FAQ or Answers to Frequently Asked Questions Section 37
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This is a file containing answers, tips, hints and guidelines associated
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These files are available in SECTIONS.
This is Section 37 and its contents are listed below.
37.01 -< Is Photography Finished? >-
37.02 -< Pointers on making image files for Web use >-
37.03 -< Further Notes on Polaroid Emulsion Transfer >
37.04 -< Where to get obsolete or hard-to-find lightbulbs in US >-
37.05 -< Where to have self-promotional postcards printed in US >-
37.06 -< Lens mount diameters / clearances for various cameras >-
37.07 -< Light trap overlap designs for darkroom access >-
37.08 -< Pointers for making a view camera from almost scratch >-
37.09 -< The Usenet rec.photo groups - how many are there? >-
37.10 -< Pointers for students seeking assistant's jobs >-
37.11 -< Bogen adapter for mercury battery using items >-
37.12 -< A personal approach to Reversal B&W Processing >-
37.13 -< Rodinal: Conversation, Observation and Formulation >-
37.14 -< Where to convert Nikon lenses to AIS mount? >-
37.15 -< Omega Enlargers - where to get parts? >-
37.16 -< More Pinhole camera tips - SPECIAL for TEACHERS! >-
Note 37.01 -< Is Photography Finished? >
Is Photography Finished?
Personal reflections on the future
I originally intended this piece to be an amalgam of electronic mail messages
between myself and four other photographers I have been in communication with
in the US and Europe, on the subject of the future of photography. When I had
edited these, I re lised that we virtually agreed on all the points that had
been raised, but there was too much bias towards the technological arguments
that made the answer to the above question probably yes, as we know it. So, I
decided to write a short piece that wil hopefully stimulate some dialogue and
raise questions as to where we as independent photographers may find ourselves
in the next few years, in the way we think, communicate our visions, produce
our images and ultimately show them to the rest of the wo ld.
I have been to several gallery exhibitions recently, staged for groups of
independent photographers in the UK. These are mostly people like you and me
who don't have to earn a living from the medium and who are involved in
photography because they enjo it, find it therapeutic or have a calling (some
are actually quite good at it as well). In all these shows (and I must assume
that some form of selection takes place) we are probably seeing the best of a
particular group. I must admit that I have left each one of these venues
feeling that contemporary photography has not evolved in any way. In fact
thinking back over the last few years nothing seems to have changed much at
all. Contemporary photography in the UK appears to be in a rut. One of the pr
blems with working in groups is that although they can be useful as sounding
boards and have some social and educational significance, influences can become
so powerful that the cross fertilisation of ideas and central philosophies can
make a group exh bition look as though it is the product of one or two
photographers. Some photographers I feel tend to take themselves all too
seriously. There is an enormous amount of depressing subject matter on show
most of the time, and the obsession with death and decay seem often to be at
the top of the agenda. Of course most of these images are black and white and
this gives them the essential gloominess that makes them excel in this field.
Is it fashion? So many years of Tory government? Or are some photographers just
manic depressives. The public gallery areas are not much better, with their
arts council funded, politically correct, unintelligible images that are
increasingly bogged down in semiotics. Pictures for academics and not people.
All in all a pretty sad affair. Does photogr phic art have to be so depressing?
Have we all looked too deeply into ourselves?
Isn't it about time that we had some fun?
The Royal Photographic Societies membership in the UK has anguished with its
self for the last two years on the subject of digital imaging, which is quite
interesting, as it has nothing to do with imagery as such, only the way that
the image is produce . There are of course ethical issues such as the owners
copyright of a photographic image, although this area will need re-evaluating
shortly as the accessibility of imaging technology increases and the old
barriers of non-silver/silver and digital ima es is broken down. I now believe
that the RPS membership are at rest now after this torturous (and at times
extremely boring) process, and now we learn that the society itself is girding
its loins for the Information super highway. We have been told that the society
will have Web pages shortly, which the rest of the 40 million people in the
world who are on line will have access to. This is exiting isn't it, because if
You had a Web page, 40 million people could access your photographs as well.
There are photographers ot a million miles away from this copy of Inscape that
are doing this already with some success.
The following is a short section from one of the Emails I received recently
from a multimedia teacher in Atlanta on this subject:
..........With the massive increase in growth of the Internet and particularly
the World Wide Web, it is now quite easy for millions of people across the
world to get access to the work of a completely unknown Photographer, to read
about and even to print off hard copy of the images almost instantly. You don't
have to wait anymore for the galleries to show your work (even if you have one
interested in you) they all tend to be regional anyway, with the WEB you will
even find people who are not even in erested in photography looking at you
work, that can't be bad can it............
