Film Photography Podcast – Episode 188
June 1, 2018
Things are heating up as the FPP gears up for the summer! It’s time to break out that Mr Brown Iced Coffee and join Michael Raso, Leslie Lazenby, Mat Marrash, and Mark O’Brien as they talk about what’s hot in film gear, the Kodak Vecta 127, Kosmo Mono 100, Listener Letters, Time-Life Library of Photography, and so much more!
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Show notes by Alex Luyckx
What’s Hot in Film Photography
If you’re new to the podcast and this is your very first episode, you may not know that Mat Marrash works from a fantastic camera shot in Columbus, Ohio, Midwest Photo Exchange. While Midwest does deal in digital, they have a great selection of film photography related products both new and used. This gives Mat insight into what’s hot and what’s not in the market. For Mat, the biggest thing in film photography is the number of NEW film shooters that wander into the shop. He’s seeing 3-4 people a week coming in to get their first camera. What are these new photographer’s looking for - well it’s the smaller cameras these days, the Pentax K1000, Nikon FM, FE, Olympus OM-1. Another camera that gets a lot of buzz these days are the Contax Point-And-Shoots such as the Contax T2 or the Nikon 35Ti. These are high-end cameras from the 1980s, but once it’s dead, you got a brick, and not many people repair them. If you can’t find a T2, Mat suggests an Olympus XA or an XA2! The Twin Lens Reflexes such as the Rolleiflex 3.5 or Yashica 124 are still running hot on the used market. Another hot item in film photography is the new Kodak TMax P3200 especially at the beautiful price point it was released at. Of course, we’re all hoping that the new Ektachrome isn’t priced too high so that it has a chance to make a proper comeback. Speaking of inexpensive film, Midwest is running through Kodak Ultramax 400, a solid consumer grade print film that's super inexpensive. So what’s not hot on the used market, well it’s the original Nikon F, these are big old cameras that often will scare someone off, also on the less-than-hot list is the old Kodak, Agfa, Zeiss Ikon folders. And there’s still the Nikon FM10, an all plastic 35mm SLR, that can still be serviced and is a decent manual camera. Also starting to flag in sales is the new Polaroid OneStep2 from Polaroid Originals in favour of the older vintage models.
Kosmo Mono 100 – Film from Space!
Well, the film isn’t really from space, the film is the brainchild of Kosmo Foto’s Stephen Dowling. This is a panchromatic black & white 100-speed film. Both Mark O'Brien and Leslie Lazenby have tried the film, and the first thing that Mark noted is the awesome cold-war era style artwork on the box. So what did Mark think of the film? He was pretty pleased with the results shot in his Nikon N2020 and Kodak Xtol, but the big surprise for him was when he peeled back the sticker on the canister, there was the Foma logo! The simple fact is that there is a limited number of manufactures and coaters of film stock these days. So it’s no surprise that he employed an existing manufacturer producing the film for Stephen. It is a decent film according to Mark but didn’t tickle his fancy like Ferrania’s P30. Leslie also did a test of the Mono 100 using a solid Minolta camera and decided to develop it in HC-110, which according to the Kosmo site is not recommended. Not happy with this answer, she did some sleuthing on Google and discovered the film’s base is Fomapan 100 and used the massive dev chart to come up with time. For her, it’s an okay film; she found it fairly grainy for a 100-speed film. But if you can get your hands on it, it’s film. You can check out Mark’s one-roll review on his blog, or read over Alex’s review of the film on his blog! If you want to try Mono 100 out for yourself, you can pick it up directly from the Kosmo Foto store!
The Doctor is In!
Doctor Leslie has a new patient; this first-time film developer is having trouble getting the end caps off the 35mm canister. They’re using a changing bag and has watched a video online to use pliers to get the end caps off. Leslie and the whole gang does not agree with this! Rather, use a church key bottle opener. You know the ones that are pointed on one side and round on the other? They can be picked up at your local grocery store, or you can buy one online. These will pop the end caps off without any trouble. Of course, if your camera has a manual rewind or an option, it’s best to leave a bit of a leader out, you can cut off the leader, nick the edges which makes life so much easier when loading onto the reels. You can also retrieve the leader with a special tool. As for your change bag collapsing around you, try a cheap fridge tray or basket it helps keep the bag up and gives you more room to manoeuvre.
Book of the Show – Time-Life Library of Photography
One of the largest collections of Photography books is the Time-Life Library of Photography, and of course our resident librarian, Mark O’Brien has them all, just not with him today. You may have seen the individual books for sale at used book stores, but rarely do you see all seventeen volumes for sale at one time. For Mark, these books are the single best resource for any photographer. It’s a photography course on your shelf as each volume touches on an aspect of photography rather than combining everything into one volume. These are good for anyone who is into photography because it gives you the base concepts of photography as a skill rather than something digital, film, or camera specific. If you want a solid resource on your shelf, start looking on Amazon, eBay, or your favourite used book reseller. Of course, if you want a set of 16 books now, drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org, all you need to cover is the shipping so be sure to include your shipping address! It’s first to come, first serve.
The Brownie Vecta – Why is it so expensive?
As we all know, Michael is a big fan of Kodak cameras, especially the old and weird. But today Leslie has a 127 format Kodak Brownie, the Brownie Vecta. Produced in England, between 1963 and 1966. The unique design is care of Kenneth Grange (who also designed the Brownie 44 series and the iconic Instamatic cameras (25 and 133) along with other industrial designs like Royal Mail boxes). The molded plastic design caught Leslie’s attention immediately and she went on Ebay to hunt one down. The camera takes 127 film and shoots 1 5/8” by 2 ½” format (8 shots per roll). The lens is a fixed focus, fixed aperture (f/14), and a fixed 1/50” shutter speed. The shutter is a large bar below the lens, and your winding key is on the bottom and counter-clockwise. It’s a vertical box camera, with a cut-out to show you exactly how to hold it. So, what makes this camera so expensive (about 75$ USD), well for us in North America, it’s a rare camera, but in the UK it’s fairly common. Of course, Leslie managed to grab one on a late night browsing session for about twenty bucks. And the results, are pretty decent after Leslie used some cut down Portra 160 from Bluefire, but she wants to try the Rerapan 100 in the camera. Oh and there were a range of accessories for the camera, there’s a close-up lens, yellow filter, case, and even a lens hood. It’s just a fun camera to use and Leslie enjoys having it in her collection. But the price on the camera remains a mystery to her.
And that’s it for this show, but we’ll be back in a short two weeks! Until then, shoot us a line either by email email@example.com or by the postal service, Film Photography Podcast PO Box 264 Fair Lawn NJ 07410. Be sure to like us on Facebook and join in the community on Flickr! Also, make sure to sign up for our newsletter to get the latest FPP news delivered right to your inbox!