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.
Using the Ansco Readyflash Part2: Loading & Shooting
Film Photography Project 620 film goodies: https://filmphotographystore.com/collections/all/620-film
A comprehensive history of Koni cameras: http://www.peterlanczak.de/koni_overview.htm
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.
That’s it for posted images taken with this camera. About the kludges follows.
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.
- Put the film in the box.
- The box and camera go into the dark bag. Remove the film, remove one frame from the cartridge, insert it in the holder in the camera, and put the cartridge back in the box.
- Meter, carefully take the camera out of the bag, and shroud everything but the lens and shutter trigger.
- Take the shot and put the camera back in the bag.
- Take the frame out of the holder, slide it back in the Instax cartridge, and put the cartridge in the light-tight box.
- Put the Instax camera in the bag, load the cartridge, take it out, cover the lens, and shoot it to run the print through the Instax rollers.
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.
Not a lot of images to show in addition to what’s in the video. Fujifilm Neopan 100 Acros developed in Kodak HC-110.
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.
I struck out trying to find a manual or information and had to find out for myself.
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.
I only got six shots on the first roll before the film jammed. A couple of examples are in the video.
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.
I bought another lot of expired film. One of the 120 rolls, some Kodak 200 of unknown provenance and vintage, was exposed. I gambled a few bucks and took it for processing with the color roll from an upcoming camera-of-the-week.
Processed by The Camera Shop of Santa Fe and scanned at 2400DPI on the CanoScan 9000f.
The images are 2 1/4 inches (~6cm) and they’re vertical, as in if the film is hanging, the images are right-side-up, so I think it’s from a TLR or a 120 SLR like a Hasselblad or Mamiya that doesn’t feed film sideways. There is vignetting on some of the shots and the film spacing was all over the place so it was probably a cheaper camera. Not a Hasselblad at any rate since there aren’t any edge markings on the frames.
I’m pretty sure the light leaks are from after the film was shot. It wasn’t very tight on the spool.
I have to look at the frame numbers — I don’t know if the double exposure is before, after, or more probably, in between the other shots of the same scenes.
Scanned at 4800DPI on the Canoscan 9000f. Resized to 10% for upload. A little color tweak on the door picture but no other edits.
More posts soon. This first batch is to make up for not having samples in the video.
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.