I normally spend every spare summer Saturday exploring the old roads, but it’s been too stinking hot! So I’ve been taking pictures with my old cameras instead.
I was feeling nostalgic about 127 film after I found the negatives from my first photgraphs, which I took with a Kodak Brownie Starmite II. That camera was part of a whole family of similarly-styled “Star” Brownies made in the late 1950s and early 1960s. My collection includes the finest camera in the series, the Kodak Brownie Starmatic.
127 film hasn’t been made in the US in 30 years. Dedicated 127 shooters know that B&H Photo carries a few varieties still made overseas (check out what they offer). B&H used to offer Kodak Portra 160 cut down from a larger film size and spooled by hand. I got a roll before it was discontinued and loaded it into my Starmatic to revel in the nostalgia.
Not only does the Starmatic automatically set exposure, but it also compensates for various film speeds. At ISO 160, the Portra is on the fast side for this camera. I set the camera to its maximum, 125 ASA, and hoped for the best. I needn’t have worried.
A few shots on this roll were ruined by some sort of funky pink clouding. A little of it shows up on this shot, but I like the colors I got in the evening light well enough that I am sharing it here anyway.
So far, all of these shots are from Broad Ripple, an Indianapolis neighborhood. It’s been a frequent photographic destination for me this year.
I got this last shot in Handley, West Virginia, while I was there for a family reunion. This burned-out and fallen building stands along “the hard road,” highway 61, Handley’s main drag.
It was great to shoot square photos again, as I did as a kid. I enjoy and kind of miss the format. These photos were better than anything I ever got as a kid, though. I know how to hold my camera steady now, and I’ve learned a little about composition. Also, to my eye the Portra 160 renders color more pleasingly and with finer grain than the Kodacolor II I always shot.
Few labs still process 127 film. Dwayne’s Photo does, and they got my business this time. I normally have the processor scan the negatives for me, but Dwayne’s doesn’t offer that service for 127 film. So I had them make prints, which I scanned on my new Epson V300 scanner. After scanning they needed a little color correction and cropping, which I did in Photoshop Elements 9. Whaddya know, a workflow.
See more photos from this roll in my Kodak Brownie Starmatic gallery.
Last updated on 12 March 2020 by Jim Grey