Monday, June 19, 2017

Derby Color

The Albuquerque sky is a little hazy this week because of a couple fires burning in the north end of the state.  The one burning up near Los Alamos caused us to make a hasty exit from our Jemez Falls campground on Thursday.  The haze makes some nice opportunities to capture saturated color, but getting the exposure just right with the Foth Derby is a little tricky due to the odd progression of f-stops, which goes 3.5, 4.5, 6.3, 9, 12.5, 18.

I've mostly been shooting Portra 160 in the Foth Derby lately, but I was able to try some Konica 160 recently due to the generosity of James Harr who sent me a couple rolls.  The Konica 160 is fine grained like the Portra, but I would not hazard further comparisons given the many variables of shooting old film in an old camera.  In any case, I was pleased with the results.

I am not willing to pay the going price for 127 film these days, so am fortunate to have a bulk roll of Portra 160.  Rolling the film into a strip of backing paper is a bit of a chore, but it does make handling the film and shooting it a lot more convenient than shooting unbacked film which must be loaded in darkness, and which sometimes interferes with focal plane shutter operation in the Foth Derby.


JR Smith said...

I wonder why this camera manufacturer charted their own and odd course with f/stop increments? Interesting.

Mike said...

I think everyone was sorting out exposure scales in the 1930s when the Derby was in production. Kodak tried out all the possibilities, with 1,2,3,4 on the early cameras and later the Uniform System. Most all those systems were based on the idea of halving or doubling exposure with each change. The simpler cameras settled on "cloudy" and "bright", or sometimes icons representing those values. The Foth Derby scale adheres to the halving/doubling idea, but the scale values do not correspond to the commonly used values on most meters.

Jim Grey said...

The color here is just lovely. I've never heard of this film before but it's a winner.

James Harr said...

Glad to see you got some good images out of that film. It does have a hint of a purple-ish cast which I can take or leave. Shooting old film in old cameras is a "take what you get" sort of proposition. I'm waiting to receive a Kodak 3a in which I will be shooting 122 film (hopefully). Maybe I'll send you a postcard!

Mike said...

I seemed to get somewhat different color in every shot on the roll, but I think that may have had more to do with my exposure and photoshop choices than the film characteristics. The shots of the stature and the bench ended up closest to reality in terms of color rendition. I'm going to try the remaining roll in my little Kodak Brownie Reflex which offers no exposure adjustments, so that will eliminate that variable. The somewhat retarded speed of the out-dated film will be an advantage as the Brownie shutter fires somewhere between 1/30 and 1/50.