kodak ektachrome e100 impressions

It had been quite some time since I last shot slide film. In fact I rarely use any film below iso400. The already unforgiving nature of slide film paired with the slow speeds, difficulty scanning etc always kept me away. This is still the case but one thing has changed in the slide film world, ektachrome e100 is available in super 8 as well as 16mm film. For several years the only way to shoot reversal super 8 and 16mm was to use repackaged or expired film. I have always wanted to shoot a film on, well, film and project the finished work. Using reversal film for this project would be a lot easier, and a hell of a lot cheaper.

But first things first, I had to see what the film looked liked. The easiest way to do this would be to shoot a roll of 35mm. I was able to shoot a roll in Osaka with a few different lighting situations. All photos were taken on a Leica mp witha 35mm summicron asph v1 scanned with an epson perfection v750 pro and SilverFast software.

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Frame 1 taken in a kissaten. It was dim but you get a good idea of what ektachrome is capable of. In classic reversal style the brightest highlights and darkest shadows have no information, but the colors are punchy and accurate. I was surprised that the tv wasn’t blown out too.

I started shooting as the sun was going down so I knew there was not much time and tried to get as many photos as i could to really test the film.

I was able to capture these photos on the way to a fire works show/festival. The light was still good and the results are nice. Relatively easy to shoot and retain the slide film look.ektachrome 1_ektachrome 1 3Image 1 (12) (2) (2)Image 1 (12) (5) (2)

Once at the festival the light was begging to fade. I rarely use f/2 on the summicron and speeds lower than 1/60th but I was pleasantly surprised at the results. Not necessarily the ideal street photography setup, but I gave it a shot.

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Even as the light turned to dark, there were a few areas that had some light. Honestly I did not expect to get usable results once the sun set but quite a few of the photos were more than usable.

The results are quite pleasing and on the light table look even better. That being said, I am not an expert on slide film. In the past I tried provia and velvia as well as some outdated kodak. The reversal look and photographing process is not for me, but when it comes to filming it might be right up my alley. I did shoot about half a cartridge of super 8 in Osaka and when I can will digitize the footage and make a video talking more in depth about ektachrome. When I get the chance and decide on a subject matter to film I definitely want to give ektachrome a shot on super 16!

Developing with Dogfish Heads SuperEIGHT beer

A few months ago, articles began to pop up with news of a beer that could be used to develop super 8 film. Recently my love for film has spread to the cinema world and I started to shoot super 8 (and 16mm), so this was great news! Developing super 8 at home sounds great! At the very least I could use it to test cameras before I use them on a proper project.

I finally got my hands on Dogfish Heads SuperEIGHT beer and wanted to share my results and recipe(s). There isn’t much information online at the time and only one video from kodak/dogfish head showing sample results.

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The instructions to make developer calls for;

  1. 17 fl oz of SuperEight beer
  2. 1/2 oz of Vitiman C
  3. 1 3/4 oz Baking Soda

Sounds simple enough, but after doing research on a similar developing technique using coffee instead of beer, I found that Baking Soda was not used in any recipes. Instead, Washing Soda, which has a similar chemical makeup and similar name, was used. I’m not a chemist but after researching further I chose to use Washing Soda in place of Baking Soda. Please do your own research but as you will see the Washing soda did produce usable images!!

So my recipe became;

  1. 17 fl oz of SuperEight beer
  2. 1/2 oz of Vitiman C (crystal/powder found at supermarkets, health food stores etc.)
  3. 1 3/4 oz Baking Soda 1 3/4 oz Washing Soda

Here’s where I had trouble. 17 fl oz of beer is roughly 1 1/2 cans. When you have that in a 2 gallon bucket(the example in Dogfish Heads instructions), it is not that much liquid. You could use a different bucket (which is what i did), but I wanted to try to stick to the instructions as closely as I could for this first roll. In a 2 gallon bucket the liquid is too shallow to completely submerge the film and will probably lead to improper development. What I recommend is using most of the second can of beer and adding a bit more Vitamin C and Washing Soda to compensate. Also, putting the liquid in a large beaker used for mixing chemicals. I used a 2.5 L beaker. I don’t recommend a smaller sized containers, when following the instructions the next step would be to go into a dark room and process the film in complete darkness. The larger container can help avoid spilling and splashing, which is great because Washing Soda is not something you want on your skin or in your eyes. I would also recommend gloves because you will be agitating the film by hand.

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This is the bucket I intended to develop with but it was too shallow so i decided to transfer the finished chemistry to the beaker.

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Into the darkroom. Per the instructions, I did not do a water wash, the film went straight into the developer. Using a kitchen timer I would know when my 15 minutes were up. I would definitely recommend some sort of time keeping device or someone to inform you that the developing is done. With gloves on, agitate for 15 minutes. I decided to forgo the stop bath and wash the film with water several times. Having several buckets in a tub with access to water makes this a much easier process in the dark. After the water wash I put the film in a bucket of fixer and half agitated half waited.