This technology, and I include Digital camera's, Personal Computers, Compact
discs, digital image manipulation and fibre optic communications will have an
enormous impact on the way that we think, feel and produce our images, we must
not forget either, the way that the spectator will view the finished product.
As always with the increase in communication comes the dissemination of
knowledge, and the Internet holds host to large numbers of news groups
specialising in all types of photographic interests, they are nearly all active
and if one is subscribed to t em all, then a total of 1000 electronic mail
messages arriving at your Personal Computer a day would not be out of the
question. Photographic Web pages abound and new ones appear by the hour.
Imaging and video editing software is available as shareware for free. If you
have a scanner and an idiots guide to hypertext mark-up language (and someone
will allow you space on a Web server) then you can have your pictures up and
running and available for the world to see in hours. You have suddenly become
a presence in world photography, a global artist like so many before you. What
you suddenly find is that that your horizons have got larger and the world has
become smaller, you have joined a virtual tribe of photographers, whe e you
will certainly come across others that are obsessed with death and decay
(digitally manipulated in black and white of course, but thankfully in a
All business organisations are striving for greater efficiency and control of
their bottom line, and the photographic trade is no exception. Although new
conventional photo emulsion technologies are still developed we are starting to
see films and pape s that are basically the same, and a flattening of the large
manufactures ranges. Small manufactures strive to fill the gaps with the more
esoteric products and although competition is difficult some are doing well.
Unfortunately some products are just disappearing without trace, or
reappearing, packed with the environmentally unfriendly bits taken out of them.
Green solutions to problems of photographic chemical waste are being sought
(more so in the USA then the UK) and in an effort to become green r, profitable
and more efficient some photographic studios are taking advantage of imaging
technology in a big way. This will have repercussions on the amateur and
semi-pro areas as the larger manufactures invest more in the development of
this type of technology, and less in conventional silver based products.
An interesting by-product of these changes is that there appears to be a
backlash from one area of the photographic fraternity. The Gummers are on the
ascendant. There is a tremendous amount of interest in alternative photographic
techniques, paper mak ng, bichromates, cyanotypes, vandyke, printing out papers
etc. There are several very active Internet newsgroups and lots of Web pages, a
well-known photographic book retailer told me recently that they are selling
more books on the subject then ever b fore. This maybe a reaction to digital
imaging by some photographers, these images tend to be unique, in as much as it
is difficult to produce the identical image and colour each time, and they tend
to be sought after as 'fine art objects' for their su tly colourings and
texture. Straight photographs have a lower currency value and can be produced
virtually identically over and over again by traditional printing methods,
photomechanical processes, and now by imaging technologies.
What does this all mean for the future of traditional photography and the way
that the independent photographer thinks and feels about the medium?
Electronic image manipulation and production is hear to stay, and should not be
feared. It opens up possibilities that have not been conceivable before with
conventional silver technologies, and I would suggest that the independent
photographer should t least learn something about these processes, even if
they don't have access to the hardware that is required. The quality of a hard
copy digital image is not bad at the moment and is getting better all the time
(I have seen digital 10x8's that are vi ually comparable with 35mm, and in some
instances better). There is no doubt that eventually silver based photography
will disappear as we know it, and we will have to develop a new 'mind set' to
handle the new creative potential that is at our finger ips. This technology
can be used in a myriad of ways and is not just confined to the surrealistic or
Sci-Fi type image.
Global communication through the Internet allows us to reach independent
photographers on the other side of the world, to share in their thoughts,
feelings and struggles, and to view their work through the World Wide Web,
forget the hype that surrounds the 'Information Super Highway' this is a useful
tool now. Communication with fellow photographers can only broaden our outlook.
Advances are rapid and it is quite exiting wondering what is going to happen
next. There may be a divergence between the digital and the traditional
photographer with the former becoming a sort of hybrid photographer involved
more in multimedia and aud o-visual style installations, creating a new type of
art more suited to the large flat television and video screen than the gallery
So we return to where I started, in the gallery. It is difficult to imagine how
it would be possible for an individual to own a piece of multimedia art
(although someone will probably think of a way), as it is more suited to mass
access and viewing, tr ditional photographic galleries will also need to
address the opportunities presented by this new medium and the WWW. Does this
mean that in the years to come, the original fine print will become more
desirable to own? a nostalgic relic from a past tec nology, possibly.
