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The Skinny on Regular 8mm Film
Blog by Owen M. McCafferty II

Editor’s Notes: Since this blog was first published on July 18, 2018 the Film Photography Project has fully embraced the revival of Home Movie Film! The FPP now stocks fresh, Regular 8mm Film and also offers scans of both 8mm and 16mm film! Long live Home Movies!

There is no doubt that the increasing popularity of Super 8 film (thanks in part to the Film Photography Project and Eastman Kodak’s new Super 8 camera) has the potential to make the format a household name again, at least amongst analog film lovers. However, there is one format that many amateur, hobbyist, and even professional film users, may not remember: Regular 8.

Long before the Super 8 craze of the 1960’s, 16mm was the main film format when it came to home movies and only amongst those lucky few who had the money to shell out for cameras, film, processing, and projection equipment. Considering the hardships most Americans were facing during the height of the Great Depression, Eastman Kodak realized the only way they would make home movie-making easier to do and more accessible, would be to make smaller cameras; that meant smaller film.

So in 1932, Kodak debuted Cine Kodak Eight–a new film format that was cheaper than 16mm and featured smaller cameras that were easy to use (in theory, anyway) for the average consumer. The format was an instant success and introduced America (and the world) into a love for making movies at home. By the end of WWII, many Americans could easily afford everything they needed to make bright, vibrant, color, home movies that became an iconic symbol of nostalgia.

However, when Kodak introduced its new-fangled Super 8 film system in 1965, Americans turned to the new, easy-to-use system and slowly but surely, the format fell from popularity–but not entirely. In fact, Regular 8 film has continued to be manufactured and sold by different manufacturers consistently since it’s debut in 1932. Really!

What is Regular 8 film?

Like I mentioned before, Kodak was on a mission to make home movies more affordable and easier to make–but they didn’t want to reinvent the wheel. Since 16mm film was the standard when it came to home movies (and theatrical prints, too) they tried to find a way to modify the film stocks they were already producing.

The solution was quite clever: Take 16mm film, add more perforations, and put it on a 33 foot spool. Then, they designed a camera that exposed half of one side of the film. Once the spool was run through the camera once, you’d switch the take up spool with the empty spool, which ‘flipped’ the film over. The camera then exposed the other half of the film.

8mm Home Movies - Revere Double 8 Film Overview + 1949 Movie! - YouTube

above: Michael Raso presents a discovered roll of post-WWII home movies shot on Regular 8! 

Once the film is sent to the lab, it’s developed just like 16mm film. After it’s dried, the lab pulls the film through a slitter, which cuts the 33 feet of film in half right down the middle. Splice the two halves together, and bam! You have a 50 foot long movie!

Can I still buy Regular 8mm film?

YES! Though stocks of Regular 8mm film aren’t nearly as vast as they were 60 years ago.

Wittnerchrome 200D is a color reversal film that has been very popular in the Super 8 and 16mm formats. Dwyane’s photo in Colorado now sells this great stock in the Regular 8 format for around $38.

Fomapan R-100 is a black and white reversal film (but can also be processed as a negative) and one of the most popular Regular 8 films sold around the world–mostly because it’s so cost effective. At around $20. (as of this writing) for 33 feet (66 feet when slitted and spliced) it’s a fantastic value. You can pick up a roll of this film right here at The FPP on-line store!

Cine-X 125 is another black and white reversal film (that’s actually re-spooled and re-perforated Orwo UN54) sold by John Schwind over at International Film Brokers. You get around 33 feet for $20. as of this writing.

KODAK MOVIE CAMERA COMMERCIAL - 1961 - YouTube

above: 1961 Regular 8 Kodak Camera Land US TV Commercial.

What about processing?

This is where Regular 8 doesn’t shine–finding labs to process this stock can be a challenge because it does require an extra step—slitting splicing the film together. Dwyane’s  processes their Regular 8 Wittnerchrome. For Cine-X 125 and Foma R-100, Yale Film and Video in California and Cinelab in Boston both offer processing.

Can I develop it at home?

YES! With the right chemistry, you can easily process any three of these stocks at home. (See our video on developing BW below or on YouTube.) E6 color can get quite involved, but the process for developing Orow and Foma is pretty straight forward. I process my own Foma at home and the results are fantastic. Foma even makes a chemical kit for developing their movie film which you can purchase at the FPP on-line store.

Develop BW Reversal Film & Movie Film At Home - YouTube

There are plenty of resources online (and some videos on YouTube, too) that show you the process. Besides the chemicals, you will need a Lomo UPB-1 tank and some sort of slitter (Lomo made those, too.) Be prepared to spend some cash up front for the tanks–they’re not made anymore and come from Russia/Ukraine. The tanks also allow you to process Super 8 film as well as 16mm (for 16mm you’ll have to cut the 100 foot rolls in half.)

What about scanning?

The Film Photography Project offers High Definition Scan Services for 8mm, Super 8, 16mm and 35mm movie film. Check out the scanning options on our Movie Film page. Note that labs that process film usually offer scans as well.

8mm Film - What is Double 8 Film? - YouTube

So what camera should I buy?

That could be its own article in and of itself. There are literally thousands of options when it comes to cameras. Here are some things to look out for:

  • Magazine style cameras: Kodak and some others introduced a magazine type Regular 8 camera that used a preloaded metal cassette that was exposed in a Magazine 8 camera and returned to Kodak for processing. This made loading easier during shooting because you didn’t have to rethread the film. The magazines are no longer made, however, it is possible to have them reloaded.
  • Light Metering: Most of the film stock offered 60 years ago had lower ASA ratings like 14, 25, and 40. Be sure to find a camera that can meter up to at least 200 ASA (for Wittnerchrome.) Another plus is finding a camera that can take a ND filter to step down the light. The Cine Canonet 8 is a great example. You’ll also want to be wary of how the light meter is powered. Some of the mercury style meter batteries aren’t made anymore.
  • Battery or Wind Powered: Before the introduction of penlight batteries (aka AAs and AAAs) most movie cameras were crank powered. Usually, you get around 30 seconds or so of filming from a single wind (though some cameras did have longer run times.) This is important because you will have to keep that in mind while filming so you don’t miss the shot you want. Later Reg 8 cameras were battery powered, usually via AAs.

