Shooting/processing vintage 1913 expired Kodak 6x9cm Premo Film Pack

Back in late 2014 I bought an antique unused pack of B&W Kodak 6x9cm Premo Film Pack off Ebay for a very cheap price and it’s develop before date was 1st October 1913, exactly 68 years before I was born!!!

Around that time I knew how to make B&W films of the 1930s and 1940s work by really overexposing them around 1 ISO or less. Plus I saw on Flickr someone has shot a vintage 1917 Kodak Non-Curling 120 B&W film and I asked him how much he exposed it and he said 15 seconds at f-16 in sunlight and 30 seconds in lower lighting. Here’s a few links to his 1917 film images:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/56296811@N05/11577797893/in/photostream/
https://www.flickr.com/photos/56296811@N05/11577796173/in/photostream/
https://www.flickr.com/photos/56296811@N05/11578189274/in/photostream/
https://www.flickr.com/photos/56296811@N05/11578651916/in/photostream/

Armed with the knowledge from others and my success with 30s/40s film I reckon I can get this 1913 expired Premo Film Pack to work. There was one problem however, I don’t have a pack film camera, so I improvised, knowing this film is orthochromatic, I can pull sheets out under red light and stick them inside a sizeable camera so I decided my 1920s Kodak Hawkeye 2A Model B 116 film camera was ideal. So first thing I had to do was do a test shot with one sheet, so stuck one sheet in my Hawkeye and drove out to the Port Kembla anti-tank pyramids and did my first test exposure using f-11 aperture and exposing for 30 seconds! And in the evening in my garage I developed the sheet of film in a tray of Caffenol C Delta under safe light and was totally amazed to see the image of the pyramids forming on this over 100 year old film!!!

I can’t remember the develop time but I simply watch the image form and stop when it looks just right, after I wash and fix the film for 5 min in Ilford Rapid Fixer and wash again. On scanning the film, turns out the exposure was way too long as the pyramids solarized, it was however a really cool effect I must say! So realizing this film is not that insensitive I decided to do my next shot using f-16 aperture and 15 sec exposure in good sunny weather, my next test shot being Port Kembla Harbour, on developing in the tray once again I saw the image come up nice and as a negative without solarization!

1913 (6)

So from then on I decided to shoot the rest of the film using f-16 and 15 sec in sunny weather and longer for lower lighting. The rest of the film sheets I stuck them to a 116 film backing paper and rolled them through my 1920s Kodak Hawkeye taking shots of subjects of interest in Wollongong and up north around Stanwell Park region. I chose various historical and modern subjects to photograph on this over 100 year old film and they all came up looking nice and ultra retro!!! Here below are some photos taken on this antique film and the rest of them can be seen on Flick via this link https://www.flickr.com/photos/51853869@N08/sets/72157647424096839 .

Around that time this was literally the oldest film I shot and probably the oldest film anyone has shot in the 21st century to my knowledge!!! It is however now not the oldest film I shot, I’ve shot some photographic plates that are even older but that’s another story so stay tuned for that…..

Updated: Shooting/processing vintage 40s-60s era Kodak colour film: Part 3 Ektacolor

When I did my blog on Ektacolor back in early 2015, I had a mostly full tin can of 1962 expired 70mm Ektacolor film. Well I finally reached the end of the 100 foot roll by mid 2016 and I ended up with a whopping 190+ exposures that are 65mm x 110mm and I am satisfied I made excellent use of this film shooting all sorts of interesting subjects and being as creative as I can with my creative photography! The film gave excellent pictures on the most part all the way through! I have uploaded all of my Ektacolor 70mm photos to Flickr and here is the link to the album https://www.flickr.com/photos/51853869@N08/sets/72157645626998607/ . I have handpicked a dozen highlight photos for this blog and here they are below:


So that concludes the 70mm Ektacolor, I am very fortunately to have gotten my hands on that film and I hope another might pop up on Ebay one day so I can buy and go happy filming!

Okay now onto another type of Ektacolor film. Some months ago I won off Ebay a 10 pack of Kodak Ektacolor Type B 5″ x 7″ (127mm x 178mm) large sized sheet film!

film (1)

This is very large sheet film which obviously can’t fit into any of my roll film cameras so I decided to cut the film into sizeable slices to fit into my large 116 film cameras. So back on Christmas night 2016 I sliced up my first sheet (in total darkness) into 3 slices and did two shots of some Christmas house lights and the small slice shot something in the garage. This film has a very low sensitivity rating of 5 ASA in daylight and 8 ASA under tungsten light so I exposed the film around 0.25 or 0.5 ISO for my shots. Now reading up on the Photo Memorabilia site on Ektacolor Type B https://www.photomemorabilia.co.uk/Colour_Darkroom/Early_Kodak_CameraFilm.html#anchor31 it used a process called B-41 and I read with the early 50s Kodacolor the process was likely similar to B-41 so I suspected this film may have to be skip bleach processed. Just to be sure I decided to do a test develop of the small slice in C-41 using the process I use for C-22 Kodacolor and I of course got a blank transparent yellow negative. Then the next two films I decided to use the skip bleach method below:
Colour develop 10 min at 20 deg C (C-41 colour developer)
Wash 4 min
Fix 5 min (Ilford Rapid Fixer)
Wash 5 min

And the results are more promising with one of the exposures as I saw faint negative image of the Christmas lights, the other negative yielded nothing. So my suspicion of this Ektacolor being similar to early/mid 50s Kodacolor was correct. So from now on I will skip bleach process this pack of Ektacolor film! Anyways here below is the image on one of the film slices that turned out:

ektacolor57

This film I will be shooting over time and will slowly add the images to Flickr in this album https://www.flickr.com/photos/51853869@N08/albums/72157682042694412 so keep an eye out for them when I shoot/process more of this sheet film.
So that concludes the updates on my 3 part vintage Kodak colour film series for now but later down the track I will post more on these Kodak colour films as I shoot more of these films and discover better methods of processing some of them so stay tuned for them.

Updated: Shooting/processing vintage 40s-60s era Kodak colour film: Part 2 Ektachrome

Updated: Shooting/processing vintage 40s-60s era Kodak colour film: Part 2 Ektachrome

On the Ektachrome side of things, after shooting dozens of rolls from the 50s to the 80s I have experienced some perils which make Ektachrome not quite as easy to develop as I thought! I have found several of my films have overdeveloped grossly to the point I get really dense negatives and grainy pictures on scanning as a result. So it seems unlike Kodacolor I need to get the exposure and developing of Ektachrome much more spot on as otherwise it can overdevelop pretty badly, I never had this issue with Kodacolor as the films consistently come out with at least satisfactory density.

So it was back to the drawing board for Ektachrome. I’ve learned with Ektachrome that some films seem to have preserved very well with sensitivity and hence I get overexposed/overdeveloped images. Also I learned the general cold develop time for Ektachrome is actually 15 min so I’ve decided to develop my films 15 min at 20 deg C instead of 20 min. Of course some of my highly sensitive vintage Ektachromes I develop them for even less time like 10 min at 20 deg C, this has been the case particularly with some 1970s High Speed Ektachromes.

Anyways let’s start with showing some of my overdeveloped 60s/70s Ektachromes, most particularly a batch of 1963 expired Kodak Ektachrome 35mm films. I bought off Ebay a batch of 12 Kodak Ektachrome Professional 35mm films and shot a few of them not long after getting them.

ektachromes

I shot 3 rolls of this 1963 Ektachrome at a rockabilly festival capturing mostly the vintage show cars on display. As the film is high speed, I rated it at 3 ISO instead of 1 ISO and I exposed the film according to my light meter. I then processed one of the films like I process Kodacolor using a C-41 kit that uses separate bleach and fix:
Colour develop 20 min at 20 deg C
Wash 4 min
Bleach 8 min
Wash 6 min
Fix 6 min
Wash 5 min
Photoflow agent 1 min

To my horror the film came out extremely dense and on scanning I got extremely grainy washed out pictures which was no good!

