It’s not cheating, is it?

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A $40 experiment.

One of my fave shots from Spring 2020 ‘Roid Week was taken with a Pentax Q10 mirrorless camera and using the Polaroid Lab, printed on Polaroid I-Type instant black and white film.

I noticed a more than a few peeps doing something similar. Very interesting work and great results.

I spotted some black-frame Instax Square film on Amazon. $10 for a box of ten shots – I bought four boxes.

I’ll be taking square black and white shots with my LX100, load them onto the SQ10s miniSD card and print them out in monochrome.

That’ll give me 40 shots to edit down to 12 through between now and the Fall.

Cool and dark.

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Life’s about making adjustments.

My extremely rocky re-entry into developing film last year resulted in one botched and one barely salvageable roll of Ilford Pan F Plus, shot with my Hasselblad 500c/m and Holga 120S.

I was using a new dark bag to load the film onto Paterson reels. Even though it was done in an air conditioned room, the amount of heat my nervous and excited hands and arms generated caused enough steam in the bag to make the film stick to itself, totally ruining the Hassy roll.

The Holga roll wasn’t much better. The edges of the film got pretty crinkled, but I managed to feed the whole roll onto the reel without sticking to itself in the process.

Seems like a lot of trouble, huh?

The hall bathroom in our home has a separate water closet with a door. I can close the hall door, get my film rolls, reels, the tank parts, scissors, and any thing else I might need set up on the lid of the plastic tub where all this dev stuff is stored. I then turn off the light over the sinks. It’s easy to move the tub into the closet and close the second door.

It is absolutely dark in there, but I put a rolled up towel at the base of the door, just in case. I also take off my watch. After everything is situated, I sit on the toilet lid with the tub in front of me and turn off the light.

Seems like a lot of trouble, huh?

I haven’t screwed up a single roll since making this change, so the effort is worth it.

Plus, I’ve ditched the dark bag.

New Old Stock.

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Quirky new addition.

This little guy arrived in the mail last week. It’s a Smena 8M. A Russian viewfinder camera.

An eBay purchase, it’s New Old Stock. Seriously. The box that showed up in the mail was sealed and unopened. They were manufactured from 1952 until the late 80s, but a little internet research reveals this one’s likely closer to the late 80s.

To call this thing quirky would be an understatement.

Full manual. 35mm. No battery. The shutter needs to be cocked before each shot.

The aperture ring – ƒ/16 to ƒ/4 – is inconvenient as hell, and loading and unloading film will be interesting because the rewind is a smaller-than-a-dime button with a serrated edge on top of the camera. No crank. The film take-up spool is loose.

It has shutter speeds from 1/8 to 1/250 second, or one can go by sunny to cloudy icons at the top of the lens barrel.

There are videos aplenty on YouTube, if you’re the curious type.

So, besides the Smena 8M, I’m down to about 20 cameras to document:

  • Fujifilm Instax Square SQ6
  • Diana Mini
  • Shen-Hao HZX45-II
  • Polaroid Land Camera Model 180
  • Voigtlander Bessa I
  • Minolta XG-1
  • Minolta XG-7
  • Polaroid Colorpack II
  • Argus 520
  • Debonair 120
  • Pinholaroid (hacked Polaroid Colorpack II pinhole)
  • Sprocket Rocket
  • 8Banners Mc (pinhole)
  • Zero Image 2000 (pinhole)
  • Ondu 6×12 Multiformat (pinhole)
  • Fujifilm XQ1
  • Spartus Fullview
  • Argus Argoflex
  • Yashica-Mat 66

It’ll take a while to go through them all since they’re mostly old film cameras, but it’ll give me a chance – and excuse – to use up my film stash.

I’m pretty sure I’ll keep adding cameras to the list – because GAS – but putting these cameras through their paces will be my main focus for 2020-2021.

Take a few seconds and check out what I’ve put together so far over on @rustyshutters.