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36cm2
04-17-2009, 10:27 AM
Read somewhere that someone was getting much better results out of their 1950s folder by using thick type emulsions (Efke, Fomapan) rather than thinner, more modern emulsions (Acros, T-max). Any practical experience on this point? Is it a film flatness issue owing to older cameras being designed around thicker films of the times? Many thanks in advance for your responses.

Leo

Whiteymorange
04-17-2009, 11:59 AM
I've used old as well as new films in my folders and I have to say that what you get depends on what you're looking for. Since most of the lenses I'm dealing with are not coated and my guesstimates of distance are sometimes a bit loose, I don't tend to worry much about super-sharp, contrasty images. The films you mention each have distinct personalities. I think that has more to do with why you might use one over the other than a difference of a few ten-thousands in film thickness. Some of my favorite rolls have been with Efke 50 in a Kodak Premo #2 Cartridge, but I've also had great luck using Acros in both Zeiss and Bessa 6x6 folders. 6x9 gives the film a bit more room to squirm, I admit, but again, I'm not after the Rolleiflex or Hasselblad look with these folders. Play around and save the precision shots for more precise equipment.

keithwms
04-17-2009, 12:07 PM
Well, the older b&w emulsions had low (or no) red sensitivity. Hence the lenses were not optimized into the red; some of the really old lenses may have been calculated/optimized only for blue. Older lenses are the opposite of apochromatic: they have large focus shifts for different wavelengths of light. Symptoms of this may be lower contrast and lower sharpness when using the new emulsions. Obviously, coatings play a role too.

This issue might be quite important, depending on your desired output. Maybe you want lower contrast e.g. for portraiture. Or maybe you want to pair older emulsions with older lenses to achieve a certain rendering.

That's what comes to mind for now.

Peter Schrager
04-17-2009, 01:40 PM
I'm getting some of my best work using the NEW films especially fuli acros and and my ricoh tlr....the older lenses kick butt....try and see for yourself but in the end it is a matter of taste....
Best, Peter

Aurum
04-17-2009, 05:13 PM
Hmm, I'm unconvinced that the film stock makes all that much difference, apart from the differences in rendering.

I've used Delta 400,HP5,FP4 and Tri-X in my 1930's Zeiss 6x9, and they all seem to work well enough. I also ran a C41 colour through there (Fuji IIRC).
I did notice that I got quite a bit of brown hazing when I shot on a very sunny day, same as I used to on the Kodak 126 instamatic I used to use as a Kid. I'm presuming due to a combination of UV and uncoated lenses.

I do have some Adox 50 Art just waiting to be put to good use however, and I'm really tempted to try some Ektachrome E6 just for giggles.

Anastigmatic
04-19-2009, 11:24 PM
A 1950's folder will [should] have have a coated lens and no trouble dealing with modern films (b&W or colour) at all, even many the pre-war uncoated lens were corrected for colour film, the coating largely helps with flare and from a certain point of view gives the lens more speed. B&W Ortho film is still fun to use though but not needed for use in old cameras

in relation to problems dealing with film thickness it can vary slightly depending on the camera model and year it was built, generally by the mid fifties most mid range folding camera have decent pressure plates that keep modern film perfectly fine (even many very low end cameras), conversely some low end consumer cameras, more so in the early 30's dont have a pressure plate at all or have very basic pressure plates installed. its my opinion that the film flatness issues and complaints stem from those years and is one of those mud slinging mythical problems that has stuck around forever. i havnt as yet found a film flatness issue with any camera having a reasonable pressure plate installed (which is largely most cameras from the mid 30s onwards). winding on just before shooting is good practice to eliminate any potential problems arising though

the only reason i can think of atm, where using a thinker emulsion is helpful, for some people, is, for people using cameras like the super ikonta IV or Super Baldax (50's cameras) with film winding mechanisms with double exposure prevention and auto frame spacing (only a very few models have this problem-most 50's cameras dont have a problem) , that were designed to provide correct spacing according to the thicker film used of the day. using some brands of film with those cameras causes some overlapping of the frames, as the spacing mechanisms dont allow much margin for error.

there are some pretty simple work arounds to overcome it though, adding on a length of about 150mm of backing paper to the take up spool seems to work well enough...a number of people have there own easy little remedy for it. One camera repairer in the US has been reported to make a new gear for the super Ikontas to correctly space the film

36cm2
04-20-2009, 05:13 AM
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Thanks for all the replies. Very helpful. Looks like the recently acquired Perkeo II will be getting friendly with some Acros shortly.

