Fuji Peel-Apart Negatives

I haven’t been taking very many pictures with my trusty Polaroid 230 lately, mainly because I’ve gotten more into large-format film, especially after getting an enlarger that can handle negatives up to 4×5.

However, my interest was renewed when I ran across this post by Moominsean yesterday, which reminded me of this Flickr set by pacorocha that I had bookmarked a while ago. The idea of both is how to reclaim actual, usable negatives from the peeled-away section of a Fuji peel-apart photo. All you need is a brush and some bleach.

The weather has been crap lately, all dull and gray and cold, and I’m kind of sick and didn’t feel like venturing out into the real world to take any Polaroid pics. I dug through a box of random photography stuff, and found a nearly two year old peeled-apart section (the Goop part) of Fuji FP-100C. Since I didn’t have bleach, I rinsed the goop off of the emulsion side and let dry. The next day, after Travis brought home bleach for me (hooray!) I applied a little bit with a brush to the black side. Within about 10 seconds, the black backing had dissolved. I’m not sure if it happened that fast because of how old and dried out the peeled-apart section was, or what, but it was kind of the easiest thing in the world to do.

After rinsing off both sides and letting dry, this was the result:

My first Peel-Apart negative!

Looks like a cross-processed negative, doesn’t it?

Inverted in Photoshop:


And with the levels adjusted:


For comparison, here’s what the original photo looked like:

The van next door

So, that’s a pretty awesome way to get a large format color negative, huh?

Anyway, now that I know how to do this, and now that I have an enlarger that will let me work with large format color negatives, I’m uber-excited to shoot more with the Polaroid again. I’m even more excited to see what a color enlargement made with the Fuji negative looks like.

Hey, all those dozens of rolls of shot film I have? I should do something with those!

Been a while. Honestly, haven’t been doing much with the photography stuff recently, due to other distractions (the evil combination of wanting to exercise and cooking). However, Travis and I are thinking that we’re going to take our big fall vacation in Colorado, so I need to get my photographic act together. The last time we were out west was 2000, so just in case it’s another 9 years before we make it back out there, I want to take as many pics as possible.

But first, you know, I should really develop some of the twelve tons of film I’ve had hanging around from our DC trip. Oops. So, my plan was to get a bunch of food cooked in advance, clean the kitchen, and then start my uber developing marathon tomorrow. Unfortunately, I think I may be dead tired tomorrow due to all of the cooking today (FAIL!), so I may actually not start developing until Wednesday. I don’t know. It’s going to happen this week, though. My plan is to start with the color chemicals, and keep going until either I run out of film or my chemistry exhausts, then go to black and white, and finally, after I’ve gotten back in the swing of things, attempt E-6 processing for the first time.

I’m also trying to figure out what I want to do as far as having a 4×5 pinhole camera to use on vacation. Before I went to DC, I made a tiny flotilla of 35mm matchbox pinhole cameras, and those turned out to be really fun to use. Of course, I have no idea if any of the pics turned out, because I haven’t developed them yet (FAIL X 2!), but they were fun to use. Anyway, I’m trying to figure out something where I can have use some of my tons of 4×5 sheet film. Ideally, it would be not only easy to use, but be small enough to fit into my dark bag, and have compartments for unexposed and exposed film. So, I’ve been mulling that over. My original plan was to try and make something out of the boxes Fuji peel-apart film comes in. Then Travis suggested just using the Hannakube, but I would have to be able to identify which compartment holds what film both in the dark and after the lid is put back on. Also, I haven’t tried sticking the Hannakube in the dark bag yet, so I’m not sure how well I would be able to get the lid off and on in that.

So, yeah, I’m not sure what the solution to that is yet. Freestyle has a pretty big variety of pinhole cameras available, but it kind of seems like a cheat to just go ahead and buy one. I was looking at this one, and thinking that I could modify it to make it a wider angle camera, but also add on my film compartments to it as well. I know it’s basically just a $73 wooden box, so I’m a little hesitant to spend the money.

