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.
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.
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:
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.
Everything else sucked. The goops were fantastic, though.
They were almost good enough to make me want to score more of this film. Almost.