63 (5)

I thought okay, process the next 2 films for 15 min instead of 20 min so I did and the negatives were still quite dense but not as bad and yielded much better images:

63 (3)

I quickly caught on after that that this film is much more sensitive than I initially thought so I processed the next film I shot at 3 ISO for only 10 min and got much more decent results, the film was still a bit dense but good enough to yield somewhat grainy but nice images:

63 (2)

Seeing this film is quite sensitive I thought I’d experiment shooting a couple of rolls at 12 ISO instead of 3 ISO and develop for 15 min and doing that I got results similar to 3 ISO 10 min develop:

63 (4)

The rest of the films I pretty much rated them 3 ISO and develop for 10 min and they worked good giving nice images with a touch of graininess.

Speaking of overdeveloping Ektachromes, here’s a showcase of some Ektachrome overdevelop mishaps I experienced:

I also have underdeveloped some Ektachromes too as I decided to lower the develop time after experiencing overdeveloped Ektachromes and here’s a showcase of them:

The B&W photo is from a 1957 Ektachrome which came out so poor I had to resort to selecting a colour channel B&W that yielded the best monochrome picture, in this case B&W blue channel.

Now after learning those lessons with Ektachrome, I was more wary when I shoot/develop Ektachrome films and when I got a batch of 1970 High Speed Ektachrome 120s 160 ASA rated I shot one roll at 10 ISO and made the last exposure a test exposure. I cut the test exposure off and stuck it in the bottom of the develop tank with one of the 1963 35mm Ektachromes I intended to develop for 10 min and I got very nice results on that test exposure:

70 (1)

So I developed the rest of the roll for 10 min and got stunning pictures as seen below:

70 (2)Kodak High Speed Ektachrome 120 (expired February 1970)

So I realized that batch was very sensitive. I found 10 ISO was too much exposure so I ended up rating the rest of the rolls 20 ISO and developed 10 min with beautiful results!

So that was a big learning curve for me with Ektachrome, developing time is much more critical for vintage Ektachrome than that of Kodacolor and from now on I am gonna generally develop low speed Ektachromes for 15 min and high speed Ektachromes I will allocate 1 test exposure and work out develop time.

Another peril I faced with Ektachrome is those dreaded water droplet blotches, they are not noticeable until after scanning the film. I realized only in more recent times that a photoflow type agent and lightly wiping the film from top to bottom with a sponge is a must to remove the droplets. So I decided to re-soak one of my 1954 Ektachromes with the blotches in water and then follow with a photoflow agent and lightly wipe in one direction with a sponge. And it certainly improved the image making the droplet blotches almost non-existent!

54a

So from then on I make wiping the films after developing with a sponge a standard procedure and I pretty much don’t get those nasty blotches anymore! Here’s the links to the 1954 Ektachrome before and after re-soak and sponge wiping:

Before https://www.flickr.com/photos/51853869@N08/sets/72157661545110102

After https://www.flickr.com/photos/51853869@N08/sets/72157678384321516

To finish up this Ektachrome blog, here is a showcase of images from various Ektachromes dating from 1953 to 1967 I shot/processed over the past couple of years with varying degrees of success:

53 (1)Kodak Ektachrome 120 (expired July 1953)

53 (2)Kodak Ektachrome 120 (expired April 1953)

54 (2)Kodak Ektachrome 620 (expired May 1954)

54 (1)Kodak Ektachrome 620 (expired July 1954)

56Kodak Ektachrome 120 (expired April 1956)

57Kodak Ektachrome 120 (expired February 1957)

60Kodak Ektachrome Professional 120 (expired May 1960)

61Kodak Ektachrome 120 (expired July 1961)

61aKodak Ektachrome 120 (expired July 1961)

63 (1)Kodak High Speed Ektachrome 35mm (expired February 1963)

67Kodak High Speed Ektachrome 35mm (expired February 1967)

Next blog update is Part 3 Ektacolor, so stay tuned for that……

 

Updated: Shooting/processing vintage 40s-60s era Kodak colour film: Part 1 Kodacolor

Back in early 2015 I posted a 3 part series on shooting vintage Kodak colour films. Since then I have learned a lot more and have refined my methods of processing them particularly with the early Kodacolor films. Here in part 1 I will talk about the newer methods of processing and digital post process of the 2nd and 3rd generation pre-C22 Kodacolor films.

Starting with the 2nd generation 1944-49 era Kodacolor film, I managed to buy off Ebay for a pretty cheap price a lot of 12 Kodacolor 127 films all expired 1949 which was a great score!!!

49 (1)

Having that much to experiment with I thought I’d try and see if I could roughly replicate the original process method for 2nd generation Kodacolor for one roll as there is information available on the Photographic Memorabilia site on this page http://www.photomemorabilia.co.uk/Colour_Darkroom/Early_Kodak_CameraFilm.html#anchor10 . This was a more complex process than simply cold C-41 processing it as it involved re-exposure and redevloping like that with slide film. Anyways I shot an exposure on one of the 1949 Kodacolor 127 rolls (the subject being a bunch of colourful foam shapes) and I cut the exposure and did 2 test develops, one in C-41 and the other using my rough replication of the original process using what I had available. Here is the details on my replication of the original process:

Colour develop 21 min at 18 deg C
Wash 4 min
Harden 4 min (chrome alum hardener)
Wash 4 min
Bleach 8 min at 18 deg C (ferricyanide bleach)
Wash 2 min
Clearing bath 2 min
Wash 6 min
Re-expose film over blue light 2 min each side (I used an incandescent light box with a blue gel filter with 2 100W globes)
Develop in Caffenol C Delta 4 min at 18 deg C
Wash 4 min
Fix 5 min (Ilford Rapid Fixer)
Wash 4 min

After scanning the two test pieces and Photoshop colour balancing, to my amazement my botch-together replication of the original process actually worked as the colours look more natural opposed to a straight C-41 process! Here below are the results:

49 (3)

I then shot the rest of the film and processed it using the above method and got more natural colours but also got psychedelic blotches here and there, so it’s far from perfect but muchly improved over straight C-41.

49 (2)

The photos of the whole roll can be seen here on Flickr https://www.flickr.com/photos/51853869@N08/albums/72157652239750750 .
Since then I have shot most of those 1949 Kodacolor 127s along with a few other mid/late 40s Kodacolor medium format films and had varying degrees of success and I have done some little variations to the formula in which I add fixing after the hardening and substitute C-41 bleach in place of ferricyanide bleach and D-76 in place of Caffenol C and I get similar results. Here’s how the formula goes with the variations:

Colour develop 21 min at 17 to 18 deg C
Wash 4 min
Harden 4 min (chrome alum hardener)
Fix 5 min (Ilford Rapid Fixer)
Wash 4 min
Bleach 8 min at 18 deg C (ferricyanide bleach or C-41 bleach but not blix)
Wash 2 min
Clearing bath 2 min
Wash 6 min
Re-expose film over blue light 2 min each side (I used an incandescent light box with a blue gel filter with 2 100W globes)
Develop in Caffenol C Delta 4 min at 18 deg C or in D-76 for 3 min
Wash 4 min
Fix 5 min (Ilford Rapid Fixer)
Wash 4 min

Adding a fixing after colour develop and harden gives me the opportunity to see if the film is showing pictures or not before proceeding to the rest of the steps and also to see if the emulsion is the 1944-49 2nd generation type or not, I actually did this with an early 1945 Kodacolor as I was unsure whether it was the 1942-44 1st generation or 2nd generation. Fixing the film early in the process I found does not seem to inhibit the later stages of the process.
Anyways here’s a showcase of some images from several rolls of 1945-49 era Kodacolor films I’ve shot:

