Tag Archives: film
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Walking City Mummies

4 Jul

Rev_086_HP5_Aut_0002

 

Tallinn
Reval
camera Semflex and expired HP5+ film

For exotic and cheap 35mm film try lowcostfilm.com 

 

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Kitchen de light

25 Jun

Kitchen de light

Tasma NK2 film and Zenit E, light in my St. Petersburg kitchen, a delight

Film or Digital

20 Jun

What’s better? That’s a stupid question.  Because to me the answer is obvious. That is film. The film is however a dying format. I switched from digital to film in 2008 after almost ten years of shooting digital. My first camera was a Sony Mavica that used quarter 3.5 inch floppies to record images. I guess those 3.5″ magnetic disks were called floppies due to inertia, their 5.25 inch predecessors were indeed floppy like a rabbit’s floppy ears, but they themselves were rather rigid. Though not a scientific test, this shows a degree of difference between digital and film, or wait, between digital and digital since of course film becomes digital when it is scanned. I myself prefer film because in my opinion nothing beats the translucence, the breathtaking tonal depth, the glory of a real analog transparency.  But when scanned it loses most of its luster and I’d say that digital without any intermediary, as in the image taken with a Sony A900, is certainly not worse, perhaps even better, than a 35mm color slide.  Of course  we are talking about display of an image on a computer screen, not the right way to see a photograph   (I believe that transparencies should be projected or looked at through the light while black and white photos optically printed on black and white photographic paper) but as far as computer screens go, the “original digital” is in no way inferior (perhaps better) that the digital image created with intermediary of 35mm E6 film and a cheap scanner.  I am going to shoot film though. As far as it is impracticably possible.

direct digital, Sony Alpha 900

direct digital, Sony Alpha 900

Kodak Ektachrome 100G, color adjusted, digitalized with Canon Canoscan 9000f scanner, No correction

Kodak Ektachrome 100G, color adjusted, digitized with Canon Canoscan 9000f scanner, No correction

Kodak Ektachrome 100G, color adjusted, digitalized with Canon Canoscan 9000f scanner, Photoshop autocorrection

Kodak Ektachrome 100G, color adjusted, digitized with Canon Canoscan 9000f scanner, Photoshop auto correction

It might become impossible at some point. With Kodak out of reversible film business altogether, and only Fuji left that makes E6 film chances are it will disappear in the nearest future. In fact it is already extinct in most of the world. Black and white film might hold on for a little longer, though 120 format is already in short supply, but with really, really only Ilford and neither live nor dead Foma Bohemia left around, the chances of film surviving seems to be slim.

Unless. Unless.

But that’s another topic.

The picture in the picture is that of gorgeous Romanesque church in the small town or rather hamlet of Kirchstetten, famous for its baroque palace (now for sale by the way )  in beautiful Weinviertel of northern Lower Austria, only 17 odd kilometers from my place in old Nicolsburg or Nikolsburg,  now Mikulov, where if one needs accommodations one can stay a night or two at the pension Mikulov or Nicolsburg.

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Foundry Avenue

18 Jun

Foundry Avenue

Liteiny Prospekt
St. Petersburg
Night
Horizon panoramic camera
Polypan/Omnipan
Rodinal

Retinette 1b and Porst Happy

20 Mar

Two more articles added to the Photo Encyclopedia

Kodak Retinette 1b

and

a piece on Porst Happy, a wonderful Diana clone

Porst Happy is a genuine early Diana camera, distributed by Porst, a German distributor of camera equipment and photographic suppliers, a mail order house and a retailer that operated from 1919 to 1996.

A guilt-free sort of photographic experience albeit somewhat expensive for most people due to outrageous costs of new 120 format film (in most places). I put it up for sale on Ebay, but if it won’t sell then that won’t be a big deal: I’ll just keep the toy for occasional (and intentional) wastage of film.

PorstHappy_3_web

 

Porst Happy is a conventional early model Diana camera, branded Porst for distribution in Germany. The camera allegedly dates from the year 1953, but I believe that to be an error, and the camera dates from 1963, it has synchro contact and a flash hotshoe.

Porst_Happy_04 Porst_Happy_03

1/50 seconds – all plastic Film used 120 Focusing with a distance scale 1.2 meters to infinity Focusing scale is in meters and feet Three apertures (symbol settings of sunny, cloudy, very cloudy, I assume the equivalents of 16, 12, and 8) The camera is suitable for taking multiple exposures.

