A chance to shoot some birds and animals in the SF Zoo was a great opportunity to use my Canon 2x extender which is basically collecting dust. The setup is a simply a Canon 5dmiii + 70-200mm f2.8 + 2x extender ii.
Great weather and here are the photos shot that day.
While cleaning up my photo gears, I see a box of Tetenal C41 kit that I got and opened a couple of years ago in Shanghai. Since then, it made its way to Hong Kong and to San Francisco. On arrival to SF, I discovered that one bottle of the Blix solution actually bursted and was leaking all over the box. All these items were stored in a storage that was certainly quite hot (30C+) for months before making its way to the US.
I also found a few 4×5 film boxes of Kodak Portra 400 that I loaded about two years ago. This is when expired chemicals meet expired film, a combination that has the word “disaster” written all over it.
I got my Paterson Auto Colortherm machine from Toronto some time back. I refitted it so that I can use the roller for my jobo tank. I mixed the chemicals into its three parts and noticed a few things. First, the clear blix mixture has a lot of residue at the bottom and was stuck. I warmed it out, it helped a bit but there are still chunks of it at the bottom. Second, the stabilizer bottle have merely 50mL left. 1L mixture required 100mL, what the heck, just mix it.
I took my Graflex SG with a Fujinon 400mm f8 lens on my roof for the test shots in one late afternoon.
I shot the Kodak Porta 400 at ISO 200. I developed the sheets slightly longer than the recommended times. Developed 3:30min, Blix 5min. When I opened the Jobo tank, I see images, solid images. I scanned the negatives with my Epson Perfection V700. The unedited result is shown here.
All the details are there. The edges showed some funky chemical gradient that made the image looked like something out of a roll of lomography film. The overall look of it is vintage and reminded me of a postcard from the 60s.
Overall, I am happy with the result and I guess I will develop many more sheets with the Tetenal kit before it runs out.
Six months ago, I did some test shots with my Burke & James Grover 8×10. I finally got them developed and scanned recently. With a couple of flashes and remote (without any diffusion), I shot a few portraits when my friends Norris and Fiona were visiting. Here is the result.
I used Kodak Ektascan B/RA x-ray film metered at ISO50. Burke & James Grover 8×10 with Fujinon 250mm f6.3 lens. Lighting setup with two Yongnuo YN560II flashes on two YN622C and a YN622C-TX. Developed with Kodak D76 1+1 20C for 10 minutes. Scanned with Epson Perfection V700.
Lighting is harsh, this is due to the lack of deflectors (they were still being shipped from Asia at the time). The harsh lighting reminded me a bit of a prom shoot would of looked like in the 1960-70s. Nevertheless a decent shot for first trials.
The last test of 12x was slightly over-exposed so the new test was a 10x compensation for one minute exposure. It looks like a working combination. I was also testing out my Kodak 8×10 2d with a Goerz 12″ f6.3 lens. It’s amazing that a 91-year-old camera is still holding up and taking great photos just like it did when it was out of the factory. Film developed in Kodak d76 1+1 22C for 10 mins, scanned with Epson Perfection V700.
I had some doubts with the Goerz lens as it was over 90 years old. Initial inspection showed a perfect lens (with only two tiny tiny air bubbles in the front element that won’t affect the photo). The shutter is snappy (seemed accurate) and both B and T modes work. The middle of the photo is pin sharp. The left side however, was slightly off focus. At first I thought it was corner sharpness of the lens but then I was shooting at f8, so this is not likely the issue. I inspect the camera again and found that the rear tilt adjustment was off. The left and right gear was somehow off by at least three clicks. I think it had been in this position for a very long time and I had to spend sometime forcing it back to right position (without breaking it). Now both left and right gears are matched, this focus issues should be fixed on the next shoot.
Hardly shot anything in the past six months, I finally got my dark room setup last week. Rolls of 120s and tens of 8×10 sheets were waiting to be developed in the past nine months. Honestly I don’t even remember what I took in the medium format rolls. I mixed some d76 last weekend, got the development tanks, measurement cups all cleaned up. Timer, thermometer all in place. Dry hanging rack and enclosure all in tact. After studying past notes on development, in the past weekend, I finally developed my first roll of film in nine months.
Opening the jobo tank, I see images, images that I didn’t recognize and had no recollection. I didn’t think too much of it and let it hang dry. I scanned some of the photos today and saw this photo.
I looked at this and I was like wow. The Zeiss Ikonta is one of those under-rated cameras. It folds nicely, has a Zeiss Tessar at f2.8. The rangerfinder is also easy to use and you can focus really quickly. Looking at this photo, instantly, I wanted to go out and shoot more. Jaded from all the moving and change in the past year, I guess this was a catalyst for me to get back into what I love doing.
I had a few shots left on my Zeiss Ikonta 532/16 before I boarded a plane at SFO. The sun was setting and made a nice reflection on the ground. Taken with Zeiss Ikonta 532/16 on Fuji Acros. Developed in Kodak d76, 20C, 11 mins, first minute agitation, then 2 flips every minute. Fixed with Kodak rapid fix and scanned with Epson Perfection 4870.
After fixing another old speed graphic and a graphex 90mm f6.8 lens, I put it to use with Fuji Acros on a clear evening shooting the Bay Bridge in SF. Developed in Kodak D76, 20C, 11 mins, agitation first minute then 6 flips every minute. Fixed in Kodak Rapid fix. Scanned with Epson Perfection V700.