Kodak Kodacolor 620 (expired February 1945)

48

Kodak Kodacolor 616 (expired approx 1948)

Various rolls of my 1949 expired Kodak Kodacolor 127 films

Now onto the 3rd generation Kodacolor. It is still a royal pain in the derriere for me when it comes to getting the best of both worlds i.e. good colour and good density of picture as I process it with bleach, I get colour but the film is almost completely transparent, but if I skip bleach process it I get good picture density but hardly any colour. I did try bleaching up one of the already skip bleach developed negatives (a 1951 Kodacolor 116) and some of the detail did remain but the negatives were nowhere near as dense, however I did get more colour. Here’s what I did:

Pre-soak film for a few min
Harden 4 min (chrome alum hardener)
Wash 4 min
Fix 4 min (Ilford Rapid Fixer)
Wash 4 min
Bleach 6 min (ferricyanide bleach)
Wash 2 min
Clearing bath 2 min
Wash 5 min
Fix 5 min (Ilford Rapid Fixer)
Wash 4 min
The hardening and fixing I figured would protect the film from going almost blank during the bleaching process and seemingly it worked up to a point, but as said the negatives were nowhere near as dense. Here’s the comparison of both images:

51 (1)

I have uploaded both versions of the 1951 Kodacolor 116 film:
Skip bleach https://www.flickr.com/photos/51853869@N08/sets/72157645992384205
Bleached https://www.flickr.com/photos/51853869@N08/albums/72157656415973784
To my opinion it is still risky so for the next early 50s Kodacolor film I shot I took a different approach to bringing back the colour. In early 2016 I shot a 1954 Kodacolor 620 film at Berkeley Autorama car show, I shot it at 1 ISO and I did the skip bleach process as follows:

Colour develop 10 min at 20 deg C (C-41 colour developer)
Wash 4 min
Fix 5 min (Ilford Rapid Fixer)
Wash 4 min

I then scanned the film and using the Vibrance control in Photoshop and I ramped up the saturation to max I think twice and that brought back a lot of the colour, I also colour balanced it to get the look I wanted, the colour is still not quite the full gamut but it looks good in its own way as it gives a rather unique retro tonal look which I really like so I decided to stick with that rather than post bleach it. Here below is the result :


The whole album can be seen on Flickr via this link https://www.flickr.com/photos/51853869@N08/sets/72157664396744881

Moving onto the C-22 process Kodacolor and Kodacolor X films, in my previous blog I listed the process steps for C-41 develop and the more long winded separate bleach and fix with hardening process. I have pretty much these days stuck more to just plain cold C-41 process as I found for myself there is little difference if any between the two processes and C-41 is quicker and convenient. Since the blog in 2015 I have shot dozens of Kodacolor and Kodacolor X films from 1957 to 1974 with varying degrees of success and here are some sample highlights from the many films I’ve shot:

Kodak Kodacolor 616 (expired March 1958) Kodak Kodacolor 120 (expired January 1959) both shot at Kiama car show

57Kodak Kodacolor 116 (expired 1957)

58 (3)Kodak Kodacolor 116 (expired August 1958)

58bKodak Kodacolor 116 (expired September 1958)

59 (2)Kodak Kodacolor 120 (expired June 1959) plane trip from Sydney to Launceston

61Kodak Kodacolor 120 (expired May 1961) This is one of the best examples of a well preserved over 50 year old Kodacolor film, the picture looks as good as if it were shot on a fresh roll!

61aKodak Kodacolor 120 (expired July 1961) Shot at the 6th Annual Motoring Expo at Motorlife Museum, Kembla Grange

62Kodak Kodacolor 120 (expired July 1962)

63 Kodak Kodacolor 120 (expired June 1963) The film was not in its protective inner packaging but surprisingly only one edge of the film degraded and it made a nice psychedelic effect for this shot and the other shots on the film!

Kodak Kodacolor X 120 films (expired November 1972) I have a batch of 19 of these 1972 Kodacolor X 120s and most of them are in excellent shape, I have shot several of them so far with mostly great to excellent results and above is a select few from some of the rolls I shot.

74Kodak Kodacolor X 120 (expired July 1974) I shot this roll in my Dacora I 6x6cm 120 camera it has a nice lens effect giving that smokey vignette look and focused in the middle region but soft at the outer region, good effect! 🙂

So that wraps up the shooting/processing of vintage Kodacolor, in my next blog I will give the updates on my methods of processing Ektachrome as colour negatives and some of the perils I faced with several of my Ektachromes such as getting overdeveloped images. So stay tuned for that!

Return to blogging after long absence

G’day blog viewers. It has been an awful long time since I last posted here, well over two years and I apologize for that as I have so much to share on shooting/processing old films. Problem with me is I have too many interests, too many projects and have motivational issues when it comes to typing up stuff that’s more than a few paragraphs long and so I put things off. Anyhow finally mustered up enough motivation to pick up where I left off with blogging my vintage film experiments so you are all in for a treat!

Since early 2015 I have shot well over 200 vintage films from various decades of the 20th century, much of them from the 1930s to the 1970s and have been uploading them all to my Flickr account so check out my works at https://www.flickr.com/photos/51853869@N08/albums/ . I also have shot a lot of vintage Double 8mm and Super 8 films and have uploaded them to my YouTube account https://www.youtube.com/user/troysvisualarts so search my channel for 8mm and super 8 and my films will come up, there are many on there!

Anyways am back and ready for action and will soon post my first new blog very shortly which is an update on processing Kodacolor film as I have improved my processing methods for the early Kodacolors. Then I will follow up with an update on Ektachrome and Ektacolor too. So stay tuned……………..

Shooting/processing vintage 40s-60s era Kodak colour film: Part 3 Ektacolor

This is the 3rd and final part of the vintage Kodak colour series which is on 1960s era Ektacolor film. Ektacolor film is a colour negative film just like Kodacolor and was also processed in C-22 when C-22 process was introduced. Details on Ektacolor film can be seen at (Photomemorabilia site) . According to Photomemorabilia site Ektacolor was introduced in 1947 and was the first colour negative film to incorporate colour couple masking and the negatives have an overall orange cast. The Ektacolor film types I will be discussing are 1960s C-22 process types.

Last year I bought off Ebay a 100ft bulk roll of Kodak Ektacolor 70mm colour film which expired in December 1962, it was a lucky score because with 100ft I can make over 250 exposures that are 70mm by 110mm (116 standard) and having a 1920s Kodak Hawkeye 116 camera I could easily roll this film onto 116 spools and use it in that camera! 🙂

9 (1)

So in total darkness I roll the film onto a 116 spool with backing paper and cut it at the end and loaded it into my Hawkeye and began shooting it. The film’s original ISO rating was 25 so I shot it like a 50s Kodacolor shooting it at 1 ISO. I generally used max depth of field snapping the film at f-32 for 8 seconds in sunny weather and for night shots I usually expose around f-8 for 3 minutes. So I shot my first length of Ektacolor around the Illawarra doing scenery shots and a night shot to see how it will go. I processed it in C-41 using the same parameters for Kodacolor:
Colour develop 20 min at 20 deg C
Wash 4 min
Blix 8 min at 20 deg C
Wash 6 min
Stabilize 1.5 min

Sure enough I got wonderful big colour negatives but while the film was drying I saw white crystallization forming over the negatives and I got worried and wondered what was causing it, so I gave the film a bucket wash for a while and it got rid of a lot of the crystallization but some of it stayed. I would soon figured the cause would be the stabilizer so from then on I don’t stabilize my 70mm Ektacolor film. Anyhow here’s 2 shots from my first length of Ektacolor:

 

My next length of film I shot up in Sydney and processed the same as above but without stabilizer, solved the crystallization issue but the film came off its reel during blixing so had to seesaw it through the blix which it came out mostly okay but some exposures had some blotchy artifacts. Nonetheless my night shot of Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Opera House came out spectacularly well, they were both 3 minute exposures at f-11 aperture:

 

I since shot several more lengths of the film and have gotten variable results depending on the condition of my developer and the light leak issue with my camera, plenty of good shots and some poor ones. All of my 70mm Ektacolor exposures can be seen here on Flickr (1962 expired Kodak Ektacolor 70mm film). Here below are some of the best shots I’ve made with this film:

 

The next Ektacolor I shot was a Kodak Ektacolor Professional Type S 120 roll film that expired in April 1967.