In the final analysis it matters little what process is used to create the
image, what is important is that we use the tools that can express that vision
effectively. British Contemporary photography badly needs a jump start and one
way of doing this might be to open our minds to the changes that are happening
around us, and to have some fun while we are doing it.
This Article was originaly published in the UK Photo arts Magazine INSCAPE in
Graeme Webb, ARPS (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Graeme Webb lives in South London and is a member of London Inependant
Photography and the Royal Photographic Societies Contemporary Group, he is a
Information Systems project manager and consultant for an International
Communications Organisation. He has lectured on the New Communication
Technologies in the UK and in Europe.
Note 37.02 -< Pointers on making image files for Web use >
1) When using a scanner, use it at values close to the final product. Since
images are going to be viewed on a monitor, scan at 72dpi. Same with colour,
if it has a 8-bit setting and you want a 8-bit result (256 colours), use
that rather than 24-bit (16 million colours).
2) Resize before reducing colours, as you can produce smoother results since
colours dither better.
3) Use as few colours as possible when working with GIFs, it makes them
smaller, this makes them faster. Using fewer colours makes the image
smaller, so pick a 16 colour logo over a 256 colour one, it could be 2-4
times smaller. Remember you want to share your images with people around the
world, not only at the same site as you. "Normal" images should be 20K or
less. That's things like logos, signatures, your cat, etc. "Artworks" can be
about 50-70K with only a few pieces per page.
4) No more than 5 images per page. This is particularly important on the
first page people go to, the welcome page or home page. Because of network
dynamics it may be slower in transferring than other pages, so please try to
keep the images few and small on this page. You don't want to bore them
before that get a chance to look at your stuff.
5) Keep your pages compatible. I have a serious pet peeve with pages that
have to have a certain browser (Netscape 1.1 or otherwise). Why? Some
Netscape 1.1 pages are broken under Netscape 1.2 beta (which I hate BTW), and
some people cannot use Netscape, they can only use what is given to them by
their access provider (e.g. Pipeline) or a Computer Centre. They might be
using a text-based browser (Try ). If you want to
use Netscape 1.1 features, test to make sure they still work (not as pretty,
but work) with other browsers such as NCSA Mosaic, MacWeb, Lynx, Cello, or
6) Normally use GIFs for inline images or 'thumbnails'. An interesting
"trick" which doesn't hurt other browsers is to use the LORES tag, i.e.
where small_logo.jpg is tiny (2K).
7) Don't bother with "Under construction" logos and notices. Changes can
happen along the way, and if you know things are broken, don't make them
available yet. Remember this is a form of self-publication. You would never
print a book with a note saying typos will be corrected in the next edition,
so why do the same thing in a web page? People also can tolerate your pages
Good luck to anyone wishing to make web pages. Feel free to contact me with
any web questions if you want.
Michael C. Taylor, student of Mathematics at Mount Allison University
email@example.com, or Box M-14 Mt. Allison University, Sackville, NB,
E0A 3C0, Canada
Note 37.03 -< Further Notes on Polaroid Emulsion Transfer >-
...from Polaroid literature I have (a publication called TEST), a process
sometimes confused with Polaroid Dye Transfer is "Emulsion Transfer". It
is very esay to do. I gives you the complete emulsion of the film unlike
normal transfers so therefore the reds aren't diminished.
Anways how to do this:
1 Shoot a 669 Polacolor shot somehow.
2 Develop it normally (no silly transferring or anything yet).
3 Let it dry overnight (as I do) or force dry it with a hair dryer.
4 Spray paint the BACK of the print with clear spray paint (my choice) or
seal it with some sort of sticky masking material. This is so that the
backing doesn't dissolve. Let the paint dry if you go that route
5 Cut off the white border
6 Get a pot of H2O and heat it up to 160F. I use a meat thermometer to
7 Place the image in the H2O. It'll probabally sink.
8 I usually leave it there for 1.5 min and then remove it. BE CAREFUL. I
don't want anyone buring themselves here. Look for the emulsion to start
to bubble up a little, that means its done.
9 Place the image in a tray of room temp H2O and starting with a corner,
gently lift up and peel back the emulsion. Now, I've done this and 669
emulsion is suprisingly strong. Of course, be gentle but with a little
practice, you'll get a feel for it.
