Diafine in the Summertime

New York Diptych

I hadn’t intended on doing any developing this weekend, but as we started trying out some of the new cameras, it seemed like the thing to do. I decided to give Diafine another chance, primarily because it was hot and I was lazy. It was already mixed up, and since you use water in place of a stop bath, there was one less chemical I had to deal with. Also, Diafine works well at warmer temps than other black and white chems, which was nice since I was developing out in the garage this time.

I had plenty of issues with Diafine last time, but this time went a little better, I think mainly because it was at a warmer temp. I’m still not crazy about it for sheet film. I have no idea why, but I just seem to get weird little dots and marks on the sheet film that don’t seem to show up on roll film. It probably has something to do with agitation.

So, here’s what Diafine is good for:

1. Developing found film. It absolutely rocks for this. It eats 60 year old Verichrome Pan like it’s a tasty dooughnut.

Mmmm, doughnuts…

2. Cross processing color negative film into black and white. The picture above was shot with Fuji NPS160, a color negative film. Dropped it into the Diafine, and it came out perfectly processed without having to stress out over developing time.

3. Developing film when the ambient temp is too warm for other black and white chems.

4. Developing film when you just have one or two rolls of film to work with, instead of an epic amount (which is how I normally develop).

So, what was I developing (besides the above roll of film, which was shot with the Savoy and left over from the New York trip)? Well, we started to get out some of our auction cameras and experiment with them. Or, I should say, Travis fell in love with a few cameras, so we started using those.

One of the first lots we won at the auction was a box filled with a bunch of miscellaneous cameras, the Agfa Readyset being one of them.

Agfa Readyset

It was the only camera I wound up getting that was loaded with a roll of film. It also came with a box, carrying case, and exposure guide. It’s in perfect condition, and Travis immediately bonded with it, so I guess it’s his now. He finished off the roll that was in the camera, and then immediately picked out a roll of Gevaert 620 that expired in 1947 to load into the camera.

Travis hearts the Readyset

And then he shot that roll up in about 40 minutes. It’s camera love, I tell you! I don’t even think I’ve touched the Readyset yet! Granted, the decades old roll of film was barely able to capture an image, but no matter. It’s now loaded up with some respooled Ektachrome that’s less than 10 years old. Fresh!

So, that’s Travis’ new camera. Here’s the one I’ve bonded with so far:

Revueflex E

It’s the mighty Revueflex E! Yeah, I’ve never heard of it before either. Apparently, it’s a rebranded version of the Zenit E, another camera I’ve never heard of before. All I know is that it’s big and clunky, the aperture ring seems to be the opposite of reality, it’s enitrely non-intuitive to use, and the lens sometimes looks like it’s getting ready to just give up and fall off the front of the camera. I kind of love it. I threw a generic roll of color negative film into it and am halfway through shooting the roll.

So Travis has the Readyset, and I’m having fun with the Revueflex, but we both can agree when it comes to one thing – the awesomeness of the RB Graflex Tele.

RB Telescopic Graflex

There is so much weird about this camera, I don’t even know where to begin. When it’s all closed up, it looks like a simple box with some metal mechanisms on one side of it. There is no obvious way to open up the front of the camera. We finally figured out that if you turn the knob at the bottom, the little door on the front of the camera pops open and the lens and bellows begin to extend.

Okay. But then how do you focus?

Hello, Tank!

Oh! You pull up on the handle on top of the camera, and a viewing hood extends up! And that’s when it hit us – this was not like our other Graphics. This was a true Graflex, a single lens reflex. That means there’s a mirror inside of the camera that allows you to focus, but then also flips up and out of the way when the shutter is pushed.

Oh yes, the shutter. Now how do we fire that?

Curtain aperture

Um… what in the who now?

It turns out that the metal mechanisms on the side control two things – which aperture setting the curtain shutter is set to, and the amount of tension that is used to pull the curtain down. So, if I wanted a shutter speed of 1/100, I’d round up to 1/110, and then set the curtain aperture at 3/8 of an inch (that’s the actual size of the hole in the curtain) and set the tension to 1.

That may sound really confusing, but after the first few tries, it started to make sense.

There’s actually some really cool features that the RB (or ‘Tank,’ as Travis named it, since it’s army green and black) has that Zarl and Zarl Jr don’t have. The viewing hood is really nice. It’s easy to focus, you don’t have to worry about glare, and you don’t have to worry about composing a shot and then having the camera move when you shove the film pack in, since you can load your film holder into the camera first, and then focus. Also, the “RB” in the name stands for ‘rotating back.’ That means the back of the camera will actually turn, so if you want to shoot a vertical photo, you don’t have to turn the entire camera or the tripod.

The RB takes 3 1/4″ x 4 1/4″ and special Graflex sheet film holders – apparently the regular ones don’t work in this particular camera. All we got at the auction was this particular camera, no extras. So you’d think that since we would need such specialty items, it would be a little while before we could try out this camera.

Well, not so! Turns out last summer, I bought a big lot of 4×5 film holders on ebay that also wound up coming with 3 3×4 film holders… specifically, the kind that you need to use with this camera. I never really thought much about them before, or noticed that they looked slightly different than the other film holders, but serendipitously, they turned out to be just what we needed.