20 (1)

The film’s original ISO rating was 80 ISO so I shot it roughly at 2 ISO in my DEHEL 120 camera handheld up in Sydney using f-3.5 aperture and 1/25th sec shutter and 1/50th sec for the plane shots. I decided to develop this film using separate bleach and fixer so I used the following parameters that I used for my Kodacolor X films minus the stabilizer:
Colour develop 20 min at 20 deg C (using C-41 colour developer)
Wash 4 min
Chrome Alum hardener 4 min at 20 deg C
Wash 4 min
Ferricyanide Bromide bleach 6 min at 20 deg C
Wash 2 min
Clearing bath 2 min
Wash 7 min
Ilford Rapid Fixer fix 5 min at 20 deg C
Wash 6 min

The film came out mostly good and here below are some highlights from the film:

 

The whole album can be viewed here on Flickr (1967 expired Kodak Ektacolor Professional Type S 120).

So that pretty much wraps up the 40s-60s era Kodak colour film series, I hope you enjoyed the blog series and I hope I have inspired more people to have a go at shooting/processing vintage Kodak colour films as they still work and make wonderful classic colour pictures! 🙂

Shooting/processing vintage 40s-60s era Kodak colour film: Part 2 Ektachrome

This is the 2nd part of the vintage Kodak colour film series which I will be discussing shooting/processing Kodak Ektachrome films of the 50s and 60s. Ektachrome film is a reversal positive slide type colour film that requires a bit more of a complex developing process which you first develop as a B&W negative, harden, re-expose the film to a photoflood lamp, then colour develop and bleach, harden and fix, today’s reversal colour process used is E-6. Having said that you can also cross process Ektachrome as a colour negative using a colour negative kit such as C-41 and get good colour on digital inversion and colour correction, the negatives will be blue instead of brown-mauve. I chose to develop my Ektachromes crossing them in C-41 as negatives because E-6 kits are twice as expensive as C-41 and I can simply scan, digitally invert and colour correct, so negative was the way to go for me for convenience. I have shot several rolls of Ektachrome with expiration dates from 1952 to 1962 and crossed them all cold in C-41 and found they all cross process quite nicely in C-41 opposed to the pre-C-22 era Kodacolor films so it goes to show Ektachrome is very versatile in different developing chemistry! Anyways here is my blog on those Ektachrome films.

First I will start with the oldest Ektachrome I have shot which is a 120 type that expired in December 1952.

19

Ektachrome films were in the early days much less sensitive than Kodacolor and this film was rated 8 ISO so in shooting the film I had to expose it 2 f-stops higher than I would for Kodacolor, so in sunny weather for this film I shot it at f-4.5 aperture, 1 sec shutter. I shot this film on a bike ride from Port Kembla to Shellharbour capturing anything of interest. After having troubles with Kodacolor of the same era I decided to reserve the last exposure as a test exposure which I cut into quarters and do test develops of each, so I did a test develop of the first piece in my standard cold C-41 method and to my joy it processed very nicely! So I then developed the whole roll using the following parameters:
Colour develop 20 min at 20 deg C
Wash 4 min
Blix 8 min at 20 deg C
Wash 6 min

The results were awesome, this film made beautiful colour negatives!!! 😀 It is unclear what the original process used was called but it was a pre E-1 era process used from 1947 to the early 50s according to the information on Photographic Memorabilia site on this page (1947 processing sequence), whatever the original process was, this film type crossed in C-41 very well!!! On scanning them I had to do some colour balancing correction on scanning and in Photoshop to get the colours looking best as possible but the end result is good and this is the earliest film I’ve used that produced really really good colour pictures! The film was sealed in a lead can which preserved the film very well from deterioration so only a bit of discoloration occurred at the edges. Anyways the entire album can be seen on Flickr (1952 expired Kodak Ektachrome 120) and below are a couple of images from the roll:

 

I also shot a 1953 expired Ektachrome and unfortunately that particular film had no protective inner packaging whatsoever which was strange, it was film inside box, so shooting/processing it the same way I got very deteriorated looking results which required a lot of Photoshopping for somewhat viewible pictures, see album here (1953 expired Kodak Ektachrome 620) so it pays to have good protective sealed inner packaging for longevity of the film!

Next Ektachrome film to talk about is Kodak Ektachrome Daylight Type 9x12cm sheet film, the original process for this film is likely to be E-2 going by the info on Photographic Memorabilia site on this page (1955 Process E2 Daylight Films). I bought two packs of them off Ebay extremely cheap, both expired February 1956! As I don’t have a large format camera to shoot them nor can my film scanner scan that size I chose to (in total darkness) slice each sheet in half to 6x9cm and blu-tack each sheet inside my 1920s Kodak Hawkeye 2A Model B 116 camera and shoot each slice that way so I get 2 exposures per sheet! This film was also 8 ISO so I used the same exposure index as that of my 1952 Ektachrome but with the Hawkeye set the aperture to f-32 for max depth of field and using the timer exposure left the shutter open for 30 sec upwards depending on the lighting. I’ve so far shot 2 sheets (sliced in half giving 4 exposures) and processed them in C-41 using the following parameters:
Colour develop 20 min at 20 deg C
Wash 4 min
Blix 8 min at 20 deg C
Wash 6 min
Stabilize 1.5 min

The results were variable due to the way I shot the films and some mistakes in processing but all yielded pictures!!! 😀 First exposure I unwittingly stuck it in the camera emulsion side facing to back of the camera and did a model set shot of a diecast car on glitter backdrop exposing at f-32 for 20 min, on processing and scanning I found that the whites were deep yellow and no amount of colour balancing could fix it so I just went with it and here it is:

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The 2nd exposure was so much more successful as I had the emulsion side facing the right way, I did that exposure out near Wollongong harbour capturing the harbour and lighthouses and pool from a distance shooting at f-32 for 30 sec in sunny lighting, I got a very nice more accurately colourful picture, I think though I exposed it for too long as the foreground was overblooming so my next outdoor shot will be 15 sec exposure. On an artistic perspective the shot looks beautiful and dreamy and I love that pink vignetting, here it is below:

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My 3rd and 4th shots taken on the 2nd sheet were indoor model shots exposed for 15 min at f-32, on developing them the negatives looked good, on scanning however there was clearly visible reticulation of the film emulsion. So I Googled reticulation of film and found it to be caused by variations in temperature of the chemicals, in my case it was a hot day and I cooled my developer and blix using a block of ice to 20 deg C but because the garden hose was hot the water to wash the film was of much higher temperature so that would of caused the reticulation, still it’s a cool effect nonetheless. So I learned a couple of lessons here, how to reticulate film and how to avoid reticulation! Here below are the exposures:

I will be progressively shooting more of these sheets and upload them to Flickr so check the album out here (1956 expired Kodak Ektachrome 9x12cm film) for new additions.

Next Ektachrome film to talk about is a 1958 expired Kodak Ektachrome 120 Type F film, it was my first vintage 50s Ektachrome I’ve shot back around April 2014.

