120 Film – Light exposure through the backing paper madness

I wanted to throw up a quick post to serve as a reminder to those shooting 120 film in bright conditions. I recently processed a roll of Kodak Portra 400 that I shot in the Mamiya RB67 ProSD. I had some light bleed through the backing paper, marking my photos.

Now we all know the recommended procedure is to load and unload 120 film in “subdued” light. I know that many of us may not strictly adhere to these instructions all the time and yet I haven’t had any issues doing this in the past. Usually I will turn my back to the light to block direct sunlight hitting my film but in this case it didn’t help.

On several frames I had a mottled pattern from the paper showing through and on 2 you could clearly see the numbering from the paper.

Let this serve as a warning, it can happen! I will endeavor to be a little more careful in future loading and unloading to ensure this doesn’t happen again. Examples below!

Top right hand corner, mottled pattern and colour cast from backing paper
Obvious backing paper numbers showing on the path
Less noticeable here but you can see faint markings on my daughters leg.

Update

Hi all, I thought I’d write up a short update to let any readers out there know that we are still alive and kicking. Covid19 has slowed things down for many photographers around the world, however here in Australia we have been fairly lucky to have avoided much of the infection rate that is travelling around elsewhere.

While I haven’t done too much shooting over the last month there have been some points worth mentioning, Our NQfilm group have been working to secure a space to setup a community darkroom! we are working with a local gallery “Umbrella Studio” to collaborate on how our group might use this space, including the possibility of running workshops. This will be the first community darkroom in Townsville (At least in modern history) and will be a fantastic place for film photographers to learn new skills and hone their darkroom work. There will be more updates on this soon.

I also recently bought a stack of Fuji Press 800 from a local digital photographer who no longer uses film. I was assured It’s been freezer stored since new despite being long expired. I decided to give it a shot (excuse the pun). I’m usually not a fan of high speed films because I find grain distracting, especially with colour films. However this film has turned out to be well stored as promised, as I discovered after putting a test roll through my Nikon F5 and taking some random shots around the place. The one place I tripped up here was with development, I decided to use up the last of my C41 kit which has seen over 30 rolls of film through it already. So the results were a little thin but I still managed to get some nice colours out of this film and even though the grain is more pronounced than I usually like I’m fairly happy with the results, I’m sure in fresh developer it will look even better. Now if I can only find a shop that isn’t out of stock for c41 kits!!

Heres a few examples from that roll.

While we have been self isolated up until recently, a couple weeks back the QLD Government relaxed some rules around visiting cafes so I was able to get back out and meet some of the NQfilm group at cafe’s again. Even if in limited numbers and while social distancing.

Below is a few phone snaps from recent walks and coffee meetups!

Keep your eye out for a new post soon, as I have recently acquired a Canon 7 Rangefinder (seen in the gallery above) and have a couple russian lenses on order. I have a Jupiter 8 and a Jupiter 12 coming and will writ about this camera once it arrives. I’ve already taken a few frames with it using an old Industar 26m, but it will be great to get the 35mm lens on it and do some street photography.

I would like to get stuck into some new film reviews so if you have any suggestions you’d like to see on the site or any articles, shoot us a comment and we’ll do our best to get it written up!

Otherwise, enjoy the light and keep on shooting!

Gas Attack

I thought I was in remission

So after several years without any effects of gear acquisition syndrome, I recently suffered a gas attack. You see for many years I’ve pined after a Pentacon SixTL. You know the one, the east german medium format SLR that is known for it’s unreliability and was famously copied by the Russians when they released the more modern Kiev 60 series.

A very nice Praktisix IIa popped as if by magic into my Ebay watch list several weeks back, it had a few issues but the condition was lovely. I was taken by it and made the purchase. Upon further inspection and a failed attempt at correcting shutter speeds by myself, I decided to ship it off to Mainline Photographics in Sydney. I’ve used them several times in the past for CLA’s (Clean/Lube/Adjust) on my Rolleiflexes. Scott is always helpful and Hans (the technician) is Leica trained and always does a top notch job. While it was away I promptly ordered a replacement reflex mirror and a new waist level finder for it. The finder I had suffered from a busted spring so it wouldn’t stay open and the mirror had some crazing near the bottom edge. Then.. I waited.

The Praktisix is the earlier model pre-dating the Pentacon six but made in the same factory in easy germany. The model I have is of 1960’s vintage. It’s every bit the same camera; with a cloth horizontally travelling focal plane shutter with speeds from B to 1/1000th sec. It features a breach lock lens mount (shared with the Kiev60 series) and Carl Zeiss Jena made a slew of very nice lenses for this mount. My particular copy came with the venerable Zeiss 80mm f/2.8 Biometar. I’d like to add a Zeiss Flektogon wide angle very soon.

