Film Photography Podcast – Episode 100 – April 1, 2014
The internet radio show for people who love to shoot film! Discussions include Luxi Light meter, Mamiya 645, New 55, Top Con 35mm Cameras, Darkroom Reels and More!
Listener Darkroom Prints – FPP has inspired many to get back into darkroom printing, such as Bill Loewy, who was kind enough to send the gang some of his first prints in nearly 30 years. We want to see what you’ve been making in your darkroom and images of what your darkroom looks like! You can email us pictures of your darkroom to firstname.lastname@example.org and you can send in your prints to: Film Photography Project PO Box 152 Butler, NJ 07405 USA
Luxi Light Meter App – The external light meter is the photographer’s best friend according to Mat. Your camera’s meter and even your eyes can lie to you when trying to get the exposure. While Michael swears by his Gossen Luna Pro F, a recent kickstarter campaign funded a neat little accessory for your iPhone/iPod touch – the Luxi is a slide on dome that turns your iPhone into an incident meter. You can pick one up at their website that includes a link to the associate app for your phone to make use of it. And for only 30$ in change, it’s a great addition to your camera bag!
NEW 55 – Large format photographers may remember, and maybe have used the legendary Polaroid Type 55 film stock, this beautiful 4×5 single sheet format film produced a stunning B&W print and a useable negative as well! Sadly these days the stock is slowly disappearing and the stuff that’s leftover is expired. There is good news in sight since 2010 Bob Crowley has been working hard to develop a new film stock that does what Type 55 did. The good news is that they have a working product and now just need $400,000 starting capital to get production going! Check out their website and their kickstarter campaign and let’s see this product get off the ground!
TOPCON! The FPP is going into the Danger Zone! Leslie brought a Topcon IC-1 Auto, a Japanese SLR produced between 1973 and 1978, a manual focus, shutter priority camera with speeds between 1s and 1/500 of a second including Bulb. The lens mount is proprietary UV mount (although Topcon did produce cameras with the Exacta mount and K-Mount). Leslie thinks these are fun cameras, and she gets along with them well because the control layout is similar to that of the Olympus OM series. Another interesting fact is that you’ll need to manual set the widest aperture of your lens being used on the camera body. If you’re looking to get one, you can sign up in our giveaway section to win the IC-1 Auto and 50mm f/2 lens!
Scio High School Students Shoot Film! It’s all about community at the FPP! Earlier this year the FPP donated 15 cameras and a pile of film to the Picturing Wanteete project and is at it again this time donating cameras to Scio High School in Scio, Oregon. Jonathon Bernard is the school’s photography teacher and has been encouraging his classes to shoot with film, and they love it! Read all about it in Amy Davies blog here! The FPP’s goal is to inspire and teach film, and we do need your help! Have cameras, film, or just plain cash to donate! Check out our Donate section on the website for more information on how! But also you can help by participating in our FPP Flickr group or on our very own forums!
FPP Listeners write in! – Chaz Millan writes in from all the way in Tasmania, and he recently got himself a sweet 4×5 setup a Toyo Field camera and three lenses, plus a roll film back and Polaroid backs, and has a few questions. Polaroid backs? Which one to use? Well there are three types of Polaroid backs out there. The first is the 545/545i or similar back, these are fairly useless these days (at least until new55 gets off the ground) and were designed to take the single sheet 4×5 materials (Type 55, Type 59, ect). Polaroid 550 and the Fuji equivilant PA-45 were designed to take the 4×5 peel apart pack films (check the FPP store for some offerings). However the most useful back is the Polaroid 405, this was designed to take the readily available Type-100 films such as the Fuji FP-110c and would be the easiest to use these days. The next question was about film stocks, he managed to find some Velvia-50 (sweet!) in 4×5 and can’t wait to try it out, but also wants to know about a similar colour stock. Well there isn’t anything really out there like Velvia but Kodak Ektar 100 is a good alternative, plus it’s easier to find and cheaper, and if you get it right you can get some of the same punch that you get from Velvia. Finally the old question of how to scan your film, the gang agrees the Epson V700, but if you want to really get the most out of your negatives and really get the same level of depth (especially from a well exposed sheet of Velvia), a Drum Scan, though not cheap, is the way to do it.
One of the very first things you do when developing your roll film is loading it onto reels. There are two types of reels out there, stainless steel and plastic. In both categories there are good and bad Stainless steel – these are loaded from the center to the outside and can be loaded wet or damp. (See our video on Stainless Steel reels) The best brand to use the Hewes. While a little trickery to load they are what many people learned on. Plastic however must be loaded when bone dry (I’ve love a handful of rolls to wet plastic reels) and load from the outside in with a ratcheting movement, best brand the Paterson Super System. Super System reels can adjust to fit 35mm, 127, and 120/220 film. Leslie offers up some tips to help load up your 35mm film onto these reels, cut off the film tail, but don’t open up a sprocket hole this will only cause grief. It’s also good to have an old roll of film to practice first in the light using your eyes so that you can see what’s going on, then do it with your eyes closed so you get used to doing it by feel only. Another fantastic reel based system is Jobo, but it’s fairly expensive, but very nice. Maintaining your reels is also important, keep your reel clean, if you have hard water there is likely mineral build up; a quick wash in vinegar will clear that up. Like anything to do with photography you get what you pay for, so spend the extra coin and get the good stuff, it will only save you time, headache, and money later.
And that’s it for the big 100, but don’t worry, it’ll only be a short two weeks before we’re back with episode 101! Until then keep shooting, sharing, and long live film! Don’t forget to sign up for our Walking Workshop!
And to close out the show, the music from SSI, the movie that our very own John Fedele stars in! (Yes, fer real!!!)
You can see SSI on You Tube for $1.99 here!
Long Live Film!
Write to the FPP! Podcast@FilmPhotographyProject.com
Pen to paper – Film Photography Podcast PO Box 152, Butler, NJ 07405