Vintage Photography - What to use and buy

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous Equipment' started by Nev, Mar 10, 2009.

  1. Nev

    Nev Member

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    I really wanted to create some vintage photographs of gothic architecture and people. Something that looks like it was shot pre 1940.
    I love wetplate but cant afford to go that route just yet.
    Is there a portable camera (that I can still buy film for and not have to develop myself) that would achieve this look with a specific type of film?
    I love the look of pictures like this: http://img.timeinc.net/time/photoessays/2007/soldiers_portraits/soldiers_01.jpg
    (I dont want to photoshop)
    Thanks for any help you can pass along!
     
  2. archphoto

    archphoto Member

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    One of the Graphic's and a Tessar a bit open would do the trick on 4x5 inch.
    Otherwise a 6x9 folder with a Tessar or a triplet that takes 120 rols.

    Use an Ilford or Kodak or..... 125 ASA film.

    It is a lot of funn......

    Peter
     
  3. Nev

    Nev Member

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    So any Graphics (graphics or graflex?) and Tessar lens?
    :confused:
    (Sorry Im new to film and vintage cameras.)
    :tongue:
    What types of film do they use? 120>?

    Would something like this work to get a photo like above> EBAY AUCTION
    I take it its the Tessar lens that really helps? They can just be added on like a lens on a digital?
     
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  4. naeroscatu

    naeroscatu Subscriber

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    120 film rolls are still available, you can get them from Henry's. Ask for Kodak Plus-X that is ISO125 if you want to go with above suggestion.
    this type of film will work in a 6x9 folder.
    The Crown Graphics are large format cameras that use 4x5 inch sheet negatives (still available today - Henry's would carry them as well).
    You should Google for cameras of the type mentioned to have an idea of what it takes to get a print that looks like the one you linked.
     
  5. JBrunner

    JBrunner Moderator Staff Member

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    Hi Nev,

    Welcome to APUG. That auction looks to be a nice set up. A vintage lens and camera however is only going to get you about halfway. The rest will come down to film and developing. Efke emulsions as an example, have an older look and more particularly older style of response to the spectrum. There are labs that will process regular B&W, but there really isn't any reason not to do it yourself. You don't need a darkroom, and the cost savings will pay for the few things needed in 5-10 rolls. Quality wise, after a short learning curve, you will be as good or better at it than lab.
     
  6. Fotoguy20d

    Fotoguy20d Subscriber

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    A 2x3 Speed Graphic (or Crown or Century) is a good start. This one strikes me as (very) overpriced. I don't recommend a coated Ektar 105mm f3.7 lens is you're looking for that vintage look. An uncoated tessar or maybe Kodak Anastigmat might be better. Take a look at Ian's comments in this thread: http://www.apug.org/forums/forum44/59881-lf-lenses-old-vs-new.html

    In a 2x3 Graphic, if you want to use 120 roll film instead of sheet film (which is harder to find in that size), you will need a roll film back (you want to find a Graflex one with the little rollers that help keep the film flatter. You just need to decide which size you want 6x6, 6x7 or 6x9 (or but more than one). For a roll film back, you'll need a Graflok back, and you'll want the rangefinder to be accurate to the lens so you don't have to ground glass focus.

    In a shameless marketing plug, if you're interested in a 2x3 Graphic, I have one or two that I need to part with (okay, maybe a half dozen but that won't happen) - see attached photo. And, even with a roll film back they won't cost you anywhere near $400 (not even half of that for a Century)

    Dan
     

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  7. Nev

    Nev Member

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    You dont need a dark room? Oh well maybe Ill look into that! Thanks for the suggestions so far.
    Do they make modern folders that I could just attach a vintage lens to? I ask because unlike that auction above I find most look very worn and worry they wont work well if at all.
     
  8. Fotoguy20d

    Fotoguy20d Subscriber

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    What do you plan on doing with the negatives? You will need a darkroom to print, unless you plan on scanning the negatives. Developing just needs a light safe tank (I have a Patterson System something or other and just bought a Jobo tank from someone here) and a light-tight closet to transfer the film from the roll to the tank.

    There are modern folders in the sense that there are MF and LF bellows cameras that will cost you an arm and a leg. Personally, I went the vintage route for MF/LF since it's much cheaper (and this is a bit of a lark at present). The Graphics (and other press cameras) have an interchangeable lens board so you can put on any lens you want. The catch is in re-adjusting the rangefinder to match so you don't need to ground glass focus (it's my preference but it's inconvenient with roll film). If you want to just play around, you could pick up any of the 120 format vintage range-guesser folders, very cheap and try them out. It's really a function of how much you want to spend and what kind of image quality you're looking for. Not to mention ease of use and flexibility.