Also, I wound up buying a pack of film (also on ebay) a few months back – I assume with the thought of using it in a pinhole camera – of Kodak Orthographic film. I know I bought it because it was originally supposed to be used with an electron microscope, and, well, electron microscopes are cool. But when it came, it turned out to be a lot smaller than I had anticipated, so I never opened it.

So, score on both counts, because the film fit into the film holders, albeit a little loosely. And since it’s orthographic film, it’s a lot slower than normal film – its film speed is rated at 12 (as opposed to 100 or 200, etc). We had to use slower shutter speeds and wide open apertures.

But keeping in mind the slightly bewildering developing affects from the Diafine, the actual image quality is pretty damn good.

Agfa Readyset portrait

Here’s a detail from the above photo at 100%:

Detail of the Readyset

Neat, huh?

We went to the camera show on Saturday, and I got a bunch of film, a new lens and lensboard for Zarl (it was cheap-ish, and the $5 lens made me nervous enough on vacation to want a reliable back-up), and a few boxes of old photo paper and glass plates (I know, I know… one more thing for me to try out). Most of the stuff for sale there, though, was more geared toward “The Camera Collector” – people who spend thousands of dollars on gear and shoot with Leicas and stuff like that. Which is fine, but not really what I’m into. I mean, there was almost no film for sale here – I guess because everyone shoots with in-date stuff and doesn’t deal with the expired film? Heresy!

Even with the film I did wind up getting, and the $3 box of glass plates, I still think Travis managed to find the score of the weekend – a pair of Kodak rocks glasses, which we used to drink copious amounts of alcohol while performing the Great Memorial Day Weekend Film Inventory:

The film inventory is still ongoing...


(Don’t forget to scroll down to the post below this one and enter to win the Mercury Satellite 127!)

Muncie sunset

Hey, finally getting around to writing about cross processing! Yay, me!

Cross processing (or X-pro for the short version) is, loosely defined, the act of developing film in a process that was not intended for it. If you develop a color negative film in black and white chems, that’s cross processing. Technically, my developing Kodacolor-X (a process C-22 film) in C-41 chems is cross processing as well. But the term most commonly refers to developing color positive slide film (process E6) in color negative chemistry (process C41).

You see a lot more examples of slide film developed in color negative chems rather than the other way around for two main reasons. The first reason is most photo developing places have to send out their slide film to be processed, and those labs will probably see a roll of C41 film and actually process it in C41, whereas it’s a lot easier to sneak a roll of E6 film in a one hour photo drop off place.

Since I do my own processing, that wasn’t an issue for me. So, last time I was developing E6 films, I threw a roll of expired Kodak Vericolor III into the soup. The Vericolor is a process C-41 film. Here’s what I got:


To be honest, I kind of like this particular photo. But, see how dark the sky is? That brings me to the second reason most people don’t process C-41 films as a slide: they come out really, really dark. Especially if you are, like me, shooting 17 year old expired film through a pinhole camera and only deciding that the roll is going to be cross processed after the whole roll’s been shot.

Right. So, that picture above? That was the best picture on the roll. Pretty much everything was dark, ranging from ‘Really Dark’ to ‘Indescribably Dark’ to ‘Oh my god, it’s darker than my soul!’

Yeah. Might try this again sometime. Maybe with some forethought and planning. If I do, I’ll try to remember to overexpose by bunches.

Anyway, back to the more common form of Xpro, slide film processed as a color negative. I’ve done this before, certainly. My favorite film/camera combo is actually crossprocessed: Kodak E100G shot through the Savoy and developed as a color negative.

Big aqua aky

You see, the point of cross processing, which I somehow failed to mention until just now, is to get vivid or altered colors than you would with just a regular C41 film. It’s all the rage amongst the LOMO crowd. In fact, Lomography actually sells a film that’s made precisely for cross processing in color negative chems.

I tried it out (again, in a pinhole camera, so that may not have been the best test), and didn’t find the colors especially crazy.


Most of the other experience I’ve had with cross processing has been using Kodak brand slide films. I’ve been able to get a hold of a lot of rolls of various expired Elitechrome and Ektachrome films, so that’s what I use. And for the most part, those films tend to go all green tinty once they’ve been cross processed (except for the E100G, which is a lot more subtle, but still has a distinct ‘look’). And it looks neat at first, but after a while, it’s just more green.

I went away from cross processing for awhile, because I was sick of the green, but then I bought some Fuji Velvia 100. This was actual brand shiny new unexpired film. I know! Crazy! So I went ahead and shot a few rolls and developed them normally.

Squares and squares

And, funny thing – for some reason, I keep overexposing the crap out of them. Curse you, Velvia!!

Finally, before our trip to New York, I decided I would try shooting with film in different ways. I got over the psychological barrier of “Velvia is very expensive and people who shoot slide film worship it, so I need to use it as a slide film, too.” Yes. I would cross process Velvia, boldly and without fear!

Right before we left, I managed to pick up a box of expired 4×5 Velvia 100 film. I didn’t wind up shooting any pics in New York with it, but when we got back, I took Domo outside and took a shot with the Bollywood pinhole camera using the Velvia 100.


