Monday, September 28, 2015

A Beach, A Bucket, and a Brownie 2a

So I have this roll of 70mm Kodak Vericolor III which was originally a tungsten balanced film. It expired in 1989, so I shoot it at iso 50 instead of its “box speed” of 160 for daylight. However, since it is 70mm film, the only camera I have that will take it is a Kodak Brownie 2a Model B (1920-24). These cameras were made in the days of relatively low film speeds, so I figured I was safe. The white balance could be taken care of in post by applying an 85b warming filter to the images. So I snapped away, not worrying a whit about f-stops or shutter speeds. The 2a has 1 shutter speed (around 1/30th) and 3 apertures of approximately f/11, f/16 and f/22. Doing a quick 'sunny sixteen' calculation in my head, I set it at aperture #2 and happily set about taking some shots of people doing the beach thing, some scenery, etc.

Skip ahead a few weeks. I am ready to develop some color film. In fact Reinhold (some of you may know him from his caffenol blog) over on Filmwasters had suggested that C-41 development could be done at room temperatures by simply extending the development time. So I thought I would try this. There has been a heat wave recently where I live and so my house is a warm 85F during the day. I looked that temp up on Reinhold's graph and figured I would develop for 8 minutes instead of the 104F time of 3.5 minutes. Well, the negatives were a little thin. I suspect that my C-41 kit is nearing exhaustion since I have had it since Last summer and have developed MANY more rolls of film than the manufacturer recommends. This is a testimony to the Unicolor kit. It just goes and goes and dies off slowly, so instead of having a suddenly blank roll, I have a thin roll that I can still scan, and I know that I need to replace my chemistry.

So I scanned the negatives and saw some pretty massive light leaks that weren't "camera" leaks, but leaks where the edges of the backing paper got torn or folded and the film was exposed when I put it in and took it out of the camera, not to mention the 3 weeks in the refrigerator. Given all that, I will accept the leaks as "happy accidents" as well as the thin negs and the color shifts. This photo seems to be especially well received over on Filckr where it earned me my very first "Explored" photo. I hope you enjoy it too.

Brownie2a-VericolorIII-004