Thursday, January 9, 2020

From 1917 to Today

Funny Title, I know, however, it's not far from the truth.
I often wonder... in 100 years from now, looking back, would our Digital Cameras work? At all? I don't think so... They'd most likely be severely degraded by corrosion in the circuitry... Unless kept on a shelf somewhere, hopefully without the battery in... Perhaps with a compatible power source, they would... But again... unlikely..
However, today, I have a camera that used 116 film that was last patent stamped for 1917.. Meaning that it was built, most assuredly, in 1917 in Rochester, New York.  It is a descendant in the lineup from a series of Kodak No. 1a Autographic Kodak Jr cameras since it started sale in 1914. It has a 130mm Kodak Anastigmat (meaning their pro lens) which is a dialyte type, or 4 elements in 4 groups, with air pockets in between.

The film I used, it's the only film that I have that I can use easily, is Eastman Double-XX Film. It's absolutely beautiful... Once i iron out a few kinks in the works, I think I'll have myself a very lovely "Near Large Format" Roll Film camera. It's bigger than 6x9, although not by much, but gives impressive results!

The camera itself was a lucky find, late 2018. We were visiting my cousin, but were running a bit early, so we stopped into a quaint little antique store. Normally I don't bother looking for cameras. I get called to them by my wife and kids... only to find they are disappointing, at best..
This one, however, different story. Nobody saw it, except myself. Kind of fluke, actually, as it was the old Leather case that I saw that attracted me to the camera. The case caught my eye, but the clasp is what really grabbed my attention. I recognized the clasps symbol easily... EKc. Eastman Kodak Company, pretty hard not to recognize that one.. Needless to say, I checked it out. Opened the back... carefully looking to see if there was any film. Nope, but there was an old spool. Next, find a dark place and test the bellows. Yup, everything is good! Bellows are light tight... So, only one thing left... Test the shutter. . . .
Click click click.. Everything works!  A camera that was 101 years old (but I didn't know at the time) still fully functional. Amazing!
Bought some film, for the backing paper, but to test it out. Sadly the roll of 116 I did have jammed up in the camera and it ruined the paper... Film from eBay arrived and I put it through the Jiffy 616, because I knew that one worked but had never actually used it yet successfully. Sure enough, I did this time with some Verichrome Pan and managed to keep the paper in good condition.
Fast forward to 2020, a trip to Limehose and....

On The Rails Looking Home
Autographic No. 1a Kodak Junior - 130mm f/7.7
Eastman Double-XX - XTOL


Autographic No.1a Kodak Junior - 130mm f/7.7
Eastman Double-XX - XTOL (failed development)

As you can see, this outing was far more successful, which means that this camera will most likely retain a rotation until I am out of 70mm film and have no feasible option to get some at a reasonable cost.

Until next time;

Keep those shutters firing!

Wednesday, January 1, 2020

Visiting Terra Cotta

A hiatus from photography wasn't without its merits. I felt that instead of just aimlessly clicking away and shooting mindless image after mindless image, I would just stop shooting altogether, letting my cellphone be my camera. It did its job well,  allowing me to have some creative expression while remaining a poor substitute for a real camera.
A previous visit to Limehouse Conservation really got me back into the enjoyment of being out shooting, feeling the fresh air and just enjoying myself... It's been quite a while since I remembered feeling that.
I decided to make plans with a friend to visit Terra Cotta and grab lunch after. Originally it was to visit Belfountain, but we didn't bother as it just didn't have a great amount of light to properly give the place justice... So we made another quick decision to visit Terra Cotta.  A smart choice as the sun came out when we arrived.

Here are a few photos from that day. I was shooting with the Zeiss Ikon Super Ikonta and Canon EOS Elan 7NE.  I lost a roll of Acros as my Labbox developing tank jammed while loading and creased the film badly. I was unimpressed.
The Elan was loaded with Polypan F while the Super Ikonta had some Ilford ORTHO Plus 80 loaded.


Terra Cotta

Zeiss Ikon Super Ikonta C - 10.5cm Novar Anastigmat - Ilford ORTHO Plus 80 - XTOL Stock

Canon EOS Elan 7NE - 75-300mm f/3.5-5.6 @300mm f/8 - Polypan F 50 EI100 = XTol Stock



Canon EOS Elan 7NE - 75-300mm f/3.5-5.6 @300mm f/8 - Polypan F 50 EI100 = XTol Stock


Canon EOS Elan 7NE - 17-40 F/4L @17mm f/11 - Polypan F 50 EI100 = XTol Stock


Canon EOS Elan 7NE - 75-300mm f/3.5-5.6 @300mm f/6.3 - Polypan F 50 EI100 = XTol Stock


Zeiss Ikon Super Ikonta C - 10.5cm f/3.5 Novar Anastigmat - Ilford Ortho Plus 80


Canon EOS Elan 7NE - 17-40mm f/4L f/8 - Polypan F 50 EI100 = XTol Stock


I know most are shot on the ELAN, however I did have quite a few that I took with the IKONTA, but sadly the film got damaged and was unrecoverable.


