Friday, October 19, 2007

Odds and Ends and...uhh...just stuff

I haven't done anything particularly interesting for the past few weeks, so this is just a collection of different whatevers.
First of all...tomorrow is World Toy Camera Day! So, if toy cameras are your thing, go out and have some fun. And if they aren't your thing, try it anyway. Borrow a Holga, you grandpa's old Kodak Brownie, that crappy panoramic you bought at Goodwill, anything toy-like you can get your hands on and shoot a roll. Maybe you will hate it, maybe you will convert. It's the day for that kind of stuff! My last gf once asked me, "Why does it have to be on that day? Can't we go out tomorrow?" Well, yeah, sure. I can go out any day. But I can also do anything I want on any day. I can put up a Christmas tree in July if I want, but that kind of defeats the purpose. It's not all that important in the grand scheme of things, with war and poverty and pollution and whatnot, but it is what it is. And I like to enjoy the day for what it is...a chance to let my cameras shine. So celebrate your toy cameras on October 20, 2007, wherever in the world you might be! I'll be heading to Quartzsite, AZ and some of the surrounding towns with various toy cameras.
Second, I have very sad news. My Nova color developer died last week. I assume it died because the roll I developed was completely blank, and I know it wasn't the camera (my Diana+). The color did seem a little off, like darker, but I can't really remember what it looked like before. I've been using it since May of this year and I think I got 10 rolls out of it. It costs about $25 plus shipping from the UK for the developer, so I guess it's a money saver at about $5 a roll to develop at a store. I'll have to think about buying more. Maybe I'll save my color rolls for a year and then buy some more. That's kind of a drag, though. I'll do a little research on other brands.
And last, just so I have some pictures to add to this, here are some cool old film boxes. I haven't used the film in any of these yet, but I do take it out so the film can stay in the fridge and the boxes out. It always seems a little too humid in the refrigerator for long-term cardboard storage.

Ekfa 620, expired December 1964

Fuji Neopan SS 120, expired September 1963

Tower 620, expired April 1965

Var-i-Pan 620, expired January 1964. Someone was nice enough to send me a roll of Var-i-Pan 120 that expired February 1964, which I will be using on WTCD.

And just a couple spools and backings from Kodak Verichrome that expired in 1958, I think.

That's about it for today! I'm going to be using a couple 'new' cameras on WTCD, so I'll probably post follow-ups on that and other items of disinterest later. Also, check out the new Came together very nicely! Now turn out the light and let me sleep. It's only 2:52 in the afternoon? Whatever.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

I made a scary mask for my Holga

Not for Halloween, though. I was thinking...if the new Diana+ has a removable mask so you can take 12 Holga-size shots, why shouldn't the Holga have the ability to take 16 Diana-size shots? So I made a (very ugly) 42x42mm mask for my Holga.

I used my regular mask (which actually used to be a rectangle mask that I modified, because Holgas didn't have large masks when I bought mine) and the plastic cover from a school notebook cover. That was the only plastic I could find. I cut it out and taped in together, and then colored it all black with a marker so I wouldn't get any light shining through the green plastic. And that was it...

I also used a new lens in my Holga. The lens mount still had the Diana lens in it, and it was just easier to put a new barrel on rather than screwing with the lenses. I was curious if there would be a difference in quality, as I've heard that the newer lenses are "better", as in sharper and less vignette. Impossible to tell here, of course, as I pretty much cropped the vignette out when making the image smaller.

The other weird thing I did was to pre-rinse my film before developing it. This takes off the anti-halation layer, which is supposed to keep light from reflecting back on the film from the backing or back of the camera. No particular reason to do this, other than curiosity. Soon I want to pre-rinse some film before I even use it, which is supposed to make your whites whiter or something. But this was just to mess around and see. The film was Fuji Acros 100. The water that washed out was dark purple. After a couple rinses, the water was pink, so I stopped and just developed for the regular time in D-76. When I first looked at the film while rinsing after development, I though it was totally screwed up. It was...white and opaque. Like maybe the film didn't fix properly.

But the shots were still there, so whatever. Not sure how or why this happened, chemically speaking, but as long as I gits my photos, it's cool.
I wanted to head up to Castle Hot Springs, check it out and take some shots. So I get past Lake Pleasant and the road turns to dirt. I figure, okay, 15 miles of dirt road through the problem. I drive about eight miles of up and down, side to side, and come up to a riverbed. No way. Looked very dry (of course) and very sandy. It wasn't more than maybe 200 feet across, but I wasn't about to get stuck 20 miles from civilization. That happened once before, and lucky for me there was a rancher nearby with a tractor. Everything I've read says you only need a 2WD to get there, but this riverbed looked kind of nasty. So I said screw it and turned around and just took shots of the desert and whatever. No shortage of mountains and cactus here to shoot. I seriously can't believe there isn't an easier way to get there. I mean, look at this place. And it's out in the middle of absolute nowhere. Oh well. It was still nice to go do something. My next road trip is on World Toy Camera Day on October 20th.
Anyway, here are some shots. I think the film was getting caught later in the roll, because the film was crinkled along the edge, and the pictures bow out on the sides. Oh, and fyi...this is autumn in the desert. Not much changes.

I like the results. It's not really Diana-like. And it doesn't really look like a Holga shot, either. It's something new. They have kind of a vintage quality to them. A little blur, a little haze (probably from the developing). One thing I noted (besides my mask being crooked) - I was trying to visualize a smaller frame, like I do with the Diana. I figured I would see more than what I was shooting. Wrong. The Holga already shows more than what you are shooting. Putting this mask in pretty much gives you a one-to-one ration. You are photographing what you see in the viewfinder. No extra and nothing cut off.
I want to make a better mask now. Adding that tape and all to the original mask made it a tight fit, and the plastic I used was too soft.
I also took my Diana+, without a mask and using expired color. Messed around with the pinhole function a bit. I'll probably develop it in the next couple days. I also took the Holga 135BC with Polachrome film in it. I only took a couple shots and will probably finish the roll on WTCD. And I need to get an Autoprocessor to develop the film. It's 35mm instant film. Seriously. But when I got it, I was like, wft? How does this work? You get a roll of film and a funky little canister and no directions. Did a little research, discovered I need a special processor. More shtuff fo cover in the future.