I can always make more matchbox pinhole cameras for 35mm film, but I would also like to have an option to use 120 film in a pinhole. My Uniflex pinhole camera was nothing but FAIL, but I like the idea of modifying an existing 120 camera – mainly so I don’t have to mess with making a film advance. Also, if I could figure out how to use the existing shutter, that would be rockin’ like Dokken. Anyway, I may have stumbled onto an easy fix quite by accident.

I have two old, old Kodak Brownies (circa 1910’s) – the kind with the bellows. One shoots 120 film and actually works quite well, the other shoots 116 and is pretty junky. The shutter mechanism and the bellows are still in good shape, though, on the 116. I was messing with it yesterday and realized the two lenses just plain unscrew.

Lenseless Brownie

Oh, George Eastman, how fricking clever are you?! So, in theory, all one has to do to convert one of these cameras into a pinhole would just be to unscrew the lenses and tape a pinhole over it. I could still use the same shutter mechanism, and wouldn’t have to permanently damage the camera at all. And since the bellows is movable, I could actually have a telephoto or a wide angle pinhole camera.

Autographic profile

Travis did raise the possibility that a wide angle picture (with the front of the camera barely extended) would include the bottom track in the photo, but the only way to know that is to experiment with it and find out the farthest I could retract the bellows and still get a decent picture.

Anyway, I didn’t feel like messing with the 120 camera, since it actually works as is, so I took the lenses off the 116. I’ll probably respool some color 120 film onto 116 backing paper and try it out tomorrow. If it works, I’ll just have to pick up another bellows camera at an antique store to convert into a permanent pinhole camera. I mean, I guess I could always buy one of these or these, but I would think another bellows camera would be cheaper. And have a lot more style, for that matter.

Freestyle also sells the Daylab Polaroid pinhole camera for $100. I’ve got a stupid Polaroid Swinger or something like that from the 70s that I’m thinking about converting instead. I think I’ll just saw off the whole front of the camera, and tape cardboard with a pinhole to it for the front. That should work, I would think. As long as the film goes through the spreader bars, I should be good.

Speaking of Polaroid, Travis and I went poking around one of the antique malls downtown for the first time in a while today. And it’s a good thing we did, because look what awesomeness we scored for $7:

Antique store finds!

The Polaroid is a slightly better model than the one I already have. It still has film in it (which I’m pretty sure is dried out, but still). I need to get the battery terminals cleaned off and get a new battery, but besides that it looks kosher. The main improvement over the 230 is that it has a built in timer on the back so you know when to peel apart your peel apart film. Nifty!

The film should be fun to play with. The Ektachrome expired in 1987, but I would think it would still work. Hopefully the colors shift weird on me. I’ll be sure to process that in regular E-6 chemistry instead of cross processing it. Not too sure if the High Speed Infrared will work, as it expired in 1977, but it’s worth a shot, especially since it’s not made any more.

I liked the big warning on top of the infrared film.


Translation: Don’t fuck this up!!

Also realized yesterday I had some of the Fuji 3000 speed peelapart film still hanging around in the 230. I was really disappointed in this film when I used it in DC. I couldn’t get it to look right at all. Everything was either way dark or way overexposed. I shot the few remaining pics today, and got one halfway decent one.

Datsun polaroid

Everything else sucked. The goops were fantastic, though.

Bela goop

Datsun goop

They were almost good enough to make me want to score more of this film. Almost.


I'm ready for my close up, Mr. DeMille!

Focus. I needs it. I think my problem is that I have too much shit – I’m overwhelmed with the amount of cameras I have, to the point where I some I haven’t even tried out yet, plus now I’m getting back into making pinholes again – it’s too much. The result is that when I go out to take pictures, I have a buttload of cameras I’m taking with me, and I wind up just getting flustered and wanting to make sure I try out everything. Not good.

