Film Photography Podcast – Episode 104 – June 1st, 2014
Show Notes By: Alex Luyckx
What Show? This Show! And we’re live, that’s right, (recorded) live from the Jones Mansion in lovely downtown Findlay Ohio! Michael, Mat, Leslie, John, Dane, Mark…and YOU, the live studio audience at the FPP Walking Workshop 2014!
Today’s topics include, the Yashica Electro 35 GSN, Update from the New55 Project, 828 Film, Microfilm, Univex Meteor, Listener Letters, Audience Questions, F is for F’ed, and much more!
Dan (Nano_Burger on Flickr) and Michael have been going nuts for Microfilm! This is the same stuff that they used to use to record periodicals such as magazines and newspapers for long term archival storage and quick access. In fact there’s a good chance your local public library still has their collection of microfiche and viewers.
Now some microfilm comes with sprockets, yet most do not, and short of finding an original camera, how can you shoot this in your normal 35mm cameras? Easy, find yourself a Canon EOS 10s, this 35mm SLR does not require sprockets for counting frames or advancing! Need help with developing, tip the guys off at the Darkroom that you’re sending in a roll, and make sure to let them know that you’re sending in sprocketless microfilm. But there may be another way to shoot it…
828 – What film stock?
What is 828 and what does it have to do with sprocket-less microfilm? 828 was a film stock that Kodak introduced in 1935 that was basically sprocket-less 35mm film. The film boasted an image size of 28x40mm (30% larger than normal 35mm), and was paper backed. The film was released alongside the Kodak Bantam line of cameras, the film became known as the “Bantam” format as a result. Also as an interesting note Kodak produced an adapter that allowed customers to shoot 828 in 620 cameras.
The film never gained much popularity, even Leslie, in all her years working in the photo retail business only had one customer (Donna) who bought 828 film. The format ceased production in 1985. But, FPP Super friend Johnny Brian has gone out of his way to produce his own 828 spools, cut down 120 backing paper, and spooled regular 35mm film onto it!
Leslie has some updates from our friends at the Impossible Project. The fine folks continue to improve on their film stocks. First up the Black & White film is better than it’s ever been and stable to! Clean blacks and bright whites, for the SX-70, 600, and Spectra cameras, but you have to shield the frame still so don’t lose those frog tongues just yet. The colour formula continues to improve by leaps and bounds, and now is ready in 45 minutes! It is still a bit temperature sensitive. Also new from Impossible is their bordered films, in addition to black, gold, and silver frames, you also have the Skins edition!
Mat keeps his finger on the pulse of the New55 project (they’re the guys from Massachusetts who reinvented the old Polaroid Type 55 film). The 400,000$ kickstarter campaign was a massive success, even exceeding the goal by 15,000$. So if you have a 545 back for your 4×5 cameras, keep a hold of them (because the price online is going up). Hopefully the new film will be ready for fall of this year! (Amazing!). What makes New55 unique is the fact that is produces not only an instant print but a beautiful working negative as well! Mat, Mike, Mark, and I, along with plenty of other 4×5 shooters are pretty excited for this. “Who knows”, Mark adds, “with the success of this, it could only serve to encourage other entrepreneurs to work towards bringing back other formats, 126, disc film…maybe even someone might take a stab at getting a FP-3000b replacement made”?
The Yashica Electro 35 GSN is a fixed lens range finder, released in 1973, and was one of the many models to come from the original Yashica Electro 35 (1966). The camera has cult status, and many go as far as to call it the poor man’s Leica. The camera comes with a fixed 45mm f/1.7 lens, and a big bright viewfinder. Metering is aperture Priority. However the camera does take the rare PX32 battery, but there is a mod that you can do, you can find the details on the Yashica Guy website (www.yashica-guy.com), that will allow you to use the much more easily found PX28. The camera is also known to have a problem with the film advance, and a bad pad, but if you do find one that works, you won’t be disappointed, sharp lens, good feel, and fantastic colour rendering.
F is for F’ed Dane Johnson loves to torture his film, and I mean, torture. From bleach to lime and lemon juice, even sandpaper and a microwave. Very experimental, but for Dane, it’s all about the interaction. He’s going out and creating unique and creative images. Oddly enough, the lime juiced film had bright reds! He can do all this because he develops everything in the Smoove Lab rather than sending it out. Keith Swan (from The Darkroom) is glad of this, because if such a modified film is run through a machine it’ll affect the next couple of rolls. Now if you’re not as brave as Dane, but want to try out some wacky films, check out Revolog, their store is filled with various modified film stocks up for sale.
Universal (Univex) Meteor The Meteor, released in 1949 is a 620 film view camera, 6×6 format. The camera features two shutter speeds Instant (1/60”), and apertures from f/11 to f/32, basically a box camera. Guess focus from Infinity to 5 feet. It even comes with a hot shoe, but it’s designed for a Univex flash and mounts from the front. You’ll need a flash with a rotating head and grind down the contact as well.
So what’s your gateway camera?
We hear all this talk about gateway drugs, but what about cameras? What’s the camera that got you solidly into film photography? Or even photography in general? Let us know, firstname.lastname@example.org!
First question is about push processing, what is it? How do you do it? Push processing is used by leaving the film in the developer for longer than normal to compensate for under exposure when shooting it. In negative films the image will become darker, while on positive (slide) film it’ll become brighter. Some films respond well to pushing and pulling, most B&W films, Kodak Portra line (Portra 400 especially) or the Kodak Hawkeye surveillance film. Mat responds to a question about pushing/pulling X-Ray film, he does not recommend pushing the film, but pulling is OK. The Darkroom does push/pull processing for an additional 3$ fee.
Why film!? The big question from the audience is why film? Why do you shoot film? Leslie responds with “If it’s important shoot it on film” with digital technology moving at break-neck speed, who knows if you’ll even be able to view your digital files in fifty years? But film, all you need is a light source. Other people reply with the fact that film is tangible, you can create it, hold it, make it your own. You slow down, create your vision, think, and get more results you like. Also no one likes to sit and sort through thousands of digital images.
We’ll be back in two weeks! Well that’s it for us, but don’t worry we’ll all be back (yes even the studio audience) in a short two weeks (two weeks? You sound like a bird!). Keep shooting, and don’t forget to write!
Taking us out this show is a track from the Pink Delicates! Speaking of music, fan of the show, make music, why not send in a track, you might be featured on a future shoo!
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