Flex the cartridge a few times to crack the seams.
Most of the edges come apart pretty easily but there are some “welds”. The top (label right side up) is the hardest part. The back (label side) overlaps the inside by about 5mm and there is a glue weld inside the overlap. You might get lucky, you might have to use a knife or razor blade, or, like my first one, you might mangle it. It’s still usable, I just have to use more tape to seal it.
The old film will be really curly. I saved it for testing frame spacing and used a piece of the paper as fixed film backing.
Most of the articles I’ve read skip this part. You can go without but the focus will be a little off. A lot of Instamatics had pretty soft focus from cheap plastic lenses. It depends — do you want to embrace the Lomo-style effects or try to take a “good” photograph?
After smoothing the tape and giving the cartridge a good dusting, it’s time to get things ready to go into the dark. I use a changing bag but anywhere you can work in total darkness is fine.
I haven’t seen other articles where the supply side was put onto a spool. It made it a lot easier for me to get it rolled properly.
My dark bag checklist:
- cartridge front and back
- 35mm film in the cartridge
- four precut pieces of studio tape attached in order to a small ruler
Go slow, turn off your phone, and give the cat some snacks. You want to be able to do this by feel without distraction.
The in-the-dark sequence from my written notes:
- cut the 35mm leader
- tape film to supply spool
- wind film and cut from 35mm cart.
- tape film to take-up spool
- assemble and close 126 cartridge
- tape take-up side of 126 cart.
- tape supply side of 126 cart.
- put the film in the camera and close the back
I decided to cut the 35mm leader in the bag so I could pull enough to make it easy to tape to the supply spool without exposing a couple of frames. The tape pieces were pre-measured for taping to the spools and holding the ends of the cartridge together. I felt for the short spool pieces and went left to right along the ruler so I got the right piece for each step. Because the cartridge was somewhat mangled, I decided to tape the camera back light-tight instead. The top and bottom edges of the cartridge would be a pretty precise tape job in the dark bag.
After pulling the camera out of the bag, I used more studio tape on the seams of the camera back.
I’ll do another, shorter, post about actually using this kludge in the camera.
This is the end-ish of the 52 Cameras Project. I’ll still be posting but I won’t hold to anything near a camera a week. A lot of cameras need TLC, I have a documentary photography class coming up in October, and a lot of projects need a push to get into production.
Not bad for a camera that was low-end 37 years ago. I’ll do a post about reloading 35mm film into a 126 cartridge later. I only had time to use the 35mm adapter in the scanner. The image overlaps the lower sprocket holes on 35mm film.
Scanned with the CanoScan 9000f at 4800 DPI using Image Capture.app and resized to 15% for upload. No idea why, but the Canon software overexposed everything.
We all know that Kodak’s strategy was to get cheap cameras into everyone’s hands and make money from film and processing sales. It doesn’t matter. The effect was still beneficial. Almost everyone has an awful snapshot that’s a meaningful part of their personal history.
I’m amazed at how well this camera did. The 1965 film, with a lot of help from the brilliant folks at Visions Photo Lab, turned out some nice images. The wobbly borders are from suspending the 127 film in the scanner’s 120 film holder. I like how the image overlaps the “Kodak Safety Film” edges. The images are oriented correctly — I have no idea why the edge markings are mirror-image.
OK, not quite “extinct”. Blue Moon has 127 film. I haven’t tried it yet but I’ve read good things about it.
This camera found a new home at my Etsy shop:
The Lomo film (expired in 2012) is better than I expected and the old lens is sharper than I expected. Processing and contact print by Visions Photo Lab. Scanned as black and white at 4800DPI on the CanoScan 9000f using the Canon Scan Gear software. Some of the images are cropped — I like to scan a little larger than the image in case I have to straighten. A little bit of dust and cat hair cleanup in Photoshop but no other edits.
This camera found a new home at my Etsy shop:
This camera is in surprisingly good shape. All it needed was a good cleaning and a little glue on the case where the felt was coming away from the leather.
I usually have a couple of cameras (or several) going at once since the first test frequently goes jelly-side down. I had four going at once and they all came out so I have some time to do repairs and scanning.
It turns out the B&H 828 film isn’t cut down 120 roll film, it’s 35mm (135) spooled with backing paper. Because 828’s frame size is 40×28 mm vs. 36×24 mm for 35mm film, the image overlays the upper sprocket holes. 828 had a single index hole per frame on the bottom so the image on 35mm film is above the bottom sprockets. The Bantam Special has the film index hole sensor. You push a button to retract it and then let it go so it can fall into the next frame’s hole. I expected a smooth roll (120 has no holes) so I used the counter window and ignored the button. I thought the camera was having advance problems but it was hanging up on the sprocket holes. I got a partial frame on one shot and two frames that overlap by about a third.
Processing by Visions Photo Lab.
828 is an 8-frame-per-roll format but I’m posting a few more images than usual. I want to show the sprocket holes and other details. All are scanned to TIFFs on the CanoScan 9000f, 4800 DPI, millions of colors unless otherwise noted.
Not a great photo but if I crop out the cardboard it’ll be nice.
Both images were scanned using Image Capture.app. The software takes the selected area into account when determining the exposure so they’re a little different — the sprocket holes are black-black. I suspended the film in the 120 holder to get the holes.
A nice thing about B&W process B&W film is that scanning in color gives a nice sepia tone. Color process is convenient but the emulsion is orange.
This was scanned directly to B&W using Canon’s Scan Gear software.
I got a yellow cloud filter in the case with the camera. It really makes the clouds pop. Scanned to B&W with Scan Gear.
I have a second spool now, some nice 120 film, and a cigar cutter. I can’t wait to shoot more with this camera!
One of my derp-ier videos. I started a day late and I’m trying to finish my taxes and get cameras ready for the lunar eclipse.