While I waited patiently for my P6 to come back to me I received an interesting phone call. A lady I met 3 years prior at the local library. I had a camera display there at the time and I had spoken to her about photography and art. She mentioned at the time that she had some old cameras in storage and would be happy to part with them. I gave her my number and we parted ways. Out of the blue she called me saying she’d love to donate her cameras to me. Her charge? a simple thank you. despite my offering to pay. Needless to say I was impressed to find a box full of dusty old gear with a few gleaming gems inside.

I’m sure you notice as I did, the Minolta Autocord and Mamiya 645. There are some other interesting bits in here: a folding polaroid 4×5, bulk loader full of mystery film, folding 6×6 camera, a pentax K1000 with some lenses and some random accessories too. Most of this stuff is in poor condition due to the caked on dust and years of storage, but I was very appreciative nonetheless.

I cleaned up what I could of the Mamiya 645 and the Minolta Autocord and found 2 cameras in really quite good condition, which is great considering they are the most sought after in the box. The Mamiya even came with a very wide 35mm Sekor lens. althought the standard 80mm has some coating damage on the front element. The Minolta Autocord has some chipped paint but is in otherwise great condition. I look forward to shooting with both of them.

Back to the Praktisix, It arrived only today and I already had the replacement finder and reflex mirror sitting here at home ready to go. I promptly got stuck into installing the new reflex mirror which was a little bit of a pain as the screws that hold the mirror tabs in place had become quite stuck over the years, I fired the shutter to pop the mirror in the “up” position, this allowed me to get a better angle at the top tab. I removed it and was able to shimmy the old mirror out and slide the new one in. Getting the tiny screw back in the tab hole took most of the time.

With the mirror installed it was simply a matter of popping on the waist level finder. It’s now ready for a roll of film and some inspiration. It doesn’t help that I’m woefully low on 120 film at the moment, I really need to stock up, but now the question remains. Colour or black and white?

Film Ferrania NEW B&W film

I’f you haven’t been keeping up on the new coming out of Ferrania, they have just announced a new film; or rather resurrected a classic film Ferrania P30. This is really exciting news, I encourage you support this new up and coming film manufacturer.

https://www.filmferrania.it/

Here’s the anouncement:

Cairo Montenotte (SV), Italy – FILM Ferrania is proud to announce its first product, FERRANIA P30®, in a limited ALPHA edition.

FERRANIA P30® ALPHA reproduces, with modern techniques developed by FILM Ferrania scientists, the exact film that made Ferrania world-famous more than 50 years ago.

With its cinema pedigree, ultra fine grain, and very high silver content, FERRANIA P30® ALPHA has no peers in the modern analog film market.

FILM Ferrania CEO Nicola Baldini said, “Each frame is like a piece of jewellery.” Pasolini, Rossellini, Visconti and many other Italian directors powered their masterpieces with P30 film.

In 1961, Sophia Loren won the Academy Award for “La Cio ciara” ( Two Women) by Vittorio De Sica and the entire world started to appreciate the beauty of FERRANIA P30® . In 1963, the legendary film 8 ½ by Federico Fellini was shot on FERRANIA P30® stock, cementing its place in cinema history.

 

Message To Backers from FILM Ferrania on Vimeo.

Photography blogs

It seems to me of late that of the myriad of photography blogs I follow there is a general watering down occurring, that is to say that compared with say last year, or 3 years ago the kind of content I am seeing on said blogs is getting a little less about photography and a little more general. I won’t single any of them out and it isn’t “all” of them, but I’m starting to see more and more non-photography stuff showing up.

So what does that say about the industry/profession/hobby? I will say there certainly isn’t any less camera equipment and gear reviews, they are still rampant which of course makes sense, companies need to sell their gear and reviews bring big numbers to a blog, I know that here on Thorley Photographics most of our hits are for film and camera reviews.

Leaving reviews aside though for a minute, what is going on exactly? is photography reduced yet to a point where anyone with enough nous and a reasonably good quality camera no longer needs to sift through the internet in search of information and opinion on such topics? has the smart phone diluted our art enough that less people actually care about what is being said with photography and how those photos actually look in terms of quality and composition? maybe the few of us with a real passion for the art of photography already “know-it-all” so to speak and there are fewer of the younger generation coming forward to embrace it as an art/hobby.

I might be wildly misdirected but these are just musings at this point, my own life is far to busy to delve as deeply into photography as I have in the past, but I ask of you (if there is anyone out there) what is it you like to see when you read a blog post? What would best serve you from our blog here? more reviews? more tech articles? random photo related ramblings perhaps? I would love to hear from you, hit us back in the comments section below!!