Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Old Dog, New Trick

 Over the years since I got back to shooting film I have enjoyed opportunities to explore the possibilities of many different film and developer combinations.  The soaring prices of most films have made that an expensive proposition and have prompted me to look at alternatives.  One obvious one to consider was bulk film.

I don't recall when or why I acquired this Watson Bulk Film Loader, but it seemed time to give it a try.  I mentioned the possibility to a couple film shooting friends and was offered some helpful advice on use as well as a partial bulk roll of Arista Edu 200 to get started.  I bought a four-pack of plastic reloadable cartridges from Adorama and loaded 12 frames into one for a trial run.  To eliminate any camera variables in the test, I shot the short strip in my Retina IIc with the Xenon lens which never disappoints.

I took a long walk with the Retina through a part of the neighborhood I seldom visit.  The setting sun cast some nice light and shadows which made it easy to quickly finish the test roll.

I had not used any Arista film in some time and I was pleasantly surprised at the nice tonal palette and fine grain when developed in RO9 1:25.

So, I ordered a 100-foot bulk roll of Arista Edu 200 from B&H.  The hundred-foot roll of film costs $68 and yields about 18 36-exposure rolls; so around $3.77 per roll.  That is a nice savings over the individual 36-exposure cartridges at $5.99 each, as well as some inflation protection for the duration of the bulk roll.

Monday, November 28, 2022

Ersatz 828

 I walked through the neighborhood and into Old Town with my Kodak Flash Bantam.  The camera was built for paper backed 828 roll film.  That is the same size as 35mm without the double row of perforations, so I just rolled a strip of 35mm onto the little reels in the dark bag and covered the ruby window with tape.  One and one half rotations of the advance gave me pretty good frame spacing. I had a few overlapping frames and a couple double exposures, but the camera got the job done pretty well.

The film was some Agfa Vista 100 dated 2007.  I gave it a little extra time in the Cinestill C-41 developer, but there were still some pretty pronounced color shifts requiring photoshop correction.

Tuesday, November 22, 2022

Following The Cranes

 The cranes at the river have mostly been beyond the reach of my longest lenses.  This morning I went a few miles north to the Los Poblanos Open Space where it is often possible to get closer to the birds.

I have had mostly poor results from the Vivitar Zoom I have been using with the Nikon F.  I may go back to the Open Space with my Pentax and the Yashinon zoom.

Saturday, November 19, 2022

Albuquerque Autumn

 I was able to get back to shooting my Vivitar Ultra Wide and Slim thanks to the gift of a roll of Agfa Vista 100.  The use-by date was 2007, but I thought the colors looked pretty good with a little PhotoShop help.

I found I had forgotten a few things about shooting the little wide-lens Vivitar.  It is necessary to frame scenes tightly as the viewfinder shows less than what will appear on the film.  Keeping the camera level is also important to avoid out of control verticals.

I have another roll of the Agfa Vista.  I'll probably give it an additional minute or two in the developer to compensate for the film age as well as the depletion of the Cinestill C-41 which will be on its fourteenth roll.

Thursday, November 17, 2022

At The River With The Nikon F

 Cool Fall weather has brought the Sandhill Cranes back to the Rio Grande Valley.  I've taken a couple long walks along the river to photograph them with my Nikon F and the Vivitar 70-210 Macro Focusing Zoom.

The Vivitar lens seems a versatile performer, though I found it challenging to get it well focused at maximum extension.  I think I likely just need more practice using it.

Sunday, November 13, 2022

In The Neighborhood

 Our local film photography group met at a park near our home and then went to one of the Old Town coffee shops.  I took along my Leica IIIa with the Elmar 3.5/50.

I finished off the roll of Kentmere while walking the dog the next day.  

I haven't used the Elmar 3.5/50 much, but it always performs well and I intend to start using it more often.  The Hektor 4.5/135 is also a fine lens.  Mine looks like it might never have been used, and I think I understand that having tried to get pictures with it a couple times.  The telephoto needs a lot brighter rangefinder than I have on the Leica IIIa, and the accessory viewfinder seems just too awkward in use to be practical.  I should probably find a new home for Hektor.

Thursday, November 03, 2022

San Ignacio

 I took two cameras to photograph the interesting little San Ignacio church about a mile from our home.

The No.3A Folding Pocket Kodak was again loaded with a sheet of postcard-size photo paper.  I made an eight second exposure at f64 under a lightly overcast sky.  I developed the paper negative in HC110b, stopped in some water with a little vinegar and fixed for about five minutes.

I also shot a roll of Fomapan 400 in my Bentzin Primar Folder.  I was pleased with the results from the film and the sharpness obtained from the Meyer Gorlitz Trioplan lens.  However, the open frame viewfinder on the folder will need some adjustment so that it more closely shows what will end up on the film.

I have made some small changes to the images in this post, increasing the contrast slightly.  I recently got my old Dell XP computer running again, so am getting back to using my preferred CS2 and Silverfast programs.  I have also made an effort to better match the screens on my Windows and MAC computers.