boost too.
I’m really impressed by the sharpness of the images. No post-processing other than resizing.
Checking the focal length
I taped the inside edge, where the film insert goes and marked the tape at the film plane.
Next I taped the lens inside so I wouldn’t scratch it with the calipers and put a thin piece of card stock along the film plane line.
The calipers have a post that sticks out as the jaws open allowing depth measurements.
Checking the aperture
You can see the aperture in front of the lens but behind the shutter.
The Play-Doh was covered in plastic food wrap as I held the shutter open with the stem from a cotton swab and pressed it into the aperture. I could have used about five hands for this operation. Thankfully, there isn’t glass in front of the shutter.
~90mm focal length / ~7mm diameter = ~f/13.
And then I found this ad. I need to re-find it on the web so I can give proper credit.
Checking the shutter speed
I set the Olympus to 240 frames per second and shot the shutter six times. In Quicktime, I counted frames from closed (pure black) to closed again. From my working notes:
Vid at 240 frames / second = 4.17 ms / frame
75 / 6 = 12.5 frames
12.5 x 4.17ms = 0.0521 seconds = ~ 5/100 = ~ 1/20 second avg.
fastest = 11 = ~ 4.6/100 = ~ 1/22
slowest = 14 = ~ 5.8/100 = ~ 1/17
The red window is bright and easy to read. Maybe too easy. The right edge of the aspen image and the top of the goats have some funky marks. It could be from processing. I’d need to shoot another roll doing frames with the window covered and uncovered to be sure.
Note to self: Cover the window on an old unknown camera unless that’s part of the test.
I forgot to include a couple of things in the video. The Rover has 3 focus settings, 4-6 feet, 6-12 feet, and 12 feet to infinity. It also has a bulb setting. Bulb is a bit of a challenge since it has no cable release and no tripod socket.
Expired Kodak Ektar 100 film. Processed by The Camera Shop of Santa Fe and scanned on a CanoScan 9000f at 2400DPI.
Kodak Tri-X 400 developed in HC-110 and Ilford rapid fix. Scanned on a CanoScan 9000f at 2400DPI.