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Roll film cameras

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In reply to an earlier post on 11 Jun 2012 11:53:09 BDT
T.J.Byford says:
Hi, Dr. A.
It has been a long time since I shot colour neg, but then it came in third behind B/W and slide film, on which most of my colour pics were taken on Kodachrome 25, 64, or Ektachrome if I needed extra speed. So I am not up to speed, as it were, with current negative emulsions and am not going to be of much assistance.

My favourite neg film of the period was Fuji Reala, superb skin tones, but less dramatic colours in landscape, one could argue not overblown as many other films were, and possibly more representative of the actual scene. Unfortunately, I understand this film has been discontinued. I used to use Kodak film until my first stab at a Fuji, and from thereon it was Fuji all the way. What prompted the change was I shot a cassette of Kodacolor followed by my first Fuji 100 (not Reala) on the same overcast day. Comparing the results, the Kodak looked a little dirty compared to the Fuji, which held the colours better and with slightly more contrast. Surprisingly, when I shot both on a sunny day, the colours of the Fuji seemed less overblown than the Kodak.

In reply to an earlier post on 11 Jun 2012 12:14:30 BDT
X says:
TJ: That is why film photographers end up with a small bald patch on the top of their heads. Film photography is like a person of the opposite sex: without the bafflement the love would be less addictive.

In reply to an earlier post on 11 Jun 2012 13:39:42 BDT
Thanks TJ,
I think I shall try Ektar over the summer and see how I get on. I shall then think about whether to get something faster for winter.

Posted on 11 Jun 2012 22:24:57 BDT
Anyone developed their own colour negative film? It doesn't look that difficult to me.

In reply to an earlier post on 12 Jun 2012 12:19:32 BDT
T.J.Byford says:
Dr. A. From what I have seen posted on the net, particularly from GEH's brother, Andy, Ektar seems to be a wonderful film.

I haven't developed any neg film but I found a very useful video on youtube that shows how relatively easy it is.

Open up the comment below it as there is some advice about the final rinse or not to.

Posted on 12 Jun 2012 12:32:46 BDT
Alex MacPhee says:
Useful demonstration, and the caution too about final rinsing. I've done B&W and chromogenic before, but not yet C41, though I have bought a C41 kit recently from Ag Photographic. Last time I did chromogenic it was when XP2 was XP1 and had its own chemistry, and other than, as I recall, a slightly higher processing temperature, it was as easy as using D76. I know different people have different, and often polarised, views about squeegeeing/sponging wet film, as seen at the end of this demonstration, but I'm in the 'no' camp for that, a result of practical experience having damaged a wet film in just that way. I need to give this a go, now.

In reply to an earlier post on 12 Jun 2012 13:46:33 BDT
T.J.Byford says:
AM, I never squeegeed any of my films, be they 35mm, 120 or 5x4 sheet film, and never used a final wetting agent either, and never ever had a problem with drying marks. Acid fixers were reported to harden the gelatin somewhat for an added bit of security, but even so I would never touch the wet gelatin surface to be on the safe side.

In reply to an earlier post on 12 Jun 2012 15:30:35 BDT
Hi TJ and Alex,
I always squeegee my film and have not had any problems.
Thanks for the link to youtube. I'll have a go once I have developed a few rolls commercially to honed my technique.
A batch of Ektar is on its way as I write.

In reply to an earlier post on 20 Jun 2012 14:05:04 BDT
Stan says:
Just a thought; are you aware that the surface 'silvering' of camera mirrors is accomplished by evaporating aluminium onto them in a vacuum. Basically, it is a similar process to the coating of tungsten inside a blown lamp bulb! A specialist aluminiser probably wouldn't charge much for aluminising a small area such as would be needed. Enquire at an astronomical telescope specialist. Afterwards, avoid touching (let alone polishing!) a surface aluminised mirror. It is very easy to rub off a few molecules and therefore ruin it! The amount of light 'lost' through dust is infinitesimal compared with that lost by polishing defects. Much the same goes for lenses. They should be cleaned as little as possible. The bloom coatings are so thin that they can be measured in molecules

Posted on 20 Jun 2012 21:43:46 BDT
G. E. Hearn says:
Much the same way as the visors on NASA's spacesuit helmets are coated. Vapour deposition. Only theirs are in gold. Flash gits!

Posted on 20 Jun 2012 22:38:38 BDT
Last edited by the author on 20 Jun 2012 22:39:59 BDT
X says:
More prosaically physical vapour deposition, PVD, is behind the great spurt in availability of watches with steel bodies and a good quality of black finish and, less common, white and other colours.

