Of all the things I know
I understand almost nothing

dinsdag 30 maart 2010


Electronic flash - not a
very "vintage" subject.
I had one or two in my time as sports photographer. Haven't used them since, but for the 4amproject I thought I could use some extra light. I don't trust the old blue bulbs, so I put batteries in the EF's I still have - and nothing worked. S***!
Until I found my 36CT2, bought second-hand already in the nineties, so at least 20+.
Without any hope I clicked "on". Four seconds later all the leds were red and I was flashing all over the place. Long live Metz Mecablitz - and wait for my 04-04-04 Easter photo!

zaterdag 27 maart 2010

vrijdag 26 maart 2010

The 2010 Easter Lecture... :)


"You are as old as you feel" - well, that didn't work for my 60 years old Panchromosa. He got wrinkles, dried out and became blind. And he wasn't the only one, so why do I work with those oldies?

Firstly: because I want to use my 116, 616 and 620 cameras. Yes, I could use them with 120 film (see flickr erwinruys) but ehhhrm... there is that second reason: nostalgia. And the real, contemporary thing is sometimes just better. Smooth, rich. Not the hard, sharp contrast. Example: the normal-to-handle but incredibly nice pre-1970 Selochrome I use in my 1938 620 Nagel. See the post above, or flickr erwinruys. The best film ever made.

So: what problems, and how do I solve them.

Well, what film is it anyway?
I bought some HP3, metal spool, yellow back-paper - wrapped in white foil. And discovered only on the "exposed" sticker that it was FP4. Even the seller couldn't know that.

And how "hyper-sensitive" (Ilford HPS) are they?
Well, not. If you are lucky there is an image. More often than not there is nothing, or only fog. 6-Nitro-benzoltriazol "no fog" can help. Or make the film spotty.
At the moment, September 2010, I consider 1965 the "point of no return": younger film could still be usable, older film is probably blind. The 1957 Gevachrome Ortho was foggy and spotty, but did produce an image; the 1948 Ansco Plenachrome was destroyed by time ànd by the back paper (not the first time back paper and gelatine stuck together. Well, after 60+ years... See above, april 14 & 17.
(But on September 22 the surprise: Selochrome ortho. Back paper stuck to the film, but was easily removed from the wet film. Wow! You can find that on my Flickr Photostream, set: old film...)
But we were talking sensitivity. I said "could be..." for June 2010 I tested Adox R14 from november 1970. Black fog. Alas. Extreme over-exposing and underdeveloping produces "an" image, it's fun to try that.
And of course: storage is a point. Kept in the freezer, or the attic? (You never know.)

More or less. I like to use a yellow2 filter, as did the photographers 60 years ago.
(And ortho is really not bad - I very much like it. But even ortho is not always ortho: red flowers on 1957 Selochrome ortho became as dark as the green foliage, but the dark red painted lanterns were rather light grey.)

And then (120 and so on) there is the sticky paper at the start. Sticks everything together while leaking on both sides, or dried out and doesn't stick at all, or even cuts through the back paper. It also can make the inside of your camera very messy. So: always check that. Always!

After 40 or more years the film will be very curled, especially 127 (and other thin-spool film) and it will be pure hell to get it in the spiral. I don't start with the free end, the sticky-paper-start-end is a bit less curled and that helps. A little bit. If nothing goes, I just develop the whole film by hand in a dish. Messy.
In January 2011 I had a very interesting problem: ± 1946 Agfa had become brittle: the film broke like glass, I could save some gelatine with an image on it! Caught that on glass, nice!
Scanning the very curled film can give all kinds of newton-like problems, turning it upside-down can help.

And that feeling of superiority over the digitalics - priceless!

BTW I put any kind of film in good old Rodinal 1:50 11 minutes to start with, adapt when I know more about sensitivity or shutter. Colour film, even old C22, I put in Tetenal Colortec.
Spirals and drums: 116 & 616 in Polly-Max; 127 in Paterson; 220 & sheet in Gepe; 120, 620, 135 in LPL/Kindermann.

(flickr, the old film in old cameras set).

woensdag 24 maart 2010

Looking for mr. Schumann

He lived just round the corner, dear!
And I am very impressed by the 45 years old HP3 in the plastic Brownie! This is not an easy situation and yet: everything is there.

Spring at last

Oberkassel today: 23 degrees, going up! The dog, as always, is right, but I keep walking (direction: bubbles!) I couldn't get the very rare 127 HP3 into the Bencini, but the French Starluxe is more broadminded. A perfect day.

The 127 Ilford and the Starluxe are both ±1965

maandag 22 maart 2010


New set "Addicted to light" on my
flickr fotostream erwinruys

zondag 21 maart 2010

Spring sun 29

This morning my Ensign29 ate the film, again, but I had one Shanghai to get a springsuntan through the Industar29.
The flute is a pear-wood Moeck.

zaterdag 20 maart 2010

Architecture on flickr

I created a new set "architecture" on flickr fotostream erwinruys.
The photos above are all made with the Contina.

vrijdag 19 maart 2010

Light, again


Famous Dutch poet Martinus Nijhoff "went to Bommel to see the Bridge", but they removed that last year, so I went to Malden to see the church. And found the delightful accordion-museum. 150 Years ago it was the village-school and a nice, little presbytery. In my 1949 Argoflex was obscure 1968 FP4, this time I did check ànd loosen the sticky paper: succes!

donderdag 18 maart 2010

His back side...

...is his front side and his back side also. You are always behind him, that's why the maker calls him "the Guardian". And all the villagers call him the bull-fighter. (There are several bull-sculptures in that village.)
On 40+ HP3 in the 1950 Agifold - and some terrible Picasa because the piazza is the usual Dutch mess of traffic signs and ugliness.

vrijdag 12 maart 2010

Hatert now

Hatert then: where my father was born, my family lived. Almost nothing left. I think I remember this spot: made a movie here, in the seventies. Or was it over there? I don't know, lost my way.
(No.2 Brownie)

BTW - I solved the light-leak-problem. See my flickr erwinruys fotostream.

donderdag 11 maart 2010


This church, where I was baptized, (first H.Communion, Confirmation, the start of my career as organist) is this year 100 years old - as is my No.2! And both still going strong.

zaterdag 6 maart 2010

Look! Think!

This little hero stood there in the freezing cold, collecting money for less fortunate children.

Tags: Hope, Hero...

donderdag 4 maart 2010

...but I still like the fifties!


The ginger woman in fur was so interesting - but Little Snow White spoiled it all, so I didn't wait. Nice weather, though! Ferrania Ibis on Efke R100 (Little problem: the Efke spool is 1 mm too big, you have to use strong language to force it in.)

woensdag 3 maart 2010


VERY overexposed. Look at those granular whirlwinds! I thought Fomapan400 to be 100 ànd didn't listen to my miniREX II. So stupid.