Can’t I just load 16mm onto a Regular 8 Spool?

Nope. Firstly, most 16mm stock made today is only perforated on one side (with the exception of Foma who does make double perforated 16mm R-100) so that won’t do. Secondly, there aren’t enough sprocket holes on the film and the perfs are farther apart.

Are there advantages over Super 8?

It’s hard to say and certainly an opinion for different people. In general, Super 8 has some pretty big advantages that are hard to beat–larger frame size, a built-in pressure plate that helps to stabilize film during shooting, and the fact that the film is enclosed in a cartridge which means continuous filming. Some have argued that Regular 8 does have advantages when it comes to the perforations–because they are larger, they’re harder to tear–especially when splicing or threading through a projector. Currently, the main advantage of black and white Regular 8 over its Super 8 alternative, is cost. A roll of Kodak Tri-X in Super 8 will run you over $20, while a roll of Fomapan R-100 or Cine-X 125, will only cost you $15.00.

The other advantage of Super 8 is that because it’s contained in a cartridge, only a few frames at the beginning of the roll become fogged (meaning exposed) during loading. With Regular 8, almost a foot or more in the middle of the film and at the ends, become fogged. This is why most come with more than 25 feet of film on the spool–so that you can splice out the fogged bits after processing.

Conclusion

Overall, Regular 8 is worth mentioning, especially for those who might be on a budget. The cameras are usually well built and, most importantly, fun to use. Cheap but reliable cameras can be bought on eBay for only a few bucks, and projectors are plentiful. The place where Regular 8 shines is for the home processor, making the format very affordable.

If you love Super 8, you’ll likely love Regular 8, too. Why not have both?

Owen M. McCafferty II is a native Clevelander whose story with film photography began at a young age when he came across his grandfather’s Super 8 camera hiding away in his grandmother’s basement. His curiosity turned into an obsession, and he’s been a loyal film user ever since. He’s been processing his own still and movie film since the age of 12, and continues to advocate for affordable and accessible entries into the art of traditional film photography. When he’s not shooting a camera, he works as an Experience Designer for a Cleveland based firm, in addition to running a small genealogy business. You can visit him at www.OwenTheGenealogist.com 

The post 8mm Lives! Regular 8mm Home Movie Film! appeared first on The Film Photography Project.

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Film Photography Podcast – Episode 222
May 15th 2019

It’s the Internet Radio Show for people who love Film Photography! Joining Michael Raso in the studio today is Leslie Lazenby, Mat Marrash, Mark O’Brien, and Mark Dalzell! Topics on today’s show include Light Leaks and Light Piping, the McMurdo Tech Press Camera, DIY Film Photography ‘Zines, the Leica MiniLux, and so much more! So hop in the time machine of your choice (Police Box or Phone Booth) but don’t touch that dial!

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Do It Yourself – ‘Zines
‘Zines have been a part of a lot of sub-cultures, with some of the first being produced as early as the 1930s. The name is shortened from Magazine or Fanzine and implies a limited circulation (officially under 1,000 copies, but most don’t break the 100 copy mark). Many film photographers today use ‘zines to share their work, and some even employ the original method of cutting and pasting content together and then photocopying the publication numbers.  Mark O’Brien has a long history of producing similar products, and shares some tips on how to create your own zine (as well as highlighting several ‘zines he enjoys). If you don’t want to create and print one yourself, there are online self-publishing options such as Blurb to produce and print (and Blurb even has two pieces of software that aid in the design aspect of the work).  Some of the talented photographers using this medium:  She Shoots Film  –  this ‘zine highlights the work of female photographers, and is produced with the help of Blue Moon Camera.  It reminds Mark of Aperture Magazine in its content and production value. Next All Through a Lens, produced by Eric Wanger ,  which is available through his Etsy Storefront. Eric uses a 4×5 to shoot most of the content on expired film stocks. His subjects often have some historical connection, and are accompanied by text providing valuable if sometimes somber context. Arriving in the FPP mailbox recently is Land and City  by  Zach Storer, which is filled with stunning images (that might benefit from captions). Another new ‘zine to arrive at FPP from Chris Smith, is The Enchanted Hunter   , an entirely hand-made limited edition zine featuring models “wearing” antlers. Mark advocates zines as an inexpensive way to highlight your work and one that provides you with a tangible item to hand to others while cautioning that it is always beneficial to enlist another person’s option on your curating and copy before going to print.  Mat adds that a ‘zine allows you to forgo sponsors and advertisements, and helps forge a direct connection to the viewers. If you have a ‘Zine, we would love to see it – send us a copy or shoot us an email about it!

Light Leaks and Light Piping
Leslie is the FPP expert answering most of your emails on light leaks and light piping, edge exposure and fogging on the hand-rolled film we sell here at the FPP. When investigating the issue, the first thing Leslie asks for is a photo of the negative itself.  From that, she can determine whether the issue is the camera, the darkroom or light piping (and it’s almost always light piping!). Another name for light piping is edge fog or edge flare. This generally occurs at the beginning or end of a bulk loaded film, but you can also have fogging further along. This is usually found on polyester base films, which often behave like fibre optics in that the light is carried along, having a cumulative effect. An anti-halation layer can help mitigate the piping. Some films don’t have an anti-halation layer, and consequently are more inclined to light piping. If you have a box of HIE, you’ll notice that it instructs you to load and unload in total darkness – this is because it lack an anti-halation layer. Some of the films we sell, such as Derev Pan 400 or Svema Foto 200 are susceptible to light piping, so best to store them in darkness and load and unload in shadow. Also, it’s good to ensure that the light seals or traps in your camera are functioning properly to help reduce the effects. In short, best practices is to store in darkness, keep them in the dark canisters if taking outside, and shoot the first couple rolls before getting serious! Watch for a full out blog by Leslie shortly!

