I was recently gifted a bunch of expired film that had always been stored frozen. I got some Fujicolor 200 in 35mm, some FP4 in 120, and, most interestingly, some Kodak Vericolor III in 120. Vericolor was the film that Portra replaced, more or less.
I expected that because the film was properly stored that it would perform okay at or near box speed, despite having been expired since July of 1986. When I shot the first roll in my Yashica-12, I made each photo twice, once at box speed of 160, and once slightly overexposed at 125. The photos shot at 125 all looked better to me, but none of them looked like fresh film. I was prepared to say that these shots would have looked even better at 100 or 80. But after finishing this roll, I transferred the battery to my Spotmatic F for a roll — and the meter was all jumpy. A fresh battery corrected that. So now I’m not sure that this battery gave accurate meter readings in the Y-12. This whole experiment might have been moot.
But what the hell, here are some of the photos. Slide each slider to the right to see the EI 160 image, and to the left to see the EI 125 image.
Our granddaughter’s mom asked us if we’d like to go to the zoo. Heck yeah!
Our granddaughter is fascinated by elephants. Here she is, with her mom, looking at real elephants for the first time.
Here’s a direct look at those elephants.
I had Kodak Tri-X 400 in my Yashica-12. I’d never shot this camera in a setting like this. I brought it along to see how it handled, and to finish this roll.
I normally shoot a long lens, or at least a deep zoom lens, at the zoo so I can focus on the animals themselves. The Yashica-12’s lens seems wide at 80mm, which made me figure out compositions that took a broader scene into account.
Sometimes I succeeded and sometimes I didn’t. I came away with a strong feeling that if I shot nothing but this TLR for a year I’d grow tremendously as a photographer. I’ve used this camera a lot in the last year and have come to know it well. I enjoy using it a great deal.
The Yashica-12’s square format was challenging in this environment. A 3×2 format would have worked so much better, effectively cropping useless sky and ground out of these compositions. I want to shoot more scenes like these with this camera so I can figure out how to use the 1×1 form factor to best advantage.
Because the animals in these images are so distant, the images work better at larger sizes. If you click any of these images to see them on Flickr, and then maximize your browser window, you’ll see what I mean.
I developed this film in LegacyPro L110 (Kodak HC-110 clone), Dilution E (1+47). I always lean on the Massive Dev Chart to guide me in development times. It let me down with Tri-X — it gave me a range of times for all dilutions I normally use. I’d have to experiment to find the time that works for me. This is my last roll of Tri-X and I don’t plan to buy more, as the film base’s curl makes scanning a pain. Persistent Googling revealed a blogger who got pleasing results with Dilution E at 6:50 at 20° C. so I did that.
I got slightly thin negatives. The scans are okay, but I wasn’t wowed, as shadows were blocked up. It could be insufficient development. It could also be a result of the Yashica-12’s metering, which is probably center weighted. I should meter by aiming the camera at the darkest area of my intended composition, and then compose and shoot.
I knew I could cut costs even more by scanning the slides myself, but could I get scans as sharp and colorful as Fulltone’s? Also, Fulltone’s scans are smallish at 1024 pixels square. I can easily get more pixels from my Canon CanoScan 9000F Mark II.
I tried it on a couple frames. I thought I’d show you my scans and the Fulltone scans to see what you think. My scans are at least 5100 pixels square — I select each frame by hand in VueScan, so the pixel dimensions vary slightly frame to frame. I shrank them to 1200×1200 for this comparison. WordPress shrinks them further to fit the blog template. I edited them all in Photoshop to my liking — nothing too invasive, mostly stuff like color temperature and exposure.
My scans are first, Fulltone’s are second.
Fulltone managed to bring out far better shadow detail than I could get from the CanoScan, VueScan, and Photoshop flow I use. Their scans look slightly sharper than mine.
But the Fulltone scans have a green cast that I couldn’t entirely erase, a cast that isn’t present on the slide. My scanner captured color that looks a little truer to the actual slide. Also, I was able to capture more of the frame than Fulltone did.
I don’t think there’s a clear winner here. Both Fulltone’s and my scans are fine. It’s a roll-by-roll judgment call whether saving $5 in scanning charges is worth the couple hours I’d spend scanning the roll myself. But when I want scans with large pixel dimensions, it’s very good to know that my existing scanning setup produces good results.
While I had Fujifilm Velvia 50 in the Yashica-12, I met some colleagues for lunch in the hip Herron Morton neighborhood of Indianapolis. I brought the camera along and made a few photos on Talbott Street before I went home.
Most of the houses and apartment buildings in this part of town were built around the turn of the last century. When I moved to Indianapolis in 1994, Herron Morton had declined badly and was not a place I wanted to live. Now it’s gentrifying and I can’t afford to live here, except perhaps if I bought one of the few fixer-uppers left.
Little apartment buildings of four, six, and eight units are common in this part of Indy. I imagine they were once even more common, but during the years of decline so many buildings fell into disrepair and were demolished. Even now, there are plenty of vacant lots on Talbott Street.
I photographed this house because it is so unusual. Flat roofs aren’t common on residences here.
Some of the vacant lots have new homes on them. This one at least sort of matches the design of the older houses. Some of the new houses are ultra modern and don’t look like they belong here.
Here’s one that needs some tender loving care. I’m generally not a fan of fussy Victorian houses but this one looks good to me.
I am a fan of American Foursquares like this one. I’d love to live in a house like this, and sit on the porch on warm nights.
That’s all of the photos I took on my brief walk along Talbott Street.
Here in central Indiana, the trees changed colors slowly and dropped their leaves late. It made autumn seem to last a good long time. I know that autumn lasts the same amount of time every year regardless of the trees! But when the trees are bare, to me that’s when winter begins.
We had some good color this year, with strong reds and oranges abounding. I didn’t make a huge number of photos — some of them are on the roll of Fujifilm Superia X-tra 400 sitting here on my desk needing to be sent off for processing — but here are some that show our color this year.
I want to shoot slide film in the autumn, to capture all the color. You’d think I’d also want to shoot slide film in the spring, which is equally colorful. But no. In my mind, slide film is for autumn.
This slide film was a gift from Marcus Peddle, who sent it all the way from Korea. He sent me four rolls; I shot two of them this time. Thanks Marcus! It’s Fujifilm Velvia 50 in 120, so I put it into my Yashica-12.
I shot mostly around the house and along Zionsville’s Main Street, although I did shoot a little in Indianapolis, which I’ll share in a later post.
Downtown Zionsville is such a rich photography environment. We won’t live here forever — Zionsville is nice and all, but I miss Indianapolis a lot. After we move, though, I will miss being able to quickly pop downtown for some photography.
I’ve shot the Yashica-12 a lot in the last year or so, and I’m getting much better at using the grid on the focusing screen to make my subject straight.
In “the village” (as we call Zionsville within its original town limits), people take holidays seriously. Many homes decorate extensively.
The Main Street shops place season-appropriate stuff on the sidewalk. For this photo I should have chosen a narrower aperture and a slower shutter speed to get more depth of field.
I got the focus right on this one, and I love the shadow play.
This florist could have done more to decorate the front of this shop, but the pastel color of the window frames and door often make me stop for a photograph.
Closer to home, the trees along the back entrance to my subdivision were just starting to change when I made this. As I write this, every tree is ablaze with red, yellow, and orange. But I wrote this on the day before Halloween. By the day this post publishes, most of these leaves will have fallen.