Monday, May 22, 2017

Foth Derby meets Portra 160

Thanks to a generous on line friend I have had a can of bulk Kodak Portra film sitting in my refrigerator for several years.  It remained unopened all that time because I knew it would present a severe challenge to both my manual dexterity and my patience.


The idea of getting the film can, camera, scissors, tape and developing tank into my small dark bag and then getting the film wound onto a 127 reel and into the camera had a certain nightmarish quality.  Well, nothing ventured ...





I walked out of the house with the loaded Foth Derby thinking I would just snap a few test shots.  As it turned out, the yearly car show was in progress at the nearby Albuquerque Art Museum.  Seemed like a good omen.  Since I was blind winding the film with no backing paper and the ruby windows taped over I got just ten shot from a film strip that had room for sixteen.  Still, I was pretty happy with the outcome, and I thought some of the shots showed the surprising quality that the little Foth Derby can deliver.  I'll try this again sometime soon, and maybe I'll even have a go at using some backing paper.  I'm thinking it may help to break the process down into several discrete steps so I don't have everything in the bag at once.

Foth Derby

7 comments:

James Harr said...

I've not had good luck with dark bags. I need elbow room to fiddle with film. I have had good luck with a darkened bathroom. It isn't even completely dark. There is a little bit of light that sneaks in under the door. I haven't ever noticed significant fog from it, but considering the age and types of film I normally use, that isn't a big risk anyway. You seem to have ended up with your usual high quality photos, so I'd say keep doing what your're doing.

Mike said...

I've conducted quite a bit of photographic activity in bathrooms. The bidet in my Buenos Aires apartment made a good print washer. I could light proof my current bathroom, but it doesn't actually offer a lot more room than my dark bag. I'm thinking about getting one of those big tent-style dark bags.

Christopher Smith said...

Well all I can say it was well worth the effort as they are amazing shots you got from the
camera and Porta 160, lovely vivid colors. I had never heard of a Foth Derby but it seems like a very capable camera.

Mike said...

It is a great little camera. I would have made a lot more pictures with it if 127 film could still be purchased at reasonable prices. The Foth Derby actually had a lot in common with the early Leica including a 1/500 focal plane shutter.

JR Smith said...

Again, you have tackled something I would never try and with amazing results!

Hats off my friend!

Mike said...

Well, it took me a couple years. Hopefully, the next round will come easier.

jon campo said...

Nice work as usual Mike. What great colors!