Gawd, what happened to this blog, time to pick things up again. I bought a cheap scanner. I have this bloody dream or target, where I concentrate on 120 medium format film, develop my own, scan my own. At the moment I take my negs to a local processor who hand develops them, then scans them. He’s very reasonable, but I want to do it – the full experience. Ok, where have I been heading since my last blog?
I LOVE the Lubitel 166B TLR. I’ve had some cool results from it on Ilford. Shit I need to stop tilting it to one side, but I’m really pleased with the exposure settings I’ve made. The Lubitel has aperture and shutter speed controls, but no light meter. Sometimes I’ve used a DSLR for readings, other times I’ve used a dodgy old selenium light meter that I’ve ‘repaired’. Other times I’ve simply guessed. Surprise is, they work out what ever the method. It’s about learning to measure light.
I’ve recently bought two beautiful condition, immaculate Kodak Brownies, each for a couple of quid at car boot sales. Both were designed for Kodak 620 roll film.
The first is a wannabe TLR – a circa 1961 Kodak Brownie Reflex 20. What a gorgeous reflex top viewfinder, and a very well designed plastic body with an advanced film loader. It even automatically winds to the next exposure. I say wannabe TLR because the crappy camera lens is not engaged to the viewfinder lens. Instead, you have a three-zone-focus. Still – this is a smart old Brownie, but not just a box camera.
The second is of a more classic ‘Box Brownie’ design – although built towards the twilight of box brownie manufacture circa 1959. It is a Kodak Brownie Flash III. A pressed metal box, with soft covering. Two viewfinders (top and side), two levers – one to select a yellow filter, the other for portrait or normal focus (two zone focus). A fair clip, and a sturdy film loader. It’ was also fitted with connections for a whopping big flash lamp, which didn’t come with this camera.
Both as I said, were designed for Kodak 620 film, in colour neg, b&w neg, or colour pos slide film. I think the Kodak film was of a single sensitivity of ASA 125. They stopped making Kodak 620 some thirty years ago. Does this mean that these Brownies are dead in the water? No. It turns out that 120 roll film, still in production by a number of firms, is of the same dimension as 620, but on different spindles.
I bought a developing or dark bag. Decent anti-static one, not the cheapo this time. I’ve perfected rolling a 120 film off it’s spindle, then back onto a 620 spindle, in the dark bag. So far I’ve shot one roll on each of the above Brownies.
The next stop will be to buy a Paterson or developing tank, then the chemicals. You see, targets can be achieved, just give me time.