Less acceptable? Well there's always some smart person out for a quick buck, and I wonder if the rise in "gold tone" and "silver tone" finishes on tacky watches and other bling isn't another area where PVD is saving money on raw materials. A few molecules of gold would never qualify as gold plate, where the thickness is of one micron and more, but would fool enough of the people enough of the time.

Posted on 22 Jun 2012 07:19:03 BDT
Last edited by the author on 22 Jun 2012 07:20:09 BDT
G. E. Hearn says:
Hmm. Even Rolex have started using this process, although I'm still not convinced as to its durability. My stainless steel watch and its bracelet have worn smooth over the years and have had to be "resurfaced" every now and again to have their brushed finish restored.
No matter how good the coating is it's still going to get scratched and worn.

Posted on 26 Jul 2012 09:29:48 BDT
T.J.Byford says:
Hi, everyone.

In this weeks AP there is an article on B/W printing, both film and digital. Two very interesting comments. 1) The drum scanners that are used for making very high quality digital scans from film are no longer being made, so once the drum breaks, that's it. 2) Ilford reports that for the last four years, sales of 120 film have been increasing, year on year. (Although no mention of 35mm)

Posted on 27 Jul 2012 07:35:38 BDT
Hi TJ,
Well that's good news - I suppose we have to thank the Lomo/Holga people.
By the way, I just acquired a mint Rollinear for not much. It looks as though it is coated too.

In reply to an earlier post on 27 Jul 2012 08:08:53 BDT
Alex MacPhee says:
My first thought was that it might also be due to those amateurs who have been taking advantage of the adoption of digital in the pro sector to acquire the MF kit they have left behind. After a lifetime of impotent lust, I've now been able to afford a Hasselblad, and I'm on a break right now running a bag of Ektar through it. I've also got an ancient Zeiss Box Tengor with me, giving me two extremes in rollfilm use. Either way, of course, an increase in film use is good news.

In reply to an earlier post on 27 Jul 2012 08:26:48 BDT
I'm sure that must be a factor - I have been doing much the same with my Bronica, Yashicamat and folders. I love the Bronica with it's interchangable backs. If you don't have any spares yet for your Hassel, I'm sure you would one useful.

In reply to an earlier post on 27 Jul 2012 13:16:51 BDT
T.J.Byford says:
Hi, Dr. A,

I assume you got both Rolleinar units, one for viewing, the other for the taking lens? And, yes, they were coated.

At the time I saw the comment from Ilford, I didn't really give much thought as to why. As Ilford don't market a colour film I doubt it can be down to the Lomo/Holga users as their peculiar brand of imaging seems more colour orientated for those "magical" colour distortion effects the wacky cameras produce. I can't imagine that b/w film would be as beneficial to them. But there again, wacky in any language is wacky!

It could be as Alexander says, although one needs to bear in mind that most digital medium format backs are usually the domain of studio use because of their size and slow speed, and need for a power source. Not your action man camera! A bit like using a Mamiya RB to photograph speeding cars at the track! By the time you'd framed and focused, the car will have disappeared and done another lap.

I think it could equally be because the younger generation are "finding " medium format as an antidote to digital, and that the more discerning photographers, amateur and professional alike, are asking questions about digital itself.

In reply to an earlier post on 27 Jul 2012 13:51:57 BDT
Last edited by the author on 27 Jul 2012 13:52:26 BDT
Hi TJ,
I do indeed have both parts of the Rollinear, in a little leather case, with instruction leaflet and DoF tables and all in a blue card box. The box has been opened a few times but the case has never been put on a camera strap and all is pristine.
I must get rid of some of my Bay 1 collection: I have 2 +1 Curtars and a non branded one, a Ricoh viewing lens with parallax correction, a Yashica version of a Rollinear and a Photax one too. I have yet to use any of them.
By the way I placed a +1 lens in front of the viewfinder of my Bronica and the screen came into focus.

In reply to an earlier post on 27 Jul 2012 14:09:21 BDT
T.J.Byford says:
Hi, Dr. A,

You have more than me then, I only have both parts in their little leather case. No box, no DoF tables (very useful!) and no instructions. Interesting about the +1 lens on your Bronica. Job done, and no expensive trip to the optician.

Posted on 7 Aug 2012 22:38:21 BDT
Last edited by the author on 7 Aug 2012 22:40:02 BDT
I have been experimenting with the prism viewfinder of my Bronica ETRS. I find I cannot focus on the screen image - but luckily I can still use the split image and the microprisms. I reasoned that this was because the screen image was at a virtual distance of 1m or so. I found I could see it clearly through a +1 lens. Accordingly I found a pair of Jane's old reading glasses and cut a piece out. That works fine. All I need to do is find a way of fixing it to the rear of the eyepiece. The snag is that the lens I cut is rather thick. To get over this I shall get some of those really small reading glasses from the Pound shop and use them. They should be thin since they are cheap. I think Jane's old glasses may be +1.25 so I need to see if +1 or +1.5 is better. You can't get +1.25 at the Pound shop.
I also tried the piece of lens as a supplementary lens in the eyepiece of my pop up Balda viewfinder. This too is a success. The only trouble is that even a thin lens may be too thick to allow the finder to fold. I wondered about a fresnel lens but I can't find one as weak as +1 dioptre.

