Category Archives: Film Photography Project

Save Water & Time When Developing

Utah is the 2nd driest state in the country. Mother Nature gives us an average of thirteen inches of water per year. Yes, we’re in a high desert, and we boast The Greatest Snow on Earth. Our Wasatch Mountains receive an average of sixty inches of water per year. Water is an essential, but a limited resource. About 40% of our municipal water supply comes from surface water sources. Meaning, we have some natural springs and wells, but the majority is collected in reservoirs. Most of the water we use for landscaping comes from a secondary source, untreated water stored in reservoirs and dams. Water is critical, and water provides life.

FPP Archival Wash

Last year while developing film at home, I kept asking myself, “I’m rinsing this film for 10 minutes because the Massive Dev app tells me to. Why?” It seemed like such an enormous waste of water. About this time, the Film Photography Project Store started to produce and sell FPP Archival Permanent Wash for Black & White Negatives. There’s nothing new about archival wash, but it was new to me. I emailed Leslie Lazenby at the Film Photography Project and asked her about it. This is her response:

Hi Shaun,

Good to hear from you! Personally, and professionally I don’t know any film that will have any permanence with just a 10-minute wash time. Depending on the film and the fixer used it is a minimum of 30 minutes to 1 hour. So, yes FPP’s Archival Permanent Wash is just the ticket for the 2nd driest State in the Union.

Here’s how it works:
Mix 3 ounces of it with enough water to make 1 gallon of working solution.
After the Fix step, wash your negatives for 1 minute in running water.
Soak the negatives in your APW working solution for 1 minute (remember this working solution is re-useable for at least 75 rolls!).
Final wash is 1 additional minute in running water – done!
If you use a wetting agent like PhotoFlo it would follow here.
As an archival freak and a water advocate, I love this stuff.

Now I’m saving over 90% of the water I used to waste on rinsing film. Plus, instead of rinsing for 10-minutes as indicated by the Massive Dev Chart, the final steps only take 3 minutes. And now my black and white negatives are archival. The 1 quart bottle of concentrate makes about 10 gallons of Archival Permanent Wash working solution that can be reused for up to 3 months or 75 rolls. And if you don’t want to mix a gallon, you can use the directions on the bottle to make smaller quantities. Here’s an example of my modified recipe in the Massive Dev app:

Kosmo Foto 100 – 35mm, ISO 100
Kodak D-76 (1+1)

Development: 9 Minutes
Stop Bath: 1 Minute
Fixing: 5 Minutes
Rinse: 1 Minute
FPP APW: 1 Minute
Rinse: 1 Minute
Hypo Clear: 1 Minute

You can also listen to Leslie Lazenby respond to my email in the “Dr. Is In” segment on the Film Photography Project Podcast, 54:26 into the podcast.

If you have a product recommendation or a tip on saving water while developing film, please let me know in the comments. I’m interested to learn what other people have done to conserve water and save time.

 

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Miranda G – Part Two

It’s rare that I get a camera, quickly shoot a roll a film, enjoy the camera so much that I immediately move to another roll of film. Again, the Miranda G is such a great camera. Don’t believe me, go read my post from last week. The second roll of film I shot with was some Film Photography Project Edu 200 Black & White. At $3.99, you can’t beat the price. The only drawback is it’s a thin plastic and can be difficult to scan.

The Annual VW “No Show” in Kaysville, Utah, is one of my favorite car shows. Not because I own a Volkswagen, or know much about cars. It’s the people at the show and the variety of photographic opportunities. The car owners are great to talk with. They love to share their knowledge about VW’s, often pointing out specific details of a particular year or model. The show usually consists of about 100+ cars. And it only takes a few hours to see everything and visit with people. Brian Thomson and his fellow VooDoo Kruizerz do an awesome job at hosting a fun show each year. Below are some photos from the VW show, make sure to click on the images and view the whole gallery. And if you follow me on Instagram, you’ll see some cars from another show.


Agfa Isolette I

Agfa’s production of the Isolette series spans several decades. Multiple models were made from pre-WWII 1936 up to 1958. The Isolette I is a simple German-made 120 folder that was sold from 1952 to 1960. The camera features an 85mm coated f/4.5 – 32 Agnar lens and a synchronized Vario leaf shutter. Focus is scale-focusing, measured on the lens from 3 feet to infinity.