Leica’s Point-And-Shoot – Poor Man’s Contax
Yes, Leica produced their own point-and-shoot and Mat has it with him today – it’s the Leica MiniLux. If you’ve been following along you know the obscene prices of point-and-shoot cameras these days due to the Contax-Effect ( wherein social-media savvy celebrities use high-end point-and-shoot cameras like the Contax T2 and T3 which then drives prices sky-high). An exception is the MiniLux, which seems to have skated under the radar. The MiniLux comes in a Zoom Lens (which Leslie spoke about back on Episode 219), as well as a fixed lens version. Oddly enough, both these cameras were produced in Japan by Panasonic (as opposed to Germany). The MiniLux first popped on the market in 1995 with a Leica Summarit 40mm featuring a f/2.4 lens, which while sharp is a little soft on the corners. The lens is autofocus, can be forced it into manual focus, but unfortunately lack close-focus. The camera uses DX-Coding reading speeds from 25 to 5000, with shutter speeds ranging from 1 second to 1/400th-second plus bulb mode. The camera can be run fully automatic or aperture-priority. It also has a built-in flash. And while Leica produces the camera, it’s often ignored by Leica shooters in general. Mat has shot a lot with it and is pleased with the results. Which isn’t to say they are cheap: a beater will run from 500$ whereas a top quality one is around the 900$ range.  The best place to find an affordable model is on eBay, especially Japanese sellers.

McMurdo Mysteries – The Technical Press Camera
Mark Dalzell brought in a new camera he found near our studio in Fair Lawn NJ:  The McMurdo Technical Press Camera. Researching the camera’s history proved a lot more difficult than he expected, until discovering it is a model by MPP or Micro Precision Products Limited,  a company that produced cameras between 1941 to 1982, beginning with the Celestion Ltd, which had a subsidiary in McMurdo Instrument Company. Mark’s camera is a Micro Technical Camera that takes standard 4×5 sheet film, and appears to be the first of the cameras released by MPP in 1948. Several updated versions of the camera were released between 1949 and 1963, with two more planned but not coming to fruition. The camera originally came with a rangefinder, but on Mark’s example, it was removed in favour of a cold shoe. Online it’s often mentioned in the same sentence as Linhoff. While rare in the United States, they are available in England and will run you around 500$. Mat describes the camera as having the best parts of the iconic Graflex press cameras combined with the best parts of the Linhoff Technica III – it’s a well made camera that will last for a long time. Mark loves it, is impressed with the results and is looking forward to using it more. Since it’s a 4×5, it’s compatible with any number of lenses providing that the lens has the right image circle.The only downfall is that it takes older ‘pointy’ Linhoff boards, which are only good on pre-Technica III boards. In general, it’s a pretty sweet camera!

That’s it for this episode, but don’t fret – we’ll be back in a short two weeks! Until then be sure to give us a like on Facebook and sign up for our newsletter! You can also join the community over on Flickr! If you want to write to us, you can shoot us an email podcast@filmphotographyproject.com or write to us at Film Photography Podcast PO Box 264 Fair Lawn, NJ 07410.

Alex Luyckx is an IT Professional at Sheridan College in Oakville, Ontario. He loves shooting both film and muskets as well as reading and reenacting history. He has a particular love of Military History from the French-Indian War up to the end of the Cold War. You can follow along with his adventures at www.alexluyckx.com/blog.

The post Film Photography Podcast 222 appeared first on The Film Photography Project.

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Light Piping, its not just Blowing Smoke Light Leak

Light piping is unwanted light exposure along the edge of a strip of film, most common at the beginning or at the end of the roll. You will notice the sprocket hole shape leaking through and exposing to the wound film layer under it on the take up spool in your camera. It is often referred to as unexplained fogging, edge exposure or edge flair. Yet it can happen mid roll in the image area of the negatives as well. This can look like skimming light fogged exposure or just areas of black exposure.

Anytime a loading tail is left out of the film cassette, light has the potential to enter and expose the film inside, before or after exposure. Whether camera loaded or in storage.
This especially is true with thin based films, not necessarily because they are thin, but because of what their base is made of, polyester. Polyester acts like fiber optics and transports light. it keeps drawing it in and spreading it around. Although dyes and anti-halation backings are used in tradition films this may not be the case in specialty films that are not commonly cut into short lengths. That dense grey you see on the base of traditional films is the layer that keeps not only film from light piping but also re-exposing from the back. Light passing trough the film will bouncing off the pressure plate then re-exposing your film.

Light piping factors that increase the chance of exposure are:

Base density and type, polyester as mention is almost like fiber optics and transports light

Emulsion type and base, silver is a light receiver so it’s not so much what the emulsion is made of by what kind of anti-halation or light blocking layer is added to the base. Example, Kodak’s HIE (High speed IR) did not have an anti-halation backing, it could re-expose from the pressure plate. It had warning on the box to always handle in total darkness, including loading and unloading your camera. Other B/W films are not opaque backed but have dyes to avoid this. The film bases can be rather translucent and can still be candidates for light piping.

Short exposure rolls, I’ll have more trouble using shorts like 12 or 15 exposures as the film is looser in the cassettes.