Not only did I finally get the exposure right on the Bollywood, but for once, I cross processed something that hasn’t gone green!

The funny thing is, I remember reading a long time ago a comment on a Flickr discussion regarding the cross-processing of Velvia. Whoever wrote it was of the opinion that it was a waste of time to do so, that the results weren’t great, and Velvia is such a fantastic slide film that it’s ridiculous to process it in any other way than E6. That must have stuck with me, and was why it took me so long to actually try it. Turns out, I’m absolutely thrilled about the results, and when I had a chance to scoop up some more Velvia 100 recently, I did so, for the express purpose of cross processing it. So, let this be a lesson to all of us – just because someone on the internet says a thing (including me!) that doesn’t mean it’s true.

After the Velvia 100 success, I cross processed 3 other slide films that day. After I scanned them in, I made an image comparing how the negative and positive image from each different film looked.

Xpro Comparison

From top to bottom, on the left side, is how the unaltered negatives look of:
1. 35mm Fuji Velvia 50, expired 2003, shot in the Savoy.
2. 4×5 Fuji Velvia 100, expired 6-2007, shot with a 5 second exposure in the Bollywood Pinhole Camera.
3. 120 Fujichrome 64T, shot in the Yashica C.
4. 120 Kodak EPP 100, exp. 2/2003, shot in the Yashica C.

On the right side is how the negatives look inverted into positives, with their levels adjusted slightly.

At this point, I haven’t done enough experimenting with these films to know if the results are consistent – I don’t know if I’m always going to get vividly green negatives with the Fuji 64T, for instance. I also don’t know if I’m going to get the same tones with Fuji Velvia 100 120 film as I got with the 4×5 film. I don’t know how being expired has effected the way these films cross process, either. I do know I’m intrigued enough to play with it more.

What I found really interested was how different Velvia 100 and Velvia 50 looked from each other. In comparison to warm tones of the Domo picture above, Fuji Velvia 50 gave me this:

Chrysler Building and sprocket holes

And this:


I wouldn’t’ve thought that two such closely related films would be so different.

The Fuji 64T was a treat, also. Besides the negatives being ridiculously green (I think I gasped with delight and shock when I pulled them out of the tank), once I inverted them I got images like these:



The “T” in 64T stands for Tungsten, by the way. That means it’s a film designed to compensate for artificial, tungsten-based indoor lighting. When you shoot it outside in daylight and process it correctly, it tends to make everything go all blue-y. After seeing the results of the Fuji 64T cross processed, I’m wondering what Kodak Tungsten balanced films will do, too.

I wasn’t as impressed with the Kodak EPP100 cross-processing.


Still, though, considering I have been getting slight purple-y tones that I alternately like and dislike with the EPP when it’s processed as a slide, this now opens up more options for this film. Which is good, considering I just got 4 boxes of it in 4×5 film. (I know, I said I was done with it. But I was made an offer I couldn’t refuse).

Bubbles, smears, and doom

Have I mentioned that I am the World’s Worst Film Developer? Because I totally am. I blame it on the fact that I have no formal training in photography at all. Also, I’m using a developing tank that leaks and a thermometer that has only the vaguest grasp on the actual temperature.

I’ve never let any of that stop me, though! No, I just charge blindly ahead, haphazardly mixing up chems and dunking film and watching in amazement when a suggestion of an image appears on a fresh negative.

I spent the past few days doing a batch of C-41 developing. I had something like 30 rolls of color film backed up, so I mixed up a liter of color chems. I used Arista’s C-41 liquid kit. At this point, I’ve tried the liquid kit and the Unicolor powder C-41 kit, and I think from now on I’m just going to order the Unicolor kit. It’s cheaper, and seems to work just as well.

The kit is supposed to develop something like 8 rolls of 35mm film, but like I said, I had 30 I needed to develop, so I just kept going and going and going. I did about 14 rolls (mainly 120, 35mm, and 126) the first day, and 16 the next. The second day, I added some chems from a Kodak Flexicolor developer replenisher kit into the developer. I didn’t know whether it would help or hurt, and I didn’t really have any directions for it, but I kind of just thought, ‘What the hell!” and threw it in. I don’t think it hurt anything, but I think I probably should have started adding it after I developed my first 6 or 8 rolls of film.

I finished almost all of the film I wanted to develop, and was going to do my last two C41 rolls and then try developing some older color film (Kodacolor X and Triple Print) with room temp chems, when I realized that the chems I were using had gotten seriously funky. Like, this funky:

At the drive in

It actually was not the dark creepy night of the apocalypse when I took this picture. That’s courtesy of my near-exhausted C41 chems, just barely able to gasp for breath. So, I decided to be done with the color processing for right now. Still, 28 or so rolls of film out of a kit that was only supposed to do 8 is pretty good (if you overlook the fact that a lot of the pictures have serious weirdness going on with them).

Have I mentioned that my developing tank leaks? It does, like a sieve, when I do inversions. The lid is cracked. It’s a bummer, and messy. I wear gloves when I develop, and hold a towel around the tank to try to minimize flinging Blix everywhere. It’s a pain in the butt. Also, I wind up getting pictures like this:

Horses II

Check out that sky. Bubbly! I thought that the sky bubbles were due to some weirdness in the temperature of the chems, but yesterday I tried stirring the chems using the swizzle stick thingy instead of doing inversions, and that seemed to solve the problem. Instead of bubbles, I got smeary things instead.

