I'm new here, and this is the thread that sucked me in. Can I live on your tiny island, too?
I also have been playing with old 126 technology lately. Starting with the $3 Kodaks from the thrift store, but now including a Minolta Autopak, a Kodak 500 and a Kodak instamatic Reflex with wide, normal and tele lenses. I sprung a few months ago for a sealed brick of Konica SR 200 126 film (dated 1994!) on eBay with an eye toward reloading them with Tri-x or something. I have shot 5 rolls of it so far. One was too thin after processing to be of much use, but the other 4 have been surprisingly good. MASSIVE color shift, obviously, but the techs at my local Sam's Club are wonderful, and corrected it in the printing and scanning process.
One of the reasons I joined the forum was so I could share this tidbit of info: Sam's Club (and therefore, I assume, any other one-hour machine) can do 126 film (C41) with no trouble. It feeds right into the 35mm machine and even gets detected by the machine as 126! Not to discourage you from processing yourself at home, but this is much easier, and pretty cheap besides. The only downside is that the film scanner doesn't have a carrier for 126 negatives, so they run it through the 35mm carrier, which obviously chops off some of the image in the scans and prints, but I can always rescan at home if I ever get a shot important enough to merit that extra step.
The only thing I do that might be a bit of work for a newbie is to take the film out of the cartridge at home in my darkroom, and roll it into a re-useable 35mm cannister. It's easier for the ladies at Sam's to deal with, and it keeps my precious cartridges safely in my possession!
I have put one roll of Tri-X through my 500. There was some overlap, but it encouraged me to keep experimenting. here is a shot of my daughter from that roll:
Prudence by the Window
I have since acquired the 100' roll of Portra 160 you guys have mentioned upthread, and have tried the hand-punch using the backing paper as a guide method for one roll. Out of a 24 exposure roll, there were maybe 6 pictures that worked. My Instamatic Reflex was not as forgiving as the 500 regarding the perforations! A few places it wound blissfully past 5 or 6 frames before stopping. I didn't mind, though. I just wanted to see how much better fresh film would look, and if the 160 film in a 200 cartridge would be a major issue. The few frames I got tell me that it should work fine, if I can conquer the perfing issue.
I am grateful to Bill and Harry for the ideas of the cardborad stopper in the hand punch, and the yardstick ideas. Since I have a darkroom at home, I am anxious to try the yardstick idea. It occurs to me that the way to go may be two yardstick. See what you think:
Take two yardsticks with felt on one side, the entire length of the stick. Lay them together with the felt sides touching. Take that first roll of Konica film that failed (but hasn't been cut yet!) as a template and drill 24 holes through the yardsticks. Then, in the dark, put a strip of the imperf Portra between the yardsticks. Using an appropriate sized hole punch from Sears, work your way down the yardsticks, punching your holes the length of the film. Then attach it to the backing paper, roll it into the cartridge, and away you go!
I think it'll work. I can't wait to get home and try it! I'll let you know my results....
I haven't been successful with making my own perforations yet. My 500 is a beater so I cut off the finger. Now I can wind it 2 times per shot for sure single shots or if I want to chance it, 1.5 windings to get more shots per roll. This works perfectly for the roll of 100' Portra and the Rollei Retro 400S (both unperforated) so I have both C41 and B&W to bulk load. I develop both in my basement.
I'm also buying old Verichrome Pan which works great too and then I have more backing paper to use which seems like the most vulnerable part, the cartridge and spool are tough but the backing paper starts to get crinkled after a while and I suspect it is only a matter of time until it rips. I still have several backups to use, then I'll have to buy more expired film for the paper if nothing else!
Your yardstick idea sounds interesting. I'm doing my loading in a changing bag so far which is probably why the punching hasn't worked out, just too cramped.
Yeah, pretty much what Harry said...
Originally Posted by hpulley