Thursday, September 23, 2021

Exploring the Bosque

 I took a long walk with my 1A Pocket Special in the riverside forest at the east end of the Paseo del Norte bridge.  I saw some bike riders and skaters on the paved path that parallels the river, but no other people after that.  

I got six-and-one-half frames from this roll of Tri-X using some expired 120 Tri-X.  I think the century-plus camera has performed very well, but it is starting to show its age; there are some small light leaks appearing on the negatives and the ancient leather covering is disintegrating.  I think I will give the camera a well-deserved rest and move on to using a couple of my other, newer 116 Kodaks along with the very helpful 116 to 120 adapters.

Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Fomapan 400 Revisited

 I wasn't happy with some images on Fomapan 400 shot recently with my 1A Pocket Special and put them aside.  I started playing around with them again in Photoshop this evening and discovered that some rather radical adjustments to contrast, highlights and shadows revealed that there was quite a lot of useful detail available in the negatives.

The adjustments to the images got me a lot closer to what I want from my black and white medium format pictures in regard to sharpness and tonal range.  I'm thinking now that I need to take a close look at my Silverfast settings when I do the initial scans of the Fomapan 400 negatives.

The 116 to 120 adapters from the Film Photography Project look like they are going to make using 120 film in the 1A Pocket Special a lot more practical.  I also spent some time today in getting a better handle on advancing the film blindly since the red window is not of any use.  It seems that if I am careful in the advance process I could get as many as seven frames from a roll of 120.

Thursday, September 16, 2021


 I spent an hour at the Botanical Garden with my Kodak Reflex II.  I shot a roll of Fomapan 400 with the continuing hope that one of my usual developers would yield results that I can live with.  I processed this roll in PMK Pyro.

The negatives were very thin, looking like they could have used a couple more stops exposure or quite a bit more time in the developer.  

Meanwhile, Adorama had a half-price sale on Across II, so I picked up five rolls.  I also still have a few rolls of expired Tri-X that I like.  I'll play around with my few remaining rolls of Fomapan, but I'm not real optimistic about the prospects of getting what I want in regard to grain and tonal values.

Saturday, September 11, 2021

116 to 120

 I tagged along with a fellow New Mexico Film Photographer on a visit to the Old San Ysidro Church and Cemetery in the community of Corrales.  

We managed to get to the place shortly after sunrise and found some very nice light.  I was pleased to get seven frames from a roll of 120 in my 116-format Kodak No.1A Folding Pocket Special.  Unfortunately, the film rolled crookedly onto the take-up spool, so all the shots were a bit cockeyed.  I had taped the film backing to the take-up spool to try to avoid that, but to no avail.

When I first began using this camera I had put some foam padding on the end caps to keep the 120 ilm from getting off track.  That reel got lost along the way, and I don't have any suitable material on hand to duplicate that arrangement.  I decided I would try some 116 to 120 3D-printed adapters which would let me use actual 120 film spools on both ends.  I ordered the adapters from the Film Photography Project at a cost of $20, and I should have them in about a week.  

Tuesday, September 07, 2021

Gekko MW 100 plus

 I shot a roll of the expired Gekko film in my Kodak Signet 35 and developed in HC110b for five minutes as indicated by the chart on the inside of the box.  The grain seemed pretty pronounced for 100-speed film, and it took some heavy adjustments in Photoshop to approach the correct tonal balance.

The box says "Made in Europe".  I found some claims that the Gekko is repackaged EFKE, but no evidence to support that assertion.  I thought perhaps I might use the suggested development times for dozen films listed inside the box to help identify the film.  However, nothing in the Massive Dev Chart fits that profile.

I think I'll next try using Rodinal, maybe with a bit more development time to compensate for age.  Stand development might help to smooth the grain a bit.