Until next time... Keep those shutters firing!






Wednesday, December 25, 2019

A Hiatus From Shooting

So two years, almost, has passed since my last post. It has been a rather interesting couple of years with little to no shooting at all. Definitely no processing of film and no scanning either. Just a complete lack of any kind of inspiration. Every time I picked up a camera I felt overwhelmed and anxious, with little desire to actually load and shoot the camera.
Without inspiration to shoot, I felt little need to really fire away with a camera. Don't get me wrong, I still took some photos here and there. I took many on my cellphone, as I always have it on me, but only a handful on my 35mm or larger. In fact, my Zeiss Ikon Super Ikonta has sat on the shelf, closed up, since late winter of 2018... It gave a big puff of dust when I picked it up and blew it off.
Taking up golf, however, did help a bit. Especially my last outing, when I had my Canon EOS Elan 7NE loaded with some E6... But that was at the end of summer, 2019.. So it was recently, about the time that I felt the need to start shooting again.  Renos to the house, that actually made a huge difference in my mood, as I finally got some creative juices flowing.. Redoing my carpeted stairs, from gross neutral pink/gray/red/blech colour to hardwood flooring. A hanging chandelier above the landing to really set it off, plus a full repainting of the walls.  It just felt good to give everything a refresh and finally do something...

I think what really set it off was when, for my Birthday, I decided that I would like to request only one gift from family.... A new lens for my ELAN 7Ne. So, I purchased a Like-New (I buy used whenever I can) EF-L 17-40mm ƒ/4 lens.. Considering that I've come to realize that I, by far, much prefer landscape photography over portraits, which is probably why I love my large format cameras... the scenery doesn't complain when it takes 10 minutes to snap one photo... It fit my ideal focal lengths perfectly. Plus, although slower at f/4, you rarely shoot landscapes with a wider aperture than 5.6 -> 8 anyway..

After trying it out, I was hooked. It told more of the story I wanted to tell. Plus, something else started to happen... I started to give away my collection of old cameras. I no longer felt any desire at all to collect them. If they weren't being used, they were no longer welcome in the house. Sure, I have a few that will never go which are shelf queens, such as the Deardorff and Yashica Lynx-14.. They were inherited from grandparents, so family cameras... AND a few Kodak cameras, like the Duaflex IV (my first usable medium format camera) and Brownie Bullseye (which is a very lovely 6x9 Box camera that focuses)... to the Agfa Shurshot, because it's a BOX camera. I actually love shooting with BOX cameras, because you can literally not care what you are shooting and what you get.

After that, I cleaned up my darkroom.. I need to put in a proper floor and insulate the walls with foam panels, but I cleaned it up and properly organized it. Out with the LEITZ WETZLER enlarger, since it only would handle up to a 127 negative anyway, repositioning of the Bogens Special 6x9 enlarger, better placement of the laptop and scanner.... plus another lens for the Bogens for my 6x6 and larger negatives.  The 6x9 and up will stay in the Beseler 45MXT Custom...
Made a couple prints and found my contact printer... I may not be shooting much in the future, but I do plan on spending more time shooting and printing.  Come the summer, I believe I'll be shooting a lot more... especially out on the Golf Course...
I have a lot to thank for Golf, as it got me out of my rut and gave me a hobby I actually really enjoy! I an mix golf and photography very easily, since it has some of the best scenic views, at times... Especially evening golf and early morning golf. Nothing like that golden hour of light for photography and golf!


Contact Print
Contact Print - Canon A2 - 28-105mm - Polypan F Printed on Ilford Warmtone RC 8x10


Until next time....

Keep those shutters firing!

Thursday, March 22, 2018

A Trip With the T90

Well, sure, I know I'm supposed to be out and about with the Super Ikonta more, but I need to give my other cameras a wee bit of attention to. If I don't exercise the shutters, they can start to go... funny.
This time around I decided it was time to take the T90 out for a bit of an adventure, albeit not much of one.. So, loaded with some TMAX100, off I went... here are some of the images from the roll..










Of course, what roll is complete without a silly selfie in a mirror 😊 haha!

Until next time, keep those shutters firing!