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Whilst the box was extremely shabby and reeks of cigarette ash the film itself is safely sealed inside its inner packaging. This film was rated about 16 ISO so it was a faster film than the earlier Ektachromes and was also an E-2 process film, I decided to shoot this film at f-8 aperture, 1 sec exposure in sunny weather. I did my shots around The Illawarra region capturing what I thought would look good on this film. I developed the film in C-41 using the standard parameters:
Colour develop 20 min at 20 deg C
Wash 4 min
Blix 8 min at 20 deg C
Wash 6 min
Stabilize 1.5 min

As it was my first vintage Ektachrome I wasn’t sure what to expect but once I opened the tank after processing I was stoked to see colour negatives!!! 😀 The colour was all there and on scanning and some colour correction the pictures looked very good! There of course was some deterioration to the film as there’s spots and discolouration at the outer regions and as I had trouble getting the film into the tank due to perspiration of my hands inside the change bag the film creased a bit causing defects in a couple of shots, but the stressed age look adds character to the pictures and overall I am pleased I got colourful pictures!!! 🙂 I have uploaded the album to Flickr (1958 expired Kodak Ektachrome 120) and below are a couple of exposures:

 

The final films to discuss are some Ektachrome Daylight 35mm films from 1961-1962.

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They were all E-2 process films and had a faster ISO rating of 32. I shot various subjects on these films, the first roll I shot up in Sydney on a bike ride capturing planes at the airport and scenery during my trip, the second roll I shot down at Shoalhaven Heads capturing scenery and did a couple of experimental indoor model set shots under LED whit light, the third roll I dedicated to doing indoor mini model set shots and plastic army men battle set shots. In sunny weather I exposed the films at f-8 to f-11 aperture and 1 sec shutter on tripod and for handheld widened the aperture and increased shutter speed proportionally, for indoor model shots I used the zoom lens and shot at f-2.8 using 3 min bulb exposure. I processed all these films in C-41 using the standard parameters:
Colour develop 20 min at 20 deg C
Wash 4 min
Blix 8 min at 20 deg C
Wash 6 min
Stabilize 1.5 min

The results of all the films was great each time, they were grainier due to being 35mm in size and there was some yellowish edge discolouration likely due to scanning artifact as the film was curled like a half tube but overall the pictures looked great! 😀 All the albums are on Flickr so just go to my (Flickr Albums) page to find and view them all and here below are a couple of exposures from each roll:

To finish up this chapter of the series, I can easily say Ektachrome is a very versatile film when it comes to cross processing in C-41 as a colour negative, I’ve had no troubles like with the pre C-22 era Kodacolor films, they all produced great pictures. I will eventually experiment with reversal developing with an early Ektachrome and see if I am successful as it’s something I gotta try, when I do I will add the info and results to this blog.

Stay tuned for the third chapter which I will be discussing Kodak Ektacolor film.

Shooting/processing vintage 40s-60s era Kodak colour film: Part 1 Kodacolor

Over the past 8 months I’ve been hooked on shooting vintage Kodak colour films from the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s as I’ve discovered through some peoples photos on Flickr like this (1962 Kodak Ektacolor) and through my own trial and error and some tech help from experts and Kodak colour literature on (Photographic Memorabilia) site that these old films can still work or semi work by simply overexposing them while shooting and processing them cold in modern colour chemistry like C-41.

I shot/processed my very first vintage colour film back in April which was an early 60s Kodak Kodacolor 120, I overexposed it to 1/5 sec shutter at f-8 in bright cloudy weather and did my shots in Kiama and I processed it cold in C-41 colour developing for 20 min at 20 deg C and blixing for 8 min at the same temp and 1.5 min stabilize and to my delight it worked, plus it was only my 3rd film I processed in C-41, I was totally new to colour developing at that stage! The whole album from this roll can be seen here (1960s Kodak Kodacolor 120) and here below is an exposure:

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So that kickstarted my interest in shooting/processing vintage Kodak colour film and have shot many many Kodak Kodacolor, Ektachrome and Ektacolor films from the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s and have processed them with varying degrees of success so here’s my blog on shooting these vintage films and what to expect when processing them. Just to mention too my method of processing these films is not the proper method using original chemistry and as a disclaimer I can’t guarantee the films won’t discolour over time or deteriorate due to issues such as retained silver halides and other things plus they are no good for doing an analog colour print as digital post processing such as colour correction and balancing is required but for the purpose of getting an image on these films and getting a colourful end result after digital scanning/correction my methods will be of good use to you. This blog I present to you is a three part series which I will discuss Kodacolor, Ektachrome and Ektacolor and how I shoot and process it and the resulting images. Starting with part 1 I will be discussing Kodacolor.

Firstly I will start with Kodak Kodacolor and the oldest one I shot which is a Kodacolor 120 that expired in May 1945!

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Now this an extremely old colour film from WWII era, there is no exact literature of what process was used so it was a shot in the dark whether this film would actually work or not but I was willing to give it a go! I questioned Michael Talbert who contributed this great article (Early Kodak Colour) on Photographic Memorabilia site on processing this film, he suggested I process it cold in C-41 around 17 deg C for 20 min and hope for the best. So in May I shot this film up in Sydney and around Wollongong using f-5.6 aperture and 1 sec shutter and once finished the roll I processed the film in C-41 using the following parameters:
Colour develop 20 min at 17 deg C
Wash 4 min
Blix 8 min at 20 deg C
Wash 6 min
Stabilize 1.5 min

And low and behold I got pictures!!! 😀 The negatives were blue and the colour wasn’t obvious so I wasn’t sure if I was gonna get colour on scanning but once scanned I did see colour though very discoloured and quite a bit of Photoshop colour correction and balancing was required to get the colours looking somewhat plausible but there is some colour there in the film which is really really cool, plus the discoloration does make these photos a lomographic masterpiece from an artsy perspective! 🙂 There was also major discoloration at the outer regions of the film, that’s due to age deterioration of the film which commonly the outer regions deteriorate first before the middle region. Anyways, so processing the film in C-41 semi worked for this film. Prior to commercially available C-22 processing kits for Kodacolor introduced in 1956 the Kodacolor process was done at Kodak plants and there were 3 generations of Kodacolor types and processes, this particular film was the (2nd generation Kodacolor) type used from 1944 to 1949. I have uploaded the entire album to Flickr for all to see 1945 expired (Kodak Kodacolor 120) and here below are a couple of photos from the film along with a video:

 

Also check out my (1947 expired Kodak Kodacolor 620) film on Flickr too, I processed that the same way and got very similar results!

Now onto the 1950s era of Kodak Kodacolor film. Between 1949 and 1955 was the (3rd generation of Kodak Kodacolor) film which used yet different film layout and process and I have to say I was in for some trouble with this generation of Kodacolor film!!!

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I bought a few 50s Kodak Kodacolor films off a local Ebay seller and shot them all locally around the Illawarra region in sunny weather using f-6.3 aperture and 1 sec exposure. The first film I shot was a total failure due to me shooting it in my Brownie SIX-20 which I thought the shutter was on bulb but it wasn’t so hence no pictures on processing so no need to talk about that one. The 2nd film I shot which was a Kodacolor 120 that expired in March 1954 I processed it in C-41 using the following parameters:
Colour develop 20 min at 20 deg C
Wash 4 min
Blix 8 min at 20 deg C
Wash 6 min
Stabilize 1.5 min

And the results, very faded barely recognizable yellow negatives!