Weak or bad seals in your camera, may not be a problem for traditional film can light pipe expose with polyester based films. These films expose mid roll when left long enough if your seals are weak and the camera is in a strong light.

Light piping is cumulative, as it gathers even small amounts of light and will transmit it to layers wrapped below. As it gets additional exposure it will transmit even more fogging to your film.So even in the dimmest of light your film can edge fog with only a few hours of exposure.

I did a test just to see how sensitive these films are. I used my favorite Svema ISO 200. Svema 200 is a thin polyester based film and uses a non-ultra dyed backing. I personally have had light piping with this film in the past. All my rolls were loaded from the same bulk loader, in previously used cassettes and loaded in room light. The cassettes were then placed in, #1, an all black plastic can, #2, a translucent can and #3, no can at all. The #2, translucent was kept in a room with very little light but not totally dark, it had a single lamp lit for only an hour or two a day. The non canned film traveled around in my camera bag, my purse, sat on my desk, had lunch with me etc, but was never in direct light. Except for #3, the test lasted for 10 days. #3 was only with me for a couple of days. They were all processed the same time, developer and tank. The results were, #1, Black can, totally clean and image area blank and no unwanted expossure, no piping, #2, some image fog, some light piping, and  #3, is a train wreck!

To prevent light piping you must protect it from even low levels of light. Keep unexposed and exposed, unprocessed film, in a black can or bag until loaded or processed.

Yes this takes a little more thought and care to handle these films if you want to avoid light piping but personally I think these films are pretty amazing and worth the effort.

Leslie Lazenby fell in love with photography when she was given her first camera, a GAF 126, at the age of 10.  Her first job in a camera shop with a custom and commercial photo lab turned into a 20-year adventure in film; leading to positions in darkrooms, customer relations, and as head of purchasing.  For the past 15 years, Leslie has owned her own business, Imagine That, retailing traditional photography products, photographic restoration, custom printing and video conversions. She finds her Zen next door at her studio, the Mecca, where she plays with her film cameras, processes film and holds small classes focusing on teens and young adults.

The post Light Piping – What Is It? How To Prevent! appeared first on The Film Photography Project.

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Film Photography Podcast – Episode 221
May 1st, 2019

Hey, we’re back! Joining Michael Raso in the studio today is Leslie Lazenby, John Fedele, Mat Marrash, Mark O’Brien, and Mark Dalzell! Our topics for today’s show (what show!?) are the Yashica T4, Univex Minute-16, the Voigtlander Bessa, Cameras for Students , agitation while processing your film, listener letters and so much more! Grab your favourite iced coffee in a can (Mr Brown) and don’t touch that dial!

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Miles needs a Camera
Miles, a new listener and film shooter for just over a year, asked the FPP for suggestions about which new camera system to purchase (since he has already purchased Canons, Nikons, and Olympus). Michael suggested the Canon T60 – it’s small and light-weight, features aperture priority metering (and is actually made by Cosina!). Leslie recommends the Olympus OM-2n, it’s lighter than the T60, has an amazing lineup of Zuiko glass (28, 50, 100 or 135 for the focal lengths) and a fantastic actuate meter. Mark O’Brien recommends the Nikon FM or FM2; both are lighweight and easy to use; and if he wants a little more automation he goes with the FE2. For the lens, he suggests the  Nikkor 50mm f/2, a great sleeper lens with a  design that hasn’t changed much since 1959.  He also suggests the 28-80mm, 85 f/1.8 and legendary 105mm f/2.5. Mark Dalzell also throws in a vote for Nikon, but he suggests the Nikon F3. Mat is spilt, he sees the wisdom with going with Nikon, but for cost-effectiveness he suggests Olympus.

The Yashica T4 – Black Beauty
Leslie has another piece of plastic that commands a massive price point on the market these days – the Yashica T4 from Kyocera, released in the 1990s. The camera features a Carl Zeiss Tessar 35mm f/3.5 T* lens which gives you sharp images edge to edge, auto-exposure (but has some extra help with choosing a faster speed rather than a smaller aperture) and a flash that will auto-fire when your subject is backlit. The DX Code reads from 50-3200, and the shutter speeds from 1s to 1/700s. Infinity mode lets you lock the auto-focus to infinity, avoiding the AF system hunting for focus. There were several versions-  the basic T4, a Safari version with the text in green colour, and Super Version. There’s a built-in flash and it takes a CR123A battery. The version Leslie has features a standard eye-level finder and a waist level finder as well. But why do these cameras fetch 400-500 dollars on eBay? Once again, it’s because of the photographer, Terry Richardson.  Terry used the camera to shoot high-end assignments for Harper’s Bazar with subjects including Lady Gaga and President Barrack Obama. What boggles Leslie’s mind is that the only camera Terry used was the T4. It’s available at Midwest Camera in a special Champaign colour (which is rare, but not as pricey as the standard black-body). Leslie enjoyed testing the camera, stating it produced amazing results even in garbage weather. If you don’t want to drop 500 dollars on the T4, Leslie suggests the Olympus Stylus Epic, which is weather sealed has an f/2.8 lens and has shutter speeds from 4” to 1/1000”.

School Donation Program – Live from Ohio
Mat and Leslie had a chance to visit Pickerington North High School, one of the High Schools that received a care package from the FPP School Donation Program, and photography instructor Melinda Weber.  Mat spoke to the class about shooting film, recording some audio from his time there, and praised their darkroom, which is much like the one he used when he was in High School. Leslie was able to take a look at a test while it was graded, and was most impressed by the techniques and tips that were being taught. The donation program has helped revive the photography programs across the United States at a time when High Schools are spending more on their sports programs than arts. One such note of thanks came from  photography teacher, Jane Felber, which you can read on our FPP blog!  of LaGuardia Arts High School in New York, NY. We are always looking for more cameras, lenses, and film to donate; please check out our donation page to join in!