BrianShaw
04-20-2009, 09:03 AM
in relation to problems dealing with film thickness it can vary slightly depending on the camera model and year it was built, generally by the mid fifties most mid range folding camera have decent pressure plates that keep modern film perfectly fine (even many very low end cameras), conversely some low end consumer cameras, more so in the early 30's dont have a pressure plate at all or have very basic pressure plates installed. its my opinion that the film flatness issues and complaints stem from those years and is one of those mud slinging mythical problems that has stuck around forever. i havnt as yet found a film flatness issue with any camera having a reasonable pressure plate installed (which is largely most cameras from the mid 30s onwards). winding on just before shooting is good practice to eliminate any potential problems arising though

I quite agree. These statements match my experience, and the bolded (by me) statement matches my personal conclusion.

p.s. I tend to use "traditional emulsion" (AKA 'Thick') like Plus-X/FP-4, Tri-X/HP-5 because I like the look of the film, not because it works any better than the newer technology emulsions. This, however, is my style in all cameras, old and new(er). I like Kodak film better than Ilford in red-window cameras because it is easier to see the frame numbers.

Anastigmatic
04-21-2009, 02:56 AM
enjoy your Perkeo II 36cm2 they are a little favourite of mine, 'little' being the key feature of those, if your lucky enough to have the c/scopar fitted so much the better, you can get simply excellent results with them. use any film you like through it --except if you use slide/e6 then an accurate measure of your shutter speeds is helpful and if you dont have the s/compur shutter then you may find ND filters useful, their useful with the 1/500 shutter too though for special purposes

Brian, nice to hear someone in agreement and with similar experience, it astounds me how the opposite prevailing views persist, kinda like chinese whispers from 80 years ago still being spread :)

36cm2
04-21-2009, 08:12 AM
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Thanks again and Anastigmatic, I can't tell you how awesome it was to receive my Perkeo II last night. I had been speaking with the previous owner last week and she underdescribed it. It's just gorgeous. I had purchased a super isolette last year and just couldn't get on with it for some reason. Great camera, but we didn't click. The Perkeo, on the other hand, just feels perfect. Finish, controls, size, even the tiny viewfinder - all great. Can't wait to use it and check out the results. It's got the Color Skopar with the Prontor S shutter. Still need to figure out whether I can get a yellow filter on there and close it, so I don't have to be carrying bits and bobs around on black and white shooting days. Too excited about this. Haven't been so psyched since I really started getting into my Rolleiflex. Awesome.

ic-racer
04-21-2009, 12:56 PM
Time between winds and film path radius are probably the biggest factor for producing a bulge of the film in the film gate. I suspect different bases and the presence of a paper backing contribute more to the between-film variability than the thickness of the emulsion. One of the main reasons I'll pick up the 4x5 camera instead of a MF rollfilm camera is that the 4x5 film usually holds very flat (hasn't bulged on me yet). Whereas with rollfilm this bulging is my nemesis :).

Check out page 3:
http://www.zeiss.de/C12567A8003B8B6F/EmbedTitelIntern/CLN10e/$File/cln10e.pdf

Anastigmatic
04-21-2009, 10:24 PM
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Thanks again and Anastigmatic, I can't tell you how awesome it was to receive my Perkeo II last night. I had been speaking with the previous owner last week and she underdescribed it. It's just gorgeous. I had purchased a super isolette last year and just couldn't get on with it for some reason. Great camera, but we didn't click. The Perkeo, on the other hand, just feels perfect. Finish, controls, size, even the tiny viewfinder - all great. Can't wait to use it and check out the results. It's got the Color Skopar with the Prontor S shutter. Still need to figure out whether I can get a yellow filter on there and close it, so I don't have to be carrying bits and bobs around on black and white shooting days. Too excited about this. Haven't been so psyched since I really started getting into my Rolleiflex. Awesome.

its a great feeling when you recieve a camera in better condition than expected or was discribed, kinda makes up for the groans and disappointments when you recieve a camera with any number of misrepresented problems or just heaps ruff looking.

the isolettes are popular and for their price (particularly when new) are good value for money, reasonable smooth lines that fit you hand nicely but the quality cant be compared to the perkeo at all. they just feel nice and solid in the hand, quality bellows and a good deal smaller and fit in your pocket .

