Thursday, November 24, 2011

8x10 Film Holder that doesn't have a light leak wanted

It must be just bad luck, but so far I have not purchased an 8x10 sheet film holder off ebay that doesn't have some sort of defect such as a light leak caused by bowing where the darkslide is inserted.  I'm using a very fast emulsion relative to what many people use (for a very interesting experiment) and trying to avoid as many defects up front as things progress.

Anyone know how to reshape a plastic film holder? I am tempted to glue tensioned steel rails on either side to counteract the bow.

Then I can get this rig operating. What you see is a Speed Graphic with its focal plane shutter grafted onto some 8x10 camera, all mounted on a Saltzman tripod. The shutter arrangement works just fine with all kinds of barrel lenses, even the Aero Ektar for close ups, which easily covers 8x10 when extended a bit.  The camera shown is notoriously wiggly, and so is the tripod head it is mounted upon. One would think this might be a rigid setup, but no it is not, as it oscillates quite wildly and in fact if one intended to design it to oscillate, this is a good way to accomplish it.  Nevertheless it is possible to get a sharp photograph by waiting for things to settle down. The focal plane shutter hardly jiggles the camera and is fine for short exposures. Longer exposures like 1/4 or greater are also possible with care.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

John D. de Vries, the Speed Graphic, and the Aero Ektar

You should know about the brilliant John D. de Vries, author,  of the website called The Master Site for the Larger Camera. John has written extensively about his passion for the Speed Graphic and Aero Ektar combination, so expensively in fact, that it may take you hours to look at all the information, and even then you cannot be sure, as the navigation of John's site is patterned after the controls of the Speed Graphic, and his own unusual sense of order.

According to Mr. de Vries,  "Never before in photographic history has been written so much about one lens to so few !" and he may be right.

The fitting of maximally-apertured lenses onto large and medium format cameras and tilting them about seems to have reached beyond cult and into the new, or renewed art of real cameras producing real photographs.

If you have not visited John's site before and have even a slight interest in the Speed Graphic and Aero Ektar lenses, and the science and art of large format photography, go here, to this link, and bookmark it immediately, because you will be back again.

If for some reason you are asked for a password, follow the instructions and ask for one, as it is well worth it.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

SHOP New55

This page is a placeholder for things in our shop, starting with camera and film equipment and culminating in unique new products for photography, artistic expression, and exploration.

Revenue from SHOP New55 purchases materials, capital equipment, tools, and services aimed at the commercialization of New55 FILM.

If I can figure out how to do it, I will put a paypal button on this page and keep adding stuff to it, and link to this page like we did with the very popular Fuji FP100C negative tutorial.

chester holdings llc wifi

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Set Your Gamma

If you have a new iPhone, iPad or Apple appliance, your gamma, which is how grays are shown, is probably set to 2.2. Snow Leopard changes your gamma from 1.8 to 2.2 without asking you.

Apple used to ship Macbooks with the gamma set to 1.8, but recently cranked up the contrast so things will look snappier on the shiny, glare-prone screens.

The images on this blog are scanned or adjusted to look right on a display set to a gamma of 1.8.  I use a shiny screened (annoyingly glare-inducing) Macbook Pro, which is great except for the gloss, and I have set it to 1.8.

You will miss much of the tonality of the New55 photographs unless you lower your gamma. You can change it by going to display properties and working your way through the menus.

Rob Fraboni and no solarization

New55 scan from negative
Last week Rob was in to discuss various things having to do with analog backlash and what to do about them. After the discussion I got him over into the studio for a minute and grabbed a quick New55 shot of him. As I pulled the sleeve, it seemed to me that I had not exposed the negative for some reason, so I just left it on the bench as I shot another one.

The processing time was 3 minutes, and as could be expected, the reaction has run to completion or near to it, leaving little to no undeveloped silver and therefore no areas that are solarized when the PN is peeled and open to the light.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Post number 303

This is the three-hundred and third post on, an epic blog, the second that I have done with over 300 posts but nowhere near the 650 posts of microphonium, which served as a model for New55.  A lot has happened over the last year and a half, much more than I ever imagined could happen, and several new discoveries have been made, including what we think is the basis for an all-new instant system, should we decide to go that far.

The PN material, called New55 PN Film by us, has been demonstrated on still life and live model subjects with some promising results, not the least of which is the ability to get both a good positive and a good negative from one PN sheet.  This is something that old T55 never did - one had to choose between having a properly exposed positive or a correct negative.  That means our "value proposition" for New55 is a good one.

Meanwhile, a perfectly performing monobath called R3 was adapted or swiped from the very ingenious Donals Qualls and shown to work with excellent results on Ilford Pan F, Tmax, old outdated films of various types, Efke 25, and virtually any other black and white negative sheet or roll film, and the results are all within the first 300 posts.  If you haven't tried it, you are missing out.

Behind-the-scenes work involved traveling to exotic places such as Enschede Netherlands to The Impossible Project to see firsthand the machines and facility where integral film was reborn, then to Mobberly UK, where Ilford produces the finest black and white materials and runs a very important manufacturing facility.  Also the trip to the George Eastman House was pivotal to understanding the basics of emulsion-making, something we needed to know.

In the past 18 months we established a base of collaborators and built a consensus for action that is continuing, and kept anyone and everyone interested in the loop by weekly posts of whatever was happening at that time, some of it research, some sidetracks, and others having to do with discussions about price and products, and there were a few criticisms too.

Next we are codifying the results-to-date, carefully recording dimensions, times, temperatures, thicknesses, materials, vendors, and much more, for the day when business conditions are right for production of New55 to start. It can start, 8 months from funding, and a fairly detailed plan was posted about 100 articles ago that is still accurate.

All the while the now familiar FP100C negative reclamation page on the right has been drawing in newbies to the blog thanks to many, many links scattered in four continents. About a quarter of them look around, and some have stayed.

Perhaps the most important thing I have discovered for myself is photography, and what a photograph is.  The line has been blurred in the past decade: My digi gets used a lot, much as I used to use the Nikon F.  But the line has never been clearer about what is a photograph, and what is a high quality still video image. I will leave it to you to think about and possibly debate, but I am sure that instant photography onto paper or film that you process on the spot is the most real and most relevant photography there is, and that is, to me, a new discovery brought on by this investigation.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Positive Calotypes, Daguerreotypes, and more

A good number of New55 visitors have expressed interest in early and so-called alternative photographic processes. Here is a link and excerpt from The History and Practice of the Art of Photography Henry Snelling first published in 1849.

At a meeting of the British Association, Professor Grove described a process by which positive calotype pictures could be directly obtained; and thus the necessity to transfer by which the imperfections of the paper are shown, and which is moreover a troublesome and tedious process, is avoided. As light favors most chemical actions, Mr. Grove was led to believe that a paper darkened by the sun (which darkening is supposed to result from the precipitation of silver) might be bleached by using a solvent which would not attack the silver in the dark, but would do so in the light. The plan found to be the most successful is as follows: More here