Saturday, December 21, 2013

Shooting the Kodak Bantam

I stopped up the last pinhole in the bellows of my Kodak Bantam 4.5 model and ran some TMAX 100 through it.

The image quality showed some definite improvement without the light leaks.  The Anastigmat Special lens on this camera is the same as the one on the later Flash model, but it lacks the bluish coating, which may result in just a little less sharpness, partly due to a greater tendency to flare the highlights.

I again used 35mm film in the camera, which is actually designed to take small rolls of 828 roll film.  The ends of a strip of 35mm is taped to both spools and loaded in darkness into the camera.  The reel is a tight fit on the take-up side, and requires some patience to get properly seated without being able to see what you are doing.  Some care must be taken at the same time so as to not put too much stress on the spool end disks which are a press-fit onto the spindles and can be dislodged.

In shooting 35mm film in the 828 Bantam, it is useful to bear in mind that the bottom film rail is narrower than the top.  The result is that the image will be displaced vertically and the bottom row of sprocket holes will intrude into the image.  To compensate for that difference and properly center the image, it is necessary to aim a little high in framing your subject.


Jim said...

I think the shot with the house is the most interesting of the set. The lens did a good job rendering the textures in the sky and on the house itself.

I see what you mean about the highlights.

Julio F said...

Great tones, I also like the house in the last one. It has a special quality.

I am interested in this technique which allows the use of 828 cameras. You tape 35mm film to the right-hand take-up spool, but what do you set in the empty left-hand space? is it a spool taken from a 35mm cartridge?

Mike said...

I use 828 spools on both ends. Luckily, I have a good supply of spools that I've acquired along with my 828 cameras. The end disks are just press-fit and they come apart rather easily if handled roughly.

I cut the 35mm film leader square and tape it to the first spool. Then, I put the film cartridge and the two spools in my dark bag and roll film onto the first spool until roughly half the roll is used. I cut the film away from the 35mm cartridge and then tape that end to the remaining spool.

I have done the same thing with a couple 127 cameras as well, though you lose more image area than with 828 because of the bigger 127 format.

Julio F said...

Roger, thanks. The 127 tip is much appreciated. Those 828 are very thin spools indeed.

Lurcher1 said...

That's a useful tip about aiming high--I have often cut off the top of the viewfinder image when shooting with the Bantam. Yes, the 828 spools are very flimsy. If the end discs are loose or bent, they can slice into the film and/or jam it when you wind on.