Not that I’m complaining about any of this (well, the leaky tank sucks, but I don’t feel like buying a brand new one). Maybe because I have absolutely no formal training in photography whatsoever, that allows me to not be really anal about what I’m doing. The only real bummer during this stretch of developing was that none of my 126 Instamatic film turned out. I guess that was to be expected, since it had expired in 1976 and 1981, but that was still disappointing. Plus, I always wind up destroying the Kodak Instamatic cartridges in order to remove the film, so I can’t even reuse the cartridges for respooling. Sadness.

I’ve got a ton of pictures to upload to Flickr, and some other photo-related posts I want to do here, so hopefully I’ll get some more posts up here soon. But until then, here’s a few pics:

Amish from above



Oh, in case I’m not the only person in the whole world still messing with 116 and 616 cameras, I started a Flickr group for them. So far I’m the only member, which is hilarious and sad. So if anyone out there wants to share the 116 love, feel free to join. I’m so terribly, terribly lonely… 🙂

Developing more film, la!

Here’s a miscellany of developing updates.

The 116 film actually worked! Holy crap! Granted, you could barely see anything on the negatives, and the film scanned in with some crazy color shifts and was fogged, but it’s all good.

Scenes from the Nightmare Carousel

I shot some Kodak black and white Portra that’s meant to be developed in C-41 chems, and actually wound up liking it quite a bit more than I had anticipated.

Grainy Lincoln

Developed the roll of expired E100G slide film that I shot in the Savoy in color chems, and fell in complete love with this picture:

Fuzzy ducklings

One of the things I developed but haven’t uploaded anything to Flickr was a roll of redscale 35mm that I shot in a pinhole camera. The scans of the negatives really seem grainy (not in a good way) and dusty, and I’m just meh about them. Redscale. Whatever. I think that’s a technique that I’m glad I tried once, but probably won’t go back to it (unless by accident).

After I got my color processing done, I busted out the Adox ATM 49 developer to try that for the first time. I bought it since I got a few rolls of Adox CHS Art 25 film from Freestyle. I only shot one roll, but it turns out the developer conveniently comes separated into two batches of chems, and can be used for processing other black and white film, too.

I had two big FAILs regarding the black and white rolls. The first came with a roll of Efke infrared 127 film. I had tried to rig a good infrared filter to use for that, but I think I just succeeded in making an absolutely opaque piece of glass instead. The entire roll turned out blank except for the frame numbers. I wasn’t too bummed by that, since I was guessing that it probably wouldn’t work.

The other FAIL involves a roll of Fomapan R100 film. That’s black and white reversal film, which I had never played with before. It sounded cool, so I ordered it from Freestyle and shot it in DC. However, after I got back, I realized that you’re supposed to send it in to have it processed, since it takes some magical processing chems I don’t have access to. Well, screw. I decided against sending it in and paying money to have it processed and thought I’d just have a go at developing it in regular black and white chems. I knew I wouldn’t get slides, but I thought I’d get something.

The film came out really dense and grainy, which was disappointing. I didn’t expect the negatives to have the dark orange hue that they did. Actually, when I saw how the negatives came out, I wondered if I would have been better off waiting to develop that roll in E6 chems. I’m not sure if I have any more of this or if I just bought the one roll, but if I do, I think that’s what I’ll try.

Everything else came out decent, though. Here’s a couple of shots using the Adox 25. These were shot using the Canon AE-1 and a yellow filter.


From behind

I also followed through on my 116 pinhole camera attempt. I converted the Kodak Autographic 2A into a pinhole camera and shot a roll of old, funky Ilford Pan F in it. The pinhole worked great, but the camera had some serious light leakage.


No worries, though. Now I’m thinking about just removing the front part of the camera and attaching it to a box that I can use 4×5 sheet film holders in. I just need to get up the motivation to build said box and the nerve to tear apart a beautiful, but light leaky, old camera. It’s scary!

The black and white roll of film I was happiest about happened to be the roll of Orwo NP22 film I shot in the Yashica C. It turned out fantastic! I think the film expired in the early 80s, and I had no idea how it had been stored (I got it off ebay), but it wound up having a really neat crackling effect to it.

Phoenix Recycling

And, of course, the Yashica is just always awesome.


So, now I’m trying to decide if I want to mix up a batch of E-6 chems and give that a go. I think I may try it in a few days. I’ve got 5 rolls of slide film shot, but I figured I may as well try developing some other stuff in it, because why the hell not? Specifically, I thought I’d try a roll of C-41 (backwards crossprocessing!) and maybe shoot some 4×5 black and white sheet film to see what happens to black in white film in E-6. I also have some old rolls of film – Kodacolor, some E-2 film, probably some Triple Print crap. I figured I can try some really long, room temperature processing of that stuff to see if anything comes out. I was planning on trying developing the E-2 stuff using Moominsean’s method, but I’ve got multiple rolls of E-2 film, so if doing it in E-6 doesn’t work, I’ll try his way next time. I was going to do some of the older Kodacolor and Triple Print stuff in the C-41 chems, but it slipped my mind. So now I’ll try cross processing them. I just figure if I take the attitude that it’s probably not going to work anyway, if I do manage to get an image, I’ll be pleasantly surprised.