Agfa Isolette

I purchased the Isolette I for $20 after listening to Episode 143 of the Film Photography Project Podcast. Host Mark O’Brien details many of the features. He also describes the common issues with sticky, or dried lubricant. When I received the Isolette, sure enough, the lens would not focus because the original lubricant had cemented the focus in place. Utah Film Photography friend, Maurice Greeson, put the camera on his workbench, cleaned, lubricated and freed the focus.

My experience with the Isolette was just so-so. I like having a 120 folder that has such a small footprint. However, I found that ultimately I wanted better control over the focus. My ideal 120 folder would have a rangefinder focus. The Isolette I doesn’t have a light meter. For some photographers that might be a deal breaker, but for me it wasn’t an issue. Now that I’ve said that, the majority of my shots were under or over-exposed. I don’t believe this was my fault or the cameras. I think it was the expired Kodak T-Max 100 I was using. I’m not sure how it was stored before it was donated. Will I shoot with the Isolette again? Sure, but with some fresh Kodak Tri-X or Illford HP5.


Film Photography Project RetroChrome 160

I like to purchase sampler boxes of film because it gives me the chance to try something new. Last Spring the Film Photography Project started to sell what they called “Chrome” color reversal film, so I bought a Chrome 9-Pack. It includes 4 rolls of 35mm Chrome – FPP RetroChrome 160, 4 rolls of 35mm Chrome – FPP RetroChrome High Speed 320, and a bonus roll of mystery film. I’ve never used color  slide film, or any film that produces a color positive image, so I wasn’t sure what to expect. Because the film is tungsten balanced, it produces a blue color cast in sunlight. When it’s used indoors under household incandescent lighting or tungsten lights, it represents accurate colors. These are some images on FPP RetroChrome 160 that I shot with my Minolta SR-T202 in Southern California. The film was E6 processed by TheDarkRoom.com.


Film Photography Project Walking Workshop – Part 3

On the first day of the FPP Walking Workshop, each person received a ticket to be part of a camera giveaway. Everyone had a chance to browse through several tables of cameras, select one, and enter to win that specific camera. I’ve been fascinated with old rangefinder cameras lately, so I put my ticket in the cup next to a Minolta Hi-Matic 7s. Because there were so many cameras, I was the only person that entered to win this 7s, and by default, I won! Along with the camera came a printed instruction manual, a contact sheet displaying the test images from the camera, and a letter entitled, “To the new owner,” along with details and specific information about the camera. Again, thank you FPP listener and contributor Johnny Brain in Iowa for this outstanding camera!

The Minolta Hi-Matic 7s rangefinder was manufactured in 1966. The 7s is one model in the popular line of Hi-Matic’s made from 1962 to 1984. Some other notable 35mm rangefinder cameras made during this time are the Canon Canonet and the Yashica Electro 35 series. The 7s has a very sharp, and wide, 45mm f/1.8 Rokkor lens. The aperture on the leaf shutter lens goes from f/1.8 all the way to f/22! Shutter speeds range from bulb, 4/sec up to 500/sec, ISO 25 to 800, and includes an automatic mode for both shutter and aperture settings. The 7s has a Contrast Light Compensation (CLC) metering system. This was an original feature Minolta borrowed from their SR-T SLR line of cameras and used for the Hi-Matic’s. The meter sensor is positioned at the top of the lens and the visible needle can be seen through the bright, clear, viewfinder. The meter is battery-powered and originally required a mercury battery. This 7s has an updated battery and uses an adapter with a diode to step-down the power for correct metering.

On the second day of the workshop, I sat outside in the warm morning sun and read through the 7s manual. Like a kid with a new toy, I really wanted to use this camera. I put some Kodak Ektar 100 in the 7s and used it to capture various moments throughout the second day. Aside from some poor compositions and getting used to the rangefinder, I’m really impressed with this camera. While walking around the workshop, several people commented on what a great camera it is. Yes, I’ve made a few easy mistakes with this camera. For example, because it’s a rangefinder, I’ve forgotten to remove the lens cap on two occasions. And as Leslie Lazenby points out on Episode #122 of the Film Photography Podcast, this camera also has the longest throw for advancing the film, 220 degrees! Because of this, I cranked the film right off the end of the roll! I won’t misjudge the film advance on this camera, or any other, ever again. I’m really impressed with this camera. I enjoy this camera so much that it was one of the five I selected to take to the Oregon coast a few weeks ago. If you’re looking for a solid rangefinder with sharp glass, make sure to check out the Hi-Matic’s. If you’re buying used, I recommend examining the leaf shutter for missing or broken aperture blades/leafs. If you’re concerned about using the meter, check into an updated battery or simply use the Sunny 16 Rule.