Anyway, yesterday I tried making a Polaroid pinhole camera using some Polaroid film boxes and got a massive FAIL instead. Wasted two shots of 600, which isn’t tragic, but with how expensive (and near-extinct) integral film is, I kind of don’t want to be wasting more of it than I have to. I think I’m going to wait to do further experimentation with Polaroid pinholes once I get the extra Fuji peel-apart film in. At least they’re still making that.

So, instead of having a play day with the Polaroid, I took a few shots with my new pinhole cameras and then screwed around with the Lensbaby some.

Forsythia buds

Waiting for sun


Later on at night, Travis and I went out to shoot some pictures. He wielded the Canon AE-1 with the telephoto lens, whereas I has the two 35mm pinholes, a Polaroid, the Yashica C, and the Brownie that I can get 4×5 film in. Oh, and there was the Nikon, too. And besides learning that I need to just focus on one camera at a time, I also learned that night photography with film is a new, scary animal. It wouldn’t be so bad, I guess, if I actually used some sort of exposure calculator. But I didn’t. I basically made a few second long exposures with the Yashica and Brownie, shot a few Polaroids that didn’t come out (the theme of the day for me), and popped open the shutter on the pinholes and just let them sit until either the wind blew them over or we were ready to leave. I have no idea what, if anything, came out (especially since I wasn’t using a tripod either).

After I ran out of film, I switched to the Nikon (it’s my safety).

This one is blurry, but I like it anyway.

Travis, all black and white-ified

Traffic cones at the Walmart

Tried taking a bunch of multi-exposure shots (sans tripod!) to HDRify, but this was the only one I was kind of happy with. I like the colors in it, at least.

Shooting night for day

Will try to develop some of the film over the next few days. If I get one decent night film shot out of the lot, I’ll be happy.

Oh, we also stopped inside Walmart (The Great Satan!) to check out developing prices and such. They still develop APS and 110, which is nice, and it would be even nicer if our APS camera still worked. We discovered yesterday that it doesn’t, which is kind of a bummer, since I’ve got 5 or 6 rolls of APS film. So I guess we’ll be on the lookout for a new APS camera next time we hit Goodwill. Anyway, if I read their info correctly, apparently to get a roll of film developed only (no prints) is $1.76 a roll. I don’t know if that’s just for 35mm or if they do 120 too – I know I’ve seen people on Flickr talk about getting their 120 film processed there. It’s not something I would want to do a lot (except for the APS and 110 – since I don’t have any way to develop those), but would be nice if there was something I absolutely wanted to get developed right away.

Of pinholes and Polaroids… and Polapins


It’s starting to warm up some, so I’m getting even more “Woo!” about photography lately. Bought a bunch of stuff off eBay, the main event being the Polaroid Macro 5 SLR.

Polaroid Macro 5 SLR

It was really quite a bargain – only $30 (plus $20 shipping) for a camera that cost about $700 a few years ago and 5 packs of film. This particular one (whom Travis and I now call ‘Robbie’) was a dental camera in a previous life. He’ll spend his retirement primarily taking macro nature picture for me (like the pussy willow at the top of the post). I’m going through the film that it came with first. It takes 990 or Spectra film, and the film is a bit outdated. I think it expired in 2007. It has a strong yellowish cast to it. I’m also bad about adjusting the darkness on the camera. So, none of the pics have come out stunning (the pussy willow is the best of the lot, and I photoshopped the yellow cast out), but it’s a fun toy.

I finally made my big-ass Freestyle order, too. I’m getting a ton of stuff – 2 different C-41 kits (the Unicolor powder kit and then the liquid) and the E-6 kit, some more Fuji peel-apart film for the Polaroid 230, random films I wanted to try out, a decent infrared filter (finally!), a bit of ortho sheet film… I can’t remember what else. Looking forward to getting the color chems, though, especially the E-6 stuff. I have an idea involving some 4×5 pinhole photographs using E6 slide film…

Also coming in the mail is a film slitter! I ran across an auction yesterday and got it immediately. I’m having it set up to cut 120 film down to 127 size. I had been stalking the few 127 auctions that are on eBay, but they’re going for more than I’d want to pay, and this way, I can just cut down some of my tons of 120/220 film and use that instead. Instant win!

