Old fashion pictures
I'm looking for some tips on making pictures that looks like taken 50-70 years ago. Any tips on film, development, enlarging, toning, lenses, exposure, camera (I only got 35 mm.) or any other parameter in photography are welcome.
70 years ago the panchromatic films were still fairly new, and many pictures were taken with orthochromatic or orthopanchromatic films. 50 years ago pan films were well established, and colour films were increasingly popular.
Films at that (those) time was generally both slower and grainier than what we use today. There are some of the old-style films left - EFKE KB25 is a wonderfully fine-grained orthopanchromatic flim. That means it has less sensitivity to red light than most modern films. If you want the grain instead, use Ilford Delta3200 exposed at 1000. A blue filter helps washing out the sky to white - a green colour-separation filter is closer to what was used around 1925 (ortho film with yellow fliter).
If you have or can get old uncoated lenses, that flare is going to help too.
Use the same film developer - Rodinal is over a century old and still good.
Print the negatives on good fiber paper, warmtone is nice, but not necessary. Direct sulfide toning makes it look old with less hassle (but more smell) than other methods. AGFA Viradon is good. So are lots of others.
-- Ole Tjugen, Luddite Elitist
You can pick up a genuine pre-war camera for $10 on "that site", and they're virtually indestructable. Most cheap camera's from that time period use 620 film in 6x9 format, but can be persueded to take 120. With a 1930's box brownie or classic folder, and a few roll's of Ekfe you can have almost exactly the same set up as would have been used.
6x9 is such a cool format, that even bad camera's can produce fantastic tones using it. The camera's are so cheap its just not worth messing round in 35mm when what you're trying to preproduce was probably done with one of these.
Nothing wrong with a 35mm camera for this.
It depends what you mean by vintage. There are lots of ways, and many things that involve the darkroom. But, if you don't have a vintage camera with a vintage lens and vintage film, one way is to use faster film (for the grainier look), and somekind of softening and/or diffusion filter. Basically, the idea is to make it look less sharp. You can take a cheap UV filter and spray it lightly with hairspray. Then, if it's black & white, have it printed with a slight sepia tone. You can make a 35mm picture look like it was taken in 1901 with this technique. Another cheap way is to buy yourself a Holga, some Tri-X or HP5, and just snap away. The pictures come out already with a vintage look to them. You can also get an actual vintage camera. Those with 3 element lenses (like Novar, Apotar, Agnar, etc.) on vintage german 35mm and medium format folders) have the sharpness in the middle and more softness towards the edges, unless you stop them down too much (in which case they can be virtually as sharp as anything made today).
I have spent time printing from 80 year old negatives and to get the look you probably need to shoot with a blue filter for landscapes. Most of the amatuer cameras such as Brownies required estimating the depth of field so you find many pictures with plane of focus a little off the mark.
If you are looking at original prints and want to duplicate that look, remember that the negatives were new and the prints now show the effects of aging.
One way to duplicate this would be to get a piece of glass like you might use for contact printing but thin (2-3mm) and smudge, get dirty etc, a little and that might give the print an aged look. Never tried that but seems like it might work. Thin glass is required to reduce distortion printing through the glass.
While working with the old negatives that were pyro developed (circa 1915-1920) when the focus was accurate they were very sharp with very delicate and beautiful highlights. New prints from the old negatives made some people believe the images were of people dressed in period costumes. The only thing that indicated the real date was the "distinct look" of the individuals who looked much older then their true ages.
"Fundamentally I think we need to rediscover a non-ironic world"
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If you want to try ortho in 35mm then Maco makes Ortho25 and PO110c
that are continuious tone. Use D-76 as it was around 70+ years ago or
you could use ABC pyro (the developer of choice back then).
Before anything else you going to have to decide what look your going for.
Possibly post some examples, so we can help further.
"Just because nobody complains doesn't mean all parachutes are perfect."
Thanks for the replies. I'll be heading out with 2 cameras to try testing this. A Balda Frontbox (120 box-camera) with HP5 and a Kodak Retinette 35 mm with Tri-X. Both developed in Rodinal.
Some of the pics may be posted here later.
I am using Efke KB25 with red#25 and develoed in Neofin Blau and it gives that old-time pearly look. A lot depends on the surface of what you are shooting. Certain metallic surfaces look wonderful in Efke.
Try Fomapan Creativ 200 (T200)--very 1930's look.
Thanks. I bought a couple of rolls of Foma in Prague earlier this year. 100, 200 and 400.
Originally Posted by David A. Goldfarb
I haven't used them yet, but I will be shooting next weekend in the forest. then I will try the 100 ISO.
The 200 will be used in the cityscape later, I think.