35mm Film in hassy back

My backyard

Forget about everything serious and let’s be silly. If you spend too much time on the internet you probably already came across something similar : people shooting 35 mm film with their Hasselblad. Even worse you find people trying to find out how to do it…

I will cut the chase short : I think there is absolutely no reasons to do it except the two following:

  • you want to scan the sprockets
  • you want to use film that is not available in 120 format

Apart from the general quirkiness of setting this up, please consider the following issues:

  • the automatic back of your Hassie is set to 12 frames, so there is just so much you can get of your 35mm roll, I would say that 24 shots rolls are ok, but you will loose a fair bit of film. Unless you roll them from bulk yourself, in which case I think with the technique exposed here you can probably use a 20 shots roll. I also read you can use a A24 back to shoot 20 shots out of a 36 roll.
  • the film moves upward in the hassie which does not make a difference in 120 format as it is square, but your “paronama” will by default be vertical, so to shoot landscape you have to turn your Hasselblad on the side, no so easy to frame after that. It is then recommended to use a 90 degree prism (I don’t own one)
  • finally framing is not easy unless you have a mask, but I did not find any template
Marina Bay Sands without the top

Frankly I generally find panorama useless, as it is very difficult to see them on screen or printed, unless they are printed very large or they highlight very special shapes.

But last week a friend gave me some spacers that he 3D printed and I decided to give them a try. I had at hand a freshly hand rolled canister with 17 shots of Polypan (the end of the bulk) so why not kill two birds with one stone.

Note that on the re-enactment above the white canister is the take-up side, the Fuji is the film I will shoot. This is a very neat set-up. Note that I would normally cut the start of the Fuji film to have better adherence to the take up lead. Also I had no problem (it seems) with keeping the film flat on the pressure plate, but I saw some guys are adding some holders to keep the film flat.

 

Meeting point (This is what you get by default)

To resolve the take up side of the issue I used another 35mm canister that I taped to the start of my roll and used the spacers on both side. I checked a couple of times to make sure the film was on the correct side. Closed the back and cracked until all was ready.

I thereafter happily shots my 12 pictures.

My roll was too short so the last picture was partially exposed to the light when I opened the back. Also I think this caused some spacing issues towards the end of the roll.

Portrait of my son with (sprockets and all)

I will give this another try (in color), but I think it is really just good for fun. I thought about trying with the Agfa Isolette, but the winding not being automatic, guessing how much to wind will be quite challenging.

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35mm Film in hassy back

The first film with the LOMO KonstruKtor.

So I finally finished assembling the LOMO Konstructor last week end. I loaded it with a roll of Ilford Pan 400 ISO, my favorite low end film and went for a Sunday stroll with the family around Singapore.

The camera is fun, light, small. Cracking is not obvious so I had a few overlapping frames “lomo style”. It looks like 1 to 10 meters is the ideal range to take shots, as further out the lack of sharpness shows and lacks of interest. Framing is a bit random, an I did not manage to take a vertical shot. Finally the shutter is a bit difficult to press, causing frequent camera shake.

Asahi
Asahi

 

 

 

 

Asahi beer pump on club street, shot in the shades, probably one meter distance. My favorite shot.

Lomography

 

This is a bit unfair to shot Lomography so close to the bin, but…

Mrs B

 

Mrs B. in the sun

Young photographer Noé

 

I think this picture of my son is also quite good, a bit of frame overlap on the left, enough detailed on the center. Hey I’m a lomographer.

 

B-Side

 

 

Singapore B Side: more card board recycling in a small alley in Chinatown. More frame overlap to the right this time.

The lomographer

 

Oops the lomographer lomographed. Even wife and children can use the Konstructor. With an aperture of F10 you really need ISO 400; maybe a bit overexposed in broad daylight but perfect as soon as there are a bit of shadows and not enough inside. Probably a bit of camera shake is involved here as well.


Gentrification

“Potatoo Head”a new place in Keong Saik road, in Chinatown, another example of the gentrification of the area where a new “trendy”place replaces the old corner coffee shop. The lack of sharpness really shows heere

Camera:Lomo Konstruktor, 50mm F10

Film: Ilford PAN 400 ISO

The first film with the LOMO KonstruKtor.

Misadventure in Caffenol – take 2

If you read the last post, you have heard of my issues with Caffenol here is Singapore; the pictures below are taken what I refer to as  film number 3. This is a Fuji Neopan 100  which is supposed to be Caffenol friendly. I shot the film (only 12 shots in Medium Format) in Chinatown one afternoon with the old Agfa Isolette III. Film goes out very dark, but when digitized with the DSLR method, pictures are ok; unfortunately the focusing of the Agfa does not works. The lens was stuck a few years back and I disassembled and cleaned it but could not set the focus properly. There are 3 cool shots however.