one thing i would advice with the perkeo II is to get or download the manual and become very familiar with the winding on and double exposure prevention mechanism..practice with it until you know you can do it properly with out fail, every time...many people complain about this mechanism failing or broken but it is almost certainly in 99% of cases because it has been incorrectly used and forced at some point. use it properly and it will never fail...i guess it will at some point--maybe 300 000 exposures :D

you can fit a filter on and leave it on to close it, though you cant just use just any 32mm filter and do this, many of the commonly available voigtlander 32mm filters wont allow it to close with it on, you would expect them to but they dont! the front side diameter is too large. generally there is not a problem with the added height fitting behind the front door when closed

i cant lay my hands on the exact model numbers and brands of filters that will fit just at the moment (things all over the place here), but i have a few that i know do fit, some zeiss, voigtlander ( i am pretty sure) and some other lesser known brands all work. but you have to try and get the ones that dont have a large diameter on the front side, if they are about 32 diameter on the front they just fit . so you need to ask or you can reasonably expect the should fit if you notice a slight step in (smaller) on the front side diameter compared to the rear which slips over the lens. most you will notice have a larger diameter on the front (a step out) than the rear part that pushes on the lens

cheers
Anas.

36cm2
04-22-2009, 04:15 PM
That's perfect. I've located the type of filter you're talking about now. Thanks so much again. I read the manual closely by the way. I learned my lesson with these quirky mechanisms many years ago with my Rolleiflex. You have to do the hokey-pokey and the chicken dance simultaneously in order to get the 2.8F to shoot the second half of a 220 roll. Always a pleasure. Thanks to everyone. Time to shoot!

Anastigmatic
04-22-2009, 10:54 PM
Time between winds and film path radius are probably the biggest factor for producing a bulge of the film in the film gate. I suspect different bases and the presence of a paper backing contribute more to the between-film variability than the thickness of the emulsion. One of the main reasons I'll pick up the 4x5 camera instead of a MF rollfilm camera is that the 4x5 film usually holds very flat (hasn't bulged on me yet). Whereas with rollfilm this bulging is my nemesis :).

Check out page 3:
http://www.zeiss.de/C12567A8003B8B6F/EmbedTitelIntern/CLN10e/$File/cln10e.pdf

i'm curious what camera or system you have have film bulging problems with, I cant say i have had with any (hasselblad for decades, vintage folders, bronica, rb67 etc etc) unless there was something wrong somewhere along the line with the camera or loading film etc. i use large format as well and like for its own added attributes it provides, i also shoot some vintage [camera] formats like 9x12, as an example they need metal film sheaths to take film instead of the dry glass plate they were designed for, before you even begin with these the film is .3mm to .5mm away from where it is supposed to be because of the added film sheath thickness, but this small margin makes no noticeable impact on the end picture (its small error diminished with DOF even wide open and close focus etc).

i guess where i am going with this is, while that article is interesting i think it has to taken with in its context, reasons behind it and also noted that it is just an article, no proof was given (results hadnt been done), only speculation really and no follow on have i seen from that article nearly ten years ago (less of a need to now perhaps because sensors are obviously flat and not an unknown quantity once inside the camera as film is, or the results really didn't matter or show any noticeable effect!) . in addition there are other reasons given for unsharp pictures such as camera shake (no doubt one of, if not the major contributor to unsharp pictures (on a day to day real life basis) and so on.

they are talking about a testing machine to measure film curvature down to the millionth's of a mm, no doubt zeiss would find this information useful in the lens design and production business because they would want to understand how much unsharpness is attributed to their lens and how much can be shifted to the film as a cause of unsharpness, something that they would of had difficulty measuring before. it should also be noted that they are testing the film using very fast modern multi element medium format lenses (wide through to tele f4/350 etc) and the article makes the point that at these extreme wide open limits, is where these sorts of unsharp errors may show up.

this sort of high performance is not really a factor with 120 roll film folding cameras, the lenses are no faster than f2.8 at 75mm -80mm and about f3.5/105mm for a 6x9 folder, DOF should easily cover up any minute problems with film curvature.

still, it was an interesting article, the time theory is interesting but if they are going to be scientific about it then other factors such as temperature etc would all factor into it as well i would think, it may also not be as relavent to a vintage folder compared to a compact modern roll film back considering the folding camera in some cases will be a longer base dimension/not as sharp bends in film. just a thought

i am not saying it is the ideal format, it is what is it is...its not bad though considering its stood the real test of time ..years of production :)