22. september 2011

Going backwards in time, again =)

Ok, ok....I admit that 90% of my photography is digital, Lightroom and Photoshop.

The other 10% is analogue (film based).

Still, those 10% are part of a very different and fascinating world. :)
I am fascinated with the subject of old cameras and equipment and the manual, slower process, - how much of that is science and how is "touchy-feely" and pure talent.

I am currently looking to buy into medium format film as well these days, checking the marked for a decently priced Hasselblad 503CW, like this one:

They are expensive (but they cost just 1/5th of what they used to sell for when they were new).

The Hasselblad is a 6cm*6cm format camera, producing pretty big negatives on 120 film compared to the regular 135mm small format we are used to.

A comparison in relative film-size can be seen here:

Comparing medium format to digital is difficult, but a 6cm*6cm negative can yield between 40 and 80 megapixels of information, depending on film type and glass, processing etc.
So yes, medium format IS still better than most digital cameras today in that respect.

Naturally then, a medium format negative will yield more detail, less grain and better tonality than 135mm film, I can still develop the medium format film at home, as my negative-spools on my paterson tank can take 120 film as well. \o/

So anyway, I was doing some research on Ilford Pan f plus (50 ASA) and caffenol and stubled over this article at the caffenol blog.

Polypan F film, in 90 meter bulk-rolls. The film is actually 135mm film-film..:P ok then it's Cine-film ^^
Trough a process called "bulk-loading", you can use it for photography like a regular 135mm film. (it is a bit thinner, but fully usable as a regular film).

The seller on eBay currently has 6 rolls left (I bought one), the price  is around €30, but it's 90 meters, which translates to about 55'ish rolls of 36 frame films. =D

The film itself is rated at 50 ASA, just like the current Ilford Panf plus, cool!

So, this is a dirt-cheap solution, especially when coupled with caffenol.
The film yields really nice photos as well, I simply love the retro-look it produces, see the photos in the above link, especially the photos of the old camera..

.So, what to I need?

- A bulk loader, like this one:

- A few empty 35mm film casettes (less than $1 on B&H, or you can get them off eBay)

I bought plastic ones, as they have a screw-top, which is safer than the pop-on, pop-off metal ones, at least thats what the reviewers said. :)

Then you spool up a few rolls after loading your daylight loader with film and off you go.

As usual, youtube has nice video tutorials on how to do things when you are stuck :)

Other than that, I've also placed an order for some Fomapan 100 120 b&w film from a great resource, the lomography web shop ( http://shop.lomography.com/ ), you can also order the film from http://www.fomafoto.com/ and even http://www.fomafoto.no/ if you're in Norway.

The lomography-shop carry both 35mm and 120 (medium format) film types.
In addition they also sell many weird cameras with varying photographic quality (It's a Lomo photography site after all).
Anyway, that was a really cool find, as I want to try out some of the classic oldies film types.

Next blog entry will be about digital stuff I think. =)

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