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Showing posts from June, 2017

Trying to Tame Fomapan's Contrast

As the film industry falls apart and cheap film is hard to come by, especially film available in all formats. I've bought a lot of Fomapan. Fomapan (also rebadged Arista.edu) has been a bit more of a challenge than I had expected. I don't hate the film, but I find lots of shortcomings. I knew going in to ordering Fomapan that the reciprocity characteristic was very unfavorable for those unintentionally working with long exposure times. I tried using that to my advantage with neutral density filters for long daylight exposures. Richmond-San Rafael Bridge - Fomapan 100 long daylight exposure There I found two problems. (1) Contrast and (2) grain. Many of my long daylight exposures had highlights that blocked up into white mush when printed. The other seemingly amazing thing to me was the grain structure of those long exposures. The printable negs were incredibly grainy- even when printed in an enlarger to smallish sizes (square with rebate border on 8x10 paper making ab

From the Archive: Obsolete Film Data Sheet Scans - ORWO Information

Here's a sheet I got from writing ORWO Technischer Kundendienst back in the 1980's. It lists development times for all the ORWO Black and White films sold for export at the time (NP15, NP22, NP 27) combined with western developers Microphen, Atomal, Rodinal, Refinal, D-76, & ID-11. A little bit of ORWO history- Germany's big photo film/paper manufacturer up until Germany's losing WWII was AGFA (short for  A ktien G esellschaft F ür A nilinfabrikation - or corporation for some sort of plastic manufacture.) Germany was occupied by the winning powers USSR/USA/GB/FR and the rift between the USSR led to some complications for industries. Depending on your view of history the US and western allies were much friendlier to the land they occupied (remember the USSR lost many millions of their citizens to the NAZIs which made them much less tolerant.) In any case, some factories in the east moved to the west with many key employees. Most photo enthusiasts know of the t

First Test: 36" Aero Ektar

A couple of decades ago, I traded my 12" f4.5 Ektar I had on my 8x10" Burke & James for a WWII vintage 36" (ca. 1000mm) Aero Ektar. The lens itself weighs - well - alot. It has no shutter. I'm assuming this pointing facing down on a Flying Fortress or something confirming bombing hits over Germany or Japan in the 1940's. Way back when my dad and uncle built a camera around this lens. The camera consists of a couple of interleaving wood boxes (more or less light tight) with the Aero Ektar in the front, and the back half of a Speed Graphic in the back. The rear-end of the Speed Graphic has a shutter in addition to a ground glass and all the accoutrements required to place a film holder. My dad made a label for the front calling it the "Neardorf" (spoofing the famous large format Deardorff .) Recently- well actually a couple months ago I convinced my daughter to go to the park to test this out. And recently (really this time) I developed the tes