When the coffee is good

Yes this is a about Caffenol again: after a few rolls ranging from total failure to barely acceptable, I finally got two rolls who turned out pretty good yesterday. I must say that I finally received the pure vitamin C powder so this brew is more deterministic that the others. I also stick to reducing the ingredients by 1/4th as I use a .75L bottle to store it. I used the times derived from past experiences and the Massiv Dev Charts site. So for this Rollei 80s I used the mix at room temps ( about 28/29 Degrees) and 5’25” from when I started pouring to the time I poured out.

The result is pretty good, contrast is fine, there is little dust on the negatives and scanning goes without problem.

I ll keep doing this a few time before maybe trying to cool the mix a little in order to have more leeway in playing with the dev time.

All shots with Agfa Isolette III on Rollei Retro 80s. Oh it is noticeable on some shots that markings from the film backing paper can be seen, but this roll (I have 2 more) are 2 years expired are spent the last few years in the humid climate of Singapore so it may explain why.

When the coffee is good

Мой новый Зоркий с камерой (My new Zorki S Camera)

Zorki S

Last Tuesday I could not resist when I pass by the antique shop outside Golden Landmark mall. There were a couple of russian camera eyeing at me and well I though I could well be in for a bargain.

It’s very difficult t check in the spot a camera that you never used before. I never used a Screw Mount camera before so I had no idea how to dismount the lens to have a look at the shutter curtains. It’s not easy to try the rangefinder when its pissing rain and you cannot see 2 meters away. The corking and speed change mechanism was also foreign to me so the idea of listening shutter to check the shutter speeds by ear was also a miss. Plus the two models I wanted a Fed-2 and a Zorki-S do not have a removable back so you cannot check the inside.

It took me 15 minutes to realize that my first choice, the Fed-2, has the tripod bolt missing from the bottom plate hence being unusable without a dirty fix. I ruled it out fr the time being.

Unfortunately I was in a bit of a hurry and the very courteous seller spotted very quickly that I was not very good at bargaining, so as usual I probably overpaid for my new toy (50 US).

Back home, after a couple of hours google-ing and playing with the toy the diagnostic was not so good:
– the shutter only fires intermittently
– the rangefinder does not work
– the aperture ring does move with difficulty.

Thursday out of disappointment I put a 6 years expired Kodak Gold film inside and wen shooting out haphazardly on the way to the office. I focused at hyper-focal distance, set the speed and aperture with the guess-o-meter and fired 5 times each shot before the shutter worked. So I expect 5 or 6 shots in 4 or 5 days. … to follow

A couple of links if you are interested:

http://www.sovietcams.com/

www.ussrphoto.com

Isaak S. Maizenberg’s bible of Russian Cameras, a huge compendium on usage, design and repair:
maizenberg-cameras1.pdf

Мой новый Зоркий с камерой (My new Zorki S Camera)