Déjà vu – Voigtlander Bessa
Now the Bessa is a camera that is no stranger to the podcast, and now Mark Dalzell has another variant on the famous German folding camera to show off on today’s show. The version he has today was produced from 1935-1937, and he discovered it in a lot of cameras that he got from his mom over the Christmas holidays. The camera uses standard 120 film or 620 film, and shoots either 6×4.5 (with a mask) or 6×9 natively. The lens and shutter are pretty limited with a 105mm focal length Voigtlander Anastigmat Voigtar 10,5cm f/7.7 lens and shutter speeds from 1/25” to 1/100” also Bulb and Timed modes, and the shutter is self-cocking which is a nice touch. And while the lens looks clear, the quality of the image has a unusual look since the lens is an Anastigmat and uncoated. Mark is on the fence about the camera, thinking it is best suited if you are aiming for a specific historical look.

In a Minute-16 – The Universal Minute 16 Sub-Mini
While thrifting, Mark O’Brien’s found an interesting sub-mini camera. This mint condition, In-box Univex Universal Minute-16 at first glance looks like a tiny movie camera, but in fact  takes still photos on 16mm film. The camera was produced from 1949 until the company went under in 1952. The lens is a simple single-element meniscus lens with three aperture selections of f/6.3, f/11, and f/16 (a late model added f/8) and a single shutter speed of 1/60”. The focus is fixed and has simple frame finder. The camera sold rather well, but they were prone to damage and often were returned for repair. The film is a standard 16mm; however, it was loaded in a proprietary cassette, which Mark does not have at the moment – if you have one, please let us know! If you think you’ve seen something like this before, you’d be right! Back in Episode 190, Mark D showed off the clone of the Minute-16, the Tynar!

Agitation in Developing – Solar Swivel vs. Bedrock Twist
There’s been a lot of debate on the Internet about the best way to agitate your film during processing. And like the old Stop Bath Debate, there are supporters on every side of the discussion. Patterson tanks (or their knock-offs) come with what has become known as a ‘swizzle stick’ as well as a lid; however, the stainless steel tanks have no swizzle stick. So, this is where the debate comes in – do you put on the lid and invert, or, use the swizzle stick? Leslie recommends the inversion method; specifically four inversions every minute, gently, with a full inversion described as “when the lid is facing down.” However, to prevent the gas from the Blix stage building up in colour processing,  Leslie uses the swizzle method (back and forth).  She will also use swizzle processing with Diafine, as it can prevent over agitation and reduce the amount of surge marks from your sprocket holes. Ultimately, you must work your process until you nail down results you like, then stick with what works!

That’s it for this episode! If you have any questions or want to write to us, you can send us an email podcast@filmphotographyproject.com or send an actual letter Film Photography Podcast PO Box 264, Fair Lawn, NJ, 07410. Join our community on Flickr, Like us on Facebook, and sign up to our newsletter (link on our main page) for the latest and greatest from the FPP!

Alex Luyckx is an IT Professional at Sheridan College in Oakville, Ontario. He loves shooting both film and muskets as well as reading and reenacting history. He has a particular love of Military History from the French-Indian War up to the end of the Cold War. You can follow along with his adventures at www.alexluyckx.com/blog.

The post Film Photography Podcast 221 appeared first on The Film Photography Project.

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Introduction
I asked home movie enthusiast and shooter Owen McCafferty to pen this blog after receiving many e-mails from Super 8 shooters about how to get their Type A or Type G Ektachrome processed. It seems that unknowing Super 8 shooters are buying this old film stock on ebay not knowing the pitfalls of shooting such an old version of the iconic Ektachrome. No modern labs will process Type A or Type G! Plus, with brand new Ektachrome 100D available, unless you’re using the film to test a vintage camera, there’s no reason to shoot such old film. The results will always disappoint. – Michael Raso

Super 8 Shooter Alert! Beware of Expired Ektachrome Type A and Type G!

When Kodak released Ektachrome 160 Type A in 1971, it came with a lot of fanfare. The film was designed to be used in their brand-new line of Super 8 movie cameras, the Kodak XL. The XL stands for ‘existing light’ and it was a massive development in home movie-making technology at the time. The fast lenses and fast 160 ASA film meant that people could take home movies inside without the need of blinding movie lamps. If you’re curious about the history of the Kodak XL camera line, check out my previous post about it here.

Ektachrome 160 Type A was a Tungsten-balanced film, which means it’s made to be exposed with artificial light. Many cameras had built-in #85 (orange) filters to correct this when shooting outdoors. Several years later, Kodak introduced Ektachrome 160 Type G which eliminated the need to use the #85 filter.

Now that your history lesson is over, we can get to the question at hand:

Can I shoot and process TYPE A or TYPE G Kodak Ektachrome Super 8 film?

Yes and no–kind of. If you can get your hands on either one of these films they’re going to be quite old, with expiry dates from over 30 or 40 years ago. Like any older film, how they’re stored has a big impact on the end result you get. Mike sent me a roll of Type A that he shot a few weeks ago and the film had an expiry date from the mid 1970’s. I wasn’t very optimistic about what the results would, but after Mike scanned the finished product, I was very surprised. Seems that he got his hand on a great roll!

Super 8 - Kodak Ektachrome 160 Type A (Expired) Test - YouTube

But what about processing?

Both Ektachrome Type A and Type G films were meant to be processed with the old Kodak EM-26 system–which is no longer available. Unlike the modern Ektachrome today, these two films have a remjet layer. This layer would have been removed by the lab when you sent the film out to be processed. If you send one of these rolls to your trusty lab today, they’ll likely say “no way! I don’t want that remjet clogging up my machines!” and you’ll end up right back where you started from.