10 Now, pay attention to which side is the front. Make sure the image is
floating face up. Try and keep it relatively spread out. Then slide your
substrate (paper, glass, whatever) underneath the image and pull them out
together. If the image is "bunched up" too much, just dip half the image
back in the water. It'll spread out. Then just turn the image 1/4 and re-
dip. Continue until the image is how you want.
11 Manipulate however you see fit.
12 Let it dry.
Now, I've only done this with pack film. The Type 669 works spendid. The
Polacolor Pro 100 just desintegrates. These images are very sharp and have this
wonderful "fabric, silk like" quality to them. I especially like the folding of
the image at the edges. To practice, try the left over, reddish original prints
from you normal transfers.
dan - firstname.lastname@example.org
Note 37.04 -< Where to get obsolete or hard-to-find lightbulbs in US >-
[for obsolete and hard to find lightbulbs ...]
Try Bulbman in Reno Navada 1 800-648-1163. No Minimum. Nice people too!
I found a bulb for a Sickles Duping camera @ Bulbman. This bulb had been
discontinued a number of years ago. But they had found a small manufacturer in
Japan still making it. (interesting fact , this is the same bulb that was used
in a Norden bomb sight) I also buy all of my enlarger bulbs from these
folks. (50-75% savings over camera stores).
Shaun, Camera Graphics Photolab, Albq. NM 87106 - CDrisc9308@aol.com
The best prices for any bulbs can be had at PSC LAMPS, INC
Call them at 1 800-772-5267
Kenneth W. Zimmerman, email@example.com
Why don't you try Gray Supply Co. 1-800-238-2244. They are located in East
Chicago, Indiana. They list your bulb at $20.13, but the credit card
minimum order is $25.00.
They also have flash tubes for many brands of strobe units. Also, I noticed
they list enlarger bulbs (211, 212, 213) for $2.63 each. They also list hard to
find stuff like medical and microscope bulbs.
Raymond Laue, Sr. Technical Staff, Princeton University, Department of Physics
Note 37.05 -< Where to have self-promotional postcards printed in US >-
>I'd like to have postcards made for self-promotional use. Suggestions?
I found a great business in Carlsbad, CA: Modern Postcard (They do everything
via shipping, phone & fax, so you can work with them from anywhere in the US)
The price for 500 4-color postcards is $95. The price includes the scan and
color correction from your original transparency. (I sent a 4x5) They did
6354 Corte del Abeto, Suite E
Carlsbad, CA 92009
or call (800) 959-8365
Jeanine Birong, Jmbirong@aol.com
Note 37.06 -< Lens mount diameters / clearances for various cameras >-
Clearance diameters for various camera lens mounts. That is what is the
maximum diameter object that will fit inside/in the middle of a particular
lens mount. Contributions are boing sought!
Nikon 44.0 mm
Pentax K 44.75 mm
Jenaflex 48.5 mm
above sent in by: Steve Morton, Steven.Morton@sci.monash.edu.au
Note 37.07 -< Light trap overlap designs for darkroom access >-
>We are working on some remodeling of a darkroom and I'm wondering if
>anyone knows what the proper "overlap" of a U-shaped light trap should be
>for the entrance to the darkroom. Should the walls overlap each other by
>at least 1 foot, 2 feet or more? Any ideas would be appreciated.
One of the things that can tingle your craw is when someone walks through a
light trap wearing light colored clothing. Looks like the ghost of Jacob
Marley walking in. If you have the room, a light trap constructed so someone
entering is *completely out of the exterior light "before" they are visible
from inside the darkroom* will help solve the problem. A longer, wider,
whatever, light trap with plenty of overlap, or, in cases were absolutely no
light penetration can be tolerated (like in film rooms), a three-passage trap
could accomplish this.
"absolute minimum" "better"
(avoid bright (no bright
lights placed lights here)
on this side)
___________ ______ __________________ _____
| | | |
| | | |
| _______| | _______________|
| | | Marley |
| | | |
___|_______ |______ ___|______________ |_____
darkroom darkroom visible from
with two more "if space is no object"
walls added (you could have a small
outside or inside complete darkroom in
(space permitting) this much space)
_______ ______________ _____
extra | | |
baffles -------> | | |
___________ |______ | ___________|
| | | |
| | | |
| _______| |__________ |
| | | |
| | | |
___|_______ |______ ___| ___________|_____
'couse, you can always have two people dressed in silver metallic jumpsuits
meet in the trap.
Damaged hollow core doors often make great partitions, conditions permitting.
