The camera is complete and the first photo has been taken

Today I took the first photo with my home made Field Camera.  This is some exercise to do but oh so much fun.

Visited Vanbar, they sell film and developers etc, here in Melbourne.  Bought a developing tank,  so measuring jugs, some chemicals, a changing bag, for film not me, and of course some film.

I was going to take a photo of St Patricks but it was raining and that meant with a non waterproof camera it was a no go.  So I came home loaded some film into the holder went out to the front yard set everything up.  Focussed the camera took a light meter reading with the little iPhone app and set the lens for f/22, 1/30th of a second at the film ISO is 320.  Loaded the film holder, made sure that the lens shutter was closed, took the cover off of the holder cocked the shutter and pushed the release.

Result one exposure.

Now for the processing.  Back to the changing bag, loaded the developing tank with the film, one shot only.  Then realised I needed a thermometer.  Went to the chemist and bought one only to find that anything below 32c is just a l on the display, lucky it was only $7.00.  Had to go to an electronics store to buy a probe thermometer that would read the water temperature,  just $10, not bad.  Mixed my chemicals and set up to develop the film.

Read the fluid levels stamped on the tank,  no mention of 4×5 so assumed that 500ml would be enough.  Poured in the developer set the timer running, another iPhone app, where would we be without them.  Agitated the solution for four minutes  and then emptied out the container and added the stop solution, just some vinegar in water.  Agitated that for a few minutes and then poured that out and added the fixer.  Four minutes later it was done.  Washed and had a look.

Clearly the 500ml was not enough developer, needed about 700ml to cover the film,  still it did develop all of the negative, just some is under developed and there is a clear line across the film that shows the fluid level.  Also the fixer was not deep enough as well so part of the film has a purple tinge.

Drying time,  it fell of the peg holder and ended up with a few small specks of dirt that did not wash off.  Still that does not matter as this was a test photo anyway.  After a wait it was dry enough to scan.  Now bear in mind that the scanner is a very cheap flatbed scanner that came with a $90 printer so the quality is very poor.  The quality shows,  scan lines and other artefacts   clearly present in the scan.  However it enables me to see how the shot turned out.

Here it is warts and all.

oneWhat it does show is that the camera does not have any light leaks,  fantastic.  So now it is just improve the chemistry and find scenes that warrant the time and effort to capture.


4 thoughts on “The camera is complete and the first photo has been taken

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