Ice Man (1)
Ice Man (1)
Ice Man (2)
Ice Man (2)
Chinese Medical Hall
Chinese Medical Hall

The pictures could not be scanned with the Epson v500, I had to use my DSLR with a 50 mm lens and an old flashgun as a back light to digitize them; that is not improving the result of course.

Misadventure in Caffenol – take 2

Misadventure in Caffenol – take 1

2 years ago I have been very happy trying to process my black and white film at home with the Caffenol recipe. I did 7 rolls at a time, and some produced some very fine pics.

To make sort, you mix washing soda and instant coffee, add a bit of ascorbic acid (vitamin C) and Bob’s your uncle.

This summer I imagined that back in Singapore for a couple of weeks without the family I could replicate this success. Alas, on the 4 films I have processed, none came out very good. My original recipe was  dosed for the washing Soda that can be found in France, and I am not sure the one I can find here is dosed the same way. What about the quality of instant coffee? And the temperature of the tap water?

So I tried to process  4 films and this is what I got:

film num.1: TMAX 100 from holidays in France: I used the original recipe, film goes out bad but I could scan it and post some of the picture in flickr or in my 24th of July post here

film num.2: ILFORD PAN 400 from photo-tour in Arab Street with Singapore Photo Walker group, taken with the Kiev IV : I reduce the soda and used 60-70% of the original: the film is almost unusable and you’ll find the pictures below. I could not scan it, I had to shot the negatives with my DSLR using a flash gun to back-light the film.

film num.3: Fuji Neopan 100 : supposed to be Caffenol friendly: I shot the film (only 12 shots in Medium Format) in Chinatown one afternoon with the old Agfa Isolette III. Film goes out very dark, but when digitized with the DSLR method, pictures are ok; unfortunately the focusing of the Agfa doe snot works ! Argh!

film num.4: Rollei RPX 100: my lastfilm of the holidays in France: I try another recipe and got a total black film. Bouh ouh

Not much lessons to take from this. But I’ll try again sometime

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Misadventure in Caffenol – take 1

The Kiev IV – A new Comrade on the (East) block

As mentioned on the last post I am so late on my blogging! I can blame on too many pictures from Sri Lanka, I still have a couple for good ones to show and a nice idea on a post on Fort Galle. But also new gear, new photo opportunities and of course the short trip to Taiwan.

Now I have to start somewhere; so let me introduce you the first piece of new gear I acquired since the last one I reported: the Kiev Iv.

What is the Kiev IV?

A bit of google-ing will tell you that this is a rangefinder camera, build in Ukraine by the Arsenal Factory. It is a copy of the Contax II camera and made between 1947 and 1980 (amazing). The story of the Contax factory being relocated by the USSR in Ukraine after the war in quite interesting and worth reading. It has a special Contax bayonet mount for attaching the lenses and the IV version comes with a light meter. The “Jupiter” lenses are made after pre-war Zeiss design and perform very well. My copy came with a Jupiter-8 50mmF2.

Why a Kiev ?

Here comes the funny(read embarrassing  part of the story. I bought mine by mistake… well because of a mistake. I was so happy with my little Zorki that I wanted a second lens for it and order on EBay a Jupiter 12; a quite cheap 35mm F2.8 lens of good reputation. Well I did not read the offer properly and when the lens arrived it was a Contact Bayonet Mount version, hence the price. I let it sit around for a couple of weeks and finally decided to get a camera to fit it with. Usual story; a couple of days on eBay and I got by Kiev IV for also a reasonable price (around 80USD).

What’s in the box?

So now I have one camera and two lenses for lens that 200 bucks! The camera came with its (n)ever ready case; I like the Arsenal logo on the front, but really this is too unpractical to use; plus mine really stinks of having been stored in a basement. My camera has seen better times and the leatherette is waiting for the first opportunity to run away. The 50mm Lens has some denting on the front; but works smoothly. The 35 mm is in far better condition and came with a nice Bakelite box.

A bit of DIY

The inside is clean, but… there is no take up spool. On the IV model the spool can be removed; and it had been in my case. I scratched my head and walked to the lab ( exercise is good) to ask for a couple of empty plastic spools from empty cartridges. By chance the guy gave me an Agfa Vista spool which has a hole in its middle where the film can be blocked if cut properly (see below) that works perfectly well for me. Just as easy as trimming the film leader for Zorki or a Leica screw mount body.