Porst_Happy_02

Porst_Happy_01 Peter_118_Porst_60001 Peter_118_Porst_20002_small

Kodachrome – in Memoriam – mushrooming in Finland, post 3

17 Feb

Another batch of scanned (last) Kodachromes, really last one for this region,

click image for a slightly larger version

All those Kodachrome images were taken in the late 2010 in Kotka, Finland with a point and shoot camera and a Zenit E.

Kotka parking lot
Kotka parking lot, Kotka parking lot, Kodahchrome, Autumn /  Fall 2010, this is Europe, I judge the degree of European-ness on a number of Italian cars in the parking lots, by that definition Finland is certainly in Europe while ethnofascist post-Soviet tribal statelet of Estonia is not.
Kotka street,  a Kodachrome 64, by 2010 already expired by 10 years and still going strong

one of central streets in Kotka , a Kodachrome 64, by 2010 already expired by 10 years and still going strong

skies over a forest near Kotka, Kotka street,  a Kodachrome 64, by 2010 already expired by 10 years and still going strong

skies over a forest near Kotka, Kotka street, a Kodachrome 64, by 2010 already expired by 10 years and still going strong

Kotka forest

Kotka forest

Rufous Milkcap (lactarius rufus) горькушка Finland

Rufous Milkcap (lactarius rufus) горькушка Finland

copy from the text in my flickr post: Although all English language books on mushrooms that I came across list Rufous Milkcap  or Lactarius rufus (Russian горькушка, ctaire roux in French and in German it is Milchling) as inedible, those mushrooms are delicious when salted in brine – they are bitter and first have to soaked in water for three days, water to be changed daily, then salted (like herring?) either as is or first boiled with herbs like bay leaf and dill. In about two months they are ready to eat and are delectable companion to good vodka (I am not a vodka enthusiast) but these two make perfect marriage. It was the first and last time I shot Kodachrome (within roughly one month) and I positively (well Kodachrome is a positive film) fell in love with the ISO 25 variety. This film was serious expired – the use by date was 1996 and still performed magnificently.  Kodachrome 200 is a very different film, it has different colors and not really pleasing grain – so if Kodachrome were still around I would only be shooting the ISO 25 variety and may be, occasionally, the 64.

A toadstool

A toadstool: don't eat that - though who knows, they have strong hallucinogenic properties if prepared as proper elixir if one is to believe popular literature

 

 

Kodachrome: Подберезовик / leccinum scabrum / Birkenpilz

Kodachrome: Подберезовик / leccinum scabrum / Birkenpilz

 

another boletus

another boletus

 

 

near Kotka

near Kotka

 

 

Cleaning mushrooms at home

Cleaning mushrooms at home

 

A restaurant in Kuovola

A restaurant in Kuovola, A Finnish chain restaurant that feels like an American chain restaurant (indeed whole Finland feels like an American chain restaurant sometimes though today's Russia is way worse as far as americanization and fake food are concerned). That one was not bad though. Great margaritas. Ridiculously (high) prices. Kodachrome 25 near Kotka, Finland October 2010developed by Kodak in December 2010

 

 

 Kouvula Train Station

Kouvula Train Station

 

or may be it is returning to St. Petersburg\ not just it is last roll of Kodachrome 25 or of any Kodachrome, it must be last month or so when Repin and Finnish Sibelius trains were in operation as they now replaced by new trains.  I think the camera was a Mamiya U (bought 2 or 5 euros in a flea market)   Kodachrome 25 near Kotka, Finland October 2010 developed by Kodak in December 2010

Sibelius train, like Kodachrome itself this train is now history going to or may be it is returning to St. Petersburg\ not just it is last roll of Kodachrome 25 or of any Kodachrome, it must be last month or so when Repin and Finnish Sibelius trains were in operation as they now replaced by new trains. I think the camera was a Mamiya U (bought 2 or 5 euros in a flea market) Kodachrome 25 near Kotka, Finland October 2010 developed by Kodak in December 2010

 

End of this Kodachrome themed post

More Kodachrome images are coming

 

Don’t develop ORWOcolor (ORWO color) in C-41

3 Feb

ORWOcolor in C-41 is murder.