However, in most school environments, walls should be constructed of 6 by 6
studs covered with 1" marine plywood, with barbed wire stapled over this as a
John Thompson, Canton, Ohio
I have made a few light traps and have found that the width and heighth of
the "tunnel" are as important as the length, and often more under your
control. The lay out of the rooms often determine the length and location of
the light traps. I try to put the outside opening at the darkest corner of
the light room and use a black slatelike tile on the floor. If the ceilings
are high I use painted foam core as baffles from the ceiling to about 6 ft.
above the floor. Placing the baffles ot both ends and the turns. I do not
like curtains as IMHP they are dust gatherers and distributers. A hard
surface is easier for me to wipe down from time to time.
Another "trick" I use, is to paint B & W darkrooms a SATURATED YELLOW !!!
As "bright" a yellow as I can get.
Yellow has the advantage of turning "light leaks" into "Safelight". White walls
in darkrooms have the advantage over black walls of providing "fill light" but
they also reflect harmfull light. YELLOW provides the best properties of both
black and white walls. I still prefer black light traps, but yellow might
work there also.
Enjoy your new darkroom ......................David, firstname.lastname@example.org
Note 37.08 -< Pointers for making a view camera from almost scratch >-
>Have you made a view camera from scratch? Any pointers much appreciated!
Well, this isn't quite what you woodworking folks are looking for, but back 20
years ago when I was an impoverished student working in a camera store I built
my first view camera.
First I saved enough money to buy a good used lens. I found a used Schneider
Symar 210mm f5.6 for $300.00. (All other factors considered, a photograph can't
be better than the lens allows).
The other item I had to purchase was the camera back -- found a used 4x5
reducing back for $25.00. I was sure that I couldn't successfully manufacture a
back that would properly hold the film and ground glass in the same plane.
I built the body of the camera from scrap Omega D enlarger parts. I built a
double rail support using the rods that typically hold together the lift arms
for the old Omega D condenser heads. I bolted together sections of lift arms as
stationary support. I used wire and turnbuckles to firm it up. Miniature tripod
heads served to mount the film and lens standards and allow movement. Anyway I
was able to put together a usable light weight rail camera for myself and I'm
proud to say that I eventually gave the thing away to a friend who 20 years
later still uses it as a copy camera. My friends at the time named it the
The bellows was fun. Since my first bellows for that camera I've made quite a
few. Most recently I made a new bellows for a little 2x3 Century Graphic that I
restored and now use regularly. I made the bellows from leather. At a good
leather store you can purchase a skiver or split lamb skin. It's nice and thin
and should in fact need to be stiffened. I stiffen the skiver with sheer nylon
curtin material. Coat the back of the skiver with contact cement and attach the
fabric. Then dye the inside leather and fabric with black shoe dye. When it's
all dry the leather will be stiff enough to hold a fold, but still workable.
Draw the bellows pattern on the outside of the leather with a pencil and start
folding. Use paper clips on the corners as you begin. Eventually the bellows
will start to naturally take shape. Use contact cement to close it up. Red shoe
dye on the outside adds a nice finish and with proper leather care it'll last a
lifetime. HINT: fold a few trial bellows from brown paper grocery bags before
you tackle the real thing.
Joe Angert, St. Louis Community College, <email@example.com>
Note 37.09 -< The Usenet rec.photo groups - how many are there? >-
>Please, does anybody know good newsgroups dealing with photography and can
>you tell me where to find them?
There are a bunch of photo related newsgroups (on the Usenet or UUnet). Here
is a list of those that I know of:
I subscribe to a few of them. I would suggest that you subscribe to those
newsgroups which interest you. Generally I find them informational and worth
reading. I get to the newsgroups by using a newsreader program supplied by my
internet access provider. I know that the major online services (like AOL)
also supply newsgroup access.
Bob Gastle, firstname.lastname@example.org
Note 37.10 -< Pointers for students seeking assistant's jobs >-
>Does any pro out there have pointers to share for students seeking assistant
Reading this post got me thinking about my early days as an assistant, and
what would I be like as an assistant to myself now... Hmmm...
What I value most highly is someone who has an intuitive sense toward the
needs of the photographer, someone who, when I turn to ask for the polaroid
back, already has it in their hand. But how do you teach a skill like that?
Or is it an inate talent?