I’ve got a bunch of new film recently, too.


I’m most excited about the roll of 70mm Konica. I’m going to use that to respool rolls of 116 film. Yay! Picked up a lot of old (circa 1990s) C-41 film. Most of it (and the Ektachrome) is 220, though, so I’ll have to cut it down. I keep meaning to load a roll of 220 into the Yashica and see if I can reset the fram numbers in the middle of the roll. That would save me a lot of time.

I’m awash in 120/220 color film right now, actually, which means that I think I’m going to start using up my stash of Portra 160 NC (i.e., the most boring film known to man) as black and white film. The one time I developed it in black and white chems I thought it came out great.

The garage next door

Now that I think about it, what I need to do before I mix up the E-6 chems is to shoot some Portra NC so I can cross process it. Maybe it does something really outstanding as a slide. I kind of doubt it, but there’s always a shot.

C-41 funfest!

Well, I spent about 8 hours over 2 days developing 21 rolls of film. A pretty good haul, I think. My developer is exhausted – I tried developing a sample of something today and it just pooped out on me. Kind of weird considering I had just used it yesterday, but whatever. I was using a Unicolor powder C-41 kit from Freestyle that I had divided into thirds. I’m pretty happy with a 21 roll yield from 666 ml of developer.

I only have a few more rolls of stuff to scan in, since that’s all I’ve done yesterday and today. More than half was 35mm. That was kind of weird, since normally I work with larger format films, but it did allow me to cut down some of the processing time.

Didn’t really have any big developing fails. Some of the 120 film from the second day looks a little weird along the top edge (I think that’s when my developer started going rogue). Almost ruined a bunch of Lomo X-pro 35mm film from a pinhole camera, but I wound up only screwing up a few frames. My biggest catastrophe was my poor judgment in choosing to use the only roll of Kodacolor 116 film I had in a night shoot with a dubious camera. That kind of sucks. I haven’t even tried scanning it in yet, but it looks like there’s maybe one frame where I’ll be able to see something besides darkness. Oh well. That’s what I get for not wanting to walk around all day in DC with a 116 box camera.

But, that was the worst thing I came across, so it’s all good. I’ve onlyuploaded a little bit to Flickr so far. Here are some of the highlights.

I made 5 35mm matchbox pinhole cameras before we went to DC. I didn’t wind up using them all, and some like this one, I didn’t wind up using about 2/3 of the roll of film. It was a roll of 36 exposures, and I was shooting small square frames, so I guess the film got bound up momentarily, and I figured the roll was over. So that kind of sucks that I wasted so much film, since the exposures I got were pretty nifty.


Again at Arlington

Thinking of Jefferson

The above film was some Lomo brand X-pro 100 speed 35mm. I got it off Adorama on a whim. It was okay. The color shift wasn’t as crazy as I had expected.

I had one lonely roll of Kodak 400VC film (probably expired), so I brought that to DC, too, to try out. After I saw the results of it, I fell in love. If only I had a million rolls of this hanging out in my fridge instead of stupid Porta 160NC. 😛


Red flower

Here’s a double exposure. It’s pretty trippy.

Double exposure

The other roll of film that I’ve got some pics up from is a roll of the Portra 160NC that I cut down and respooled onto 127 backing paper. I shot it using a really rough Hawkeye Flashfun that I picked up in Medina 1. Because it was only $1 and had a roll of film inside, and 2. Because it was pink. Now, I don’t know if it’s something to do with the way I respooled the film, or just the way this junky camera works, but it would lose tension periodically through the roll and the film would kind of unwind. Who knows the heck why? Anyway, it was serendipitous, because I got some diptychs like these:

Bela Flying Diptych

Bridge Diptych

Good stuff. Also got this freaky tree pic:


Got a bunch more to put online, including one I just scanned in from the Savoy that be one of my favorite pictures ever. I love that little camera!

Trial and error

Savoy, sabattier

I am now awash with color chems. I made my Freestyle order a while ago and got 3 different color chemical sets. There’s an E-6 kit, which I won’t be getting into until after I get back from DC (Travis and I are going to Washington DC next month – hooray!), the Arista C-41 liquid kit that I got last time, and a Unicolor C-41 powder kit. The Unicolor kit makes 2 liters of color chems, so I think I’m going to try mixing a third of that up – that should give me about 666 ml of chems, which is about perfect to develop two 35mm rolls of film at once. Oh, I also got some Flexicolor C-41 developer/replenisher off of ebay. Not too sure exactly how I’m going to use that, but since it’s the color developer that tends to go funky, not the Blix, I figured it was a good investment for just $3.50.

Anyway, barring any unforeseen calamity, I should be giving color developing a go tomorrow. Which is good, because I have a gigantic backlog of color film that needs to be developed (including some old Kodacolor II 127 and 126 film – process C-41, though!). We put a telephoto lens on our spare Canon AE-1 and have had film in that constantly. We keep it in the dining room to take pictures of the birds at the birdfeeders. We’re geeks. Since we were shooting so much with that camera and I wasn’t doing any color processing at the time, we got a roll developed at CVS to see how the lens was working.


