Tree Row

I recently put a roll of Arista Premium 400 through my Kodak 35, a World-War-II-era camera. I knew the 35 would be a capable shooter thanks to Mike Connealy’s review. But when my film came back from Dwayne’s, every frame was hazy and low contrast. Only seven of them could be salvaged. A Flickr comment said that these shots have a retro 1930s look about them. I agree: they look like they could have been shot with a box camera. Unfortunately, that’s not what I was going for.

Turns out I didn’t inspect the camera closely enough before plunging in: the lens was filthy. So I cleaned it as best I could and loaded a roll from my stash of discontinued Kodak Plus-X, expired but always stored cold. While I shot the Arista 400, an extended run of sunny winter days, a rarity in Indiana, delivered too much light for the shutter’s 1/150 sec. top speed. The Plus-X’s ISO 125 rating lets me shoot Sunny 16. Also, my Kodak 35 has a setting for Plus-X on its film reminder dial, so shooting it just feels right.


8 responses to “Captured: Tree row”

  1. Lone Primate Avatar

    Yeah, really. You half expect the camera to pan right and reveal the Joad family on the road. :) It’s a shame this wasn’t an effect you were after and you had a reliable technique!

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      Well, the Joads did drive by. They tipped their hats!

  2. Mike Avatar

    I’ve acquired three examples of the Kodak 35 over the years. I think they are really an important part of American photo history, but they have been a challenge to use.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      Except for the dirty shutter, mine seems to be in great condition. I set exposures on my test roll using a light-meter app on my phone and was pleased to see that exposures were good, suggesting that the shutter is accurate enough. I sent that roll of Plus-X to Dwayne’s last week and am eager to see the results — I’m thinking they should be good. Knock on wood.

  3. dehk Avatar

    Hopefully the next roll can be better.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      Will find out soon!

  4. pj931 Avatar

    I always like to have a lens spanner handy. Its a 30 dollar tool that fits in grooves on the rings that hold you lens together, it lets you disassemble your lens . On this 35 I’d say get to your shutter (by disassembling the lens) and soak in Ronsonol, run the shutter on the 2 longest speeds then wipe up lighter fluid. This removes old grease/dirt. Then put enough to coat the shutter and run 5 times on each speed. After that just let it sit overnight

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      Thanks! I do think the shutter on this one is accurate – it was just the lens that was dirty. Will know for sure when I get the second roll back from the processor.

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