quality of a picture and using old equipment
Hi guys, I'm Jo and I'm new here.
I have a silly question. I have a film enlarger from the early 70's (I think) and a great camera from the same time, they both work just fine. I want to build my own B&W darkroom, using both of them. I was wondering if the quality of the pictures that are taken by my old camera and are developed using my 70's enlarger, will look like they were taken back then during the 70's. Don't get me wrong, I want my pictures to have this "old" look and quality, and I want them to look like they were taken back then. I'm just not quite sure if the enlarger and the camera are all that it takes, since I'll obviously use new films and papers.
Do you understand what I'm asking? It's very important to me to be as "authentic" as possible, and I believe some of you will undestand my strange caprice.
I cannot answer your question, but thought it an interesting one; so I just thought I would offer a welcome to the forum, and wish you well on your quest.
You might be surprised, though to be fair you did not mention exactly what you have to use. The late 1970s through early 1980s was a golden era of very well made lenses in many formats. Quite a few choices from that time would give better results than much newer gear.
I think what might give some of the look from that era was not quite so great printing, at least in magazines and books. There were some good images from that era that were published, though print quality is probably not quite as good as today, especially off commercial presses.
One thing that might help more than the gear, in your quest, would be to use film that was available during that time. One excellent choice of that era was Kodak TRI-X, which is largely unchanged today. You can also still get Kodak Plus-X, an ISO 125 film, which will help you achieve that older look in your images.
Much of the gear I use professionally comes from the late 1970s through early 1980s, with a few exceptions. When you use that era of lens with modern films, especially some of the newer ISO 100 choices, they don't give results that look old and out of another time . . . you really need to go with older films (Plus-X, TRI-X, or AGFA APX100) to emulate an older look.
Your enlarger is another item to consider. Some B/W papers from that 1970s era are not available, though you still have some choices for that older look. Try investigating Kentmere and Ilford papers, and I think you will find some to give a more authentic look. Hopefully a few other people will chime in on this thread, and give you some more choices in papers.
A G Studio
You've also got to dress your models with 70's clothes and have them model their hair in the 70's style... it can be fun...
Greetings Jo, and welcome to APUG!
You don't mention what kind of photography you plan to do. Are you planning to shoot fashion of the '70's, landscapes, photojournalism, nature, portraits....? And film format: 35mm, medium format...?
I first got serious about photography in the '70's, and I shot with 35mm and my brother's Rolleiflex TLR. Black and white films from that era are still available, as mentioned by others, though they have been improved, but not at the expense of their "classic look."
The '70's look that you wish to reproduce might depend less on your equipment than on such things as lighting or shooting styles. Without knowing what type of photos you wish to take, it's hard to give advice.
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Gee the '70s, that was what last month
Were you thinking B&W or Color? And Welcome to APUG!!
Welcome to APUG. You might want to try EFKE 100 for a classic look. Good equipment from the 70's is good equipment period. Newer equipment won't give you materially better images, but will give you more electronics, gizmos and whirlygigs to entertain you and break down at the most inopportune time.
I just won an Agfa Isolette with a 85/4.5 Solinar on ebay. The lens is uncoated so the camera is probably WWII vintage. The results from this simple folder are outstanding. Under optimal conditions, the results are hard to tell from my Rolleiflex.
What I'm saying is that film and paper will give more of a "classic" look than equipment will. IMHO anyway.
"I'm still developing"
I also suggest you try efke films, and develop them in Rodinal or D76. The results I get from these combinations reminds me a lot of the photos published in my fathers photo magazines from the 70’s.
A few years ago I tried to replicate the look of a portfolio made by an Italian photographer in the late 60’s. It was shot on 35mm Tri-X and developed in D76, but I could not reproduce the grainy and punchy look it had using current Tri-X (400 TX) film in D76. But I came close when I exposed 400 TX at box speed and overdeveloped it somewhat in TMAX developer.
Last edited by Uhner; 09-30-2007 at 08:31 AM. Click to view previous post history.
What's going to give you that 70's look is rating your tri-x at faster than box speed (640, 800) and pushing it in a really potent developer, like D76 straight, or even in Dektol 1:3.
I have a Crown Graphic from about '53 and an enlarger from the 40's. Using a lens from 1907 and traditional (old-style) film developed in the oldest continuously manufactured film developer, I can't say that I've produced but one retro-looking image. But then, I haven't really tried.