AE-1 Crocii

Setting aside CVS’ shitty processing, the lens and camera seem to be working just fine. I was concerned that we needed to replace the battery since the one it has in it has been in there for years (this AE-1 used to be my dad’s), but it’s all good. The lens has a slight wonkiness to it that I like. Kind of tilt-shifty.

Been messing around with pinhole cameras.

Ominous spring

That was a picture from some TMax I taped to 126 backing paper and used in the 126 pinhole cam. I got series image overlap and can’t really understand why. Oh well.

The photo at the top of this post is from the Hannakube pinhole camera. It looks all funky because I tried to get the Sabattier effect by exposing it to light midway through the developing process. It probably could have gone better.

Since I’m getting ready to develop a bunch of color film, I popped one of the sheets of Kodak Edupe Ektachrome 4×5 film into the Hannakube and took a picture with it. I have no idea how it’s going to turn out, since I have no idea how to use the Edupe film actually as film. I did about a 1-2 second exposure. Anyway, I’ll try to develop that tomorrow (cross-processing) to see if I got anything on the film.

I finally tried out my film cutter today. I got this a few weeks ago off of ebay. It’s set up to trim 120 film down to 127 sized. Using it was not exactly graceful.

Oh, the humanity!

I was trimming a roll of Kodak Portra 160NC 220. I wound up with two rolls of 127 film, plus some extra that I just wound up exposing to light since I didn’t have another roll of 127 backing paper and spool accessible. Oh well. Now I know for future reference. Here’s how the cutter works:

Film trimming

It’s pretty simple. The trick is to not press down to hard on the top, lest you tear the film/paper. All in all, a worthwhile investment.

Yashica love

Meeting of the Yashicas

So much to tell!

First of all, I’m mad in love with the Yashica C. I want to make out with it. Right now, it and the mint green Savoy are my two favorite cameras. I developed the first roll of film I had taken with the Yashica C the other day and was thrilled with the results.


The above was the first pic I took with the Yashica C. For it being inside, taken at 1/30 sec, I didn’t think it would come out at all. But look at Wee’s little face! She’s wonderfully in focus! Hooray!

Taken through the window:

Ice by Yashica

And taken outside:


Love this camera. It’s easy to use, makes great photos, and I feel semi-competent when it’s in my hands.

I got my other Yashica earlier this week. This was the one from the Yoshica camer auction. It came shipped with the viewfinder hood flipped up. I was all, “What the?” until I examined the top of the camera more closely. Turns out that the center of the viewfinder (the part flips down so that you can use the viewfinder as a sportfinder) was jammed down and wouldn’t flip back up. 20 minutes later and some disassembley, I had resolved the matter. I only managed to lose one screw, too!

Amazingly, despite the poor cosmetic shape of the camera, it actually seems to function okay. The front part of it feels like it’s going to fall off at any second, but I can’t find any more screws to tighten on it, so I guess I’ll just live with it. Loaded it up with Efke 100 127 film and took it out for a test drive.

I mucked up the first third of the roll because I didn’t realize how to properly set the film advance. When I finally figured it out, I must have accidentally exposed the first chunk of film somehow. Oh well. The rest of the pics turned out okay. There seems to be a light leak along one edge, but nothing catastrophic.

Toby is lost

I’m not quite as comfortable with this camera as I am with the Yashica C. I think some of that comes from taking pictures of a different subject, though. The dogs were outside, and kept running around, and my brain couldn’t calculate shutter and aperture and focus that fast.

Bela panting

I thought at first that the electric eye light meter (the “LM” part of the 44LM) didn’t work, but I think I saw the sensor move around when I took it outside. There are all sorts of shutter/aperture/film speed calculators on the camera, but I didn’t have the patience to actually work with any of them. I think this will be a good little camera though, especially for subjects that stay still and don’t wander off.

End of the fence

Have a bunch of misc. camera news, but maybe I’ll get to that tomorrow. Am tired. Here’s a teaser photo, though.

Polaroid Land Camera 230

Polaroid Shenanigans


There was a bit of ridiculousness since the last time I played with the Polaroid One-Step Express. I lost the camera. One would think that would be difficult to do, considering the camera is large and green and resembles a whale, but I lost it nonetheless. Travis looked in the car, I looked all over the house, and there was no Polaroid to be found. Finally, I gave up and bought an emergency back-up Polaroid One Step at Goodwill for 99 cents. This one doesn’t have anywhere near the personality as the One Step Express, since it’s entirely black, but hey – 99 cents. You can’t go too wrong.

I figured that buying the back-up camera would immediately ensure that I would find the One Step Express, but a few days went by, and it still hadn’t shown up. Saddened, I loaded up the black One Step up with a pack of film, and Travis and I drove around on a little random excursion up to Amish-land. I took a plethora of cameras.

Yashica snowbound

Anyway, whilst driving around, we stopped at a Goodwill in Millersburg, and there I hit the jackpot – I found a Polaroid Spectra camera in perfect working condition for $2.00. I had been looking for a Spectra since the end of December, when I scored 3 packs of Spectra film at the flea market in Muncie. I had seen some Spectras on ebay, but didn’t feel like paying the shipping, so I’m glad I waited until I just happened to run across one.