    Dan
     
  9. Nev

    Nev Member

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    well as for image quality I want photos to come out looking old. Not perfect. But somewhat clear. Im a fan of how black and white holga photos look, but wanted something a little more authentic. When you say 'ground glass' and other things I dont understand, is there a site dedicated to these cameras that would explain all about them you recommend?
     
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  10. Fotoguy20d

    Fotoguy20d Subscriber

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    www.graflex.org will tell you more about Graflex cameras than you really want to know.

    If you're looking for a more authentic Holga, I don't think you really need a Graphic. I'd suggest starting with a 1920s-1940s folder that takes 120 film. Watch out for 620 film cameras since you will then need to respool 120 film onto a 620 spool to use them. Off the top of my head, I'm drawing a blank as to which would be a good option (ebay is still somewhat hit or miss - if a bellows isn't too bad, you can always take up the corners but if the shutter and glass are no good it's useless except as a display piece. But, they're very cheap generally so you won't be out much. I think these are 120 format (and all date to the early 1930s at latest) - Ihagee Ultrix, Agfa Billy series, Voigtlander Bessa (the original model is very cheap). For the ultimate in low tech, you could try a Kodak Autographic Brownie #2 - I think that's the one that uses 120 film, and you can pick those up for around $5. I've bought 2 on ebay - one is in great condition and very usable. The other is usable in theory but the bellows needs patching. Both of mine date to 1918-1926.

    Dan
     
  11. Nev

    Nev Member

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    Thanks Dan, sounds like a good idea too. Bellows I take it is the foldy thing? yes, I said 'foldy thing'. Ill check out graflex too.
    Reason for me liking the old vintage look and Holga look is I creat haunting photos. So I dont need them perfect but I need to have an old vintage creepy gothic haunted feel to them. As for the Brownie I think that might be a little too low tech because from what I have seen so far is that they produce too much blur. Though, maybe it all has to do with the photographer and condition of the camera I dont know. My source was flickr. :tongue:
    So far the help you have all given me is great and can help start me out.
     
  12. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser

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    you might also think about shooting onto paper instead of film.
    paper will give an look, that is different than film .. ..
    you can spool paper on 120 rolls, or use them in a sheet film camera
    cut to size. once exposed, the paper will be a negative and it can be contact printed
    to another piece of paper to become a positive print.
    yes, paper can be slow, anywhere from less than asa 1 to 25+ .. depending on
    what you are shooting with .. and it is easy to sunny 16 ( or sunny 11 ) ...

    have fun!

    john
     
  13. John Koehrer

    John Koehrer Subscriber

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    Foldy thing is the bellows all right. Unless you're referring to the photographer. Who may or may not be a wrinkly thing.
    The Pocket folders in post 10 would give the effect you want without having to go into debt to do it.
    The Graphics can be nice but unless you want to change lenses or are working quickly & want loaded film backs to swap there's no reason to spend the $$$.
     
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  15. Fotoguy20d

    Fotoguy20d Subscriber

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    Paper negs can be a fun way to go but remember that paper is not red sensitive so you'll get a very particular look. If you do something like that, another camera option is some of the odd sized sheet film cameras - I have an Ihagee that's postcard size (3 1/2 x 5 ish) as well as things like the Kodak Recomar 33 (which I think is 3 1/4 x 4 1/4). Watch out for bellows condition (especially on the red Kodak Premos) and the usual glass/shutter issues. But, a nice example of one of that ilk can usually be had for under $50, preferrably with a couple of holders.

    Dan
     
  16. Ole

    Ole Moderator Staff Member

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    Dan, your Ihagee is most likely 9x12cm, a relatively standard size in Europe. The "postcard size" is 10x15cm, almost 4x6".

    An elderly 9x12cm or 6.5x9cm plate camera with a "cheap" triplet lens, or maybe even better an uncoated dialyte, can be had for very little money. Just make sure you get plate holders with film inserts with it - matching holders to camera tends to lead to having a big stack of holders and almost as many cameras. :smile:
     
  17. TheFlyingCamera

    TheFlyingCamera Membership Council

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    Another film to recommend for that "vintage" look is Fomapan 200. As mentioned previously, something with a vintage uncoated lens will stead you best. There are a lot of turn-of-the-century Kodak folding cameras that you can pick up for next to nothing that will have either a meniscus lens (no front element, but a rear element behind a variable aperture of some sort) or a Rapid Rectilinear, often in a ball-bearing shutter with perhaps three speeds. You can pirate the lens off of one of these and put it on a Speed or Crown Graphic, and shoot a traditional grain emulsion like Efke or Foma and get very close to what you're looking for. You can also get into alternative process printing; many processes do not need a darkroom as they are only UV sensitive, and they will give you that lower-contrast "spooky" look you're looking for.
     
