Monday, 28 February 2011

Week 61 - Kodak Instamatic 500

Kodak Instamatic 500, originally uploaded by pho-Tony.
My dad gave me this camera recently, he got it for next to nothing at a car boot sale several years ago.
The Kodak Instamatic range is normally associated with very basic point and shoot cameras, but there were a handful of more high spec models, and this one is the top of the range. It has a Xenar lens and a Compur shutter, with a built in coupled Selenium cell exposure meter which still seems to work.
The main problem with using these cameras is that the 126 cartridge format is long obsolete, and one has to rely on using old film. There was an unopened film in my dad's garage, which expired in 1993, and I've loaded that into the camera, it remains to be seen whether there is any life left in it!

Sunday, 27 February 2011

photo from week 60 - Leidox Ia

oranges are not the only fruit, originally uploaded by pho-Tony.
Taken in Chesterfield market, this was the brightest day pf the week, even so this was a full aperture, to allow for the faulty shutter, which only fires at around 1/200th second.
This film, which I have never used before, is extremely curly, some of the softness is probably due to the film not being flat during scanning, though the limited depth of field is also a factor.

photo from week 60 - Leidox Ia

I used the camera on the "B" setting to take this, my assistant fired a hend held flash gun as soon as I opened the shutter, there were also a couple of homemade slave flash units involved.

photos from week 60 - Leidox Ia

in memoriam, originally uploaded by pho-Tony.
These two were taken within a few minutes of each other on a very dull February day. This camera's shutter only works at around 1/200th of a second, so even at full aperture I knew these would be underexposed, hence the noise in the shadows.

Friday, 18 February 2011

photo from week 59 - Wray Stereo Graphic

light trails and filling station, originally uploaded by pho-Tony.
Finishing off the film on my evening walk, these were several second time exposures with the camera resting an walls or railings. Three adjacent frames.

photo from week 59 - Wray Stereo Graphic

This camera has a single shutter speed (approx 1/50th second) and "B". To use it indoors requires a tripod and a several second exposure, I set the aperture to the minimum, f16, and use the "B" setting to make an exposure of around 6 seconds.

photo from week 59 - Wray Stereo Graphic

Riace Bronzes, originally uploaded by pho-Tony.
This camera takes stereo pairs, on the negatives, each pair is two frames apart, so between each pair there are two other single frames, this is three adjacent frames.

Week 60 - Leidox Ia

Leidox Ia, originally uploaded by pho-Tony.
At first glance this looks like a 35mm camera, but in fact it takes 127 roll film, 12 square exposures each 4cm x 4cm. It was made in Germany in the very early 1950s and has an f3.8 5cm lens, which is slightly on the wide side for this format. The Prontor-S shutter should give speeds from 1 second to 1/300th, but this one gives the same speed (probably the fastest) whatever the setting. I have loaded it with my first roll of Macocolor UCN-200 film, so with a shutter speed of around 1/200th, I can use the "sunny 16" rule to set the aperture, all I need now is some sun!

black film

Well, I wasn't really expecting to get any photos from the old Boltavit film that came with the camera. I shot the roll, but when I unloaded it I could see that the paper seal to close the roll after exposure had been torn, confirming my expectation that at some time in its 70 year life, somebody had unrolled the film to see what was on it! I developed it anyway, but it was black. At least I now have 2 spools and a backing paper roll, so I can re-spool it with some unperforated 35mm film. Watch this space...

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

New Arrival

Boltavit, originally uploaded by pho-Tony.
This camera arrived last week, an ebay purchase, I was particularly interested as there was a film included. The film is probably beyond hope, and may well have been exposed to light by a previous owner, but it is wound on a reel in the unused position. I checked it in a changing bag, and there is film under the backing paper, the film is very thick, and the tape had detached from the backing paper. I decided I'd run it through the camera and see if anything comes out. I really don't expect anything, this film is probably 70 years old. I've re-taped the film, something I didn't think of doing when I used a 60 year old film in week 51, which resulted in the first frame being a bent-over double exposure.
I'll develop it in the next few days, but the main reason I wanted the film was for the reel and the backing paper, so I can re-spool it with some un-perforated 35mm film.