Another thing happened in Millersburg – we found the green One Step Express. Turns out it was hiding in the Fit the whole time. So, now I have two of them. Oh well. At least I wasn’t going crazy.

The next day we drove up north to Medina, and along with the normal herd of cameras, I brought along the Spectra, too, to take on a test drive. I haven’t developed any of the film from the other cameras yet (Travis shot with the Capitol 120, and I took some pics with the Yashica and the Uniflex Pinhole), but here are some of the Polaroids from the two days. The square format ones are from the One Step, and the rectangular images are from the Spectra.


Army Navy Surplus guy


Graffiti Diptych

Just for fun, a pic taken with the Nikon in all of its silly HDR glory:

Church, all hdr'd and such

In addition to needing to develop the rolls of film that we took recently, I also scored another sizable batch of old exposed film on ebay. I am an ebay ninja. Also, in addition to all of that, I just won an auction for 17 bucks that includes 12 rolls of 126 film and 4 packs of 108 Polaroid film. And there are 6 cameras, too. I’m not holding out much hope that the Polaroid film is still going to be usable, but if the camera works, I should be able to use some of the new Fuji peel apart film in it. I don’t see myself buying a ton of that due to the cost, but I may order a pack or so from Freestyle next time I do an order just to try it out.

Should be some interesting stuff coming up in the next few weeks.

Polaroid, waiting

Developing found film

On the beach

January has really kind of sucked. It’s been very cold, and very snowy, and I haven’t had the motivation or energy to get out and take photos. So, not much else to do but try to develop some found film.

I had bought a lot of film tins on ebay, and although the tins contained a bunch of 35mm cartridges, only 3 of those actually wound up having any film in them. I’m assuming the cartridges were saved by a photographer who had developed his own film, but liked the way the empty cartridges look. I can respect that.


I developed two of the rolls of film from this lot. One came out black, which has happened to me before (when I was trying to develop the old Ektachrome film that was in the Kowa), but I got really good results from the other roll.

Top hat

I still have a roll of Kodachrome from this lot that I need to develop.

Another ebay lot I’ve gotten recently was an Argus 75 that came with 3 rolls of exposed film, and 4 rolls of unexposed film. The three exposed rolls were all Triple Print color film. After doing a bit of research, what I found out was that Triple Print film was developed using their own process – not C41, not even C22. I guess it’s kind of like Kodachrome or Agfachrome, not really workable for home developing. I went ahead and developed 2 of the 3 rolls in black and white developer.

More Christmas

I about shit when I saw how the first roll turned out. It was bright pink, and so paper-esque I thought I had mistakenly developed the backing paper instead of the film. However, it did develop, and I was able to get about 5 or 6 good, strong images.

The second roll of Triple Print turned out more of a dark amber than pink. Here is a negative from the second roll, scanned in as color:

Purple boy

The other roll, or partial roll, I developed the other day was some 120 Anscopan (black and white film). This roll was shoved in a Brownie six-20 that is only supposed to take 620 film. Halfway through the roll the film had gotten jammed, and the entire camera abandoned. I had to work some camera jujitsu, but was finally able to save 3 frames of the roll. The first pic in this post is from this roll, and you can see the chewed up corner. This film was in really bad shape.

Sure I'm taking a picture of you, sir

All in all, I was pleased with how the pics came out. It’s always hit and miss when you develop old film, since you normally don’t know how old the film is, how it was stored, etc. So, if you’re going to try this, here’s how I’ve been doing it.

First, I highly recommend that you get a rollfilm tank with an apron.


Seriously, nothing is more irritating than trying to load dry, brittle, medium format film onto a developing reel in the dark. Just avoid the problem altogether. If you can find one of these Kodacraft developing tanks on ebay or in an antique store, you’ve struck gold. I got mine from ebay from a buy-it-now auction. I was hesitant about paying as much money as I did for mine (about $17), but I’m really glad I did. It comes with 3 aprons to fit the film sizes 116, 120, or 127 (or 616 and 620). My tank is really leaky (from where the lid sits on it) and you can’t do inversion agitation, but it still works well. If you can’t find a Kodacraft tank, you can get one of these 120 film developing tanks from Freestyle. It only works with 120 (or 620) sized film, but better than nothing, and it’s under $5.00.

Interestingly, I haven’t had a problem yet loading old 35mm film into reels. Maybe it’s just better protected being in the cartridge and doesn’t dry out as fast.

Do a little bit of research before you develop your film, especially if you’re trying to develop old color negative or slide film. Apparently, if you try to develop Kodachrome in color chems, not only will it not work, but it will also screw up your chems.

I’ve got some rolls of C22 film that I’m intending on trying to develop with C41 chems, but mostly, I develop old film in black and white chems. My process is to give the film a soak in plain water for 8-10 minutes, and then develop using HC110 dilution B for 7 minutes at 66 degrees. That seems to work more often than not.

If you’ve got a decent scanner, you should be able to pick up even faint images or images from really dense negatives. What I’ve found has helped in getting a more contrasty scan is to scan my negatives in as a color negative rather than black and white.

