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Found Film #7

Posted 2011.10.22 16.18 in Hobbies, Photography

Recently I picked up another new camera toy. Well new is a relative term – this time it was a 1935 Kodak Bantam. With the Anastigmat f/6.3 lens and the rigid viewfinder, this was the premium model. Whoever was the original purchaser, they went with the higher-end model, instead of the base unit with its slower f/12 lens and the collapsing finder.

The Kodak Bantam is an incredibly cute camera – you just don’t get a feel for its cuteness from the pictures. When it’s folded up, it’s tiny! Even when open, it’s miniscule.

And best of all, my Bantam came with a Special Surprise inside!

Yeah! A roll of exposed film!

Except – oh no! When I was removing the film from the camera, I committed a terrible mistake… the roll slipped out of my grip and tried to escape, while the backing paper was hung-up on something in the camera, and the whole roll started to unspool! I caught it but the last few inches of film were light-struck. Dangit!

Luckily, it turns out only the last one and a half frames were blasted. Here’s a look at the rest of them:

Technical stuff: The Bantam uses 828 roll film, which is the same width as 35mm but has no perforations. Without perfs, the negatives are 30% larger than a standard 35mm image, at 40mm x 28mm. As nifty as it sounds, Kodak stopped selling 828 cameras in the 50’s, and discontinued the film in the 80’s.

The roll in my Bantam was Kodak Verichrome Pan, with which I have dealt before. I used almost the same process as last time, but extended the development time to compensate for the colder temperature. Pre-soak for 10 minutes, developed for 11:30 in T-Max 1:4 and then fixed for 10:30.

Found Film

Posted 2011.07.13 18.20 in Hobbies, Photography

I’ve read about this in the past – someone buys an old camera and finds a roll of film still in it. Or you find some film in the attic. Or at the back of a drawer in some old furniture.¬†However you come by it, the common traits are that the film is exposed or partially-exposed, you don’t know when or by whom.

While I’ve acquired a number of old cameras, I’ve never been lucky enough to score any found film. It seems exciting to me – what shots might be there, how long ago were they taken, what happened to the people in them, or the person that took them… Not to mention, why were they never processed, how did the roll get forgotten or lost…

There’s also a bit of voyerism I think too – it could be a brief window into someone else’s life. Literally, a snapshot from a moment in time that a stranger thought was important enough to capture on film.

So I finally got my hands on a couple rolls of found film. Still haven’t had any lucky surprises in old cameras, but other people have those sort of surprises and aren’t interested in trying to process it. The rolls are both black & white 620 roll film. The 620 format was around from 1932 to 1995. It’s basically the same film size as 120 format, but wound onto a smaller spool.

The first roll was labeled as Kodak Verichrome Pan. I did some research to get a feel for how to process it, then I went ahead and winged it. Here are the results:

The first frame was partially blown out which may have happened when the film was loaded in the camera. The fourth frame was completely blown out / overexposed. At the end of the roll, it looks like someone opened the back of the camera while the film was still in it as frames 11 and 12 were blown out, and frame 10 was half-blown.¬†However, I was able to get 7 complete images and 2 partials — not bad for my first experience.

So who are these people? Where were these shots taken? When was this? No idea. But it was fun to develop and exciting to remove the film from the tank and see there were images on there!

I have a second roll of found film, that I’ll process in a few days or so.

Edited to add: Developing details – Presoaked for 10 minutes then developed for 10:30 in T-Max 4:1 at about 77 degrees F.