I’ve gotten re-obsessed with pinhole photography, too. It must be that time of year. I tried making a pinhole camera using a cartridge of 126 film…

Triple Print 126 pinhole camera

…unfortunately, the actual film inside the cartridge was stupid Triple Print. I tried developing it in black and white chems and got a big old FAIL. No matter. I reloaded the cartridge with some of my mystery Kodak TMax and taped it up again. I’ll probably try shooting with it tomorrow.

I also made a pseudo-matchbox pinhole camera using a battery box from AAA batteries (since we’re apparently low on matchboxes).

Battery Box Pinhole Camera

I loaded that up with the mystery TMax and shot it. This film actually did develop properly.


Toby and yard

Not sure what’s up with the vignetting in the second photo. Weird.

While I was developing pictures, I developed another roll of found film from the Ansco Readyflash auction. This was a roll of Verichrome Pan and actually turned out really well (as opposed to the first two rolls I developed, which were sketchy).

Happy woman

I really love that picture. I want to get it enlarged. The other pics on the roll were just as fun.

Fork and spoon!

Guy with cane

Oh, on the same day, I also tried developing the old roll of Kodachrome I had hanging around from the Canada auction. That was a big old FAIL, too. I think the next time I try developing old color slide or negative film in black and white chems, I’ll use the Blix instead of my regular fixer to see if that happens to solve any of my problems.

While I had the developer mixed up, I got out some of the 4×5 sheet film I used in the Hannakube around New Year’s. I haven’t tried out my 4×5 developing tank yet since I didn’t have that amount of chems mixed up, but once my Freestyle order gets here, I’m going to dump all of my old premixed chems (except for my HC110b syrup – that stuff is awesome!) and start fresh. So I just developed the sheet film one at a time in the Paterson tank.

I’ve only used the Hannakube twice, but both times I’ve been ultra paranoid that I’m going to get horrendous light leaks. Happily, on the two pics I developed, that wasn’t the case. The only issue I’ve got with the 4×5 sheet film is that I don’t have a really good way to scan it in. I can scan it in as a picture, but that tends to come out nowhere near as sharp as what the negative shows. I can scan it in as a transparency, but my scanner crops it because it can only scan the ceneter of the scanner as a transparency (weird). I went with the transparency option, because even if it is cropped, it’s a lot better image. Here are the two Hannakube pics:

Snow on the tracks

Looking at the lake

You can see in the top picture (the one where I actually managed to hold the camera still) I got really nice sharpness. The other one, not so much. Oh well. It was really windy that day and the Hannakube only weighs a few ounces. I’m looking forward to trying this out with the 4×5 slide film I have. I’ve got a few packs of Ektachrome Dupe film, and I haven’t done anything with it yet. I know absolutely nothing about that film, so I figure I’ll just throw it in the Hannakube and open the shutter for a few seconds and see what happens.

Made another pinhole camera last night. I’m using some 100 speed color Fuji film in it that expired in 2003.

Monster cam

The camera part of it was Frankensteined together from a 126 film box. I put 2 pinholes in it instead of the usual one. The pinholes are each about .3 mm, which is probably a little large for this camera, but I’m in the mood to be spontaneous with my pinhole-making, so I haven’t been doing the math like I have in the past. This will be the first time I work with two pinholes at once. I’m not sure if I’ll get a fuzzy stereoscopic image or just one long double image. I’m also not sure what the light leakage situation is going to be. Since I used about 2 metric tons of electrical tape, it should be good, but you never know.

I have plans to fashion some Polaroid pinhole cams in the next few days. Catastrophe could ensue!