ORWO color destroyed

ORWO color destroyed in C-41

It is confirmed now.
Do not develop  ORWO or Svema films in C-41 chemistry.
It worse than a crime again humanity. I did it and feel sorry about destroying a film – but I did because I was deceived.

Orwo color developed in native chemistry

Orwo color developed in native chemistry

Orwocolor film test – the catastrophe and an official confirmation of long standing suspicions disproved or rather proved.

Four experiments were running concurrently
I sacrificed an ORWO Orwoclor NC 19 film for C-41 process.
I ran a test drive of Ihagee Exa (success, the Saxon photographic machine…. works, sounds like the name for a company Saxon Photographic Machine Works – )   Die Sächsische Fotografische Maschinenwerke , no does not sound good).
I test a Ferrania film (Solaris, 12 exposure roll)
and I put a strip of Tasma film to see how it behaves in Caffenol. Not bad.

I’ve been hearing fairy tales and stories of people developing ORWOcolor and Russian Svema film stock in C-41 chemistry.  What I saw were the scans of images that were grey, brownish and had almost no color in them, these were all ugly   monochromes or at best bichromes.  Colors looked weird but perhaps the film just went back, I thought, or who knows what happened to it. On the other hand intelligent people said in forums that the developer (CD1, CD2 and CD3 – CD is color developer, and the ORWO and Soviet Svema used the oldest one CD1 which is N,N-Diethy1-1,4-Phenylene Diamine Sulfate while C-41 has CD4 which is (3-Methy1-4-Amino-N-Ethyl-N-(2-Hydroxyethyl) Aniline Sulfate(Monohydrate) and should work similarly – or so I read.  They don’t. ORWOcolor and Svema films should be developed in their own chemistry and not in the C-41 soup.

DO NOT develop ORWOcolor or any pre CNS Agfacolor or Russian Svema color films or anything else that traces its origin from the old Agfa negative color films in C-41 chemistry.
Not just the emulsion might melt – it might – you will destroy the film.  You will get no colors but garbage. The film that those people develop in C-41 is just butchered, senselessly, the  deceived lomography herd is of course the most vicious sect committed to destroying good stuff with their guiding principle of the worse but really, really save the film either as a memento – keep it in refrigerator for future use – or process it in the “native chemistry”.

ORWOcolor (non C-41) would be compatible with a range of other films like all Soviet color Svema, British Ilfocolor, Japanese Sakulor (pre 1980s) and all Agfacolor films up to CNS.

Contact me if you want to process old film or want to do it on your own and need chemicals.  But please don’t butcher it in the C-41.

Film test Svema DS – 4 / Свема ДС -4, beautiful pastel colors of the Soviet film

2 Feb

Svema DS 4 – a test

click image for larger view, huge scans are of course available.

Soviet Svema Russian DS-4 pears and red wine
Soviet Svema Russian DS-4 pears and red wine

I am going to copy what I wrote in the flickr post although I will add a few more images of the packaging.

Here is the look of Svema DS 4 scan (as is) – developed in related Orwocolor chemistry.

The experiment began in an improvised manner, I made a Communist salad (meaning I made it without any intent of selling it or leasing it to other human beings who can’t afford it at a usurious rate) which was something of a deficient  salade niçoise to begin with  that suffered a Mongol or a Germanic invasion or, worse,  was liberated and democratized . Messy. The salad  was deficient as I had no capers, no olives, and no anchovies to put into as I was supposed to. Non tuna either. Total flop. But there were enough colors on the pallet to test this ancient film.

Communist salad on Svema DS 4 a Communist crime

Communist salad on Svema DS 4 a Communist crime

This Soviet film (I won’t call it Russian or worse Ukrainian as the only films produced there nowadays are of pornographic variety) was much abused, physically and verbally, in the by gone age when it was made (available to the ungrateful masses which had since then defected to digital en masse).

Svema DS 4, a frontal view

Svema DS 4, a frontal view

A test of Svema DS-4 film, made in the glorious Soviet Union.
A blog post comes soon as a follow up to its relative the Orwocolor.