 

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Film Photography Project Walking Workshop – Part 1

Two weeks ago, Scott Smith and I flew from Utah to San Diego, California, and drove up to San Clemente for the Film Photography Project Walking Workshop at the headquarters of TheDarkroom.com. We arrived a day early because we knew we wanted to take our time getting to our hotel in Dana Point, and find some good photo ops along the way. We spent some time walking around San Clemente, stopping at various small shops including Arcade Camera. At six o’clock we went down to the pier for some photos at sunset. I took five film cameras with me, one of them was the Minolta SR-T202 that I had purchased earlier in the month. This was my first opportunity to use this camera, so I loaded it with some Kodak Ektar 100 film and casually walked along the beach. One of the shots I wanted to get was the lifeguard stand with the pier at sunset. This is the first time I’ve done any real landscape photography in several years.

The next morning at the workshop, we were greeted with a big smile and handshake from Michael Raso and Mat Marrash from the Film Photography Podcast. One of the first people in the group I recognized was Brian Moore, a knowledgeable photographer from Huntington Beach. Another was Mark Dalzell also from the Film Photography Podcast and Smoove Sailors. Mark gave me some advice last year on cleaning my Argus C3. We talked about what a great indestructible workhorse the C3 is.

The entire staff at The Dark Room deserve a big thank you. From myself and my fellow FPP friends, thank you! Keith, Phil, and Joe, the tour was fascinating. You opened your business doors to a bunch of strangers and customers (and some strange customers), answered countless questions and made sure everyone was having a good time. Again, thank you so much.

As the afternoon progressed, Michael and Mark spoke about unique, unusual, and hand-rolled films. One of the more entertaining presentations was Michael’s commentary about Svema film from Russia. They don’t respond to email, but will accept a purchase order, accept money, and ship film to the FPP in New Jersey. I believe the repeated remark from Michael was, “Hey! You don’t know what’s going on in Russia!” After completing the roll of Kodak Ektar in the Minolta SR-T202, I loaded it with Svema Color Negative 125. Photographers that have purchased it from the FPP Store have nothing but positive things to say, so I’m very optimistic. After the discussion on film, Michael gave away some unique film from the FPP Store, including some color infrared, 620 film and the new FPP 620 film spools.

Each FPP workshop attendee received a ticket to be part of a camera giveaway. Everyone had a chance to browse through several tables of cameras, select one, and enter the raffle to win that camera. I won a beautiful Minolta 7s rangefinder. Along with the camera came a printed instruction manual, a contact sheet displaying the test images from the camera, and a letter entitled, “To the new owner,” along with details and specific information about the camera. The Minolta 7s has a battery-powered exposure meter that originally required a mercury battery. The letter explains how the updated battery uses an adapter with a diode to step-down the power for the meter. Thank you FPP listener and contributor Johnny Brain in Iowa for this outstanding camera!

In the late afternoon, everyone boarded the FPP Big Yellow School Bus and went to the San Clemente Pier for a photowalk. The weather was beautiful. I took my time walking along the pier, occasionally stopping to ask random people if I could take a photo of them. When I have a camera in my hands, I have no hesitation talking to people. This is something about me that makes my friends and family uncomfortable. I know it embarrasses my kids when I stop and photograph this way. Whether its candid street photography or street portraits, a smile and a positive comment can usually produce an interesting image. The day ended with a bus ride back to The Dark Room where we spent more time talking with other photographers while sharing our newly won cameras.

To be continued…


FPP “Shoot Film!” Sticker Giveaway

The gang over at the Film Photography Project are the purveyors of a great podcast and selection of film in their online store. Make sure to subscribe to the podcast, visit their website, and participate in their group on Flickr. They’ve been a big help to many of us that are exploring film for the first time. And they are part of the inspiration behind Utah Film Photography in that we want to share our knowledge and experience.

[2014_10_13] FPP StickerWe are giving away some Film Photography Project “Shoot Film!” stickers. The lovely round paper design features an adhesive back that is ready for application on your favorite camera gear, gym locker or four legged pet. It features a hand drawn Polaroid Land Camera in black on a white background proclaiming your love for analog photography with the phrase “Shoot Film!” in a classic typewriter font. How’s that for a sticker description, eh? How do you get one? Leave a comment on this post and tell us where you’ll stick it. We’ll pick 8 people at random to receive stickers. All winners will be contacted by email on October 22, 2014.