Blog Archives - Page 4 of 89 - Photo Jottings

Blog

Fifty year old film, and a century old camera…

equals a typical digital camera in 2018.  At least in resolution, but ok, maybe not in ease of use.

I took this shot while testing a folding pocket Kodak 3A camera out a couple of years ago.  I used Kodak (Verichrome Pan ASA 80) 122 Roll film that expired in 1971, but probably made in 1969, almost 50 years ago!  You get six 3¼" x 5½" pictures on a roll, (the same area as a 4x5!!), and I bracketed the shots so I'd be sure and get a good one, however, that wasn't really necessary as all the images turned out pretty good.  The shot above was made at F/32, with a one second exposure time.  The sunny 16 rule puts my exposure about four stops longer than normal, and 'normal' being about 1/15s at F/32 with ASA 80 film.

I think I used Ilfosol 3 developer around 4-5 minutes in a tank.  It's expensive to do just one roll at a time, with the film about $25 a roll (a few years ago, now it's around $50-100 a roll depending on age), and developer, stop bath and fixer about half that, so about $5 a picture; save money and get the kodak combination back and use fresh 8x10 sheet film.  After cutting you'll get three shots, (which allows small try developing), that's what I'm doing now, and costs about $3 per shot.

I'll be doing a review of the Kodak 3A in the near future; it's quite a camera, especially when you get one with a good lens like the (Zeiss) Kodak Anastigmat, or Tessar types.

The image above was scanned on a Epson V700, which does a pretty good job, but there is more detail in the original.  Unfortunately, I don't have a good scanner that will accommodate the large 3¼" x 5½" negative.  I could cut it in half, or take a partial using a digital camera and macro lens, but I think I'll wait and show that in the review.

The resolution in the long expired film negative is about what you'd get with a good 24mp digital camera and top quality prime lens today, not bad for a camera from the silent film era.

Anyhow...

Read more »

Die Klassische Evolution, Contax Tix review

The Contax Tix was a super expensive "boutique" APS film camera that came out around 1997.  I doubt there were many, (or any other) APS cameras that were more expensive than this one.   Based on the hang tag of 120,000; street cost would have probably been about $999.   A premium 35mm camera would've cost about the same amount, like this one.

The presentation case for the Contax Tix is so nice you would think it contained the Hope diamond.  Rich people bought this camera for vacation snaps when it first came out.  Starting around 2000 and later, digital cameras started taking a serious bite out of the film business , and the price dropped enough so middle class folks could afford a very nice sub-compact film camera.  Unfortunately, a few years later, the film would no longer be made, and you wound up with a nice paper weight for your desk.  It's too bad because the Contax Tix is very small and convenient, with a lot of premium features and a really sharp Carl Zeiss Sonnar lens.

The Contax Tix is a sub-compact film camera, and uses APS film which has not been manufactured since around 2010-11...

Read more »

CineStill 800T film samples

I purchased this roll of CineStill 800T Xpro quite a while back, and finally found a good time to use it, which is at night with a lot of lights.  It's tungsten balanced film, with a color of 3200k, (same as incandescent light bulbs), so if you use it in daylight without a filter, you'll wind up with very bluish images.  It has an odd characteristic of forming red halos and tinged borders around dark to bright transitions; check out the shots below to see what I'm talking about. 

CineStill 800T Xpro is actually Kodak Vision3 500T 5219 color negative film, which has a coating called 'remjet' for use in motion picture cameras; however, Cinestill has removed the coating so it can be developed in standard color print C-41 chemicals, see the info below from CineStill...

Read more »

Kodak Moment #12 Baby St Antoine

Who lives here now?  It’s on the corner of Baby St and St Antoine in Windsor, Ontario, Canada.  My great Uncle Tommy lived here a long time ago, maybe from the 1940s through the 1960s or so.  He bought a new 1957 Chevy Bel Air when they came out, and took it for a spin for all his friends to …

Read more »

Kodak Duaflex IV camera review

Today's review camera is the Kodak Duaflex IV, with the Kodar F/8 lens, it was the last iteration of the Duaflex line that started in 1947, and ended about 1960.  There are two basic versions of this camera, one with a standard 'miniscus' lens (called 'Kodet'), and the other with a more expensive 'Kodar' F/8 lens with front cell focusing.

