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Meridian Field Camera, Zeiss Biotessar, Kodak Polycontrast
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PostPosted: Sun May 09, 2010 6:32 am    Post subject: Meridian Field Camera, Zeiss Biotessar, Kodak Polycontrast Reply with quote

I picked up a couple of boxes of long-expired Kodak Polycontrast paper at a garage sale for nothing about a year ago - you never know when you will want this stuff !

So I have been working on a roll film camera to use my quite rare Zeiss Biotessar 2.8/16.5cm lens, which is mounted for 4x5, and I thought that, well, photo paper could indeed serve as film, and though I don't want to develop 4x5 film, photo paper is much less troublesome. So I cut up some paper into 4x5 and loaded some holders for my father-in-laws old 4x5 Meridian field camera. I ordered some cheap Foma developer and Fixer from Freestyle photo. The idea is to shoot negatives on paper, then scan and invert digitally.

Kodak Polycontrast is pretty much ISO 6. Thats a very slow "film", but with the f/2.8 Biotessar its just right for daylight portraits wide open.

It works rather well I think; "film" flatness is a problem, but it always is on this anyway. With the Biotessar's very shallow DOF I will have to remember to focus just a bit in front of where I want the point of focus to be.







PostPosted: Sun May 09, 2010 6:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

wow! crazy experiment and impressive results Shocked
6 ISO and just right for daylight Shocked Cool


PostPosted: Sun May 09, 2010 7:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

What a clever idea! I love the "vintage" look. Very Happy

How many 4x5 sheets can you get out of your paper supply?


PostPosted: Sun May 09, 2010 7:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice techique and results!

What was the exposure time?


PostPosted: Sun May 09, 2010 8:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very clever! It certainly does give a retro look.


PostPosted: Sun May 09, 2010 11:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Excellent results, thanks for showing us the experiment.


PostPosted: Sun May 09, 2010 3:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have two boxes of 8x10 photo paper, one was open when I got it with some sheets missing, so thats about 180 sheets of 8x10. I cut each 8x10 into four 4x5 sheets, thats potentially 720 pieces of 4x5 "film".

If I recall correctly, exposure times at f/2.8 were 1/15-1/25. The Biotessar is in a very old Compound shutter, the speeds are continuously variable but marked in the old style, 1/10, 1/25, etc.


PostPosted: Sun May 09, 2010 4:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great idea and lovely interesting images. Is the iso (equivelent ) marked on the box?
At home I have several boxes of expired paper.
This could be a fun experiment to do with my nieces and nephews.
They don't yet have patience to develop film but love to watch the image form on paper when developing.
Thanks Luis for this inspiration.
Oh BTW I envy you this lens Very Happy


PostPosted: Sun May 09, 2010 5:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi, there.
Impressive results, Luis. I was thinking it could be possible to contact print the paper neg on another sheet and getting a positive, some testing involved, of course, but should work.

Cheers, M.-


PostPosted: Sun May 09, 2010 5:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Marty
how would you project it onto the sheet to make a positive?


PostPosted: Sun May 09, 2010 5:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would contact print. Blank sheet at the bottom emulsion up, negative on top emulsion down. A sheet of glass on top of all to keep everything flat.
The light is traveling through the back of the neg, no mistake.
Simple as that. You can expose on the enlarger baseboard, but even a bare bulb hanging from its wire would do.

Cheers, M.-


PostPosted: Sun May 09, 2010 6:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It will project well right through the print paper ? I suppose if its mounted emulsion to emulsion there will be no detail loss.

I need to try that.


PostPosted: Sun May 09, 2010 6:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

marty wrote:
Hi, there.
Impressive results, Luis. I was thinking it could be possible to contact print the paper neg on another sheet and getting a positive, some testing involved, of course, but should work.

Cheers, M.-


Yes, it works.
We used to so when using the homemade pinholes with my children.
Paper works both as a negative film and positive output.
We used to sandwich the negative with an unexposed piece of sensible paper between two pieces of glass and kept in place with clamps (the ones used to keep papers togheter).
Exposed to the direct sunlight.
Results were quite contrasted and not too sharp, but nice as a learning experiment.

The digital approach above looks much simpler and effective.

Regards.
Jes.


PostPosted: Sun May 09, 2010 6:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've not actually tried this but the light indeed travels through the back of the paper. When I was a beginner at printing I mistakenly put the paper upside down under the enlarger and exposed through the back. What I got was a grossly underexposed print. So I'm guessing that with the right exposure should work fine.

Cheers, M.-


PostPosted: Sun May 09, 2010 7:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I love this thread. Such great ideas to try. Smile


PostPosted: Sun May 09, 2010 11:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

luisalegria wrote:
I have two boxes of 8x10 photo paper, one was open when I got it with some sheets missing, so thats about 180 sheets of 8x10. I cut each 8x10 into four 4x5 sheets, thats potentially 720 pieces of 4x5 "film".


Wow! That's enough for quite a bit of experimenting! Shocked

How much does photo paper like this cost, normal retail prices?


PostPosted: Mon May 10, 2010 6:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Some more from today - I need a better way to get rid of spots. I think most of these are because of the old paper.







PostPosted: Mon May 10, 2010 6:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think the spots add to the look.


PostPosted: Mon May 10, 2010 6:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

mo wrote:
I think the spots add to the look.


So do I! I wouldn't change a thing! Cool


PostPosted: Mon May 10, 2010 7:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Scheimpflug wrote:
How much does photo paper like this cost, normal retail prices?


Don't know what is acceptable paper for this but some prices here:

Ilford MGD IV RC 10x15 cm (which is slightly smaller?) =
25,50 / 100 = 0,26 / sheet

Ilford Delta 100 4x5" =
54 / 25 = 2,16 / sheet
And the developing is 3,70 / sheet ..

I think your discovery will make major increase to the interest in LF cameras. At least I feel it.


PostPosted: Mon May 10, 2010 11:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

These photos are fantastic - they take me right back to the daguerrortypes and other such early photography, though with a vintage 1960's feel in addition.

I think there is commercial portrait potential with this process.


PostPosted: Mon May 10, 2010 12:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Retro, indeed: about 1845. Nice!


PostPosted: Mon May 10, 2010 2:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

kansalliskala wrote:
I think your discovery will make major increase to the interest in LF cameras. At least I feel it.


It's certainly making me consider it! Wink Thanks for those price estimates.

Are there any photo papers that are particularly easy to develop? Such as not needing as many chemicals, or using less or non-toxic chemicals?


PostPosted: Mon May 10, 2010 2:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So I've done a bit of searching... apparently Ilfochrome ("Cibachrome") paper is designed for positive-to-positive print making from slides, and a number of people have been using the paper as a film for large-format and ultra-large-format cameras.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ilfochrome
http://www.glennview.com/ciba.htm
http://www.1827.eu/Welcome.html


PostPosted: Mon May 10, 2010 3:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, great idea.
It could also work with pencil drawings.
Imagine that, a photographic contact print from your pencil drawings. Fascinating!