The best way to process either Ektachrome Type A or Type G is to do it yourself (See video below). You can follow the normal processing steps like you would for any modern E6 slide film. During the wash phase, you’ll have to remove the remjet layer with your fingers in some running water. It usually comes off pretty easily but it’s a tedious task–you’re dealing with 50 feet of film!

Develop Color Slide Film (Ektachrome) at Home! - YouTube

If you don’t have the ability to process movie film at home, you can try a lab like Rocky Mountain Film who will do it for about $40 a roll or Spectra Film and Video who will charge $75 a  roll.

Where can you buy it?

You’ll find fairly cheap rolls of expired Ektachrome Type A and Type G on eBay quite frequently. Considering most people don’t want to go through the hassle of getting it processed or doing it themselves, prices are usually reasonable. Me personally, I wouldn’t spend over $15.00 on a roll.

Is it worth it?

If you’re looking for a film to test your Super 8 movie camera out and can process it at home, then yes, either film is worth the investment. However, don’t go shelling out big bucks for this stock–results will vary a lot depending on how the film has been stored. If you can’t process it yourself, you’ll likely need to spend well over $30 to do so. Buyer beware!

About the author

Owen McCafferty is a native Clevelander who has been shooting analog movie and still film since the age of 12 in 2002. When he’s not out shooting, he works in product development and innovation for a firm in Cleveland.

The post Beware of Expired Ektachrome Type A and Type G Super 8 Film! appeared first on The Film Photography Project.

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Film Photography Podcast
Episode 220 – April 23, 2019

In this “Drive Time” episode Michael is joined in the studio by John Fedele and Mark Dalzell, Topics mixed with ramblings include GAF 220 Instamatic, Analog Photography Reference Manual by Andrew Bellamy, Gossen Luna Pro F Light Meter, Cokin Filters and More!

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GAF 220 Instamatic (110 film) Camera
A listener named Marco sent Michael his 110 GAF Instamatic. Michael talks about Instamatic cameras in general, discusses the faux “wood panel” design of the 1973 GAF and comments about the fresh, awesome Fukkatsu 110 film in the FPP on-line Store!

Analog Photography: Reference Manual for Shooting Film
Book by Andrew Bellamy

Princeton Architectural Press just published Andrew Bellamy‘s comprehensive technical guide to using a manual camera, Analog Photography: Reference Manual for Shooting Film.
In his book, Bellamy provides an overview of a camera’s parts and functions, and teaching the fundamental mechanics of shooting film, and he presents it all in an irresistible package inspired by the aesthetics of vintage user manuals. Divided into six main sections — General Nomenclature, Lenses, Speeds & Exposure, Effects of Aperture & Shutter Speed, Rangefinders & SLRs, and Film & Filters — the book is structured to be accessed in either a linear or nonlinear way, with cross-references that are underlined in the text and listed with their relevant page numbers at the top of each page.  There is also a detailed index.

Gossen Luna Pro F Light Meter
A listener writes in to ask about the practical use of the Gossen Luna Pro F meter. Michael explains that “it’s all what you’re used to using” in regards to using different brands and that he uses the Gossen because it was “drilled” into his head in 1986 by Prof Bedarich Batka that this was the meter to use.

above: John Fedele in 1989 as the demon’s victim get a light reading by the Gossen Luna-Pro F light meter! In 1989 friend and frequent collaborator Tim O’Rawe wrote and directed a horror film called The Basement – A horror anthology similar “Tales from the Crypt”).

FILTERS: Square or Round
A listener writes in and asks what’s better – round screw in filters or the square Cokin type. Again, Michael explains that it’s really personal preference. Both Mike and John own the Cokin square filters but also have a few round.

Shooting Super 8 in 2019!
Michael, Mark and John have a conversation about the misery of shooting a Super 8 feature film in the year 1989. Michael’s advice….leave the light meter home and use AUTO for your exposure! The FPP has dived into movie making in 2019 and now not only stocks 8mm, Super 8 and 16mm movie film but also offers processing and scan services! All at our MOVIE LINK!

Send us an email podcast@filmphotographyproject.com or by regular mail Film Photography Podcast PO Box 264, Fair Lawn, NJ, 07410. Additionally, connect with the whole community over our Flickr Group, like us on our FPP Facebook page and sign up for our newsletter for all the latest and greatest from the FPP!

The post Film Photography Podcast 220 appeared first on The Film Photography Project.

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Earth Day – the day people around the world celebrate their shared commitment to sustainability and environmental protection – we’d like to share some of the practices we employ at the Film Photography Project to minimize waste and re-purpose used film photography equipment and supplies.  Read on to find out what you can do to help us to sustain the environment without taxing your wallet!

35mm cartridge recycling – did you know that every roll of 35mm hand-rolled film you purchase from the Film Photography Project utilizes recycled cartridges? It does, and our primary source for these cartridges grew organically from our long relationship with San Clemente Ca film processing lab The Darkroom, an “F” Awards Best Film Processing Lab recipient. The Darkroom also supplies the FPP with used cannisters, another asset to our green initiative. Of course, another way we sustain our cartridge and cannister supply is through donations from the FPP audience.  If you or someone you know would like to donate their used cartridges, please send them here (or simply use the address at the end of this blog).

620 cartridge recycling – due to the non-availability of 620 film cartridges, the FPP employs a US company to manufacture small amounts to fill consumer needs.  You can help us reduce the volume of 620 film cartridge production by asking your processing lab to return the cartridge with your processed film for re-use.  In fact, we provide a note in every 620 film order as a reminder that your lab will be happy to assist you with your sustainability goals if asked!

