Saturday, December 25, 2010

Fujifilm Darkless

Here is yet another cute and innovative do-it-yourself product from the very creative Fujifilm that apparently never made it to the English-speaking world.  Like the Brooks Pixmat, Fujifilm's Darkless developed a roll of 35mm film in the can, with expected irregularities.

But, the fun is not lost on the Japanese author of this link, translated in google translate from Japanese. Or this one (warning, nudity) Why not color?

Anyone have an idea of the date of this product?


Anonymous said...

I think that a monobath for color would be welcome... If it exists in Fp100c it is possible to make.
Could be one of the collateral products, as it fits your idea/words "Make it easy, fast, accessible to young people etc.".
I also think that the present and future of tradicinal photography needs those kind principles applied in products.

Joao Lamas

J. Yabrow said...

I think I used this a LOOOONG time ago, probably 25+ years or more! I remember ordering a "process film in the canister" kit from Porters Camera Store sometime in the early 1980's. I'm not sure what possessed me to get this oddball gimmick, but I was young and stupid and easy prey for hucksters that promised convenience and a better way of doing things, but delivered wacky low-quality solutions chock-full of caveats and conditions.

As I recall, the idea was that you could develop your film without a darkroom, tank, or changing bag, and no effort wasted threading the film onto a developing reel in the dark.

The kit consisted of a miniature plastic transparent 'tank' just big enough to hold one 35mm roll of film, two packets of develop/fix chemicals, and a cap with a rotating stirring 'stick' that fit into the film spool canister spool. The tank also had ribs on the inside walls to keep the 35mm film canister from moving, and only the film spool turned when you rotated the stick.

To use it you'd open the packet, pour the contents into the tank, add water to a fill line, and mix it up until the powder dissolved. Next, you'd immerse your 35mm film canister in the tank and put the cap on. You'd have to 'agitate' the film by turning the stick which somehow spooled and unspooled (tightened and loosened?) the film inside the canister, presumably ensuring that each part of the film was in contact with the chemicals for long enough to develop and fix the film. I'm not sure, but I think you had to leave the leader out of the film and 'hook' it to or jam it against something on the tank wall, otherwise I'm not sure how the tighten/loosen operation would even work. So you'd spin the stick clockwise, which would loosen the film for a bit and then tighten it again. Then you'd spin it counterclockwise for another tight-to-loose-to-tight-again cycle, repeating this constantly over and over for about 15-20 minutes. Finally you'd open the tank pull out the film canister (letting excess liquid drain out into the tank). Once drained, you'd pull on the leader and your magically developed film would appear. I don't remember how or if you needed to wash the film, but I'm pretty sure you'd have to.

For all the promised "convenience", this procedure was actually MORE work than developing film in a regular tank, and the results were not so good. It might've been useful if there was no possible way you could use a changing bag or a regular tank (camping maybe?), but I can't imagine a situation that would be the case (camping maybe?), or where you wouldn't be better off simply holding onto the exposed film and waiting until you could process the it normally.

Bob Crowley said...

The Pixmat was fun, but not any better than anything, was it? It offered convenience, but it wasn't worth the hassle. That's why it isn't still around I suppose.

I would say possibly 40 years ago!