This was the first occasion I shot old Soviet negative film – not that I remember that I had any before.
I only have seven 120 rolls in my possession, all at different places, but perhaps would buy a few “bricks” as I happen to like the film quite a lot though not as much as Orwocolor NC19 – though Svema DS-4 could be used for different artistic purposes. It is an unusual film.

another view of the Svema DS4 packaging

another view of the Svema DS4 packaging

As I know in Russia before Russia,  Svema color film was considered somewhat inferior (though it was cheapest, not that you get what you pay for, you usually don’t)

DS-4 was made from late 1950s until 1990 without changes.
Mine expired in 1992 / made in 1989/1990 – likely the very last batch ever made
The film cost 95 kopecks per roll  (that is less than a rouble) versus – if you were lucky to get – Orwocolor that cost four or five times as much.

Свема ДС 4 / Svema DS 4

Свема ДС 4 / Svema DS 4

It is essentially the first generation Agfacolor but re-developed in the Soviet Union to work with locally produced dyes.

It has had a 1950s predecessor, a Russian version of the Agfacolor transformed to a negative film use (the original proto Agfacolor was a  transparency film), that species was called DS-2 but I never saw a specimen alive (in fact I never saw an empty box). .

colors are not natural
not saturated
a bit water color-ish or water color-ly look
watery is the word

Experiment conducted  – Kiev 60 camera
Developed in Orwocolor chemistry (described here <a href=”https://photoroobit.wordpress.com/2012/01/26/orwocolor-nc-19-an-historic-test-sacrifice-of-a-historical-film/&#8221; rel=”nofollow”>photoroobit.wordpress.com/2012/01/26/orwocolor-nc-19-an-h…</a>)

Svema DS 4 atop of a camera used in the test

Svema DS 4 and a Kiev 60

Scanned as Agfa Optima – actual scan is 6000 x 6000, and I reduce it for the web but not to 1000, so the actual scan can well be seen.

A good scan
Software – Lasersoft light version that came together with my cheapo Canon scanner.

ORWOCOLOR NC 19 – a historic test of a historical film

26 Jan

ORWOCOLOR

Old tangerines, well past their prime

Old tangerines, well past their prime

Orwocolor was made by ORWO at Wolfen in Germany (in the part that was free of American imperialism and Nazism) and is related to Orwochrom and original Agfacolor which was also developed at Wolfen. Wolfen, now a place abandoned and more or less vandalized. I think that destruction of ORWO after Anschlüß was deliberate. Ironically ORWO might have outlived Agfa in film format.

A block of ORWO color film

A block of ORWO color NC19 film

I ran a field “test” on ORWOchrom already and in it I wrote about the origins of this color process.

Below are scans from a roll of Absolutely no post processing was done on the first three. No curves tweaking. No colors added. No burn or dodge. Just actual scan with no processing. This is how it came out. I would assume that’s how it would print in a lab. I have all those images in my flickr stream but I deleted the vegetable supernova (the last photo) because it is so dissonant.

Orwocolor package - the film canister made of metal (!) , instructions insert, the film itself

ORWO color package - the film canister made of metal (!) , instructions insert, the film itself

Scanned as Agfa Optima (Agfa being closest relative and of course the scanner does not have an option for Orwocolor).

German Orwocolor NC19 is a negative film. Although ORWO made   C-41 film in the 135 format before it was destroyed by the enemy the NC19  ctually uses old Agfa and own ORWO technology (I mixed the chemicals and developed the film according to ORWO’s formula). This film was made in 1987 or 1988 and expired in 1991 (that’s the expiration date).

Box from Orwocolor NC 19

Box from Orwocolor NC 19

The film was amazing, it is astounding film – and it is easy and forgiving to use, has enormous latitude and apparently – if this picture can serve as evidence.

Three Apples. I’ll be posting a few more stills – I shot only one roll of this fabulous film.

Three apples, a still life in ORWOCOLOR

Three apples, a still life in ORWOCOLOR

The actual scan is 84 mb, and the detail is just dramatic. These are tiny scans for the web (click on the image to see it larger but they are still very small).

ORWO Orwocolor NC 19
Chinese close-up lens 1 to 2
Rollei SLX
self-made chemical solutions (raw chemicals bought from Calbe Chemie, in its past an ORWO enterprise).

Results above

A little hooliganism with Orwocolor, vegetable are rioting

or Vegetable supernova. I might delete it later.

