Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Vive la film!

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Double exposure on a "Starlite" aka "Halina A1" on expired Kodak Portra 160

The pinhole camera thing got me excited about film again and my girlfriend started to get into it too. I have quite a collection of old TLR cameras going as well as some unique 35mm cameras. While I love digital there is still some things you just can't quite do, double exposures for starters, sure some claim to offer it as a feature but it just isn't quite right.

One cool trick I stumbled upon was "redscale" where you take and respool your film backwards on the roll so that you're shooting through the plastic instead of directly onto the emulsion. This makes the brown plastic film act like a filter, depending on how you expose the effect can range from very dramatic and almost monochrome to a subtle colour shift.

Redscale Olympus Wide 12 crop
~1955 Olympus Wide Kodak 400 Colour Film Redscaled

Redscale Olympus Wide 05
~1955 Olympus Wide Kodak 400 Colour Film Redscaled

With my film interest fully piqued I remembered a few years back a woman had been commissioned to sell off a camera collection of a gentleman who had passed away. Incidentally the first shot in the post is from one of the cameras I had picked up a few years ago. I decided to look her up again and see if she was still selling any of those cameras, as luck would have it she was and happened to have a sweet little 35mm rangefinder up on her Etsy site. I quickly snapped it up :)

Samoca Super 35mm Rangefinder

I forgot just how fun rangefinders could be, the next day I took it out on my lunch break and got some random shots around Broadway.

Samoca Super 35mm, Kodak 400 - Processed in Photoshop
Samoca Super 35mm, Kodak 400 - Processed in Photoshop

I then decided to dig out one of my half frame camera's that I had purchased years before, also from this same woman, but had never had a chance to test out. This was an Olympus Pen D which had a built in lightmeter but alas no rangefinding abilities so it was all focusing by the numbers. In case you don't know what a half frame camera is I'll explain, instead of taking one image within the frame it only uses half the frame and the orientation is portrait instead of landscape, this allows you to take twice the number of photos on a roll of film. When you get your photos printed you get two prints on each 4x6 and this can lead to some interesting diptychs.

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Olympus Pen D - Half Frame Camera - Kodak Gold 400

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Olympus Pen D - Half Frame Camera - Kodak Gold 400

This camera actually turned out to work pretty well, the light meter was actually pretty accurate all in all, my only issue with the camera is it seems to take forever to finish a roll :)

I'm going to leave with a few more of the shots I took with the Starlite twin lens reflex (TLR), I got this camera in basically mint condition, I doubt more than a few rolls were ever shot with it. Despite it being a cheaper model the shots turned out nice and sharp.

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Next post will be about the wonderful world of Lomography and some of the coolest cameras I've ever used!

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