Take up spool DIY
Take up spool DIY

Off to work Comrade

I had to look at a online documentation to find out how to change lenses and how to change the speed. The lens is locking at infinity and you have a button to unlock it that you can also use to focus instead of grabbing the lens. After a couple of tries I decided the meter was not working and the procedure to use it too complex over using the Sekonic.

Finally I put a film inside; cork the shutter (many times) and a few days later the results were back from the lab. The little beast have a light leak…
Dam it.

Singapore sport hub construction site with obvious light leaks

Light leaks can come either from the joint between the back and the top of the body or from the top plate. So I put some painter tape around the back door and roll another film and surprise: no leaks ! So the joint, aka the “yak hair” is the problem. I am not 100% sure of the procedure to cure it and I have some more tape so I’ll use this trick for the time being.

Temporary fix for light leaks
Xi ji Chichen – Look ma : no leaks!
Saint Patrick’s day

T9 be followed by the shots for  International Commie Camera Day 2013

The Kiev IV – A new Comrade on the (East) block

The German- Soviet Pact (In photography term)

I can never resist doing something foolish, so after having owned the Zorki for a few weeks, I googled a bit and flickered a lot and ordered an adapter to put the Industar 22 lens on the Leica M4.

Leica introduced the M mount in 1954, before this time the M39 (LRM or screw mount) was the norm with some variations on the on the thread. Since 1954 it is possible to mount older LTM lenses on M bodies using adapters. Adapters have 3 functions:

  • allow mounting the LTM lens on the M body (the reverse is not possible)
  • enable the usage of the view finder for focusing
  • trigger the display of the correct frame lines in the M viewfinder. This means you need several adapters if you have several different lenses.
  • I found a very cheap adapter on Ebay (8 $ including port) and could attach the Industar on the M4. Hurrah ! I managed to replace a 50mm Summilux F1.4 genuine Leica lens that costs a 1000 bucks by a Industar F3,5 russian lens probably older that costs me 50 dollars at most. The 3 functions above work very well : the rangefinder displays the proper distance, the 50mm frame is shown on the viewfinder and needless to say that the lens is attached.

    I loaded a roll of Fuji Neopan 400ASA, so I can shoot at smaller apertures; we never know and a after a couple of days of waiting I got the results from the lab.


    Walking to the office, I came across this guy painting a very nice mural that can be found on my Flickr. I made a couple of shots at F3.5 and 1/30s; probably the Summilux would have come more handy.


    This lens has a terrible flare; I cannot see any special damage to my sample, so probably it’s a factory defect. I applied a bit of dodging in Lightroom to fix that one. I think the picture has a nice “old time” effect to it.


    This one is my favorite; nothing to add, I just like it.

    So all in all, that works, it’s good fun for 8$, plus the lens is very nice to focus but the aperture is a real pain to set. If you add the fact that the M4 has no internal meter it’s not so easy to take a pic. Or you have to play it but ear; very old style.

    But that’s not the end of the story. During a late Sunday night at home I ordered on Ebay (where else) a Canon LTM lens, a 135MM F4, called Serenar, for 60 USD including shipping. I also got the correct 135mm adapter. This one was a different ballgame:

  • It is not mounting on the Zorki because the thread is different, so it does not lock, plus it may get stuck with the Zorki Rangefinder prong.
  • And it does not couple with the M4 rangefinder prong. Basically once attached the M4 prong is at 12 o’clock and the lens one at 11AM: no rangefinder coupling. Ok I said I can use the guessometer, this useful tool I used for the Zorki, but damn the bloody lens distance scale is in imperial measurements!

    To be short there will be some DIY sooner or later, but however I made a few shots sitting at the terrasse of a Cafe and here is a sample below. Not mind blowing but that works.

    I think I like the 135mm.

  • The German- Soviet Pact (In photography term)

    Venice Biennale 2011 (Italy)

    Arsenale - Venezia - Italy
    Arsenale - Venezia - Italy

    After many hesitations I brought my new Hassie to the other side of the planet and carried it along while visiting the Venice Biennale this summer.

    This is more or less the second or third film processed in Caffenol with the same recipe and a lot more success (I think).

    Camera:Hasselblad 500CM, Planar 80mm F2.8
    Film: Rollei Retro 100ASA
    Processing: Cafenol
    Scanning: EPSON V500, Lightroom 3, PSP Elements 4

    Venice Biennale 2011 (Italy)