Discussion in 'Classic Manual Cameras' started by gene m, Mar 2, 2005.
Kodak Super XX in a film pack
You going to try to shoot the full pack, Gene? Or put it on eBay to support your habit?
I think that yellow background just burned holes in my retinas (that's eyeball retinas, not [Kodak] Retinas).
I don't think shooting it is worth the trouble. Tray development is a pain in the arse. I avoid Ebay if I can. Do you have a film pack camera ?
They came out pretty good for fast-ish film, Gene. I like the guy in the last shot. The guy in the middle shot is smacking the top of the TV trying to get the picture to come in, just like my dad used to do.
Thanks for the credit on your web-page for my description of Film Packs and their operation ... it's always nice to be acknowledged
Thanks for the excellent info. No need to thank me.
Gene, no I don't have a film pack camera, nor even an adapter for one of my plate cameras. For me, processing the film wouldn't be that much different from the films for my plate cameras -- slip film into tube (in changing bag, of course), close tube, repeat until all tubes are full, close film pack until next time.
I've wished I could get film packs still; they're about as fast to use as a Grafmatic, hold more exposures, don't require handling the film to load the septa (so no or much less dust), and you only need one adapter to shoot a pocket full of film packs; with a rangefinder, press-type self-cocking shutter and film packs you can rip off 16 4x5 exposures in about 20 seconds, reload in 30 seconds, and do it again until the "unexposed" pocket is empty. With Grafmatics, you have to reload after six shots (or as many as 8 with some Grafmatic copies), and replace the entire Grafmatic unit (bulkier, heavier, and much more expensive than individual film packs).
Some complain about the thinness of the film, slightly different dimension from cut film, and the difficulty of removing the tape strips that fasten the film to the backing paper -- having never handled the stuff, I can't comment on that, other than to observe that film packs sold well until they were driven out of the consumer market by the improvements in film that let roll films and 35 mm deliver better quality in more compact cameras and let press photographers convert to the lighter equipment; film packs were made until around 1980 (that is, they outlasted 620 by some 30 years, with similar end dates and decades of head start).
I use film packs in my 4x5 because I hate dust. What tubes would you suggest I investigate ? I currently develop 4x5 in trays.
Gene, I make my own tubes. I've detailed the construction here (well, on the B&W Film and Development forum here on photo.net) a number of times, but haven't ever gotten around to taking photos and putting up a web page.
Essentially, for 4x5 you want a (carefully deburred) 5 inch length of 1 1/2" ABS drain pipe, two glue-type caps that fit it (one of which must be the kind with extra space inside, not the sort that's just flat across the end of the gluing socket; the other can save you an ounce of developer by being flat), and the stuff to build a light trap into the deep cap. My light trap is a couple inches of 3/4" gray PVC pipe and a piece of 1/8" ABS sheet; the sheet is cut into a square with a diagonal the same as the outside diameter of the pipe, and the corners trimmed so it will just enter the reduced part of the cap past the gluing socket, and cemented in place with ABS cement; the PVC is cemented into a closely fitting centered hold in the cap with Transition Cement (specifically for joining PVC to ABS), and a cap that fits it to keep the liquid in during inversion. Make as many copies as you want/need to load at once.
In use, curl the film emulsion in, so the 4" dimension wraps around the inside of the pipe, slip it inside, and put both caps on. From there on, treat it just like any other daylight tank; it'll hold about 8 ounces of liquid, which tends to point in the direction of reusable developers or high dilution for economy.
I use tubes like this for my 9x12 cm negatives and get great results, though they do bear a little extra washing loose in my quart size stainless tank after removal from the tube -- there's always a little dye that doesn't wash out because the film is tight against the tube. I've never had a scratch, and I can control development of individual sheets as needed. When I have a lot of film to develop, I add a coupler and second length of pipe and have two sheets in one tube. And for larger film, you can use larger pipe -- 5x7 will fit in 2" pipe, and 8x10 fits easily in 3" (though that's getting to be a lot of liquid for one film).
Thanks for the detailed answer Donald. Sounds easy.
It's a lot easier than developing in trays, especially if your "darkroom" has a double zipper and sleeves with elastic cuffs...
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