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Day 5 - Jan. 6, 2018 - FP4 at 1600!

Never to let the limitations of a camera limit me, I'll push film as much as I can get away with to allow me to use it. I haven't done much in the way of pushing or pulling with Ilford's FP4+ film, but I figured, what the heck. So I decided to spin it up as high as EI1600... That's almost a 4 stop push! Many films respond alright to a one or two stop push, but four?! Why not. How hard could it be? I mean, after all, +Kelly-Shane Fuller has done some seriously crazy pushes with film himself, plus I have done that sort of thing many years ago with Polypan F..

Why not a more robust film like FP4+..
To be honest, I really do like the results!




Not bad for a 30s rangefinder.. It was actually this roll where I noticed that there was a hole in the bellows, which accounts for the light leak I had found on my first few rolls I developed.. Fixed that issue with a piece of black Duct Tape, since it was on the side of the bellows instead of a corner.

Until next time, keep those shutters firing!

All photos taken on my Zeiss Ikon Super Ikonta 530/2 120 6x9 Roll film Rangefinder using Ilford FP4+ ei1600 film.
All images are copyright and cannot be used without permission.

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Day 4 - Zeiss Ikon Super Ikonta Still Life - Take II

So this was actually my first attempt at using my smartphone to kind of show the visualization of my photo before I took the photo on my Super Ikonta. I wanted to know what sort of final image I would be working with and then working out how I really want it to look using my phone to see where the camera would get the best framing for the entire frame.

Well this first image shows basically the unfortunate limitations of using a Rangefinder for still life..
Sighting up the image and double checking and fine tuning the focus - Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge

As you can see it doesn't show much promise. It's simply TOO wide to get proper framing.. I thought it would make a good shot to show a 'wider' shot of the entire scene. Almost like a behind the scenes with the primary camera.
Then basically what I saw through the finder, is almost a direct representation of what I actually got in the image as we see in the original post.

Then I think.. this isn't good.. I know I can do a lot better.. SO I reach out my Kodak Portra +2 closeup filter and want to try upping the difficulty game to very difficult.
A few test shots later....

First here with the Tomato on my Cell-Phone. I was blown away with how close I could get and focus with the phone. It gave me a lot of hope for what I wanted to try to accomplish.


Closer still, but not quite where I was intending on it going.. The framing seemed awkward and loose. I didn't like the light...
Time to try changing a few more variables... adjusting the curtains... adding a screen...


Yup.. a lot better here..
Finally another adjustment to the final image and...

Still Life - Samsung S6

 Yeah, this is what I was after..

Referring to the 'Reference Guide for Kodak Portra Closeup Filters' I set the camera where I needed it to capture this kind of framing, although it would be more square to the image...

I think I nailed it with the Super Ikonta...

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Day 4 - Still Life

This time around I wanted to try something very different with the IKONTA.. Close-up Still Life. I've never really done too much with Still Life photography, so this was a big step for me. I've always wanted to, but know how hard it is and never did do it. Well that's not true, I have done some still life, but it never worked out properly... Okay, one or two images have, but I always thought it was more luck than anything..

This time around I had help.. Using my phone as a framing guide from the distance I had chosen (making corrections to match frame size between the phone and the Ikonta (wider angle lens on the phone)..

Playing with lighting, positioning and just outright moving the whole frame closer...

I got this...
Still Life - A New Approach - Zeiss Ikon Super Ikonta 530/2 Ilford XP2+ Super
I felt it was too far.. I couldn't get the look I was after.. I wanted tighter and closer... less ... noise.. clutter..
Well, I moved the camera closer.. The problem, however, is that my camera cannot focus closer than 1.5m (1.5 meters, learn the metric system, it's based off of parts of ten. Ten fingers ten toes)

So I had to think how I can change that.. Well sure enough I remembered... I have a close up filter!
Grabbed my Kodak Portra +2 closeup filter.. only to realize I'm going to have to hold it over the lens because I didn't have a filter holder.. Dammit!
On top of that, I didn't know the distances... So onto the internets I go.. Then I find it.. a scan of the quick guide... Set lens to INF and measure to 19 7/8".. good thing I also know the Imperial USA system as well as Metric, right? Guess what, lens is in Metric... hahah! So I have to convert.. okay, INF!

Well, a cable release in hand, filter in the other.... and ... CLICK...
Up Close and Still
Zeiss Ikon Super Ikonta 530/2 - Novar Anastigmat 105mm 3.5 w/Kodak Portra +2 Filter - Ilford XP2 @ EI800
I think I nailed it...

Until next time, keep those shutters firing!