Tuesday, November 22, 2011

6x7+35mm=

I've managed to talk myself out of buying a(nother) camera! Instead I've added options to one that I bought a while back but don't use nearly enough...

As enjoyable as it is shooting with my old Pentax 6x7 medium format, it is very under used. But I finally figured out that it's possible to run 35mm film through it instead of the usual 120 format. Why would I want to do this? That other camera I was considering was a Lomo Sprocket Rocket: I really like the wide, panoramic format that's shot all the way across the film to include the sprocket holes and film info in the shot.
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One eBay purchase of a WidePan 6x7 conversion kit later (I was going to link to a WidePan site here, but they're surprisingly elusive online and aren't even showing up on ebay anymore) and I was good to go. Or so I thought. It turns out, after much frustration, that not all film cassettes have the same dimensions right where my "step-down" converters connect ie. inside the main tube. This was giving me all sorts of grief until a very helpful man in Sendean Cameras helped me out by making it work with a Ilford film instead of the Fuji films that I'd been testing with. (Huge thanks to David at Sendean for his time the other day) This still means that you have to open the camera in the dark and manually rewind the film back into the cassette, but that's manageable.
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So, having carefully "hacked out" the end of a roll of Fuji Provia 100 with a craft knife I ran a test roll through on a balcony in Soho based on meter readings from a Sekonic L-308s. These were cross-processed by Snappy Snaps, Wardour Street and ready for scanning the next day.


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As you can see, my attempt to rewind the film in what I thought was complete darkness, has resulted in an interesting magenta bleed along the bottom of the frame. However, considering the overall colour shift due to the cross processing, I think I got away with it this time.
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All in all, quite a satisfying little bit of investigation and discovery, and I've now got two very different cameras in one. But I think I'll be adding a changing bag to my Christmas list. Finally, thanks to Rebekka and Jo for the impromptu modelling :o)
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