After that I washed the film and put it in permawash, followed by a final wash and some photoflow.

These are the results

 

At first I thought the film was overdeveloped, with it being very dense through out. Upon further inspection there were images! With super 8 being so small it was difficult to tell what was recorded. After scanning it becomes more clear. The film has an old look to it, the type of thing that might appear in the home videos of a character in a movie. Scratches and all the imperfections just cant be replicated digitally in my opinion so it’s a nice touch if that is what you’re looking for.

My developing method 

Using the same developer, I decided to try a different approach. I originally did half a roll in the Dogfish Head method intending to use the other half in a more conventional process. So, I put the remaining film in a tank and went through my normal process. Water wash followed by developer (at the same temperature about 74°F). Same 15 minute developing time followed by 2 water washes, fixer, water wash, permawash, final wash, photoflow.

During developing I decided to agitate 30 seconds throughout one minute. The original recipe calls for constant agitation so I thought half of that would be a good starting point. I also agitated a lot more vigorously than usually, making sure the emulation of the film never touched with another part of the film. This could lead to improper development and/or no image being developed in the parts that make contact.

The results are much more pleasing in my opinion, looking like more traditional negatives. A little less extreme, but still has an interesting look. For the full roll of film a 4x 35mm real/2x 120 tank might be better but you will need more chemistry. There aren’t many dedicated super 8 tanks available, it was never really a home dev type of film after all. The only ones I can find are Russian tanks, sold in Russia.

This method is much easier, in my opinion, because after loading the film in complete darkness the rest of the process can be done in the light. Anyone with home developing experience should feel comfortable using this method.

 

Final thoughts

This was a fun experience and I will experiment further but I do have to say Caffenol is a much cheaper alternative with more information and recipes available.

Super 8 is a very niche space within the already niche film community so I found it odd that they would market a beer for developing super 8. After all, it should work on other film stocks as well. The name comes from the “eight heroic ingredients” with super foods like quinoa and elderberry in the mix I can see where they came up with that naming convention. That being said, super 8 is a strange choice as far as film goes. With the only black and white film stock being tri-x reversal, you end up with a negative that cannot be projected. Most people, like me, do not have dedicated machines for digitizing super 8 at home. This is why I can only provide still images from my flat bed scanner (I will send them to be digitized as soon as possible) These choices are puzzling but after all I’m a film lover not a marketing expert. I still have a few cans so I will definitely experiment and report back on what other film stocks and recipes worked for me!

I do not recommend this for people who love beer and only have a slight interest in film. Following Dogfish Heads recipe might be a bit much for a layperson, having to make stop bath and fixer is a bit much for someone new to home developing. And anyone already developing at home has canisters and other equipment…

In the end, it is quite a lot of work, prep etc for someone who might do this just once. If you already have equipment, a darkroom, shoot super 8 and drink craft beer it’s definitely worth a shot. The beer itself is very refreshing, a nice drink for the summer. I’m not typically a fan of Gose style beers, or anything on the sour side, but SuperEight has a well balanced flavor of fruits, tart and a bit of salt that is unique and pleasant.

The developing ingredients are the same found in most Caffenol recipes so I do recommend trying both!

 

For more info on SuperEIGHT

https://www.dogfish.com/brewery/beer/supereight

Special Thanks to Union Beer Store for always being a good place to drink beer.

 

Please drink responsibly and responsibly dispense of photographic chemicals!

 

* Also developing with alcohol has been done before; http://www.caffenol.org/?s=wine but I could not find anything on developing with beer prior to Dogfish Heads SuperEight.

FUJI GF670w First Roll First Impressions 


I want to preface this first impressions by letting you know my writing is based on how I feel about this camera for street photography. Being a wide angle, fairly compact, medium format camera I think it would also make a great landscape or travel camera, but as of now those are not my focus.

6×6 medium format is probably my favorite format for taking pictures. I’ve used a rolleiflex 75mm 3.5 but found it difficult to get focus in a streetphotography situation. After the rolleiflex I tried a mamiya 6 with the 50mm lens with more pleasing results. There are only a few other cameras that can take 6×6 images and have wide angle lenses. SLR medium format cameras are out of the question for street and the other options just didn’t appeal to me. I even tried to make cameras out of mamiya press parts as well as graflex xl parts. These were ok, but not as functional as a camera that was mass produced. The GF670w wasn’t exactly massed produce, being difficult to find even used, but I think it fits the bill for what I’m looking for. My reasoning; the GF and voigtlander Bessa III line of cameras have the quietest shutters I have ever heard. When I first tested the 80mm variant I thought the camera had bad batteries and wasn’t working. At 500th of a second it is incredibly difficult to hear the shutter go off. This can feel strange at first, not knowing whether you got your shot or not. On the other hand, if I didn’t know the shutter went off, then people around me also wouldn’t know…

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Related to the shutter; at first I thought this camera was capable of double exposures. When no film is in the camera you can press the shutter a number of times without winding the film advance. Once you have film loaded, though, this is not an issue. The shutter can be pressed as if to take a double exposure but lo and behold no double exposure.

