Tag Archives: 35

You work with the tools you have.

I developed a couple of rolls of found film. The image below is from a Canon EOS Rebel II I reviewed recently. I’ve only used the chemicals for 2 rolls, the Kodak B&W split between the Kalimar KX5000 and the Rebel II and the Phound Photos roll from the Nikon EM so I don’t think the developer has gone bad. I’ll have to develop another roll before I know for sure. My thermometer and temperature controller agreed and I stop-watched the same as usual so I don’t think it was user error. The reason for this preamble is that both rolls are super thin – holding them up to a bright light, you can barely tell there are images at all. Both rolls were in thrift shop cameras and of unknown vintage but the similarities have me second guessing myself.

On to the point of this post. Canon’s Scangear software can be a little wobbly so I frequently do multiple scans with different options selected. It’s especially important when, like this roll, scans are at the ragged edge of being able to get anything. I just upgraded Vuescan and read an article about using its RAW capabilities so i tried that too for kicks. All versions were scanned at 2400DPI with color negative as the input type. That corrects for the orange base of color negative film so “no corrections” isn’t completely true. The file numbers don’t match because of a known-for-years-but-never-fixed bug in Canon’s software.

The film is Walmart-branded Fujicolor Super HQ 200.

Scangear scan with no corrections (scan 1).

Scangear scan with no corrections (scan 1).


The no corrections base scan (scan 1) with Photoshop Elements' (PSE) Auto Smart Fix (ASF) applied. Much better contrast & sharpness but the colors are still pretty orange and sharpening definitely boosted the grain.

The no corrections base scan (scan 1) with Photoshop Elements’ (PSE) Auto Smart Fix (ASF) applied. Much better contrast & sharpness but the colors are still pretty orange and sharpening definitely boosted the grain.


Scan 1 with GIMP's auto input levels applied. GIMP is much more manual and doesn't have a let-us-fix-it-for-you tool like PSE's ASF. The colors are MUCH better but removing the orange "fog" reveals more grain too. Maybe PSE didn't sharpen that much.

Scan 1 with GIMP’s auto input levels applied. GIMP is much more manual and doesn’t have a let-us-fix-it-for-you tool like PSE’s ASF. The colors are MUCH better but removing the orange “fog” reveals more grain too. Maybe PSE didn’t sharpen that much.


I messed with a lot of settings – back light, fading, grain, and manual histogram adjustments – before settling on Fading Correction set to low.

The same image with Scangear's Fading Correction set to low (scan 2). Definitely starting from a better place.

The same image with Scangear’s Fading Correction set to low (scan 2). Definitely starting from a better place.


Scan 2 and PSE's ASF applied. Slightly better than before but still pretty orange.

Scan 2 and PSE’s ASF applied. Slightly better than before but still pretty orange.


Scan 2 + GIMP auto input levels.

Scan 2 + GIMP auto input levels.


Vuescan, or my ability to use Vuescan, did not cover itself in glory. The RAW file wouldn’t open in any software I have. Adobe Camera RAW, PSE, GIMP, & Preview all showed a giant black rectangle. For the could-actually-see-something scan, I didn’t maintain the same settings. I still used 2400DPI but scanned as TIFF and 48-bit color instead of JPEG 24-bit like I used with Scangear. I need to go back and do apples-to-apples. PSE would not open a 48-bit (16 bits per channel) TIFF. Preview and GIMP opened it fine so, thanks Adobe, for deliberately crippling the less expensive, not a subscription, version of your software.

Vuescan scan to 48-bit color TIFF and converted to 24-bit JPEG with Preview (scan 3). Better color but lots of scanner artifacts. I'll re-calibrate before I re-scan since I installed the new version.

Vuescan scan to 48-bit color TIFF and converted to 24-bit JPEG with Preview (scan 3). Better color but lots of scanner artifacts. I’ll re-calibrate before I re-scan since I installed the new version.


Scan 3 + PSE ASF. Lost contrast but removed some magenta.

Scan 3 + PSE ASF. Lost contrast but removed some magenta.


Scan 3 + GIMP auto input levels. Better contrast but a bit yellow.

Scan 3 + GIMP auto input levels. Better contrast but a bit yellow.

Off the scanner, the colors are better with Vuescan. To me, the best of these images using only quick auto-corrections is Scan 1 + Gimp. GIMP didn’t do as well with the darker, higher contrast version (scan 2). That may change with some added labor. GIMP does a lot of things better than PSE but not everything and it’s definitely more of a manual tool. That also may change after re-calibrating the scanner with Vuescan. The automation with Vuescan is not great. I use it a lot for prints, Polaroids, and large format (one-off images) but it expects even spacing to do a section of a roll and that just doesn’t happen with the vintage/broken/not its native format kind of images I throw at the scanner.

What I really need to do is take the time to work out a new workflow using the full-frame DSLR and macro. I couldn’t get past how much slower I was trying to touch-type than I was as a fast hunt-and-pecker so i never learned to type. I need to suck it up and push past going slower and learn to do this right.

52 Cameras: Canon EOS Rebel II

A good description of the timeline and various names.
Film Photography Podcast asks: “Best Value 35mm SLR Film Camera?!”



This is from 1/2 roll of Kodak BW400CN, expired 01/2006. I overrode the DX speed and set it to ISO 320 to compensate for the age.The other 1/2 was in the Kalimar KX5000.
Bad framing but kind of fun. I added rotational blur to the wheel. The flash froze everything.

Bad framing but kind of fun. I added rotational blur to the wheel. The flash froze everything.


Jem wondering why I'm playing with the camera and not giving him snacks.