Peel Apart love

Vincent Van Goop

Didn’t realize it had been quite so long since I posted here. Huh. Well, the last photo in the last post showed the Polaroid 230 Land Camera. It was part of a mixed lot of cameras and film I got on eBay. It was one of those auctions that actually has a ton of crap in it, but the description and first photo were really bad, so only a few people wound up bidding on it. I wound up getting a ton of 126 film…

I died and went to Instamatic Heaven

…in addition to the Polaroid 230 and 4 packs of film for it. There were some random other cameras in it, too. I relegated the Instamatics and the Polaroid 600 into the bin of cameras for me to eventually sell on eBay. God knows, I am flush with Instamatics and Polaroid 600s. A Kodak Brownie Reflex (127 film) was also in the package. The viewing mirror and glass were grotesque, but it cleaned up just fine and I look forward to trying it out.

The Polaroid 230 was the main attraction, though. It needed a new battery, so I ordered one from Adorama and got a pack of the Fuji peel-apart film too to try out. I’m not sure if any of the Polaroid film that came with the camera will still work. I’m guessing not, but on the odd chance that it does, I wanted to work out any kinks I had with this camera on Fuji film first. That turned out to be a smart thing to do, since I wasted my first two shots with the 230 trying to figure out the camera settings. Now it’s working okay though.

Dodge Dart

The van next door

Pretty impressed with the Fuji film. It has nice saturation and depth. I don’t have any issues with it, maybe because I’m a Polaroid n00b, but if this is the only color film I have available to use in this camera, I’m okay with that.

I’ve also been experimenting with the Goop aspect of peel apart films, as you can tell with the top pic. The goop is fun because it’s so unpredictable. I’ve taken 4 successful pics with the 230, and of the 4, the goop turned out to be a negative image on 3 pics. The fourth, the van pic shown above, had a positive goop. Sweet random, mysterious goop!

The 230 is a rangefinder, too, which is something that takes a bit of getting used to. The only other rangefinder I have is one of those stupid Argus bricks and I hate it. I’ve got a roll of 12 pics in it right now, and it’s taking me an eternity to shoot the roll, just because I hate the camera so much. Can’t wait to be done with it. The 230 isn’t so bad, though – you change the focus by shoving the bellows left or right. It’s not difficult at all.

In other news, found some fun film at an antique shop:

116!  Woot!

Unexposed 116 film, baby! Process C-41 even! Can’t wait to get into that. Also have picked up a few random cameras here and there that have rolls of film in them. A lot of Triple Print, actually. Stupid Triple Print. Guess I’ll be developing all of that in black and white. Oh, I also got some Diafine developer too, when I ordered from Adorama. Maybe I’ll do a developing day this week where I get a bunch of my old films developed.

Got out the Lensbaby and the macro filter for it and screwed around a bit today:



Don't cry for me Argentina

Did a Polaroid/Lensbaby mash-up:

Polaroid, then Lensbaby

Still waiting for the weather to get warmer.

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

In which I help stimulate Indiana’s economy

Indiana camera haul

All right, I didn’t spend that much money there. Actually, everything I got was really cheap, with the exception of the Target 620 (that was $15 – more than I normally pay for an old box camera, but it had film inside, so I got sucked in).

First, the cameras. The 620 and Dualflex IV came from an antique shop in Speedway. It’s about a block and a half away from the actual Indianapolis Motor Speedway, and we got there early, so we wandered around for a little while taking pictures. I was using an Instamatic camera loaded with GAF color film from the 70s or early 80s. I’ll have to check and see what the actual expiration date was. Not too terribly sure how I’m going to crack open the cartridge to get to the film, but I’ll deal with that later.

Anyway, like I said, the Target 620 was $15, but it was loaded with a roll of Verichrome Pan, so I grabbed it. The Dualflex IV was a silly purchase, since it was not loaded with film, and I already have a Dualflex II with a better lens. However, the booth it was in had everything marked 1/2 off, and it was only $5 after the discount – since it was in pretty good condition I decided to grab it. I like the fact that it’s brown instead of black. I have too many black cameras.