Vegetable super nova

Vegetable super nova

Kodachrome – in Memoriam – St. Petersburg and Kronstadt, post 2

4 Jan

The story of how and why I started shooting Kodachrome – belatedly, in the last months or rather in the month before its demise is in my previous post.  That post also contains pictures of St. Petersburg taken on Kodachrome while I’ll move on. Below are a few more very last pictures of a locale in Russia taken on Kodachrome, late October 2010.  Needless to say that I also took pictures of my kids and friends on Kodachrome (that was the point) but being a private person i don’t of course post those never mind I can’t see how they can be of anyone’s interest. Click any image for larger view;.

 

Russia on last Kodachrome, continued:

Кирочная - Kiročnaä Ulica - Kirochnaya or Kirche Street - the street where I live in St. Petersburg  St Petersburg Saint Petersburg Russia

Кирочная - Kiročnaä Ulica - Kirochnaya or Kirche Street - the street where I live in St. Petersburg St Petersburg Saint Petersburg Russia

Kirochanya 25

Кирочная - Kiročnaä Ulica - Kirochnaya or Kirche Street - - building 24, a nice Art Nouveau building constructed for a Jewish rentier Back in 1904, has a few surviving Art Nouveau mosaics, stained glass - rare for the city that saw so much barbarism within a century - and decor elements, St Petersburg Saint Petersburg Russia

 

chernyshevskaia

(phonetically Americanized mutilation Chernyshevskaya, Чернышевская). entrance too, close to midnight-.

 

Кирочная - Kiročnaä Ulica - Kirochnaya or Kirche Street

Кирочная - Kiročnaä Ulica - Kirochnaya or Kirche Street

 

Кирочная - Kiročnaä Ulica - Kirochnaya or Kirche Street , nighttime - fairly long exposure, the Kodachrome recorded all three states of the traffic light - red, yellow and green

Кирочная - Kiročnaä Ulica - Kirochnaya or Kirche Street , nighttime - fairly long exposure, the Kodachrome recorded all three states of the traffic light - red, yellow and green

 

Domes of the Smolny Cathedral from afar, Kodachrome

Domes of the Smolny Cathedral from afar, Kodachrome, officially the Cathedral of Our Savior, a baroque beauty of rare quality by any standard, is popularly called Smolny or Tar Cathedral though there is not tar-like about it, the origin of the name is toponymical, it was built next to the works that produced pitch pine tar for shipbuilding purpose in the age when ship used to have sails and were made of wood.

 

 

Кирочная - Kiročnaä Ulica - Kirochnaya or Kirche Street -

Кирочная - Kiročnaä Ulica - Kirochnaya or Kirche Street -night

 

St. Vladmir Church St Petersburg

The church dates from 1746 but its current late neoclassical appearance with numerous baroque elements is from the late 18 century (foundation laid in 1761, completed 1768) . The Cathedral and the separate Belfry is a collective work of several architects - Giacomo Quarenghi (the belfry) and the Bartholomeo Rastrelli (the main building) shared with later additions by Abraam Melnikov, Alexander Holm and Luigi Rusca. Behind the Cathedral is an ambulance station - my grandmother was born in Petrograd in 1918 and worked first as a nurse during the Leningrad Siege and after getting her doctor's diploma in 1945 as an ambulance doctor well past her retirement until 1990.

 

 

Somewhere in Kronstadt

Somewhere in Kronstadt (evil Americans and their helpful Russian idiots spell it phonetically as KronsHdadt), anyway these are ruins of apparently 19th century buildings that probably belonged to the navy.

 

Kronstadt fountain autumn scene

Kronstadt fountain autumn (fall scene) - a compact camera loaded with Kodachrome 200 that i took up to Umbria. Kodachrome 200 is a different film that acts differently and has ir rather had as Kodachrome is dead atrocious grain unlike smooth and silky Kodachrome 25 and 64

 

Kronstadt / Kronshtadt - a Soviet monument of some kind

Kronstadt / Kronshtadt - a Soviet monument of some kind

 

Kronstadt Kronshtadt

Kronstadt Kronshtadt on Kodachrome - 18th century warehouses or packhouses and old navy canals where tall ships were repaired equipped or rigged (not like American elections though) and there are ammunition, rope, ship pine tar and other stores. In state of beautiful decay.

Kronstadt / Kronshtadt

Kronstadt / Kronshtadt - Гостинный двор - Gostinny dvor - Merchant yard

 

lada 2105

lada 2105 on Kodachrome, Kronstadt