I had such a nice time with the No. 2 Brownie that I immediately loaded another roll of film, this time some Verichrome Pan expired since June of 1982.
It felt so right to shoot that film in this camera. It was the film of Everyman for many decades, recording millions of family memories.
Moreover, unexposed Verichrome Pan has a great reputation for deteriorating slowly. When I mentioned to a film-photography friend that my VP was from 1982, he said, “Only 1982? It’s still fresh!”
When this box Brownie hits, it really hits. Just look! This is the statue before the Carnegie library in Thorntown, Indiana.
Yet I whiffed about half the photos on this roll thanks to camera shake and misframing. It’s very challenging to see whether a subject is level in the tiny viewfinders. I leveled subjects in Photoshop, but that tool can do nothing about motion blur.
Every distant subject I photographed ended up at the very bottom of the frame, with tons of sky above. I can’t tell whether that’s a fact of Brownie life or not. These cameras were designed with group shots in mind — Aunt Edna and Uncle Bill and Grandma and the cousins, at 15 feet. I never had any trouble framing subjects about that far away. Next time, when I shoot distant subjects I’ll try to compensate by moving them up in the frame.
It must be statute that every Indiana town have at least one building marked I.O.O.F., for the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. I should do a series on Indiana Odd Fellows buildings. I’ve photographed dozens by now.
Downtown Thorntown is fairly plain. This building is in good shape but others could use a little love. There were few signs of life in the commercial district — I encountered nary a soul here. Speaking of souls…
But it was a Saturday. The Presbyterians would have to wait one more day to corporately honor the glory of the Lord.
Coming upon the Thorntown Police Department reminded me of the time I nearly got a speeding ticket here, but my young and beautiful first wife got me out of it. Read that story here.
I shot this roll of Verichrome Pan the same day I finished the roll of Ektar I shared with you in this camera’s review. I sent both rolls to Old School Photo Lab, and I had the Ektar scans in a couple weeks. After two more weeks I inquired after my Verichrome Pan. The response: to get the best results from “the old stuff” they use a different developer and a special processing run, at no extra charge — and they were awaiting shipment of more developer. Color me impressed.
When I shot the Ektar, the frame numbers were in the very right edge of the ruby window, making accurate winding difficult. The Verichrome Pan frame numbers appeared smack dab in the middle of the ruby window — as if this film was made for an old box like this.
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