  18. Fotoguy20d

    Fotoguy20d Subscriber

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    Ole,
    Thanks for jogging my memory. It's actually an ICA - "Postcard" Trix I believe is the model, with a 135 f6.8 Hekla lens. I think I have a half dozen film holders for that one. I have another ICA - their version of the Maximar - I think equivalent to the /7 Zeiss model. The latter once belonged to the architect of the Munich city hall ( at least based on the owner's plate on the side).

    Dan
     
  19. Nev

    Nev Member

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    Im not so sure Id want to go any route where self development is involved. Just something I could take to a lab and get them to do some custom work. Only cause I have a small apt and Im a stay at home dad. No equipment or time plus chemicals around the little guys wouldn't be a great thing with the poor ventilation in the place. I appreciate the suggestions though because it would be pretty cool to do.
     
  20. TheFlyingCamera

    TheFlyingCamera Membership Council

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    You could do Cyanotypes, and tone them in coffee - you'll get dark brown prints, very gothic, and cyanotypes only need water, Potassium Ferricyanide, Citric Acid and Ferric Ammonium Oxalate, all of which are reasonably safe to handle in the home. Do you want your children to eat them in bulk? No, but normal exposure amounts will be harmless. You contact print cyanotypes, so they only require enough space in the sink to have a tray full of water the size of the final print, and a window in which to expose the prints. Cyanotypes are often marketed as "sun print" kits to teach kids about photography, to give you an idea. Might actually be a good opportunity to share an activity with your kids, unless they're too small to handle a paintbrush with any accuracy.
     
  21. walter23

    walter23 Subscriber

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    Why not buy an old box camera? There are varieties for plates (which can be adapted to sheet film) and roll film. Agfa and Zeiss have 120 cameras. Those should be crummy enough to look "vintage".

    Remember that from 1900 on (hell, even in the 1800s) most cameras could take very nice sharp images. So you'll have to find a crappy one if you want a degraded "vintage" look.

    The box camera might just be the ticket. No focus, crummy lens, but they should still be sharp enough to be more than usable.

    Something like this:
    http://www.pacificrimcamera.com/pp/zeiss/tengor/54.htm

    Otherwise maybe pick up a 4x5 speed graphic. You can mount any lens on it, including things like magnifying glasses from the dollar store, old projector lenses, etc, which will give you plenty of interesting aberrations to play with. The speed graphic has a focal plane shutter (unlike most other large format cameras) so you can shoot through any piece of glass (or plastic!) imaginable - you don't need it to be mounted in its own shutter.

    Finally you might try screwing with negative desecration... like gandolfi's "kill your darlings":

    http://www.apug.org/forums/forum216/34416-kill-your-darlings.html
     
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  22. walter23

    walter23 Subscriber

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    Speed graphic. You can mount anything on one of those. A 4x5 one is my preference but you might like the miniature one with a 120 roll film holder as it would be more convenient (though I prefer 4x5 sheet film processing; spooling up rolls of film for development is a pain in the ass compared to dealing with sheets of film in the dark, but of course sheet film is more expensive - probably 2 or 3 times the cost per shot compared to 120 roll film).

    Ask the seller about the focal plane shutter (to make sure its working properly). Ask about the bellows. Make sure the back is functional and the ground glass is included.
     
  23. walter23

    walter23 Subscriber

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    http://largeformatphotography.info/forum

    Or the large format forum here.
     
  24. Nev

    Nev Member

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    OOh Cyanotypes in Coffee look great and so do gandolfi's photos! Wow. Great suggestions thanks, Ill definitely experiment with those ideas. Its a great look that could work well with what I would like to do. Especially gandolfi's... :D
     
  25. Nev

    Nev Member

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    Ive noticed a couple shops online aside from ebay like http://www.ritzcam.com/catalog
    With your experience, which do you think is one of the better places to buy from?
     
  26. Fotoguy20d

    Fotoguy20d Subscriber

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    I've bought film and supplies from Freestyle.
    I've bought film, supplies and equipment from Adorama (their ratings can be somewhat optimistic compared to KEH, IMO) and B&H
    I've bought used equipment from KEH

    You will probably pay a premium buying from these shops though (although there's less risk buying from them in terms of quality of what you're buying)

    In terms of equipment (lenses actually), everything I've bought through the above has been modern for my 35mm/digital SLR. All my vintage/MF/LF has come from ebay or sellers here on APUG. If you have a good idea of what you're looking for, you can post a WTB classified here.

    Dan