Last night, whilst perusing the eBay (as I am wont to do), I found an auction up for about 8 or so old, exposed rolls of film from Australia. Travis and I both thought that developing old Australian film sounded like it had the potential for awesomeness, so I bid on it. I think my max bid was Aus. $20 (which I think was about US $14), and international shipping was about the same amount. The auction was up at 6:00 am or so, and when I went to bed, I was the highest bidder.
I woke up to find out that the auction was cancelled about 2 hours before it would have been up. I was still the high bidder at that point. Travis’ theory was that the guy canceled the auction because he didn’t want to ship to the US. So, I looked at the reason why it was canceled, and the reason given was that the items had been stolen. 8 rolls of old-ass film. Stolen. Two hours before the auction would be over.
Remarkably, none of the seller’s other 50 or so auctions that are currently still up on eBay right now were affected by the outbreak of Australian thievery. So, I say this to eBay vendors – if you don’t want to ship internationally, then don’t do it. If you’re not 100% positive that you’re willing to sell items online, then don’t make them available. And, if you’re going to back out of an auction for whatever reason, at least make your bullshit excuse something believable. Things in the realm of believability: “Dog (or dingo) ate the film.” “Film accidentally fell into trash.” “Film ruined by enthusiastic small child.” “Film, specifically, stolen?” Not so much.
In other news, my color chems are toast. I have a few theories on what killed them. One is that maybe something in one of the older films I tried to develop funked up the chems, but my primary theory is that I simply got the Blix and the Developer mixed up, put the wrong caps on the bottles, and contaminated the developer by pouring it in after the Blix. Oh well. Still got quite a few more rolls of film developed that the kits recommends, so I’m not bitter. It’s going to be black and white developing for me for a while, though, until I place another Freestyle order.
When I do place that order, one of the things I’m going to get is an E-6 processing kit. I haven’t really seen much in the way of C-41 pics developed in E-6 chems, although I read a comment on Flickr that said that they come out much more subdued and low-contrast compared to how the E-6 on C-41 comes out. Still want to try it, though. I printed out the directions for the E-6 kit and was looking at them today, and notice that the E-6 processing involves a “First Developer,” “Color Developer,” and Blix. And the instructions also note that the First Developer is weak, and is the chem whose time is going to have to be adjusted with reuse. So, my immediate thought was, “Hmm. Wonder what happens if you replace the First Developer with regular black and white developer?” Don’t know what happens, but I want to find out.
Since my color chems are shot, I’m going to be doing black and white developing for the immediate future. I happen to have a huge stockpile of color film, though, so I’m going to try developing color negs in black and white chems. Maybe I can use up some of that damn Portra. Actually, yesterday I cut a length of Portra 220 and taped it to some 116 backing paper and loaded it into my Agfa Shur Shot (because you can’t, you won’t, and you don’t stop). Panorama, baby!
I want to try out that camera tomorrow, and also try out my new camera, the Rolleicord II.
Just got this today, and it seems to be working okay, although it’s quite confusing. The film advance locking mechanism intimidates me, and you have to cock the shutter, like a gun, before you take a picture. I’ve taken two pics today, but just inside the house, and mainly more to see if it was advancing the film okay.
It’s loaded with some of the Magic Ilford Pan F, from the antique store haul back in August. It’s become a little bit of a tradition with me to try out a new camera with a roll of this film. Why? Because I had 26 rolls of it, and the film is of dubious quality. Sometimes I get results like this:
And sometimes I get results like the photo at the top of this post. That’s from a roll of Ilford Pan F that I had loaded into an old Brownie box camera. It’s actually a No. 2 Cartridge Hawk-Eye Model C, but just picture any generic Brownie box camera from circa 1918, and that’s pretty much it. I loaded this camera with film this summer, managed to take 4 pictures, and then couldn’t cope with it any more and set it aside. I can’t remember exactly why I was so adverse to this camera, but apparently my ill will seeped into the film, because the four pics I took all came out like ass. And not good ass. Sad, sorry ass. Here’s the best of the lot:
I gave this camera to Travis last week, and he finished up the roll. His pictures came out far better. The backing paper imprints were nowhere near as dark. He took his photos on a very foggy morning, whereas I think I took mine in the late afternoon of a hot summer day, so maybe that had something to do with it? Crazy film.