Picked up the Savoy and the Clix-O-Flex at an antique mall in Muncie. I’m nutty in love with the Savoy. It’s got that whole retro-space feel to it that is awesome.

Atomic mintyness

It’s in immaculate condition, too. $6 for the Savoy.

The Clix-O-Flex, on the other hand, looked like someone had flung it up against a wall and then kicked mud on it. Here it is, cleaned up a little bit:

Clix-O-Flex front

The Bakelite ring around the lens is cracked. It has funk everywhere. The viewfinder gives me a triple image. I probably would have passed it up had it not had a roll of Verichrome Pan in it. The asking price was $10, but I was able to get it for $5. I normally don’t haggle (because I suck at it), but even with the film in it, there’s no way it was worth $10.

It does have its charm, though. It takes 127 film, and thanks to Travis, I’ve well stocked up on that. The quilted diamond front is pretty cool. I really like the rectangular viewfinder, triple image and all.

I shot the rest of the film in both the Target 620 and the Clix-O-Flex, and, oddly, the winding dials on both cameras seized up after the last frame. I can’t advance the film anymore, so I’m going to have to try opening them in the dark to get the film out safely. I don’t care so much about the Target 620 (although it does have an attractive front), but it would be cool if I could use the Clix-O-flex as a working camera.

The other photo-y things I picked up in Indiana include an old Bakelite developing tank for sheet film. It cost $2.

Inside of the tank

The lid and light trap are missing a few small chunks of Bakelite, but nothing that looks too critical. I figured I can test it out and if I get hideous light leaks, I can try to patch it. The rack part in the tank is adjustable. It was wedged pretty well in there at a smaller size than 4×5, and Travis and I had to mess with it for about 15 minutes before we finally got the rack thingies to move. I guess if I ever mess with sheet film smaller than 4×5, I can use this tank to develop it, too.

Here’s the Polaroid AutoProcessor for Polaroid 35mm film:

Polaroid AutoProcessor

This cost $4. If it works, it’ll be worth the price. I’ve got two rolls of Polaroid 35mm film – one is their slide film, and the other is Polablue, which makes really contrasty blue images. I’d love it if I could actually develop these film, but I’m not getting my hopes up. I’ll probably try shooting this film in the next month or so – it’s not like the developer that was included with the film is going to get better with age. I suspect it’s all dry and crunchy now.

Also picked up some old Kodak books:

Kodak books

I got these three and two smaller ones. 4 of the books were 25 cents each (the other was $3.00). Actually, the thing that was $3.00 is pocket-sized Kodak Master Photoguide printed in 1954 (the other 4 books are all circa late 40s/early 50s). The Photoguide is basically page after page of dials and information so you can easily figure out exposure data, depth of field, aperture, etc. It looks like something I may actually use. All of the old books have info about the old films (Verichrome Pan, etc) that I’m finding in cameras, so that’s pretty nifty.

I’ve got this gigantic backlog of color film I need to develop, but I think I want to pick up an aquarium heater before I do so so I can keep the chems at approximately the right temp. I’ve got some color chems I mixed up in August or September that may (or may not) still be viable. If not, I can mix up one more small batch to use. I may take the bold step of ordering a bigger C-41 kit from Freestyle next time I place an order with them, and maybe even an E-6 (color slide developing) kit, too.

Film. I gots it.

Christmas film bonanza

I’ve been relatively good for a few months, photography-wise, in terms of not buying a bunch of stuff. That all went to hell recently, though. But there were bargains to be had! And I am weak!

The Christmas photography splurge started a few days before Christmas. Since Travis and I spend the holidays travelling, we opened up our presents to each other early. And, since he is awesome, he got me 15 rolls of Efke 127 film. As far as I know, there are only 2 manufacturers of 127 film left – Efke, which makes black and white film, and Solaris, which makes color. Travis got me 10 rolls of regular Efke, and 5 rolls of infrared. I’m excited about the infrared, but I’m going to have to rig a red filter to use on one of the 127 cameras I have. I just won two eBay auctions that come with red filters (I’m back on the eBay, too, but I’m trying to be reasonable with it), so I’m hoping I can make something work.