Jem wondering why I’m playing with the camera and not giving him snacks.


Rustic angel. Part of a descanso near Arroyo Seco.

Rustic angel. Part of a descanso near Arroyo Seco.


Still life with cat lamp.

Still life with cat lamp.

Phound Photos Volume 19

This roll was in a Nikon EM from a local thrift store. It’s Kodak Gold 200 color print film. I might have ruined some images – I dropped the developing canister after the film was loaded. It didn’t crack so I figured I was good to go. The top of one of the reels had come off so a few inches of the film stuck together and no developer could get in there. Still, I got 21 images with something from a 36 exposure roll. Of those, maybe 12 are decent with a little cropping and color correction. All needed spot, dust, and cat hair cleanup. Developed in Cinestill C-41.

The construction images are interesting. They have a lot of motion blur and came out looking almost like watercolors. I just cropped and cleaned up - no effects.

The construction images are interesting. They have a lot of motion blur and came out looking almost like watercolors.
I just cropped and cleaned up – no effects.


The rest are from a Ju Jitsu dojo – maybe in Albuquerque.
The guy on the bottom is not enjoying life.

The guy on the bottom is not enjoying life.


Belt award?

Belt award?


Picture with the sensei. Go Lobos!

Picture with the sensei. Go Lobos!

52 Cameras: Konica FS-1


Good article: http://www.konicafiles.com/slr-bodies/-konica-fs-1-1979/

My description of the VF meter displays was as clear as mud.
Here’s a link to the manual: https://www.butkus.org/chinon/konica/konica_fs-1/konica_fs-1.htm



We had signed up for the November 2020 Joshua Tree Half Marathon but the pandemic happened and the race was canceled. We decided to keep the Airbnb and escape any way. It’s in the middle of nowhere so except for buying take-out and booze we didn’t need to interact with anyone. A nice short trip to shake off the stuck-at-home blues. We wandered around Palm Springs in the rain, visited the Salton Sea, and did a fun hike in Joshua Tree National Park. We had to quarantine when we got back but it wasn’t much different from life before so it was definitely worth it.

Cactus in Joshua Tree.

Cactus in Joshua Tree.


At the Airbnb.

At the Airbnb.



Kokopelli on the way to Garrett's Arch.

Kokopelli on the way to Garrett’s Arch.

Modifying An Old Macro Bellows




Minolta SR mount is the same bayonet as MC & MD but with no meter coupling or smallest aperture lever.

I know I can buy a bellows, either an old M42 or a new really expensive Novoflex, but that’s no fun. Besides, this one was too beat up to use as-was, so it was either repair/modify it or recycle the aluminum and landfill the rest.

There wasn’t much room for captions in the video and they go by pretty fast so here are the 1st pass results for how much magnification I get with the 75mm enlarger lens:

Bellows retracted all the way: 0.66… (2/3).
Bellows fully extended: 1.92.

The test shots were done on a full-frame Sony A7. Full-frame is 24mm high X 36mm wide. I just tested vertically and took photos of a ruler and counted the visible millimeters. 24mm would be 1:1 (life size). It’s not terribly accurate since I had the camera & bellows angled on a tripod and hand held the ruler but close enough for a go-no go check.

I’ll add images and more rigorous test results or link to a new post if it gets too long.

52 Cameras: Fuji Discovery 400 Tele


https://www.678vintagecameras.ca/blog/those-twicky-twansitional-twin-lens-point-shoots



Not a great image but fun - paw prints where a young black bear climbed over the neighbor's wall to get apples.

Not a great image but fun – paw prints where a young black bear climbed over the neighbor’s wall to get apples.


My sweetie at Latir Lake #4 (of 9).

My sweetie at Latir Lake #4 (of 9).


Goober, that handsome devil.

Goober, that handsome devil.


Bus detail.

Bus detail.

Phound Photos Volume 17

This film was in the Chinon SLR I reviewed. It’s Kodak Max 400 I think, I can’t find my notes and the film is so dark I can’t read frame numbers or edge markings.

There was a lot of overlap, sometimes triple exposure, so the parts of the film that have images are kind of a jumble. Except for a couple (see below), it wasn’t worth extracting individual frames so I scanned strips – 5K-ish wide by 700-ish tall. WordPress image upload barfed on trying to do post-processing on the wide images so I’m putting links to unprocessed files. Click the link and your browser will open the JPEG in a new tab or window. In Firefox or Safari, click it and it will zoom to 100%. Then you can horizontal scroll.

1st image (~1.4MB)– The exterior shots look like the landscape around Los Alamos.
2nd image (~2MB)– This half is in better shape (multiple exposures aside). I think it may have been earlier on the roll so better protected when curious folks opened the camera back.

This is probably the best image I could salvage.

This is probably the best image I could salvage.


Old image or just old school. Dad may be military.

Old image or just old school. Dad may be military.


After WordPress couldn’t process, I punted and put the files on Google Photos. [time goes by…] After wasting an hour or so of my life, I found that Google Photos, like many things Google does, is a useless waste of time. They want complete control of how and with whom you share your own photos. I can share an album or a photo that’s not in an album but it either is controlled within Google’s viewer, which blows, or it can be downloaded. As a download transfer station to get images to friends, it does work, so it does have very limited utility. There are a couple of convoluted hacks to get links directly to files but none of them worked for me. I should have expected as much. After giving up on Google, I looked at the media library in WordPress and the original files had uploaded, it just couldn’t process thumbnails and other intermediate sizes.

Google – Don’t be evil. Hahahaha! Sucker! Getting you to think we weren’t going to be evil was the most evil part.