Assisting is often seen as the stepping stone to a shooting position. Does
it therefore follow that assisting is a temporary position at best? In my
experience, it takes years of working together before the assistant becomes
of real value to the photographer. Once that happens though, the team
becomes greater than the sum of the parts. Some of my best work was created
during a time when I had an assistant that had really 'connected' -
understanding what I was trying to achieve, making suggestions, offering a
different perspective, sometimes deflecting some of the pressure of the
shoot away from me and onto herself.
Almost anyone can learn the mechanics of photography - how to use a light
meter, how to prep a camera, how to rough-in a lighting set-up. It takes an
extra quality to take the base knowledge beyond - to where the assistant
knows the photographer's 'eye' well enough to be able to anticipate his/her
next move or request. It almost becomes a sort of intricate dance between
The only analogy I can think of comes from the modelling profession... There
are hundreds of people who can look good in front of a camera, know all the
right 'moves', etc., but there are very few who have that unlearned 'presence'
that makes a shoot really come together. Those who have experienced that type
of talent are spoiled for anything less, and it becomes a source of great
frustration. So too with assisting, in my experience. Thus endeth the lesson.
I think I'll sit down and shut up now... Regards to one and all!
Grimes Photography Inc.
127 Albert Street
London ON N6A 1L9
Note 37.11 -< Bogen adapter for mercury battery using items >-
For anyone with an interest in replacing mercury batteries such as used in the
Gossen Luna Pro meter, Bogen makes available a conversion kit.
It is Bogen part number 4145 and, after installation, it uses Duracell D 367 H
or IEC SR-44 or Varta V 76 PX. I put this kit into two old Luna Pro meters and
they are now BOTH within a half stop of my new Luna Pro digital meter.
Previously they were about a stop and a half low.
Charles Knight, email@example.com
Note 37.12 -< A personal approach to Reversal B&W Processing >-
For interested folks, here is my personal method of direct reversal processing
of Tri-x and FP4 sheet film. No doubt many of you know better methods- I know
nothing of photo chemistry, I only experiment with published formulas I have
seen. I chose my method for least expense and ease of use which gives good
(medium) contrast and smooth gradation. Since I am viewing 5x7's directly grain
is not noticeable.
I got my initial information from two files available via the Photoforum FAQ's;
(1) FAQ-27 "Reversal Processing of Ilford Negative Films", and (2) FAQ-16 -
"How to Use Direct Positive Film".
I expose Tri-x at ISO 400, FP4 I have less experience with but I'd start with
ISO 125. The above FAQ's discuss other films such as Tech Pan and T-Max.
Have ready the bleach and the clearing bath:
Bleach Potassium Dichromate 11 grams
Sodium Bisulfate 22.9 grams
water to make one liter
Clearing Sodium Sulfite 34 grams
water to make one liter
First Developer: Dissolve approx 1.3 grams Sodium Thiosulphate crystals into 12
ounces water. Mix 1:1 with Ilford Bromophen stock.
Second Developer: Ilford Bromophen 1:1 with water (NO HYPO!). I have also used
HC110 for the second developer with slightly results (grain, color, density).
I develop up to two 5x7's at a time in an 8x10 drum (or 4 4x5's), using 4
ounces of solution. With the constant agitation of the drum my processing times
at 68 degrees for Tri-X are as follows:
First Developer 7-8 minutes
Bleach 2 minutes
Clearing 1 minute
Re-exposure to white light about 60 seconds each side (40 watt bulb close)
Second Developer 4-5 minutes
Fix as usual
Wash & photo-flo as usual
Varying the first developer will have a slight effect on higlight density-
exposure is much more important. Varying the second developer time will affect
shadow density (blacks) only. I don't know the technical capacity of the bleach
or the clearing bath, but they last a long time...
The above will also work for Ilford FP4 (ISO 125) sheet film, but I haven't got
a good idea of the developer times yet (other times will be the same.) I see no
reason why the above process wouldn't work for producing 35mm slides, but I
don't know how they would look projected.
If you do tray processing you will have to vary the developer times according
to your agitation technique. Rinses are not absolutely necessary- capacities
will be lower if you don't rinse between solutions.
I will appreciate any improvements you may recommend or questions.
Keith Ostertag, firstname.lastname@example.org
Note 37.13 -< Rodinal: Conversation, Observation and Formulation >-
>Would the resident Rodinol gurus mind sharing their secret? Everytime I use it
>with Tmax 400, FP4 or any conventional film I get gobs of grain. Is this
>normal? How to reduce it?