Tetenal C41 kit

Tetenal C41 kit, originally uploaded by pho-Tony.
I've now got everything I need for my first ever attempt at colour negative developing. In the past I used to process my own E6 and Ferrania colour slides, so I'm not too nervous, but it will be a bit more demanding than bog standard black and white.

Monday, 14 February 2011

Week 59 - Wray Stereo Graphic

Wray Stereo Graphic, originally uploaded by pho-Tony.
This camera takes approximately 25 stereo pairs on a 36 exposure roll of 35mm film. The images are square, and on the roll, each pair is separated by two other frames.
This is the same arrangement as the Iloca camera that I used in week 9, but that camera is considerably bulkier, though it does have full range shutters and better lenses.
The Wray has a fixed shutter speed (approx 1/50th, plus "B") and has four Waterhouse stop style apertures from f5.6 to f16.

Friday, 11 February 2011

photo from week 58 - Lubitel 2

Another Russian camera, another excuse to get the Russian hat out! It was very difficult to frame this photo as I couldn't get high enough above the viewfinder (designed for use at waist level) to get a good view of the scene. The exposure was around 12 seconds, I had to hand hold the shutter lever, as none of my cable releases would connect with the socket on the shutter.

photo from week 58 - Lubitel 2

Fairfield Inn (closed), originally uploaded by pho-Tony.
The Fairfield Inn is one of the casualties in this area of town.
The perspective reflects the fact the this was taken using the waist level finder.

photo from week 58 - Lubitel 2

Ship Inn (open), originally uploaded by pho-Tony.
The Ship Inn is one of the survivors in an area where many pubs have shut down.

Thursday, 10 February 2011

Week 58 - Lubitel 2

Lubitel 2, originally uploaded by pho-Tony.

I last put a film in this camera in the mid 1970s. I bought it new in around 1974 (the serial number shows that it was made in 1973). At the time it was very cheap for a twin lens reflex. I think that the 30 year expired film I used in week 52 would have been bought for use in this camera, this time I've loaded it with Shanghai GP3.

photo from week 57 - Ilford Sportsmaster

Masonic Hall diptych, originally uploaded by pho-Tony.
This was taken in a very narrow lane, and with the 50mm lens I could only get one corner of the building, so this is two consecutive frames.

photo from week 57 - Ilford Sportsmaster

You can clearly see that I am using the last of the four shutter releases, this one is marked with a symbol for portraits.
The camera is fully automatic, and the natural light level was low, so this wold have been at full aperture, f2.8

photo from week 57 - Ilford Sportsmaster

Matlock Bath, originally uploaded by pho-Tony.
This is a quirky camera, with its 4 shutter releases, each for a different focus zone. I left it on fully automatic, and the built in selenium exposure system seems to do a reasonable job.

C41 processing

The minilab in my local supermarket has been decommisioned, so I can no longer get my colour negative films developed for £1 in 10 minutes.
I knew this was coming, so ordered a Tetenal C41 kit, to take the plunge and try developing my own colour films. It should have been here by now, but the suppliers have accidentally sent it to Ireland by mistake! I took last week's film to the local Jessops for developing and scanning, and the results are OK, but their "auto-correct everything" software produces variable results.

Wednesday, 2 February 2011

Week 57 - Ilford Sportsmaster

Ilford Sportsmaster, originally uploaded by pho-Tony.
A quick mid-week substitute, as the Nikkorex 35 is faulty.
I've had this camera for ages, I can't remember where it came from, possibly a car boot sale, I've never used it before.
The Sportsmaster has an unusual feature - there is no focusing ring, but it has four shutter releases, each one for a different distance, when the button is pressed, the lens is moved forward to a preset position. There is a built in selenium exposure meter which can be used in a fully automatic mode.
Having loaded it, I've found that the exposure counter doesn't work, so I'll have to try to keep track of how many I've taken.

Change of plan for Week 57

I'd taken what should have been a whole roll of fim on the Nikkorex, but it continued to allow me to wind on, clearly there was a problem. I gently re-wound the cassette, but it appears that only a very short length of film had been wound on, then something must have come adrift in the gearing, as the take up spool is no longer turning when the wind on lever is operated and she shutter is cocked.
It's only Wednesday, so I've selected another camera. The show must go on!