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Voigtländer Color-Skopar 28mm f3,5 on Sony Full Frame Mirrorless

 If you want the TL:DR version of this, the Voigtländer Color-Skopar 28mm lens is absolute crap on my Sony A7RII. Check out the samples. So I work at Mills College in Oakland California. We got an amazing donation - well actually several separate donations from someone who's mom graduated in 1939. There was a Leica M3 and a number of lenses for said Leica in the donation. The school doesn't have any mirrrorless cameras, but I do and wanted to test out some of these classic legends to see how they fair against modern lenses.  There were a few reviews online like this one I found that talked positively of this lens. Can't say I agree. I bought a Fotodiox (or as my friend refers to this company "Foto Detox") Leica M- to Sony FE adapter . It was $20 and is a simple adapter that all it does is hold the lens in place on the body. I believe they also make an adapter that will autofocus which blows my mind.  In any case, I put this lens on and walked around campus to do a
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Bouquets of Flowers from UC Davis on 8x10

Mother's day was coming up and my daughter Ella has been working on a farm at University of California Davis. Ella has been bringing home some wonderful bouquets - and once again she brought home a gorgeous arrangement for her mom. Bouquet of flowers as seen through the cell phone camera Since getting a couple of reels from 20th Century Camera,  I've been itching to shoot more 8x10 and 5x7 film. They have a reel that fits four 8x10 films that fits in my exiting JOBO drum . Since testing on a Unidrum roller, it looks like this reel is real good (punny?!) Closeup of the 3d printed reel from 20th Century Camera My grandfather "Hal" (Milton or M Halberstadt) gave me an (even back then old) Burke & James 8x10 camera, and I broke that out along with a 12" Kodak Commercial Ektar to take one shot of the bouquet.  The camera setup for the shot in our dining room The exposure was 8 seconds wide open (f6.3) on Ilford FP4 Plus (outdated by a couple decades. The B and T

Prints using Seasoned X-Tol

 Joke all you like. I'm a.... how does one politely put it.... frugal fellow. I've been looking into the least expensive means of developing film for a while. I'd been trying to use my thrifty skills on behalf of the school where I work (Mills College, which clearly didn't work out as we're working on shutting down.) For school I've had the lab setup to use HC-110 dilution E (1:47 from syrup, or 1:9 from stock.) HC-110 dilution E ended up being good solution for our school darkroom. Paterson tanks require 10oz per roll of 35mm, and 1:9 dilution makes math easy. And it costs about 25% of the developer we were using when I started. I like HC-110 ok. It works well for stand development. It's economical. It lasts seemingly forever. But it is NOT compensating. And some of the most common budget films are a bit on the contrasty side (FOMA for example.) Doing some research I found that you can replenish Xtol with fresh Xtol. And you can allegedly keep going foreve

Shooting the Sheet - X-ray Duping Film and Positives from Litho Film

Apparently you can teach an old dog new tricks. Or at least that old dog can learn tricks on his own. I'm the dog in this metaphor, but by most people's standards the old is not metaphorical. Photography has been an important aspect of my life since I was in my mid-teens and now I'm 51. By trade both my dad and grandfather were/are professional photographers. So when it comes to film photography, I feel I know alot compared to most.   I've been playing around with X-ray film for a couple years now.  A sheet of conventional 8x10" film can cost from about $3 to $15. Some X-ray films are going for less than $0.50/sheet. But there are a lot of quirks. Most X-ray films are coated on both sides which is problematic for methods most of us use for processing. All (?) X-ray films are Orthochromatic (not sensitive to red) and as such can be processed under a safelight.  For conventional photography I found Carestream Ektascan BR/A film to be a good option even though it wa

Cyanotype Testing

For the college I work, I've been working on cyanotype testing. Our darkroom class like all others was forced into quarantine. And guess what, it's hard to learn how to develop film and enlarge it from your dorm or apartment. But you can learn cyanotype process and do that at home. Of course unlike me the students don't have a bunch of large format negatives to contact print. But they did find creative ways to use the process. I had relatively little knowledge of the process until now despite my 35 or so years of conventional photographic experience. So I'm taking some time to become as expert as I can to help students if we resort to cyanotyping. Actually, even if life resumed as normal, I'd still want to continue with this process. It's very inexpensive, easy and relatively safe. That despite half of the chemistry used to make the sensitizer having cyanide in the name (Potassium Fericyanide.) Below are some tests using different techniques and substrates. What

A few new scans from 5x7" negs

The Gods of Analog have been generous to me of late. The world around us may be falling apart. But I was given a ton of weird photosensitive materials. In the recent past I also acquired two 5x7 cameras, and gradually have been working with them. My uncle gave me a Seneca 5x7 camera, a truly old school wooden camera with a lens of the type that requires a bulb release that you squeeze and the air triggers the shutter. It's a nice, compact lightweight camera slimmer and lighter than most of my 4x5's. Processing of the films has been a bit of a challenge. I bought a reel from e-bay that in principal seems good. But 5x7 film on a reel tends to bend quite a bit. And getting the films on the right rung on the reel proves difficult, especially in a film tent. I'll end this here, but just wanted to share my love for the 5x7 film format.

Graflex 23 on an RB67?

The RB67 and Graflex 23 Back Recently my dad gave me his Mamiya RB67. Since then I’ve been doing lots of research about what parts fit which system. It’s not as straight forward as you might expect. In the decades since the first Mamiya RB67 there have been lots of variations and a few more modern models. Some parts are interchangeable. Some are not. When looking for a budget film back, I came upon a forum hinting that the old American Singer/Graflex backs also fit the RB system. And while I was at Looking Glass in Berkeley, I saw one of those backs for just $20. And it so happened I had the RB in the car.  So I tried it on. And indeed it fit. However, while in the shop I couldn’t figure how to get it off. The sliders that release the back wouldn’t budge. Guess I’ll be buying it I told the gal at the register.  So the back appears to work fine. But there are some quirks. First off, I found how to release the back: there are two little metal tabs opposite the lock that holds th