Most developers contain hefty amounts of sodium sulfite which functions as a
preservative and as a "fine grain" additive. Sodium sulfite disolves silver
salts. So if you're using D-76 for example, part of your latent image is
disolved into solution during processing. As processing continues that disolved
silver re-plates itself back on your film in a process called physical
development. The result is four fold. 1. Disolving away part of your latent
image cuts the edge of the grain (minor effect). 2. Re-plating of silver back
onto the film fogs the film and lowers contrast. 3. Re-plating of silver back
onto the film smooths out the grain (fine grain effect). 4. Disolving away part
of your latent image lowers acutance -- your negative is less sharp.
Rodinol contains not a trace of sodium sulfite. The disadvantage of this is
that there is no "fine grain" effect during development. Contact Agfa and they
will give you detailed instructions on how to add sodium sulfite to Rodinol in
order to modify it's performance. Just don't let a Rodinol purist catch you
doing so if you value your life. Rodinol appeals to the "sharp" freaks out
there. In combination with low speed fine grain films, a tripod, and a Zeiss
(Leica will do in a pinch) lens used at best aperature, Rodinol produces
negatives of astonishing sharpness. Most folks don't have the equipment or the
discipline in technique to take advantage of Rodinol's abilities.
Joe Angert, St. Louis Community College <email@example.com>
>I have a bottle of Rodinol that was opened 2 months ago ( used just a few
>ml) and was lost on the shelf until now. Does anyone have experience with
>the shelf life of this product. I have some important negatives to develop
>and need to know if I should use it, or just go out and buy new.
In actual fact, when one makes Rodinal (a close substitute) at home, one adds,
to warm water, Para-Aminophenol, then Potassium Metabisulfite. Next one adds a
50% Potassium Hydroxide solution. Immediately, a precipitate forms. You then
keep adding Potassium Hydroxide until the prtecipitate ALMOST redissolves. If
it disappears entirely, you must add more Metabisulfite to cause a slight
precipitate. When the precipitate is present, the developer has extremely good
keeping powers, but when it is redissolved completely, the developer has a very
short shelf life.
The common formula for "Rodinal", as published in OLD copies of the "Handbook
of Chemistry and Physics" in the '50's was:
Hot water 1000ml
Potassium Metabisulfite 300gm
Potassium Hydroxide (50% Sol)
Add until precipitate is almost but not entirely dissolved.
Some editions indicate Sodium Hydroxide. It is my understanding from a bunch
of other readings, that Agfa uses Potassium Hydroxide.
While A. Davidhazy, firstname.lastname@example.org said that: "Sometimes I have seen Rodinal
with precipitate in the bottle. I would think this would not be a good thing."
... personally, I would worry if the bottle DIDN'T have a precipitate!
Oh, also. I have used Rodinal from a 5 year old, partially full bottle with no
ill effects. I suspect, though, that Rodinal has been changed at least once,
when the packaging changed from glass to plastic. At that time (10 years ago?)
they dropped all the higher dilution (1:75, etc.) recommendations, in favor of
1:25 and 1:50. I suspect that Agfa found out that they could increase their
profit margin by adding that miracle chemical ingredient, WATER!
_/_/_/_/ _/_/ _/ _/ | Edward M. Lukacs
_/ _/ _/ _/_/ _/ | email@example.com
_/_/_/ _/ _/ _/ _/ | 11286 Southwest 169 Street
_/ _/ _/ _/ | Miami, Florida 33157 USA
_/_/_/_/ _/ _/ _/_/_/_/ | Telephone: (95) 305-235-9098
Note 37.14 -< Where to convert Nikon lenses to AIS mount? >-
I found one person who will convert any Nikon older lens so that it will
mount on an AI, AIS and autofocus Nikon mount camera:
1350 Folkstone Court
Ann Arbor, MI 48105
Phone: 313 662-1734
John machines the base ring on the lens providing the "grooves" necessary to
allow for proper fit with the updated Nikon AI mount. I had a 50 mm 1.4 lens
"converted" and it works fine any F, F2, F4 and even an N90 camera. His
prices are relatively inexpensive less than $50.00. Check with him because
some mounts require extra work. If I recall they are the 4004, 6006. When he
is finished you still have the Nikon "rabbit ears" prong for the old F, F2,
Nikkormat etc. Yes you can mount the converted lens on any PK11A, PK12, PK13
and PN11N extension tubes which it would not fit before(use the stop down
metering on a Nikkormat, Nikon F, F2 (DP-1 finder). Sure saved a few dollars
on a new lens and I'm just a statisfied customer.