Travis also got me a new scanner! It’s an Epson Perfection V500, and can be used to scan in medium format film and slides, etc. I was very excited to get it, because it meant that I was now able to scan in my color negatives and actually have them turning out looking like actual color pictures. My other scanner just kind of rolled over and died when I tried to convince it to do that. Here’s the difference in image quality. Old scanner:

Cleveland Cliffs 'C'

New scanner:

Cleveland Cliffs in yellow

I got the yellow tint because I started scanning in my black and white film as color. I like the tinting. 🙂 I’ve gotten some really weird colors because of it – this was a picture that was really dark, and when I scanned it in as color, I got the apocalypse:

Get out the Geiger counters!

So, that’s fun. Here’s an example of the color I get from a regular color negative. This was film I developed from a C-41 kit Freestyle sells:


Yay! Color!

The new scanner has some issues. It crashes every so often, but less so now that I started using alternate software with it. I can deal with it crashing, what I couldn’t deal with was a speck of something that was stuck to the underside of the scanning glass. I noticed it after I had scanned in about 10 images. There was no way for us to clean it, and no way to avoid it being in every single rectangular medium format image. We figured that we were going to have to send the scanned back, but before we did it, I wanted to use it as much as possible. I spend about 8 hours straight scanning in square 120 negatives (I could work around the speck with the square format negs), and somewhere along the way, the speck either fell off or was burned off from the heat of the scanning light. So, it’s fine now and I don’t have to send it back. Yay for persistence, I guess.

Travis’ Mom and Bob hooked me up with some film for Christmas because they’re awesome. They got me a pack of 50 4″ x 5″ TMax 100 sheet film, and 5 boxes of expired 400TX film. Now I have enough sheet film where I can experiment with it without freaking out about wasting film. Hannakube, here I come!

Travis and I went to some antique malls after Christmas, and I got some new camera junk, but I didn’t get a chance to take pictures of it yet, so I’ll just skip straight to the Mighty Film Haul. Travis, his mom, and I stopped at a flea market on Saturday. We didn’t really see anything worthwhile at first, and then suddenly I was distracted by a bin of disposable cameras. I didn’t hear Travis at first, but he was across the aisle from me, yelling at me to come over since he had found bin after bin of film. A feeding frenzy ensued, and $87 later, I left with buckets of 35mm film, a handful of rolls of Advantix (since I have an old APS camera), 2 rolls of 110, a disposable camera (800 speed, sans-flash – I have plans for this that involve tearing it apart), and 12 packs of Polaroid film. I bought all of the Polaroid I could find there. Also grabbed all of the 35mm Elitechrome that they had – I loves me some slide film. Got some black and white film that’s C-41 processed, since I haven’t tried doing anything with that. Thought I might process some C-41, and then process a roll in black and white chemistry to see the difference.

Weird films

Most of the film I got expired between 2005-2008, although there’s at least a roll that is still good through next July. I got some faster films, too – 400 and 800 speed stuff. No immediate plans for that. It’s nice, though, because now if I want to check and see if my color chemistry is still good, I can shoot a roll of color 35mm really quick and use that as a tester without screwing up any of my “good” film.

And, to top it all off, I happened to stumble across an auction on eBay for expired (2003 and 2005) 120 slide film just after it was posted. The Buy it Now price was under $20, and the lot included 24 rolls, so I grabbed it. I only have 2 or 3 rolls of 120 slide film left, and I love the stuff. It’s my favorite thing to develop. There’s something about how the negatives look all milky and murky when they first come out of the developer, and then clear up as they dry that just seems like magic to me. So cool.

Like I said, I picked up some other photographic weirdness that I’ll be sharing in the next day or so. Including a Polaroid 35mm Instant developing machine for Polaroid film. Now I can finally shoot the two rolls of Polaroid 35mm film I have! I just hope my developer hasn’t gone all squicky…