Another archaeological find I guess

Discussion in 'Antiques and Collecting' started by bobwysiwyg, Sep 8, 2008.

  1. bobwysiwyg

    bobwysiwyg Subscriber

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    My father, who passed away a couple of years ago at 95 was into photography many years ago. We have some prints he took in Central Park long ago. I often wondered what happened to his camera.

    I was on the phone with my sister in Virginia not long ago and mentioned I had gotten back into film photography. She mentioned she thought she had my Dad's camera around somewhere and would look for it. Sure enough, it showed-up in the mail the other day, nothing extraordinary, a Kodak No. 1 Kodamatic folder that shoots 620 film.

    In looking it over, I tried turning the winder knob, hmm, seemed like there was film in it. I wound out what must have been about 2 frames before it ended. I opened the camera and there is a roll of "Pan" film in it. A brownish-orange paper backing. I wonder if any sort of image at all could be brought up from this film? Any ideas as to what to use for the heck of it?

    I would love to shoot a couple of rolls in it, but the bellows has some pinholes along the corner creases and it's an awfully small bellows and the bottom creases would be hard to reach to try any sort of, even temporary repair. The camera is definitely not intended for dis-assembly, lots of rivets. Anyone have any thoughts? Shutter works fine, though who knows what accuracy. Just thought it might be neat to shoot a roll or two out of my Dad's camera before retiring it forever.

    Thanks for listening.
     
  2. Anscojohn

    Anscojohn Subscriber

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    I am told HC 110, because of low fogging abilities, is the soup of choice for saving old films. A clip test of a coupla inches might be in order.
     
  3. DWThomas

    DWThomas Subscriber

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    I believe there are some additives that help reduce fogging. But anyway, I recently dredged an old Flexaret TLR out of the back of a closet and was shocked to discover a roll of film in it. (Shocked partly because it was I who left it there -- guess it was at mid-roll when my new Canon A-1 arrived.)

    Anyhow, from the content, the latent images had to be taken in 1981. It was Kodak Plus-X; developed in HC110 1+63 for about the usual nine minutes, I got images! The background was darker than a sister roll that had been developed in 1981, but the images could be used. I only scanned them, as they were some dull and boring documentation of a project, but I don't doubt they would print. Pretty amazing after 27 years.

    DaveT
     
  4. DWThomas

    DWThomas Subscriber

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    Second thought, re: running a roll through the camera.

    620 film is a pain, but if you have two 620 spools, save one for take-up and rewind a roll of 120 onto the other. Note that needs to be done using an intermediary spool (can be 120) in order to get the final result going the right direction. (Some 620 cameras can deal with 120, I've no idea about yours.)

    At any rate, this is optimistic speculation, but maybe you could wrap some black cloth -- dark cloth/old socks/scarf around the bellows such that it contacts or overlaps the housing and front standard, just leaving the "business ends" hanging out. Maybe shoot it out from a shady shelter -- out the window of a car or such -- to boot.

    Could be a fun project

    DaveT
     
  5. bobwysiwyg

    bobwysiwyg Subscriber

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    Dave,

    I wondered about sacking the whole bellows with something. Thanks for reinforcing it as a plausible solution. I'll give it a try.

    Bob
     
  6. TheFlyingCamera

    TheFlyingCamera Membership Council

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    Bob- you could also try to repair the pinholes in the bellows from the inside. Rack the lens out as far as it will go, then get some of that black rubber paint and touch it up. Leave them racked out as far as they will go for a couple days, to make sure the stuff dries before compressing it. I don't know how bad the pinholes are, but if they're not severe, that might work.
     
  7. Kino

    Kino Member

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    Yes, I did the same to a 4x5 bellows with black "plasti dip" tool handle coating you can buy at a hardware store or harbor freight tools and, as TFC states, if you give it a couple of days to completely cure, it won't stick to itself.

    Do two or three VERY THIN layers and let it dry at least an hour in between application.

    If you have a large tear, reinforce it with a bit of very thin (say cheese cloth) cloth dipped in the plasti dip but be sure it is as thin as possible or it will not allow the bellows to compress enough to close.

    So far, my bellows are doing fine.
     
  8. bobwysiwyg

    bobwysiwyg Subscriber

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    It just so happens I have some of this. I used it to coat/cover control handles on a bike restoration. I'll definitely give this a whirl. As far as I can tell, they are pretty small pin holes, no tears... so far.
     
  9. bobwysiwyg

    bobwysiwyg Subscriber

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    Well, the film turned out to be Verichrome Pan. I processed it this A.M. in D76. Obviously some fog and softness, but the fact that it produced a recognizable image at all surprised the hell out of me. Based on the images, these were exposed and left in the folder cam at least 30 years ago! Who says you should develop film as soon as possible after exposure.:D
     

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  10. DWThomas

    DWThomas Subscriber

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    Success! That's very cool. I suspect the slower films are probably the least affected over time; Tri-X or faster stuff might not be as forgiving.

    Sometime back there was a thread about a guy who has a website up of rescued images. He intentionally looks for cheap old cameras at flea markets and buys them if they have film loaded in them. He has quite an assortment of shots that might have meant something to someone -- if that someone could still be found.

    DaveT
     
  11. bobwysiwyg

    bobwysiwyg Subscriber

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    What an unusual approach. If you ever recall the thread or website, please post it. It would be interesting to tie them back to someone, but I'm sure that's virtually impossible given the circumstances of acquisition.
     
  12. Barry S

    Barry S Subscriber

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