School Camera Donation Program – you can read all about the U.S. and international recipients of our School Camera Donation Program on the FPP website, but in short: the FPP supplies needy students and not-for-profit organizations with refurbished and tested film cameras and film gear as part of an ongoing program to support analog photography.  Your donations are critical to this mission, with cameras ending up in such diverse locations as LaGuardia High School in New York City, DiVinci Photo Club in Oregon (pictured), Pickerington Central High School in Ohio or as part of classroom situations such as the FPP Workshop events, or the recent Paideia 2nd Annual Film Photography Paideia Sponsored by The Darkroom.

Stretching the Life of Your Chemistry – as photographers, we know the chemicals used to process our film are not exactly ideal for the environment. One of the ways we can minimize the impact is to mix and utilize only the smallest amount of developer we need, or “stretch the chemistry”. The FPP specialty home development kit utilizes recycled 1-liter water containers (1-liter color kit, 1-liter BW kit) that ship with the kit for small batch developing and fixing ease – and which can be used repeatedly. While the chemistry itself can’t be reused, it can be successfully stretched to develop far more rolls than suggested on the directions of most kits.  FPP podcast co-host Leslie Lazenby discusses how to safely dispose of your chemistry HERE.

Chemistry alternatives – and for those photographers interested in ditching chemistry altogether when processing their film, an increasing number of companies offer non-chemical developers utilizing beer or caffeine.  The Caffinol Concoction BW Developer is a great natural alternative BW developer we discovered and now stock in the FPP store.

Third Party Recycling – sometimes, it’s simply not an option to re-purpose every item that arrives at FPP headquarters.  When this happens, we drop off extra cardboard boxes, bottles or cans to the nearby Fair Lawn NJ recycling center.

Want to donate cameras, cartridges, cannisters or gear to the FPP? Send them here! (Scroll down for our address)

Paige Kay Davis is the Director of film restoration at Film Media and a regular contributor to The Film Photography Project

The post Celebrate Earth Day Everyday with the Film Photography Project! appeared first on The Film Photography Project.

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Film Photography Podcast
Episode 219 – April 15, 2019

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In this episode Michael Raso is joined by Leslie Lazenby and Mark O’Brien. Topics include Leice MiniLux Zoom compact 35mm camera, Ondu 120 Pinhole Camera and Pinhole Camera: A DIY Guide by Chris Keeney.

Camera: Leica Minilux Zoom, this camera has no way to manually set the ISO so it defaulted to 100 for this ISO 80 film. Close enough.
FiIm: Eastman Plus-X 5231 BW Motion Picture Film, FPP Super Mono Bath, 68 @ 6 minutes.
Image by: Leslie Lazenby
20 April 2018, Mt Victory, Ohio

The always-awesome Ken Rockwell writes it like he sees it! “The Leica Minilux Zoom is a very basic point-and-shoot for rich people. It doesn’t work any better than any other point-and-shoot, and is worse than advanced point-and-shoots like the Nikon 35Ti or Konica Hexar.” – https://kenrockwell.com/leica/minilux-zoom.htm

From the ONDU Website: For a long time we were asked to make a dedicated 6×9 pinhole camera. Why is 6×9 so popular? Well the frame size has a 2:3 ratio which is the same to the classical 24x36mm so called Leica format that most photographers are used to. With the 40mm focal length image composition is a breeze, vigneting is minimal and a semi wide angle of view makes pictures look like they were not made with a pinhole camera at all. Combined that with the larger frame size than the Leica you have a recipe for success. The physical frame size on this camera is 56x84mm which means you will be able to make 8 images on a single roll of 120 film.

Pinhole Cameras: A Do-It-Yourself Guide
Publisher: Princeton Architectural Press
Author: Chris Keeney

Chris writes: “Writing this book on do-it-yourself (DIY) pinhole photography for Princeton Architectural Press was a lot of fun. Being that this is my first book, you could probably guess I’m pretty excited about it. From looking at my old and new website, you can see I’ve had a passion for lensless photography for a while now. Now to see a published book with all the fruits of my labor in photographic exploration in print, is very fulfilling for me. It makes me happy to think that someday, someone will make a pinhole camera inspired from this book only to go on their own creative journey. I’ve always thought that pinhole photography is a lot like open source programming. You create something, then pass that knowledge onto the next person so they can try their best at it. What a beautiful concept.” – https://chriskeeney.com/pinhole/pinhole-cameras-diy-guide-princeton-architectural-press/

Send us an email podcast@filmphotographyproject.com or by regular mail Film Photography Podcast PO Box 264, Fair Lawn, NJ, 07410. Additionally, connect with the whole community over our Flickr Group, like us on our FPP Facebook page and sign up for our newsletter for all the latest and greatest from the FPP!

The post Film Photography Podcast 219 appeared first on The Film Photography Project.

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Should I Shoot Expired Kodak Film?

That film in the familiar little yellow box? Look on the side of it and you’ll see printed there a date; an expiration date to be exact. Just about every large-scale film manufacturer prints this date on all their film packaging to let you know when you can develop your film without worries that it’ll give bad results. (Note that modern Kodak movie films have batch numbers – not expiration dates) But what if I told you that there are some films that can survive quite a long time after that date, and still give fantastic results? Would you believe me if I said decades–not months–after the expiration date? Well, I am telling you that, and you better believe it.

