Photo of the Week

Started scanning some of my backlogged black and white film from last year.  I still have several rolls to develop, but I’ve scanned most of the developed stuff now.  I tried Tri-X, the film that everyone seems to praise.  Not sure if I like it, lots of dark negs it seems, might have to adjust my developing on the rest of the rolls.

 

This week’s photo taken with my voigtlander Bessa R and the 15mm Heliar.  Gives some great wide angles but also makes all the posts in the picture crooked…  Taken with Kodak Tri-X, developed in D76.  We had gone to Gare de l’Est for a day trip out of Paris, but due to some striking workers, we ended up heading to the local park instead.

Photo of the Week

I finally got into the darkroom and started developing some films from last October… I’ve got 5 done, but still have another 5 to go.  Things have been busy but it’s something I should really make time for.  This week’s picture is from a roll that I only got developed a few weeks ago, and it was taken last November….  I see a trend here.

 

Anyways, the photo is of the big ferris wheel at Place de Concorde in Paris (it’s not always there, but was for the Christmas craft fair going on).  Taken last November with my Agfa Optima on Kodak E100 slide film.  I’d spent the afternoon walking around that end of town, went to see a photo exhibit at the Petit Palais, and grabbed this shot on my way back to the Metro station.

DIY Film Scanning

As I’m currently in Paris without my scanner, I’ve been looking for ways to scan my negatives inexpensively.  I find it odd that the local pro lab develops your film, then scans it, then prints the pictures on a printer.  It costs less to get your negs developed and printed then it does to get them developed and scanned even though they had to scan them to print them anyways!

I was checking around the web and I came across this post of DIY Film Scanners.  Some look promising but most involve items I don’t have/can’t obtain.  I’ll update next week with my own method once I get it sorted out.

Of Cameras and Paris…

This is a re-post from 99 days in Paris.  With our recent move to Paris I spent the day exploring the film possibilities of this city.  Read on to see my results.

I didn’t bother buying any more film before we left as I had discovered that it was much cheaper in Paris.  Roger had suggested Prophot as an excellent place to buy film, and he wasn’t joking!  While the camera stores in Calgary have a very limited selection, this store sold ONLY film and photo papers and chemicals, that’s it.  The selection was astonishing, I didn’t have to buy the only film they had, I actually had a choice.

They were even selling black and white slide film, although I didn’t get any as I wasn’t sure where it could be developed.  I did however pick up a roll of PX100 Impossible Project film (for polaroid).  This is the new polaroid film that has just reached the market and is now in black and white!

I then headed over to Negatif+, a store that specializes in pro film developing.  While in line I was chatting with the man behind me.  I told him how great the film selection was in Paris and that you could get nothing like this in Canada.  He told me that this was only common in Paris, and was getting worse and worse.  Too bad, I thought maybe Paris was reversing the trend!

Should have some pics back in a couple of days to post on the blog…

Pin-Cube Mk1

April 25th was World Pinhole Photography Day where participants around the world are encouraged to build or buy pinhole cameras and take a picture to post onto the World Pinhole Day website.  I unfortunately missed out last year as my travels for work hadn’t left me enough time to create my camera – I could have bought one, but what fun would that have been?

That being said, there are some beautiful pinhole cameras being sold such as the zero image and the Holga 120 Wide Pinhole, and you can even buy body caps for an SLR or DSLR that can turn your camera into a lensless wonder!

Why pinhole? Why not?  I mean honestly, I couldn’t make a lens, I wouldn’t even know where to start, so if someone such as myself wanted to make his own camera I think my only option is the pinhole route (please correct me if I’m wrong!).  So, with the help of Pinhole Photography: A Beginner’s Guidewww.mrpinhole.com, and the flickr pinhole group, I was able to successfully build a pinhole camera that took some pretty good pictures IMO.

So how did I do it? Well, I continued my love with Baltic Birch plywood (it helped that I had a whole bunch left over from the caterpillar crib) and made it by stacking 10 layers on top of each other with pre-cut holes for the chamber and film reels.  The idea is that this could be made with a CNC or laser cutter (Ponoko) and assembled at home by anyone. By using 120 film it was easy to get holes and a take up spool.  For the pinhole, I used some metal from an old cocoa can and bought a pin vise (micro drill) to make a 0.4mm hole.  the entire camera was held together with threaded rod and cap nuts.  The small red window for the camera was made from a red translucent file folder, it didn’t work very well and was hard to see through, but better than nothing I guess.

My only real disappointment was the shutter. I ran out of good ideas at this point, and faced with a time crunch, I went with the ol’ electrical tape method.  Film advance was from an old stereo volume knob.  I had planned to round the edges with a router and then varnish the whole thing, however the camera wasn’t perfect and I’m not sure I’ll use this one again.

Here is one of the pictures (Ilford FP4+) that I developed myself with ilfotec DD-X. Note the great depth of field you get when you have f245!

Issues – so a few issues with the camera. I measured the slits for the film based on an old paper backing I had. Unfortunately the film is the thickness of the paper backing + the film, so it was a bit snug.  It worked well in some ways as the film stayed flat and no light leaked around the red window, however it was VERY tight to advance, and eventually stripped the mechanism. The film was bottom loaded (just like a Leica as I liked to think), this along with the wider than anticipated film was a huge pain to get into the camera, cool to tell your friends, but a pain nonetheless.

Next time – next time I think I’ll make a wider format camera, possibly a panoramic type one like the Holga mentioned above. I was pretty amazed at how easy the entire project was, and  think more people should try to make their own pinhole!