Gone Fishing

Also, scanning black and white negs as color happens to give you really fun tinting, too.


Yeah, that’s about all I’ve got right now. Looking forward to February and the possibility of maybe an odd day or so of warmer weather. I’ve got a biggish photography project that I want to work on, but it’s on hold until the weather starts getting at least about 20-30 degrees or so.

Rolleicord update and C41 in B/W

Bicycle in snow

The weather for the next week is supposed to be terrifyingly cold, which does not make prospects for photography bright. I’m supposed to be getting a box shipped to me today with misc. cameras in it (no clue as to what actually works or not) and other misc. camera junk, so that should be a nice diversion. Maybe there will be some film inside to develop.

Bundled up and took the dogs next door to take my test roll with the Rolleicord II and also try out the respooled 116 in the Agfa Shur Shot.

First, the Rolleicord. Honestly, it works fine. Once I got the film counter mechanism reset, it seems as if everything works as it’s supposed to. It took pictures, the film advanced, and I didn’t seem to get any irritating lines on my film like I do with the Argoflex. However, it is not an intuitive camera at all. The film advance dial and the focusing dial are right next to each other, so there were several times I tried to focus and wound up nudging the film forward instead. Also, I find the shutter cocking method extremely bizarre – not so much that you have to cock the shutter, but after you do that, you kind of have to push the shutter forward in order to take the picture. That’s the part that’s weird. It feels too soft when I do that, like something isn’t working right. However, like I said, everything came out fine, so I guess that’s how it’s supposed to be.

Garage and truck

I think my biggest problem is just getting accustomed to dealing with adjusting both my shutter speed and my aperture. I change my shutter speed all the time with the Nikon D40, but I’m not anyway near as used to messing with aperture. It’s one of those things that I have to stop and really think about, like, “Okay, it’s sunny outside, so I can use a smaller aperture and a faster shutter speed.” I know of the sunny 16 rule, but I can’t bring myself to actually remember it. I guess I just need to carry a cheat sheet and/or not get flustered.

Bela and Van

So, I think the Rolleicord is a good camera, I just have to get a little more confidence in using it.

The roll of Ilford Pan F wasn’t even too funky, remarkably. I got some weird grain in a few of the pictures that were dark, but those pictures kind of sucked anyway, so no matter.

Next up is the Portra NC160 respooled onto 116 backing paper. The Agfa Shur Shot, by the way, is a camera I bought on accident. I bought it because it had film in it, and it wasn’t until I got home that I realized it was a 116 camera instead of 120. You would think the larger size of the box would have been a clue, but no.

Flea market cameras

I was able to develop two frames of the old film that was inside.

Awesome Dude

I really dig this photo, and it made me want to use the camera again. So it here, all loaded up with film. I had two problems actually using the camera. The first is that the film advance knob was really hard to wind. I think that’s because my backing paper was kind of eaten up to begin with. Also, it was cold outside, which always complicates things. Secondly, the shutter works okay, but the one flap that covers the actual shutter doesn’t spring back into place automatically like it should. It just kind of hovers behind the lens. I’ve got to jiggle the shutter thingy after taking a picture to get everything back to where it should be. It didn’t seem to affect the picture at all, though, so it wasn’t a big deal.

This was my first time developing color film in black and white chems. I was using HC110b (again) and had the film in the developer for 7 minutes at about 66 degrees, and then did my stop bath and fix as usual. When I went to wash the film after I fixed it, it looked absolutely opaque. Solid brown. I freaked out and thought that something had gone horribly wrong. I wound up putting the film back in the developer for 3 minutes, and then did the stop bath and fix again, followed with a minute bleach bath (one glug of bleach to about 500 ml of water). Took the film out and looked at it again, and it looked exactly the same.

That pissed me off, and I did an abbreviated wash, fixer remover, other wash, and hypo because I thought the film was rubbish. However, when I went to go hang it up after all this, I could see that yes, actually, there were images on the film. Go figure. So, lesson be learned – when you cross process C41 film in black and white negs, don’t be too freaked out if your film is really really dark, and looks like it didn’t develop while its reeled up.

Even with the really dark negs, it scanned in beautifully. I got a nice, cold, faintly purple cast to the scanned in pics. The only Photoshopping I did was to resize and remove some hairs.

The garage next door

It’s better viewed large.

I like the Shur Shot. Out of all of my cameras that take 116 film, it has the best viewfinders. The next 116 camera I was going to try was my beat-to-hell antique Kodak Autographic 2A bellows camera. I’ve used this before with a spool of 120. Results were sketchy. I suspect I have light leaks in the camera. The frame advance window was popped out so I replaced it with a developed negative (that actually seems to work really well). The film advance key thingy wants to pop out of place and cause havoc to where my film is situated. Also, the viewfinder only works if you’re taking vertical pictures, which, of course, means that I’m only going to want to take horizontal pictures. In spite of all this, the camera is lovely. Even though it’s all beat-up, it’s absolutely gorgeous and the shutter is still snappy. So, if the weather ever cooperates (or even if it doesn’t), using this with respooled 116 backing paper is going to be one of my next adventures.