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What can be barely made out is the Nan Tien Buddhist Pagoda in Unanderra. At the time of shooting this film I didn’t have a film scanner so it was impossible for me to get pictures using my then method of scanning films (overhead projector light and phone camera) but when I got my Epson V550 scanner and scanned this film in, to my delight it managed to scan those faded pictures and in colour too with colours even more plausible than the 40s Kodacolor films!!! The major side effect though is there’s excessive grain in the picture along with the scanner’s artifacts which happens when scanning faded film! Here is the entire album on Flickr (1954 expired Kodak Kodacolor 120 film) and below are is a sample image from the set:

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I decided to at that point really investigate this film type and do some test developing. On my next 1954 Kodak Kodacolor 120 film I did some test exposures prior to shooting and cut them into quarters and did test develops and figured out that it was the blix that was making the film go pale so I tried doing a skip bleach develop using the following parameters:
Colour develop 6 min at 20 deg C
Wash 4 min
Fix 5 min at 20 deg C using Ilford Rapid Fixer
Wash 5 min
Stabilize 1.5 min

And I got nice contrasty negatives though lack of colour but it was a much much much better result!!! At the time I only had my crude method of scanning so here’s a low quality scan of the Hungry Jacks sign in negative and positive (colour corrected):

 

So with the skip bleach method it worked good in making pictures but the colour is lacking. So I decided to get expert help on how to process it and so I joined the (APUG) forum and posted (my thread) on this film and I got some excellent advice from a ex Kodak engineer which he advised on making a separate bleach and hardener fix and do a rehal bleach on those Kodacolor films. I bought the chemicals to make a Ferricyanide Bleach + Bromide and Chrome Alum Hardener however I misinterpreted the info on the hardener fix thinking Chrome Alum was the hardener fix so for that skip bleached film I did the following:
Rinse 4 min
Chrome Alum hardener 4 min
Wash 4 min
Ferricyanide Bleach 6 min at 20 deg C
Wash 4 min (I think)
Chrome Alum hardener 4 min
Wash 6 min
Stabilize 1.5 min

And to my horror the negatives were faded in similar nature to the first 1954 Kodacolor 120 film I shot!!! And that’s because I misinterpreted the info, I should of realized Chrome Alum hardener was just a hardener not a fixer and I should of used Potassium or Sodium Alum hardener fix. So what a bummer. But once again all wasn’t lost, the images are still there sort of and on scanning with my Epson V550 I got some grainy but nice colour pictures! 🙂 The interesting thing about the final result of this film is the colours are actually quite different to the other Kodacolor as the blues are navy blue and the browns are magenta toned, I quite like how it looks from an artistic perspective!!! 😀 I have uploaded the album to Flickr so check it out here (1954 expired Kodak Kodacolor 120) and below are a couple of samples from the set:

 

So at this point in time I have stuck with my skip bleach method and I have shot some more of those early 50s Kodacolor films and the most successful one I shot was a 1951 expired Kodak Kodacolor 116 using the skip bleach parameters. After scanning the film in Photoshop I duplicated the layers of each picture making one as luminance and the other as chroma and the chroma layer coloring over the luma layer and I ramped up the saturation sky high to bring back the colour and the images became quite colourful which I was happy with!!! 😀 I have uploaded the album to Flickr (1951 expired Kodak Kodacolor 116) and below is a sample and a video:

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Now we get onto the 4th generation of Kodak Kodacolor which the C-22 process was introduced in 1956 and available to the public so photographers can process their own film!

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C-22 process was used from 1956 to about 1976 before being superseded by C-41. My very first vintage Kodacolor film I shot was a C-22 process film and it processed nicely in C-41 so I know I wasn’t going to have too much trouble with C-22 films. I have shot several Kodak Kodacolor films from 1957 to 1960 using a general exposure of f-8 aperture 1 sec shutter in sunny weather and have had great success each time I process them cold in C-41 using the standard paramaters:
Colour develop 20 min at 20 deg C
Wash 4 min
Blix 8 min at 20 deg C
Wash 6 min
Stabilize 1.5 min

The colours on these Kodacolor films are absolutely beautiful and rich like candy and kind of along the lines of technicolor! 🙂 The only main side effect I found processing C-22 films in C-41 is the highlights tend to come out yellow on scanning so I simply boost the blue in the picture and do some colour balancing from there and the pictures look great though with some blue shading but it looks cool anyway! 🙂 I have shot several of these films which can all be found on my (albums page) on Flickr, here are some highlights from some of the films:

1 1957 Kodacolor 116

12 1958 Kodacolor 620

6 1959 Kodacolor 120

11 (1) 1960 Kodacolor 120

141 1960 Kodacolor 120

I also have been trying an alternate way to colour develop these Kodacolor films which is a bit closer to the C-22 process, so I did a test develop on a 1960 Kodakcolor 120 I shot at Vival La Gong festival using the following chemicals and parameters:
Colour develop 20 min at 20 deg C (using C-41 colour developer)
Wash 4 min
Chrome Alum hardener 4 min at 20 deg C
Wash 4 min
Ferricyanide Bromide bleach 6 min at 20 deg C
Wash 2 min
Clearing bath 2 min
Wash 7 min
Ilford Rapid Fixer fix 5 min at 20 deg C
Wash 6 min
Stabilize 1.5 min

It is a more longer winded process but the colours came out very nice, perhaps a little better than using C-41 process, here’s a couple of pics from that roll:

I have a tendency to use that process more for the next generation of Kodacolor which is Kodacolor X as I found it to work better than C-41 for that type, which is the next Kodacolor film I’m gonna talk about.

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Kodacolor X was introduced in 1963 and was manufactured right up to 1974 and the C-22 process was also used to develop it and had twice the sensitivity of Kodacolor. I have shot several rolls of Kodacolor X films and processed many of them cold in C-41 using the same parameters as Kodacolor and had varying degrees of success based off the exposure I used and the condition of my developer, some Kodacolor Xs came out good and some not so good. I eventually settled on shooting Kodacolor X film at f-11 to f-16 aperture and 1 sec shutter speed in sunny weather which worked good for the films. Firstly in processing the films I used the standard cold C-41 process:
Colour develop 20 min at 20 deg C
Wash 4 min
Blix 8 min at 20 deg C
Wash 6 min
Stabilize 1.5 min

And here are the results from some of the rolls I shot:

9  1966 Kodacolor X 620

151  1968 Kodacolor X 620

41 1971 Kodacolor X 620 (my developer kit was pretty shot after a dozen uses so hence the funky colours)

I realized too I underexposed those films as they came out kind of faded, reason I notched the f-stops back a bit because the ISO ratings of Kodacolor X films were 64-80 opposed to 32 ISO for Kodacolor and I’ve learned faster speed films lose sensitivity quicker than slower films so I then decided to shoot Kodacolor X at f-11 to f-16 aperture and 1 sec shutter. I also decided to develop them from now on in the separate bleach/fix colour process which involved the following chemicals and parameters:

Colour develop 20 min at 20 deg C (using C-41 colour developer)
Wash 4 min
Chrome Alum hardener 4 min at 20 deg C
Wash 4 min
Ferricyanide Bromide bleach 6 min at 20 deg C
Wash 2 min
Clearing bath 2 min
Wash 7 min
Ilford Rapid Fixer fix 5 min at 20 deg C
Wash 6 min
Stabilize 1.5 min

And sure enough I got lovely results on Kodacolor X films!!! 😀 I still had the yellow highlight issue so had to boost the blue in Photoshop to make the highlights white and once again got blue shadowing as a side effect but that’s okay by me. All my Kodacolor X films can be seen in my album sets (link) and here below are some samples from some of those rolls

91 1966 Kodak Kodacolor X 120

3 (1) 1967 Kodak Kodacolor X 120

2 1968 Kodak Kodacolor X 616

52  1970 Kodak Kodacolor X 620

So that completes the Kodak Kodacolor set. Next chapter I will discuss vintage Kodak Ektachrome film.