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Double exposure test. As you can see only one exposure. Photo credit Luis Mora.

The first roll here was shot in 6×7, mostly to have less pictures to take when testing. When I actually use the camera it will be in the 6×6 format, but having the option is nice. Note though, that you cannot change the format mid roll. That being said in 6×7 corner to corner looks sharp, so 6×6 should be even better.

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Photo credit Luis Mora

The camera is nicely weighted with extremly simple controls. I don’t like the two lugs for straps being on the same side.

Eye relief for the finder is fine. I dont find it difficult to see the meter information as long as i position your eye properly. I do not wear glasses but I don’t think it would be an issue  if you did. It can be a bit tricky to see the meter information. After using leicas for a long time I have learned to position my eye in a certain way, and that position isn’t the best for seeing the GF670ws meter information. Hopefully with a lot of use of this camera it won’t be as awkward to use.

Metering looks good, most exposures were on auto shutter and retained shadow/highlight details nicely.

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Automatic exposure. I think the GF670w has a good metering system. The GTR in the picture was black with a sunny backlight sky. There are details in the shadows and hightlights.

The only thing that was a bit annoying was the focus tab on the lens. Unlike leica lenses the ring rotates clockwise from infinity to 0.7m. at Infiniti the tabs are horizontal and at 0.7m the tabs are vertical. In practice it is easy for me to focus from 0.7 to infinity but focusing from infinity to 0.7m feels awkward. In the end though this might not be an issue for me. For street the camera will probably be set to 3 meters and it will be fine.

Skip to the end:

-ALMOST silent shutter on both the GF670 and 670w

-Beautiful modern Fuji optics.

-Great first impressions, it makes me want to ditch the mamiya 6.

-I prefer this design. No bellows means less fiddling to start shooting.

Luis Mora @35mmmora on instagram. http://www.35mmmora.com

accidental lomography

Here is another roll that was left in my fridge for a year or longer. It was not intentionally shot for the lomo look but it has taken on more of a lomo look with color shifts and what not. Taken in Arakawa, Kita, and Shibuya ku.

pentax p-30 50 f 1.7

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2A (4) 25A (4)

4A (4) 3A (4)4A (4) 13A (3) 15A (3) 23A (4)  26A (4) 27A (4)31A (4) 0A (3)

one roll in california

Recently I’ve been looking at how my pictures relate to one another. The flow/sequence photos can have or the similarity between photos taken without the intention of being used together.

2 rolls that I had in my fridge were recently developed. Both had many images in the same roll that related to each other. Right now I have a photo book in the works and the little amount of editing necessary for these rolls was greatly appreciated. One of these rolls was over a year old and has an interesting story, unfortunately it can’t be used in the aforementioned book so I’ll post it here instead.

When I was coming back to the states my layover was in LA. I decided to stay a few days and meet up with a good friend of mine. At the time I was just getting into film photography  (see https://shootfilmnotguns.net/2015/04/29/how-i-started-to-shoot-film/) so I shot one roll in California. It was a roll of ilford sfx 200. This roll was purchased in Japan (summer 2014) and flew to California (through xray machines). Shot in California and then flew again only to sit in my fridge for a year. I’m surprised that pictures actually came out!

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First film shot in America! I remember liking the lighting on the tree. After the photo I went to Panera bread in the background There will be a lot of car pictures in this roll!

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New and old black and white. The car scene in California seems great hopefully I can go back to take more car pictures someday.

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Since I was in the area I had to check out illest (http://illestbrand.com/). I love cars and taking pictures of them, if you want to see more of my car pictures check out http://rave33.tumblr.com/ or rave33clothes on instagram, or keep scrolling…

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Some more snaps

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California roads also seem great for taking a drive in one of the many nice cars you see around.

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I stayed in the Irvine area and it was really nice, the scenery was something I hadn’t seen too much of before.

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I think this roll tells the story of my layover in California. Some of the pictures don’t work as stand alone pictures but paired up its a nice little set. Rather than showing a few individually I’d prefer them to be seen in this order. Editing a project can be really difficult but this was a fun and easy project if you can call it that.

Taken with pentax p-30 50mm 1.7 in and around Irvine California, Ilford 200 sfx film that had seen better days. Scanned with the pakonf135 that helped make the images usable.