The riding stables up in the mountains has a wild friend.
I’m taking Advanced Photography again. I took it before, three years ago, all those pictures can be found here, as well as a few related projects that bled over into the following years. I suppose I wanted to take the class again primarily because I wanted to get back into the darkroom.
What this will allow me to do is make a lot of fine art optical prints, something I’ve really missed doing, and I’d like to offer this to you, my loyal readers. Traditional black & white optical prints get the best out of analog photochemical imaging and are the most archival process, I’ve read they can last for 1000 years if properly processed and stored. I will be printing 8×10 on Oriental glossy fiber paper, one of the best available today. As I only have access to the darkroom while I am taking the class, this will be a limited-time offer and all orders must be received by May 1, 2019.
x1 print: $40
x5 prints: $150 ($30 each)
All prices in USD; prices include shipping in Continental USA, international shipping additional and will vary but contact me and we’ll work something out.
These will be black & white prints of course; most of what I’ve shot is Kodak Tri-X, T-Max 400, and Eastman Double-X and the links should make it easy to browse the majority of my black & white back catalog, just send me a link to the picture in the email. If you absolutely have to have a color image I can make a digital print using an Epson large-format printer, email me and I’ll see what I can do; there is less of a time constraint on these.
Edit: Good news! This looks like an ongoing story and not as doom and gloom as we originally thought. The most important thing we can do is support them!
02/01/2019: Petapixel’s new article goes into more detail about why Tetenal is important, and answers some of my previous questions.
“The company is the biggest photochemical OEM manufacturer today and most likely the largest there ever was. Even in the heyday of chemical photography, Tetenal produced chemistry for Agfa, Kodak and Ilford. Today, a hundred percent of Ilford’s and approximately 30% of Kodak’s photochemistry are produced by Tetenal, says [Photoklassik editor-in-chief Marwan] Mozayen according to his industry contacts.”
So Tetenal is important. Very much so. Best thing to take away: it’s actually the digital printing division of the company that’s dragging the company down! The traditional photochemical division is making profit, and that is what the employees are going to buy. More below, taken from Photoklassik International’s Facebook page:
“Tetenal employees want to keep producing successful products
In the aftermath of the decision to close down the firm, employees have taken the initiative to try to save the photochemical part of the organization through a management buy-out. They hope to keep producing the successful traditional photochemicals and perhaps even develop new products. Dr. Sven-Holger Undritz, head of the liquidation firm in charge of the insolvency proceedings, said today, “If the employees can make their ideas into reality, it could very well be a new start for Tetenal.” Despite the loss of many experienced workers, the firm has managed to keep producing their products without any break so far, thanks to the engagement of the remaining staff.”
If you read Petapixel’s article, Photoklassik International’s editor-in-chief Marwan Mozayen is helping with the restructuring efforts so not only is anything announced by Photoklassik straight from the horse’s mouth, but it’ll be good to have someone championing them here.
01/31/2019: Following up on my post from last December. Unfortunately the news isn’t good. Here’s a link from Emulsive. I saw it come up in my Facebook feed with a post from Photoklassik International, I’ll put that below (emphasis added):
“The End of an Era: Tetenal is bankrupt
We received confirmation today from sources inside the company that Tetenal has begun the process of shutting down after 172 years in business. The hopeful planning of company employees in December has been crushed. The consultancy and liquidation firm managing the insolvency suddenly severed communications on January 1st, and employees, including the highest levels, were terminated today without any notice. It seems very likely that the consultancy team never had any intention of doing anything except gutting the company and making money for themselves, even though they took part in “friendly and constructive” brainstorming meetings with both employees and volunteers from outside the company only a month ago. We at PhotoKlassik have been fans of Tetenal and their products, but our advice to our readers now is this: support brands that will continue to produce the products we need!”
I know that some people have expressed apathy to Tetenal’s trouble, evidently finding their products to be overpriced, and I don’t use them myself, but I’ve heard from some that they are the only manufacturer for some certain photographic chemicals. I don’t know which those are, and I don’t know how much of an impact this will have on the ecosystem. I don’t like it.
It’s not all doom and gloom though, evidently the employees are trying to organize a buyout and keep the company going after April 1, but it might be on a scaled back, as-needed basis. I wish them well and hope they can manage it, and hope they’re more willing to hear suggestions from their customers, because having easy communication lines will do a lot to making them successful.
This Canon 1014XL-S is the first super 8 camera I used, on which I shot my first experimental documentary, Overwhelming Majority. My friend/classmate/colleague bought it at a garage sale in California, had it sitting around his apartment for a year or two, and let me borrow it indefinitely. I eventually gave him money to ensure that it is officially mine. For the last two years I’ve been shooting a documentary on the Colorado Springs tourism industry using this camera, and it has served me well.
Many say that the 814/1014XL-S models are the best super 8 cameras ever made. That’s not true, because there are features offered by other cameras that I’d like to have, but what this camera does give the filmmaker is versatility. It has a great range of framerates, an intervalometer, a zoom lens covering 6.5-65mm, accepts all the necessary film speeds, takes only AA batteries, has exposure compensation as well as manual aperture control, and the option of two shutter angles of 150 degrees for outdoors or 220 degrees for indoors. Plus lots more.
I also find it do be pretty ergonomic, with a handle that easily flips up or down, the filming “trigger” (for lack of a better term) can be set so that it films with or without the button constantly held down. Most controls are on one side of the camera, which is where I like them.
My copy has seen much love over the years: plenty of scuffs, ancient masking tape on parts, a previous owner’s contact information carved into the bottom plate, the side plate came off, a UV filter that is jammed on so tight it can’t be removed, and the eyecup was lost. I call that character. What matters most is that it works. And it works after having taken a considerable beating, and I’m a bit to blame for that myself I’ll admit. It’s been thrown around my Jeeps for two summers in a row with nary a complaint. It’s about 90% working.