How to process vintage Kodak Kodachrome movie film in Caffenol C as B&W negatives

Over the past year I have bought off Ebay loads of Super 8 and Double 8 films and have shot over a dozen of them. The majority of the films I come across are Kodak Kodachrome. Sadly Kodak discontinued their Kodachrome processing in 2010 and so Kodachrome nowadays can only be commercially or home developed as a B&W negative unless unless you’re savvy enough to recreate the complex Kodachrome process and have access to the chemicals required. So I shoot my Kodachromes and process them in Caffenol C-M as B&W negatives.

Now I have acquired a variety of different Kodachrome movie films from the early 60s to the late 80s and over that period of time there were a few generations of Kodachrome film:
Kodachrome
Kodachrome II
Kodachrome 25
Kodachrome 40

And yep I have shot them all and processed them all and made pictures on all of them and so this blog is on how to make all these films work!

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Firstly I will start with Kodachrome 40 as it is easy to shoot and develop and get good results. Kodachrome 40 movie film had an ISO rating of 40 and was manufactured from 1974 to 2005 so it was manufactured for a good 31 years and was processed using the K-14 process! Shooting this film, I go by the general rule of overexposing the film by 1 f-stop per decade of age and using the widest shutter angle which is generally 150 deg on a Super 8 camera and 165 deg on a Double 8 camera, so a K-40 film from 2005 would be overexposed by 1 f-stop and a K-40 from 1974 would be overexposed by 4 f-stops. I’ve shot a few K-40s and got pretty good results using that guideline. Now on processing the film, I’ve seen a fair few posts with different Caffenol C developing times for this film from 10 min to 15 min and a general temperature of around 20 to 22 deg C. I ultimately chose to a my standard of developing this film which is as follows:

Caffenol C-M formula http://caffenol.blogspot.com.au/2010/03/caffenol-c-m-recipe.html
Develop 6 min at 20 deg C
Wash
Fix: 5 min
Wash

And that worked nicely for my K-40 films and here below is a K-40 Super 8 from 1989 I shot early this year up around Cronulla sand dunes and Sydney CBD:

k25

Next is Kodachrome 25. This film was manufactured from 1974 to 1992, had an ISO rating of 25 and was processed in K-14 like the Kodachrome 40. I have shot one K-25 film so far with an expiration date 1980, I used the overexpose by 1 f-stop per decade rule so I bumped the aperture up by 3.5 f-stops when shooting it though given the lower ISO rating I suppose I could of bumped up an extra stop. One of my friends processed this film in Rodinal for 6 min so I figured it would work the same in Caffenol C so here’s my standard for developing this film:

Caffenol C-M formula http://caffenol.blogspot.com.au/2010/03/caffenol-c-m-recipe.html
Develop 6 min at 20 deg C
Wash
Fix: 5 min
Wash

And voila I got very nice pictures. I shot this particular film on Australia Day and here it is below:

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Now we’re getting into more vintage and troublesome territory with Kodachrome II. Kodachrome II had an ISO rating of 25 and 40 for “Type A” and was manufacture from 1961 to 1974 and the process used was K-12. Myself and other amateur cinematographers had a lot of trouble trying to make this film work as on developing the films just simply come out black! I shot my first K-II and developed it for 15 min and it came out black and then my second I developed at I think around 8 min which also came out black so I was stumped. Through communication with German filmmaker Dagie Brundert http://www.dagiebrundert.de/EDagie.html and trial and error I finally figured out how to successfully develop this film. When I shot my third K-II and developed it for about 4 min I started to see some success, I got extremely faded dense pictures so I was getting really close to cracking develop time. My fourth film I decided to expose it to brute max f-1.2 and develop in Caffenol C-M for only 3 min and low and behold I got awesome contrasty pictures!!! 😀 So I now know how to Caffenol C process K-II films and here below is my developing standard:

Caffenol C-M formula http://caffenol.blogspot.com.au/2010/03/caffenol-c-m-recipe.html
Develop 3 min at 20 deg C
Wash
Fix: 5 min
Wash

And exposing the film I recommend for 25 ISO K-II films of the 60s f-1.2 to f-2 in sunny or bright cloudy weather, 70s era K-II films f-2 to f-2.8, Type A 40 ISO f-2 to f-2.8 in sunny or bright cloudy weather for the 60s era and f-2.8 to f-4 from the 70s era. These are rough guidelines mind you. Here below is a film I made of jet planes passing over low to land at Sydney airport using a K-II film that expired in May 1967:

k5

And finally we get to the 1st generation of Kodachrome which was simply called Kodachrome! Kodachrome movie film was manufactured from 1935 to 1962 and had an ISO rating of 10, the early processes used prior to the mid 50s is not clear but from around 1955 to 1962 the process used was K-11. This particular Kodachrome film I have expired in March 1962. Now after my experience with Kodachrome II it was less troublesome for me to work out how to shoot and process this Kodachrome. As it’s ISO was only 10 I decided to not only overexpose the film at max f-1.2 aperture, I also bumped down the frame rate capture to 8 frames/sec instead of 16 frames/sec. I actually did a 10 sec test strip from this film to work out the best exposure and processing time. I cut the strip into 3 pieces and did 3 test develops. I first tried processing the film in Caffenol C-M for 3 min at 20 deg C, the film was underdeveloped, then tried 6 min, it was overdeveloped and finally 4.5 min and bingo, the pictures look great!!! 😀 So here is my developing standard for this film:

Caffenol C-M formula http://caffenol.blogspot.com.au/2010/03/caffenol-c-m-recipe.html
Develop 4.5 min at 20 deg C
Wash
Fix: 5 min
Wash

So this 1962 film certainly holds up very well with the help of max exposure and here below is the film on YouTube:

To finish up this post these as these films are developed as B&W negatives instead of colour positives like they originally were, so they can’t be projected (well they can but you get negative pictures) and have to be digitally transferred and inverted to positives which is what I do with my films.

Anyways that’s my experience with Kodachrome films and I hope this info will be of great use to those who like to try vintage Kodachrome movie film.

Introduction: How I got into vintage film photography/cinematography

G’day all, my name is Troy and I am an experimental amateur photographer/cinematographer from the Illawarra region in NSW Australia and I love shooting and process vintage film as a hobby.

My interest in the film side of things began around mid 2013 when I started seeing modern Super 8 films on YouTube and I thought it was really cool to see Super 8 is still alive and well and that you can buy brand new rolls today! I also saw on YouTube people using vintage expired 8mm/16mm film stocks dating back to the 70s and was amazed they still make pictures! It got me interested and I wanted to shoot film myself, though I wondered if there’s anywhere in Australia motion picture film can still be processed and I came across Nano Lab http://www.nanolab.com.au/ who sell film stocks as well as process them and so was pleased to know I can get film processed in Australia. Further studying on film and developing lead me to learn about Caffenol C B&W home processing http://caffenol.blogspot.com.au/ using household ingredients coffee, vitamin C powder and washing soda which amazed me and I thought “I can do this” and so I contemplated on shooting/processing film myself.

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I so happened to have a few Super 8 cameras and one was a 1970s Canon Auto Zoom 518 with an unused roll of AGFACHROME Super 8 film that expired in 1979 and so I anticipated on shooting that film and processing it in Caffenol C. I had to do some more studying on the Caffenol C process and how to make a developing tank and also how to shoot expired stocks successfully, I learned a rough guideline in shooting old stocks which was to overexpose the film 1 f-stop per decade of age. I found out that I can bunch up the film into a ball and stick it into a simple light proof tank and process, this however results in uneven developing and parts of the film being stuck together, still I opted for that method and so bought a black plastic flower pot (and plugged the holes) and a black lid that fits. I also read the instruction manual on how to use my Canon Super 8 and bought some AA batteries and button cell batteries for the camera and powered it up and it works perfectly! So I was all set to shoot my first Super 8 and in early October I loaded my Canon 518 with my 1979 AGFA film and rode my mountain bike out to Port Kembla Steelworks and shot that film on two locations. As the film expired in 1979 I overexposed it by 3 f-stops for the shoot, I also brought along a cassette recorder so I could record sound and make this film a talkie film. So on those two locations I pointed the camera to various areas of interest around the locations and talked about them on the film. The film transported nicely from start to finish. Next part is to process the film in Caffenol C.

