Tempted by the low price I have some 10-year-old Kodabrome photographic paper to try as paper negative in my large format 10×8 1900s field camera.
I bought some IlFord Bromophen developer (as powder makes 5 litres diluting 1:3 for use) to process it.
Initial results show that is “fast” as its technical description says – at least ISO12 as compared to 6 for ilford multigrade RC paper. (nb ISO values vary with the type of light and, outdoors, with the amount of UV light – which varies by cloudiness, pollution and season! On a bright summer day the effective ISO can be 25)
The initial images show a much softer tonal gradation compared to the ilford paper and no pre-flashing is needed. Whether this is because if the age of the paper or its chemistry I don’t know – but I love it!
I have only tried the paper in the studio under studio fluorescent lights. It will be interesting to see how it behaves in natural light and natural light outdoors.
With the arrival of a sturdy period tripod (Gandolfi) I had much more success photographing in Bristol around the Cumberland Basin today. With light leaks in the film holders I am using the focussing cloth to cover the camera whilst taking the shots. This is heavy – hence the need for a strong tripod. Also the tripod makes taking macro shots better – as the extended bellows are harder to balance on a single ordinary tripod.
I made use of a graduated neutral density filter to tone down the brightness of the clouds. The clouds look very pleasing in this set of images, but the darker elements are underexposed. (exposure: F45 – Iso 6 – 8 seconds). I have ordered a darker (1.2 stop) GND filter to help balance the exposure of the brighter skies with the landscape/cityscape.
From my previous post it will be clear there was a serious light leak problem with my 10×8 1909 bellows field camera. Investigations in a dark room with an led torch inside the camera did show a few pinhole leaks in the corners of the bellows but nothing serious. A potentially more serious leak arose from a loose clip holding the back of the camera on, but after securing this further testing with a paper negative loaded in the camera, showed there was still a problem – it must be coming from the film holders and gaps around the sliding covers. A temporary solution has been to cover the whole back of the camera with the black focussing cloth whilst exposing the negative. Doing this I came back from my trip to Bristol’s Brunel heritage sites with 4 good-ish negatives ( no leaks).
The image of the SS Great Britain was blurred as my tripod head is just not able to cope with the added weight of the focussing cloth on the back of camera. I am now waiting for delivery of a vintage wooden Gandolfi tripod which should be good for the job – I’ll report back on that….
(Image below of 10×8 on location and digitally produced positive image of the paper negative produced.)