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Thursday, July 30, 2015

Recovering cameras

I don't know which of these activities I like better, photographing, tinkering, processing, experimenting new recipes, viewing others pictures, etc., all about photography.


The camera above was almost unrecoverable. Very damaged by exposure to sun, many parts cracked, like lens holder and back and a broken film rewind button. It was an acquisition of my youngest daughter at a flee market at the place where she was studying arts, The piece must be exposed at sun for many time because it started falling apart a short time after she bought it. She gave me the camera and said, «have fun recovering it».

I started dismantling the camera 2 years ago but only in the last days I finally had time to finish the work. The back is now covered with an opaque material, the lens holder was replaced with PVC 50mm tube black painted and with an adapter 43-52 mm allows me to use filters. The single lens is the original but the aperture is now fixed and the focus too. Pictures are sharp in the centre but out of focus at the edges, the left side more than the right side. Last tree pictures were made with this piece.




The pictures were made with B&W film, TMax 400 long expired, developed with the Parodinal 645. The film came up with a brown stain at the bottom (inverse of the positive), I think it was the fixer saying goodbye. Neverthless I scanned the film as color and... I liked what I got!

Monday, July 20, 2015

Hi! Just more pictures...

This time I used my Parodinal 645 with an expired 400 ISO film, Kodak TMax 400. It would normally have huge grain and fog. Yes, 'honest' grain but no terrible fog and nice range of greys...








Sunday, July 12, 2015

How I prepare my 645-Parodinal

As you know, Parodinal is the generic name for clones of the famous Agfa universal B&W developer Rodinal.

I tried a new formula and called it 645-Parodinal, because its recipe has following ingredients, for 500 ml of concentrate:

60 g Potassium Metabisulfite
40 g Paracetamol
50 g Sodium Hydroxide

First of all I transform the Paracetamol pills in powder with a pestle and mortar. I am not sure whether it is possible to jump this step and use directly the pills without all that work. But ok, next time I try it.

Then I use two 1L beakers, at least one must be heat-resistant. In both beakers I put about 180 ml of water, but in one of them warm water and in the other cold water. In the one with warm water I put the 60 g Metabisulfite and the 40 g Paracetamol and stir. It will not dissolve but never mind. In the other beaker I disolve 50 g of Sodium Hydroxide, it will become very hot. While hot I pour it on the other beaker, stir and complete with water to make 500 ml. The next I put the beaker with all the stuff in a warm bath at fire and stir for several minutes until I get an homogeneous soup, looking translucent. When finished, I switch off the stove and let the mixture cool down.

Finally I store the 645 in a 500 ml amber bottle well closed.

The last film I developed was a Shangai GP3 at box speed and I used the dilution 1:100 and 30 minutes. It could be less time, I think it respects Rodinal times, but I prefer the 'steak' well done.

Some recent photos of a 120 film exposed with a Topcon Horeseman 980, format 6x7 and developed with 645-Parodinal.















Sunday, July 5, 2015

I'm speechless

Some days ago I started testing thyme as a possible developer agent. I had a rest of it in my spices shelf, only 5 g of it. I made a tee with this amount of thyme, add some Potassium Carbonate and developed a stripe of B&W film, an expired TMax400 I bought at ebay. Although I gave one hour of development time, only a very faint image was to be seen:


I scanned it in color mode because the negative had the base color of a color film after development. I even thought the image could be in color.

Yesterday I brought 30 g of thyme from the supermarket and made a very concentrade tee, only 300 ml of it, enough to develop a 35mm film in a tank. I added about 15 g Potassium Carbonate to the tee and developed 2 hours long a 3 pictures-stripe of TMax400 exposed at 50 ISO. The result was the contrary of the first, a very dense and fogged film from which I could extract the pics, among them this one:


I underestimated the power of thyme, it was not necessary to develop so long an overexposed film. So, again to the work, 3.rd attempt to get the stuff working like it should. Reduction of the developing time to one hour, using 1g Potassium Bromide as antifoggant and leaving the rest as before, 50 ISO for TMax400.

I was not counting on this result, but that is what I get: almost COLOR photos!!!





P.S. - If you want to take part on a «pear-revue» and replicate the experiment, please write me in private, I will be pleased to give you the recipe you should use and other details.