Jul 29 2018

Fuji Provia 400f Cross Processed in C41

Provia400F_001 WesterAutorol-1664

I acquired this roll of expired Provia 400f from Beau photo and its been in my fridge waiting its turn.  I finally loaded it into the Wester Autorol which is a nice folding 120 rangefinder.  More about this camera can be seen in these posts Wester Autorol  .  But primarily I wanted to talk about the Provia 400f developed in C41 (Colour Negative) chemistry.  In the following two comparison images on the left is digital capture that closely represents the scene and on the right is how it looks on the Provia 400f

Provia400colourshift1 Provia400colourshift2

A loose description of what is occurring is that the yellows and oranges are being shifted in hue towards green and the blues are shifting towards cyan.  Then there is purple and its nearly complete absence from the cross processed Provia 400F.  I wish I had more of this film to try but Fuji has replaced it with Provia 400X although they do still produce Provia 100F. Bellow is the structure of the film and its different layers when developed as intended in E6 colour reversal chemistry.


I look forward to giving that a try of course doing it with cross processing again with its unique look.

One thing about one film: Provia 400f came out in 2001 and was described as the finest grain 400 slide film available.  

Jul 21 2018

The Agfa Optima 1035 Sensor


The Agfa Optima 1035 is a small box of a camera that based on its looks could easily be dismissed as one of those cheap plastic fixed focus cameras that should just be recycled as soon as possible so they can become something useful like a cat litter box.  Looks are deceiving though and the Optima 1035 has some interesting features.  Lets start our tour though with the battery compartment which is hidden away under the film door. OptimaInside It takes three 625 batteries which can be quite expensive so while not ideal I have just used some LR44’s which can be found almost anywhere and dirt cheap.  While we are inside the back of the camera there is the film loading mechanism which is completely hidden away under a thin plastic guide/cover.  It seems to work without any issues and makes for very simple film loading much like motorized film advancing of later cameras.  When you have the back open you will also notice that the bottom spindle for holding the film canister in place pops down to facilitate the loading of the film another nice touch.  Closing the back and moving on to the top plate the defining feature is the large reddish/orange shutter button. OptimaShutter A light press of this button lights an LED on the front of the camera whos sole purpose seems to be to warn whoever the camera is pointed at that they are about to have their picture taken.  Without this the Optima 1035 might be considered a good street photography camera so I think a little black tape might fix that.  Also on the top plate is a small button that when pressed down and turned allows the film to be rewound.  Rather than using a separate rewind lever with this button set to R the film advance lever becomes the rewind lever.  The same winding action now winds the film back into the canister.  A neat little feat of engineering that allows the camera to be as compact as it is.  The last thing of note on the top is the flash hot shoe.  It has a small tab that allows the camera to ignore the flash related aperture setting on the lens until there is actually a flash mounted.  Moving back to the rings around the lens you can also find the focus ring which unfortunately is zone focusing with only two detent settings of 15/5ft between the ends of infinity and 3ft. OptimaZonefocus Although you can set it at any value in-between if you choose the  indicator needle in the viewfinder wont be pointing directly at one of the pictograms.OptimaViewfinder  And now having arrived at the viewfinder its time to mention just how big and bright it appears.  The viewfinder has a magnification of 0.78 which is well suited to the lens 40mm focal length.  The viewfinder as well as being visually large is also bright and clear with only a hint of barrel distortion and no visible colour aberrations (I can clearly read this text I am writing through it).  Finally the  tour ends with the lens and shutter.  The lens is a 40mm f2.8 Solitar with 4 elements in 3 groups and the shutter is  Agfa’s electronic Paratronic shutter with a wide range going from 15 seconds to 1/1000 second.

The images bellow from the camera were shot on Adox Color implosion film which is known for its purposeful graininess and odd colour shifts.

Jul 15 2018

Zeiss Ikon Nettar 517/2


The Zeiss Ikon Nettar 517/2 is a medium format 6×9 folding camera from around 1951.  After all these years the simple Vario shutter still provides its 1/200, 1/75, 1/25 and bulb shutter speeds reliably.  The lens is a 105mm f 6.3 Novar Anastigmat which provides good image quality in the center of the frame and decent quality around that when the aperture is stopped down to around f11.  Wide open the lens creates a particular look that tends toward an old large format appearance or at least as close as you can approximate with a medium format camera.  The 6cm x 9cm negative is roughly 6.5 times as large as a 35mm film negative.  With a maximum shutter speed of 1/200sec though care needs to be taken not to intruduce camera shake.  Also the shutter is out there at the end of the bellows with no double exposure prevention making it a good camera for doing multiple exposures.


Jul 7 2018

Pentax IQzoom 200


The Pentax IQZoom 200 thankfully marks the upper limits of the super zoom point and shoots and possibly the depths of how bad a lens can be.  Everything else about the camera is run of the mill for the time but the lens is a 48-200mm f5.1 – f13 abomination with 11 elements.  Coupled with a shutter only capable of a 1/400 of a second minimum shutter speed your almost guaranteed to have blurry images.  Thankfully that might hide some of the chromatic aberration which look like a 3D anaglyph they’re  so bad.  Even in good light with 400 ISO film at f13 it might only select a shutter speed of 1/125 of a second which is far too slow for hand holding such a light 200mm lens without a lot of care.  Its just an ill conceived idea and little wonder by the time digital cameras became mainstream people were ready for an alternative.  And 48mm isn’t very wide which leaves the usefulness of the entire camera in question.  Sure if your at the beach on a bright day and you want to take a fuzzy picture of a sandcastle in the distance this might be the camera for you.  Having now run a roll of film through it the question is now what do I do with the camera.  It does provide a couple nice features like multi exposure which you can see in the flag picture and spot focus.  Even taking that into consideration I cant think of a situation where I’m going to think ‘Hey I should really grab that IQzoom 200 monstrosity’.

One thing about one camera:  The Pentax IQ Zoom 200 cost $349 US in 1999 which was enough money to get you an entry level SLR with a kit lens.  At the same time saving you from the embarrassment of owning this camera. 

Jul 1 2018

The Shitty camera challenge

I took part in a Twitter “contest”  (I use the term contest loosely)  its more a group of people seeing what they can get from some really crappy film cameras and posting the images on Twitter with the hashtag #shittycamerachallenge

I chose to use a camera whos sole purpose seems to be to annoy people.  Its garishly coloured and makes sounds like a cheap electronic game.  But taking pictures with it was fun and seeing what other people produced was great.

Here are the images from my roll of Kodak 400 Max taken with the Happy Smile including one that is an action shot of the camera coming out of the camera bag.