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Getting the ingredients for Caffenol C was quite easy, the coffee and washing soda I bought from Woolworths and the vitamin C powder I got from my local chemist. I did chose the wrong sort of soda as powdered soda is better for mixing than soda crystals but nonetheless I went with it. The proportions of the ingredients I used was to that of the C-M formula which was 40g coffee, 54g soda and 16g vitamin C powder. The coffee and vitamin C dissolved nicely but the soda crystals took a bit to dissolve but eventually dissolved. Oh I forgot to mention I had to purchase a fixer to fix the film after which I purchased Ilford Rapid Fixer from a darkroom supplier up north. Anyways after mixing the Caffenol C I pulled the film out of the cartridge in complete darkness (the garage being the darkroom) and bunched it into a ball and placed it into my flower pot tank. And now I’m ready to begin. The recommended developing time was 15 min so I poured the developer into the tank and developed for 15 min. Then after that I poured the Caffenol out and bucket washed the film in tank while in total darkness and then poured the fixer in and fixed for 5 min. Then I washed the film and on first glance it all looked pretty dark, but then I placed the film over a bright lamp and to my delight I saw pictures YEEHAWWWW!!!! 😀 So my 1979 film worked. It was dark because I developed the film at too high temperature approx 25/26 deg C and 15 min was a bit long, I should of developed this film for about 10 min at 20 deg C. I sent the film off to Nano Lab for digital transfer and low and behold I got a very grainy but still somewhat watchable B&W film. I edited the film and transferred the audio off cassette to PC and married the audio and film together to make it into a talkie film and here it is on YouTube:

So that was my very first film and a vintage one too, and that kickstarted my mad passion for shooting film. I shot/processed many more Super 8 and 8mm films over time which they can be found on my YouTube channel https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCX5trhdw4OP__trba2-dpYQ . Soon after I had a crack at shooting still film and got myself a working Pentax Espio 738 35mm camera from my local Sunday flea market and bought some new film and did various scenery shots around the Illawarra region and some subjects at home and I bunched it into a ball and processed it in Caffenol C in the same manner as my Super 8 and got pictures though some of the film stuck together and some shots were lost. Anyhow here’s a couple of pics from that film, at the time I didn’t have a film scanner so these are rough scans taken with my phone camera and film on a light box:

 

So I started getting into still film photography at that point and I have been uploading my film and digital photography to my Flickr site https://www.flickr.com/photos/51853869@N08/ . Moving forward about a month I decided to go to my favourite antique shop in Thirroul called Retro Wombat http://retrowombat.net/ as I wondered if that place would have some vintage Super 8 films and while browsing the store I came across two ultra vintage Kodak 120 format films, one was a Verichrome that expired in 1951 and the other a Super XX that expired in 1953, they were $5 a piece so I bought them! At that time I had no idea about medium format 120 film so I did some research and learned about the format and the cameras and it turned out to be quite easy to use. I soon purchased off Ebay a 1940s DEHEL 120 4.5cm x 6cm folding bellows camera which was in great working order. Here below is the camera and those two films:

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I really wondered if those films would still work after all these years so I searched on Flickr for examples of vintage films been shot today and I found quite a lot from the 40s and 50s which still made great pictures and I thought cool these films may still work. Before attempting to shoot them I had to familiarize myself with my DEHEL camera so I bought a new roll of Shanghai GP3 120 B&W film and shot it up in Sydney at Darling Harbour and while on a cruise boat as I was invited to a birthday cruise. I shot the film at 1/100 sec and used the given exposure guidelines on the camera during the shoot. When I got back I developed the film for 14 min in Caffenol C at around 26 deg C and I got nice contrasty negatives, the album can be seen on my Flickr https://www.flickr.com/photos/51853869@N08/sets/72157647255843280/ . Now that I’ve kind of got the hang of my camera I then decided to shoot the 1951 Kodak Verichrome 120 film. I chose to do my shots around Port Kembla Steelworks and Hill 60 on a nice Sunny afternoon and I shot the film at 1/100 sec and overexposing the film to f-4.5. I captured the steelworks and anything old industrial as I thought it would look great on this film. Later in the evening I developed the film for around 15 min in Caffenol C at around 26 deg C and fixed for 5 min and then placed the film over a bright lamp and to my delight it made pictures!!! 😀 The pictures were not wonderful as the film was heaps dark and the pictures were very blurry, these two issues I later learned were due to developing the film too long at too high temperature and the fact I didn’t know the camera had an adjustable focus ring at the time so all pictures were out of focus, nonetheless I’m glad to get pictures and the blurriness and ultra grain gives the pictures an artistic appeal! The entire film can be viewed here on Flickr https://www.flickr.com/photos/51853869@N08/sets/72157646622696332/ and below is a couple of exposures:

 

And that kickstarted my interest in shooting vintage film and have been hooked ever since and have shot many many vintage films from the distant past, some dating way back to to the 1910s-1930s!!! I of course refined my techniques in using my cameras and developing the films and can make vintage films produce very nice pictures some like as if the film were brand new! 😀

Moving forward to March 2014 I bought some vintage films off Ebay and in amongst the films was a 1960s Kodak Kodacolor 120 film not in a packet:

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I wondered if it could be cross processed in today’s available chemistry, so I searched Flickr and found some examples of Kodak Ektachrome and Ektacolor from the early 1960s which were cross processed in C-41 and they yielded very good pictures so I took a gamble and anticipated on processing that Kodacolor film in C-41. I also learned I had to develop the old films cold and for a longer period of time which the photographers suggested developing at 20 deg C for 20 min and blix for 8 min. So I bought myself from Vanbar Imaging a Tetenal C-41 colour kit and I shot and processed reasonably modern colour 35mm film just to test the developer out and the film processed nicely so I went out to Kiama and shot that Kodacolor film using mostly 1/5 sec shutter and apertures from f-8 to f-3.5. I processed the film cold in C-41 for 20 min at 20 deg C and blixed for 8 min and stabilize for 1.5 min and to my delight I got colour negatives and I was over the moon to get vintage colour film that old working today!!! 😀 I have uploaded the album to Flickr https://www.flickr.com/photos/51853869@N08/sets/72157645668829478/ and here below are a couple of images from the roll:

 

And from there on I was mad on shooting vintage colour film and have shot many colour films from the 40s, 50s and 60s cross processing them in C-41 with varying degrees of success, the C-22 process Kodacolor, Ektacolor and Kodacolor X films from 1956 to 1974 being most successful! It is so cool how such vintage colour film can still make great colour pictures today and with that oldskool rich candy like Technicolor tones. Colour correction is however required on scanning as cross processing old films the colours don’t come out exactly right but after colour correction the colours come up really good!

Anyways moving forward to today I’ve shot over 80 vintage films and over a dozen Super 8 and Double 8 films and have had loads of fun doing it and learned so much about film photography and processing through literature and trial and error. I have many more vintage rolls of film to shoot and am pumping them out constantly and uploading them to Flickr, those interested in my vintage film photography can view my films here on Flickr https://www.flickr.com/photos/51853869@N08/sets .

So that’s pretty much my story on my growing passion for film photography/cinematography, stay tuned for my many upcoming blogs on how to shoot vintage film and process it and get successful results! 🙂