Joe Walc, Engine270@aol.com
Note 37.15 -< Omega Enlargers - where to get parts? >-
Regarding an inquiry as to whether the Omega D series 4 x 5 enlarger could be
used to print 35mm ... YES, but you need the condenser pack for 50mm lenses, or
to get the D 2-V pieces and convert to a variable condenser enlarger. Two very
good sources for parts for all older Omega enlargers are:
Harry Taylor Terry Seaman
Stamford, Ct Champaign, Il
(203) 239-9228 (217) 359-2006
Harry seems to have just about any part you might want for older Omegas - also
instruction manuals. But, maybe a little expensive (compared to scrounging at
camera shows and yard sales). Terry has lots of used stuff, and his prices are
not bad (still higher than scrounging)
It is true that a 50mm enlarger lens is pretty short for this enlarger, but if
you do not want to print larger than 11 x 14 (maybe larger, haven' t tried),
getting the 75-105mm condenser set and a 75 or 80mm lens will let you print
both 35mm and medium format. And, for what it is worth, the F. Picker (arrrgh)
advice was always to use a "one size longer" focal length enlarger lens anyway.
Also, somehow the D 2 seems to inspire tinkering - I made a long focal length
extension ('snoot") out of a soup can epoxied to a homemade lens board. Don't
see why you could not make an inverted lensboard with a tuna can, or?? Anyway,
Note 37.16 -< More Pinhole camera tips - SPECIAL for TEACHERS! >-
While I was gone my son (10) used the darkroom at home and produced some
exquisite (well, I thought they were!), pinhole photographs using a camera
he invented himself...a plastic 35mm film canister with a needlehole in the
side, instead of the tincan camera we'd made years ago. Using photographic
paper, he made several panoramic images - the paper wraps right round the
inside of the cannister up to the pinhole - including a daisy, a pile of
rocks and his bike, and an underwater picture in our dam (the water doesn't
enter the pinhole because of surface tension).
Perhaps people have already tried this container as a pinhole camera, but
it had never occurred to me. Its perfect - light tight, pocket sized,
requiring only short exposures even on photographic paper. The contacts
were a little larger than 35mm and we tried some enlargments - romantically
hazy, but no grain - from the paper negs.
Just thought I'd pass this on, especially to primary school teachers, and
I'd be interested to hear of any other photographic inventions by children
and ideas for children in the darkroom.
James McArdle, Lecturer in Photography, Dept. Art & Design, School of Arts
Latrobe University Bendigo P.O Box 199 Bendigo, Victoria, Australia 3550
In my summer school classes we have no darkroom access, but I really wanted
the kids to experience the thrill of development. We do have a copy machine,
so I had enlargements made on the copy machine, then acetate copies made of
the enlargements. I got print out paper from Chicago Albumen Works. We put
the acetate over the p-o-p, went out into the sun and made sun prints. Only
chemical involved was the fix after the prints were made. The prints are
negative, of course, but that taught them a little about photography too!
If anyone out there has any ideas about developing without a darkroom -
remember involving large numbers of kids - I sure would appreciate it! I tried
to arrange field trips to a few places (newspaper, studio) but none do any
From: Lisa Martzke
I have had good luck, both teaching kids and for my own use with modified old
Polaroid cameras. I have been using Polaroid 100-200-400 series pack film
cameras - bought at camera shows or yard sales for about $5.00 (sometimes less,
never more). To make them into a pinhole camera you "lobotomize" the camera by
removing the lens and all the electronic shutter junk. Once the front of the
camera is cleaned up you can install the pinhole on a cardboard lensboard. It
helps to know that the focal length of all these cameras is 114mm - using the
pinhole formula or any of the available tables you can determine the
appropriate pinhole. I make the shutter out of a piece of black plastic
Now for the best part - you can use one of the Polaroid ASA 3000 films and do
hand-held pinhole photography. For other film types the cameras have a tripod
socket - and most of them have a pretty nice viewfinder. To hold down expenses
I have been using just-out-of-date film (I get it at Ritz for $3.00 a pack).
If you want a negative, you can use the Polaroid positive/negative film. Kids
like it because you get instant results. I like it because I can see if I
screwed up, and make appropriate corrections while I am still out in the field.
And it folds up. And since you can no longer get batteries for older Polaroids
it makes good use of them. Try this, I think you might like the system.
Stephen Poe, Cadle Creek, off the Rhode River, near the Chesapeake Bay in MD
From: Stephen Poe
=========================== end of section 37 ==============================
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