It’s been a well-known fact that film stored in a freezer or fridge can last far beyond its expiration date. The cooling/freezing process keeps the film from deteriorating and losing the properties that allow it to produce quality images. Film that hasn’t been stored in a fridge will, overtime, lose sensitivity –  its ability to capture images–and that’s especially true if it’s kept in a very hot environment like a car or an attic. However, the type of film is another important factor in determining whether that roll of film you found that expired in 1975, will yield any results. The truth of the matter is, if it’s color–you’re likely out of luck–but if it’s a black and white film from Kodak–you may have found a gem.


above: Expired BW film. Left: EFKE KB21 35mm expired April 1977 shot with Canon FT camera / Right: Kodak Verichrome Pan bw film (expired June 1975) shot with Konica 261 Auto S 126 Rangefinder Camera

Ask anyone who has shot expired film and they’ll tell you almost immediately not to waste your time with old color film unless it’s been stored in a fridge. That brick of 1980’s Kodacolor (heck, even 1990’s and early 2000’s Kodacolor) you found at the thrift store is likely just that–a brick. Unless color film is fridge stored, it has a short lifespan beyond its expiration date. Black and white film however, seems to hold up extremely well–far past its printed death date. Kodak films in particular, seem to have the most success, and that shouldn’t be a big surprise to fans of the FPP. Expired and hard-to-find Kodak black and white films are still very popular on the online store.


above: Expired color film. Left: Poorly stored Kodacolor II 126 film (expired September 1978) shot with Kodak Instamatic 100 camera. Right: Kodak Ektar 25 (properly stored film expired 9/1998) shot with Canon AE-1 Program camera.

If you’re looking for a technical understanding of why this is–I’m sorry to disappoint you. I’m no chemist. If it’s proof you’re looking for, that I can help you with.


above: The genesis of this blog? This roll of 1976 expired Kodak Plus-X 16mm movie film

FPP’s Michael Raso sent me a 100ft roll of Kodak Plus-X 7231 in 16mm format–which is a negative film. The film was double-perfed, which was perfect for my old Ciné Kodak Model K from the 1930’s. The film expired in 1976 and like many old films that you run across, it’s storage history was not really known. It could have been stored in an arctic freezer, or an attic in Houston for all I knew. Keeping my fingers crossed, I loaded the Kodak up and went out to capture some shots around my hometown of Cleveland.

Before we talk about the results, let’s briefly talk about this film because, well, why not?

Kodak Plus-X 7231 was first introduced by Kodak in 1938 as Plus-X 1231, and had a nitrate base. The emulsion was improved upon over the years, first significantly in 1941 when the name was changed to Plus-X Panchromatic film 5231. That number (which was for 35mm format designation; 7231 was the designation for the 16mm size) stayed around for a long time. In fact, you can shoot some in your 35mm camera today–the FPP store sells it in 35mm cartridges!

It went through another improvement in 1956 and stayed on the market for another 54 years before Kodak sadly discontinued the film in 2010.  It is rated with a daylight ASA of about 80 which made it super-fast for its time.

With expired film, the rule of thumb is to go down one-stop for every 10 years that has passed since the expiry date on the box. Since I didn’t know how this film was stored, and considering it was a black and white stock from Eastman Kodak, I decide to live dangerously and stick to the recommended settings printed on my camera–and the results were very awesome.


Above: Film Photography Project movie scan services! Introduced in October 2018.

Kodak recommended processing Plus-X 7321 in their D-96 developer–which I didn’t have. I did have my trusty Photographers’ Formulary D-19 substitute which I use for just about any kind of black and white movie film I process–negative or positive. I processed the film at 70F for 8.5 mins in the developer, did a stop bath, a fix, and a wash. I dried the film, replaced it on it’s reel, and sent it over to the FPP for scanning–and waited patiently.

I didn’t know what to expect, but I figured that at the very least, I was going to get a very grainy result. When Mike sent over the high-resolution scan however, I was amazed at what I saw. Granted the film is grainier than it would have looked if it had been shot and developed fresh in the early 70’s, but the results 44 years later, were surprising. The image was sharp, the black, whites, and greys were well defined, and it scanned beautifully.

16mm Plus-X 7231 1976 Expired / Cine-Kodak Model K - YouTube

above: Results from  1976 expired 16mm Kodak Plus-X shot with the Cine-Kodak Model K camera.

I can’t say that all expired black and white film made by Eastman Kodak will give you perfect results like I got, every single time. However, when I’ve asked around to my fellow film shooters about their experience with using expired black and white emulsions, everyone agreed that Kodak was the most reliable and the most stable.

If you’re looking to shoot some great old Kodak films, your number one stop should be the FPP–and I’m not just saying that because the FPP is near-and-dear to my heart. The fact is, Mike and the folks at the FPP are always doing what they can to offer great and rare emulsions on the online store whenever they can. If you don’t see anything that tickles your fancy there, eBay can be another great resource too. The FPP also just added a variety of 8mm and 16mm movie films. Most expired movie films are even batch tested!

Shooting expired film can be a lot of fun, and provide results you can’t get with other stocks available. Do be cautious though–results are never guaranteed. It’s best to process these old films yourself if you can (the FPP sells a great starter kit if you’ve never developed film before) and if you Google the film you’re shooting you’ll likely find some tips about developing that will help. Since results vary, it’s probably best not to use a 44-year-old roll of film to shoot Johnny’s first steps, or your sighting of Bigfoot.

At the end of the day, the experience of shooting a classic expired film was fun and adventurous–but also reassuring that my faith in that ‘film in the familiar yellow box’ is well placed.

Owen McCafferty is a native Clevelander who has been shooting analog movie and still film since the age of 12 in 2002. When he’s not out shooting, he works in product development and innovation for a firm in Cleveland.

The post Should I Shoot Expired Kodak Film? appeared first on The Film Photography Project.

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above:  “vasilisa” by Olya Go / Zenit E / Helios 44-2 lens / Kodak Color Plus 200

Addl website: https://cargocollective.com/olya_g

FPP Color Plus 200 US Announcement HERE.

The post “natural” on Kodak Color Plus 200 appeared first on The Film Photography Project.

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