These fake twin lens reflex cameras sold like hotcakes back in the day when super expensive Rolleiflexes were all the rage for pro photographers, and everybody wanted one so they could take better pictures...sound familiar?  Instead of paying close to a grand for a Rollei, you paid 25 bucks for the Duaflex with F/8 Kodar lens.  Well, you didn't get the image quality of the Rollei, but the Duaflex Kodar was actually pretty good, especially if you didn't print large photos.

So let's step back to ca1957 and take some snapshots with a cool fake TLR camera.  A time when cigarettes were actually good for you, flying cars and personal helicopters were right around the corner, and you could walk in a showroom and pick out a nice turquoise '57 Chevy Bel Air with fuel injection!!

Read more »

Kodak Moment #11, ROK ‘n’ roll

Here’s a snap presumably along (what US servicemen called) US highway 1 in 1952/53, likely near Cheonan, South Korea; unfortunately the exact location has been lost forever.  My Dad took a quick picture after he came across this accident, and said it was being driven by ROK soldiers, who were really pouring the coals to the old deuce and a half.  It looks like they had a little difficulty in navigating the bend in the road.  No word on injuries, but looking at the marks, and the way it rolled over, I would be surprised if they came out with all there extremities still attached.  The US soldier on the  left walking with his back to us was named Victor; name of the little photo bomber in the right lower corner is unknown.

Read more »

Kodak Star 535 Review

Ever wonder what it's like to take pictures with a really awful 35mm camera from the early 1990s?  Well wonder no more, and even better, I'll save you the $5 you would've spent finding out!

The Kodak Star 535 was a budget friendly camera, one that you would normally find at K-Mart or Walmart.  Most of the time it came in a blister pack with a roll of film and some batteries.  Unbelievably, the retail price for this thing was $75 back in 1992!  That seems way too high for the image quality of this camera, however it did have some nice automatic features.

If you're bored at work, and looking to blow five minutes, head over to the review...

Read more »

News and upcoming reviews.

First off, I've replaced the awful test pictures at the bottom of the Fuji GSW690III review with some decent ones.

And now a quick note about upcoming camera reviews and posts.  For visitors from the legacy site: I'm not currently reviewing any Sony lenses, or any other lenses for that matter.  I've decided to concentrate my efforts (at least for now) on reviewing film cameras, accessories and new film products, plus posting information on film shooting in general and developing techniques; all of that is based on my personal failures, (and successes) from the 1970s to the present, so I have a lot of material to draw from.

Unbelievably, I've been shooting digital since the late 1990s.  My first digital camera was an Agfa blisterpack 640x480 model, then going up the ladder to a Olympus 750UZ, and a Konica Minolta 5D around 2005.  After Sony bought Konica Minolta's camera division in 2006, I've had about a dozen of their DSLR's and mirrorless, including my latest one, the A7R, which is now over 4 years old with around 300k clicks on it.  I plan on one more upgrade, and that's it.  I'm still shooting interiors with digital, but I've been trying to sell the idea of film to clients for all other work...yes, of course it's tough.

Before digital, I remember how exciting it was to get my pictures back from the lab, especially after waiting a couple of weeks; or even the one hour photo at Walgreens!!  I still get excited, even when I shoot some film, and develop it right away myself!  After careful composing, exposure, developing and printing, I enjoy seeing the end product, especially when the picture turns out just as I envisioned.  I don't get excited from digital imaging anymore.

Well, have you had enough rambling about the good ole days of film? hopefully not, because in the coming weeks look for the following camera reviews, but not necessarily in this order: Kodak Duoflex IV with Kodar F/8 lens, Contax Tix, Kodak Star 535, Canon 110ED, Fuji GA645W 45/4, and the Fuji GA645 60/4 version---both are medium format cameras.  Also look for some comparisons along the way as to what the differences are in medium format film, from 6x4.5, 6x6 to 6x9 etc.  Additionally, I have a whole bunch of folders from Zeiss Ikon, Kodak, Agfa, Voightlander and more, some north of 100 years old that I'll be reviewing too!

Read more »

Scroll to Top