Film Photography Podcast Episode 62 – June 15, 2012

Film Photography Podcast Episode 62 – June 15, 2012

The Internet Radio Show for Folks Who Love Film! Defunct Polaroid Formats! Smena 6 Camera! Halina 35X Camera! Polaroid Super Shooter Giveaway! Lighting Tips! Darkroom Tips and Lots More!!!

Show Notes

Film Photography Podcast Episode 62 – June 15, 2012 - SHOW NOTES by Alex Luyckx

Fresh off the plane from the UK and in the studio for June 15th is Michael Raso, John Fedele, Mat Marrash, Dane Jonnson, and Mark Dalzell!

On today’s show, the joys (and failures) of defunct Polaroid formats, Camera Show-And-Tell with Mark and Dane, Using Paper Negatives, Book of the Month, and Darkroom Tips!

Remember, next weekend is Photostock 2012 ( ) in Harbor Springs, MI and the following weekend (June 29th to July 1st) is Analog Pulse Weekend ( ) in Cleveland OH, hope to see everyone there!


FPP PolaChrome Experiment



Polaroid PolaChrome 35mm Film / Processor


above: PolaChrome shot on PolaChrome

The gang pours over the various ‘defunct’ formats that Polaroid has introduced over the years but none managed to survive as Type 100, 600, SX-70, and Spectra. In addition to instant film Polaroid also introduced a series of instant 35mm films which included the required chemicals to develop the film in its own processor. The processor is easy to use and Mat demonstrates. Of course, you also have to make sure that the chemicals are still good. How do the FPP boys fare? Tune in to find out!

Dane shows off his modified Polaroid Colorpack II with a hotshoe (for an electronic flash) replacing the stock flash cube socket. Flash cubes are becoming harder to find and when you do, they’re quite expensive. Mike goes on to add when purchasing old Polaroid stock off ebay or online in general beware! You could end up with a pack with dried up chemicals or dead batteries, which many of us has encountered! The gang continues on with the i-Zone Polaroids -  another 1990s attempt to bring Polaroid back in the hip-and-happening market. The i-Zone cameras used a separate chemical pouch to develop the film (which you could get in a sticker format!)


Testing the Colorpack Hot Shoe



iZone - dimension as vast as space and as timeless as infinity


above: Dane's BW shot using his modified Polaroid Colorpack II camera / Polaroid i-Zone camera and film.

Mike then breaks out the ‘Robocop’ Polaroid Captiva SLR - a 500-type Polaroid. This time around it actually worked but after much complaining and grinding from the camera (due to a slowly dying battery). The 500-type film was also used on the Olympus hybrid digital camera that could print your digital images onto a 500 film pack.


Michael's NIB Olympus Camedia C-211 / Polaroid Hybrid Camera



It’s show-and-tell time with Mark and Dane showing off some of their latest purchases. Dane (still on a Russian camera kick) brings up the Smena 6 - a zone-focus camera from 1969. This Bakelite beauty produces sharp images with contrasty colors (something common with most Russian Cameras). The odd film loading method of using a second cartridge to spool the film into - then back into the original reel scares some people off, says Dane. Mark shows off one of his latest purchases from London England, a Hong Kong made Helina 35x. A shiny nickel-plated Leica-style view camera that uses the old “M” sync for the flash, that when used with an electronic (X) sync flash produces some freaky results. Mat chimes in that the M-Sync was for old bulb style flashes and even the powder flashes. Dane adds that if you disassemble the camera you can adjust the shutter to match up with the X Sync.




above: Dane's Smena 6 / Results from Mark's Helina 35x

Mat’s book of the Month again from the FPP library is 500 Lighting Hints, Tips, and Techniques by Rod Ashford. It’s still available on Amazon on-line. “It’s a great book,” Mat says. It starts off with the basics, light meters and slowly builds up to more advanced techniques. The book even demonstrates how to setup a light tent! Mike adds that if you don’t have thousands to spend on hot lights, go to your local hardware store and pick up work lights and then use bed sheets and tinfoil to fashion modifiers. McGuyver it - use what you have.


Mike brings up the topic of Paper Negatives, a technique that Dan Domme talked about in an earlier podcast. Mat continues with the discussion. Photo paper is Orthochromatic, Mat explains, only seeing green or blue light - making reds turn out really dark or black.

It’s important to meter, meter, and meter again because it’s such a low sensitivity it’s easy to over expose. It is also a good idea to pre-flash your paper, in other words, expose it to a low-contrast yellow light or use a yellow filter (or both) to get better results. Once you’ve done that you can develop the paper as normal then do contact prints from it. If you have more questions, drop the group a line at


FPP Darkroom Day / Mid-West Meet Up


Continuing on the same line as last episode, Mat brings us another darkroom tip at Mike’s urging, adjusting Exposure in development to the print. It has to do with consistency, a major theme and good thing to practice in photography - finding that line between technical and artsy prints. Mat explains that to make printing easier, you can adjust the amount of development you give you negative, so that you have all the detail you want, so that when you go to print, you aren’t spending hours trying to recover a print because of a bad negative. Even preparing the paper is important, such as pre-flashing it. It will give you a more consistent and better-looking print in the end.

Coming up in Two Weeks, Two Weeks (You sound like a bird)…X-Ray film, getting to know your camera and much more!


Mihai (Michael) Ciulea's picture
Hi FPP crue! Thank you so much for playing Henrique Couto's song at the end of episode 62. I feel like you did this for me :P, because after episode 61 when you first played it I asked for the name of the singer and band. So thank you very much! I love thi song and all Smoove Sailors songs. I have only one thing to ask of you, can you somehow record on camera more videos or the whole podcast? Because sometimes I do not understand completely about what you are talking about, what camera or film, etc. For someone that wants to try the things you talk in your podcast it can be a blessing to have this on camera. I know you have show notes and pictures :), but seeing it on camera could be more easily understood. I know that it is about budget and time, but I and I think others will appreciate more camera action from you guys. I hope I did not bother you with my suggestion! Keep the shoes coming! Take care and thank you for the great podcast, the best podcast not only about film photography but photography in general.
Michael Raso's picture

Will do and we'll Keep These Shoes Coming!

EpicRive's picture

One little thing — Smena's name is pronounced ['smena], not Shme-ee-na. In Russia, some  Smenas are very easy to find, especially 8M-s — you can get them at antique and second hand stores for less than $7. So if you come to Russia, be sure to check out some markets and second-hand stores — you can come across many cool cameras and lenses at very low prices!

Damian's picture
Hi there, luv the show. Can I get instructions for how to add a hot shoe to my color pack II?
mdalzell's picture

Heya Damian - tough to give specific instructions, but basically if you take out the shutter assembly you'll see the 2 contacts going to the flashcube holder that fires the flash. You'll need to solder the 2 contacts of a hot shoe into those 2 leads and you're good to go. If you do an ebay search for "pc flash hot shoe" you'll find the ones I use. They're about $4US. If you want to do something a bit easier, you can just solder a PC cable into those 2 contacts.... then hand hold (or tape) a PC cable flash to the camera.

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