The downsides? The first thing that comes to mind is the price. It has a reputation for better or worse, and it’s crazy what one of these go for now. There are plenty of other cameras out there with nearly the same features, in the $100-200 price range, so I wouldn’t recommend buying one of these Canons unless it were working and cost $150-250. I’m hearing from a lot of people that the lens has its limitations past f/4, though considering it’s super 8 film, I don’t know just how sharp one would expect the footage to be. And evidently a lot of people think it’s way too heavy. If you need a CLA it can be done but expect to pay a lot. There are cameras out there that are just as good that can be serviced for much less. Personally I can think of better ways to spend the money. I paid $200 for mine and it looks like this:
I also have acquired another lens for the Fujica ZC1000, the 5.5mm EBC Fujinon-SW. It’s not perfect, there are a few spots on the lens which I’m told will make the thing flare…gotta get a lens hood! I took a few more pictures too:
I guess that so far, my plan to shoot single-8 film hasn’t worked out too well, though I hope I’ll get around to it at some point. The problems mostly arise from not having many choices for single-8 film stock, or double super 8 film which is slit down and loaded into cartridges by hand, of course requiring a lot more hardware and room than I currently have. So it’s all been super 8 for 3 years now. When the time is right though, I will of course be ready, having acquired 30 reloadable Fuji single-8 cartridges, plus having a very fine camera with zoom, normal and wide angle lenses. Or, when the Kodak super 8 camera is finally released, I’ll have plenty of c-mount lens options for that.
Going back to my first post on this camera, I wanted to make more film pictures of all my small-format motion picture cameras. I even broke out the tripod and my 4/50 S-M-C Macro-Takumar, but then made the total n00b mistake of not resetting my ASA so I shot this entire roll of Fujicolor 200 between 500 and 800 instead of at ASA100 as I’d planned. Live and learn I suppose, and thankfully the shots were all usable. I’ll do more someday.
I like Lomography, follow them on Facebook, and enjoy seeing what their community is making. I love what the movement stands for and think that, even if one doesn’t necessarily like the whole aesthetic, it’s done a lot to keep film photography going. I can’t say that I’ve been impressed with a lot of their cameras, except the Lomokino. It’s a concept I’d never have thought of, and I’m not sure anyone else had either; it’s a pretty unique idea and brings filmmaking to a much lower budget, though admittedly it’s at a Lomography level of quality. I still find it to be their most intriguing camera. When I originally wrote this I feared the camera had been discontinued but it looks like they’re back in stock now. One would hope that if the camera is eventually discontinued it is because they have a new and improved version; it has its quirks and there are few features I wish it had:
-a more robust winding mechanism
-an M42 lens mount coupled with a focusing screen
Last fall I bought a Lomokino to finish up a super 8 project I started during my Experimental Cinema class Spring 2017. Shot two rolls of Tri-X over Thanksgiving 2017 but then just sat on the footage for almost a year. The super 8 footage has been cropped to 1.66:1 so to keep the proper aspect ratio for the Lomokino 2.66:1 footage I had to get some pretty large scans. I opted to send the film to North Coast Photo Services in California (if you’ve browsed Ken Rockwell’s site you’re probably familiar with them; I’ll admit that it’s where I heard of them) because of their 5035×3390 scans. It turns out that they’d never had anyone send them Lomokino footage before and had a pretty tough time with it. I got 4 frames per scan (which I expected, the Lomokino is 2-perf and regular 35mm cameras are 8-perf) and the top frame of each picture was slightly cut off so it wasn’t ideal, but better than scanning it myself I think. I also asked for flat scans but it seems that they either can’t do those or forgot; oh well (though they did email me the scans right away for approval, at no extra cost, so I have to give that to them). Total cost with shipping there and back: ~$60. Then all the frames have to be cut out and stitched together digitally.
The best way I found was to not crop the individual frames out, just take the scans and turn them vertically and import them into Final Cut (thankfully my school has Final Cut Pro X on all the Macs on campus). Drag each picture into the timeline and make them 5 frames long (a length I had to decide beforehand), then duplicate them 3 times. Then, working in a custom 3390×1234 framed project, I cropped each frame one by one working down each picture. It took about an hour and a half per roll and the footage is a bit jumpy, but it worked. Labor intensive, yes, but how was I to know that only a couple weeks later the Film Photography Project would announce their scanning service for Lomokino films?
I already mentioned they’re scanning super 8 (and 16mm and 35mm as well). There really are no cheap (and acceptable quality) routes for scanning movie film so it’s usually a question of whom you send your film to, for developing and also scanning. Get the film developed by your local lab (or develop yourself), send it to FPP for $20 per roll of film (and they even mention volume discounts for super 8), with no headache of having to deal with cropped images, jumping frames, and it’s not going to cost much more either. Something tells me this is going to be a pretty damn popular service; I certainly will be using FPP the next time I shoot the Lomokino, and probably for super 8 as well!
I emailed Michael Raso who is the grand poobah over there, here’s the info he gave me:
-they have a Lasergraphics Scanstation
-no LOG (flat) scans, but it is HDR so you’re not losing any information.
-the price for a roll of Lomokino 135 film or 50ft roll of super 8 film is a flat $20, whether you scan in HD, 2K, or 4K.
-options for cropped scan or overscan
-volume discounts are based on how much film you’re sending in (6+ rolls), email Michael@FilmPhotographyProject.com
Photographs courtesy of Michael Raso at the Film Photography Project.