In reply to an earlier post on 8 Aug 2012 09:57:27 BDT
T.J.Byford says:
Good Morning, Dr.A.

Have you thought why you are unable to get a 1.25 lens from the Pound shop? It's a 1.00 shop! :-)

It is interesting, but perhaps not inexplicable, why you have difficulties focusing on the screen image but not with the split image or microprisms. A couple of weeks ago I latched on to and won a Leica R7 on ebay Germany and had to get an R7 book via Amazon as the camera didn't come with an instruction manual. And as it has 5 metering modes and several TTL flash modes, I definitely needed some assistance to use it! But this is an aside. I'm getting there.

The R7 has one of, if not the most brilliant screen on an slr. Mine is the standard screen with a central split image surrounded by a microprism collar. Using the split image and/or microprisms is a doddle, but relying on the plain surround to focus is less so, particularly with the 24mm lens on and where it is nigh on impossible.

The clue is in the book section dealing with screens. The relative coarseness of a ground screen is unable to render fine or micro detail sufficiently for accurate focusing, and this becomes more of a problem as we age. I assume this is the issue you are encountering, especially as you can accurately focus on the microprisms. As you know, split image focusing isn't exactly relying on sharpness of image to work and only relies on the eye's ability to distinguish an incongruity in a straight line, which I understand it is very good at. So much so, in fact, that if pushed, I can accurately focus with the rangefinder on my M6 with my unaided right eye, although all around the viewfinder the image is a blur!

In reply to an earlier post on 8 Aug 2012 10:40:29 BDT
Hi TJ,
I think it is significant that the Balda viewfinder is designed the same way. My Nettars seem to be fine though. And my Ensign, which has the best folding Albada finder I have used.
I remember something about this from school physics - so I Googled. This is what I found in an article about microscopes - "The eye piece is so adjusted that it forms a virtual image at the least distance of distinct vision". The advantage of this is more magnification. This is what Bronica and Balda have done. A young person will be able to focus at 1m easily. I used to be able to focus down to about 200mm for reading. I have been wearing glasses to correct astigmatisms for nearly 50 years and varifocals for nearly 20 years now (and will be 60 on Sunday) so my least distance of distinct vision has been going up and up - I estimate it's about 3m now. I nearly always use my Yashicamats using the magnifier by the way because I do find it hard to focus with the ground glass. On the other hand the microprisms seem to work for me whether I can see the screen or not.
By the way I'm not complaining about the choice in Poundland - I get 2 lenses I can saw up for £1!!!
Second by the way - did you buy a Wray Stereo camera on Ebay just?

Posted on 8 Aug 2012 11:30:21 BDT
T.J.Byford says:
Hi, Dr. A.

It wasn't a Wray, but this:

Not a user, I was simply taken by it, and it has to be unique, surely?

In reply to an earlier post on 8 Aug 2012 11:39:12 BDT
I saw that one. I bid on the Wray but my (greater) bid must have been a millisecond behind the winner and was less than £1 higher. Drat!

In reply to an earlier post on 8 Aug 2012 15:06:14 BDT
T.J.Byford says:
Dr. A,

I know how you must feel. A few months ago I saw an slr branded "Reflexa" which is to say, the same as Argus, and I believe made by Mamiya. This had the Exakta bayonet mount with a Canon f1.9/50mm. The reason I was interested was this exact model and combination was my very first 35mm slr which I had around 1966. The Canon lens was a cracker.

I was on a nostalgia trip having just found and purchased a GB B&H Sportster C Standard 8 cine camera with 3x TTH lenses, possibly the best ever lenses for standard 8, better than the Kern Switars on Bolex cameras at a pinch. I owned one in 1966/67 and the results from the TTH lenses were superb.

I've never ever seen another Reflexa so I bid £92, about 3x the current bid with about 4 seconds to go. The bidding closed at £48 and my bid wasn't even registered.

Why the nostalgia? Well, I am trying to build up a collection of cameras I've owned since I took up the hobby in 1959, and in this context the Reflexa has to be classed as a rarity. There is nothing special about them, except that combination of mount and lens. Unless that camera comes on ebay again, I am most unlikely ever to see another, but I keep looking!
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