Saturday, 16 June 2018

The Graflex Graphic 35

One way or another a small hoard of old cameras has come into my posession. There's assorted box cameras, a few pseudo-TLRs, some musty old folders and one or two I'm not even sure how to classify. I lack the soul of a true collector though. While I like to look at old cameras on the display shelf as much as the next person I suppose, my thought has always been that any functioning photographic instrumentis are there to be used.

That's how it is in theory at least. To say to oneself "what an interesting old clunker, I really ought to do some shooting with that" is one thing, but to actually choose to devote the time and the film to doing so when it's easier still to grab the backpack of Hasselblad gear on the way out the door is quite another. There is one little gem of a camera that seems to have offered enough of the right combination of useability and retro charm to have made it into semi-regular use, a fun and rather unusual Graflex Graphic 35.

The name Graflex probably conjurs images of classic large format folders like the iconic Speed Graphic and along with it flash guns with reflectors like small satalite dishes and fedora's with the word "press" stuffed into the band. But in the 1950's they also produced a line of 35mm cameras as well as medium format TLR's. According to Camerapedia the Graphic 35 was produced between 1955 and 1958.

In essence the Graphic 35 is just a 35mm rangefinder like so many others, but as its appearance might suggest, it's a quirkly little thing to use. If you're looking for a traditional shutter button on top of the camera, there is none. Instead you have a shutter lever on the front of the camera. In the photo above, that's it on the left just above the "Graphic 35" name plate. You pull it away from the lens to trip the shutter in a motion that might feel natural with a good amount of practice. I have not yet had that much practice, it still feels awkward to me.

Equally strange is the focus mechanism. Focus is achieved not with the twist of a helicoid mechanism or even the turn of the focus wheel, but with a sort of see-saw lever system accomplished by depressing buttons located on either side of the lens. The button above the shutter lever (on the photographer's right) moves focus further out while the one on the opposite side brings it in to a minimum distance of 3ft. The rangefinder window is separate from the framing window and is split top and bottom. The mirror in my unit is a bit misaligned so the two images are slightly off kilter with respect to one another but not enough to throw things into too much doubt. I seem to nail the focus the vast majority of the time.

The lens itself is a 50mm f/3.5. It is stamped "G. Rodenstock" on the outer rim of the barrel. This portion easily screws off by the way to expose the shutter blades and, when these are opened, the aperture blades just beneath. I been able to find any reference to suggest the optical design but if I had to guess I'd say it's some variant of a Tessar. This would be about right for a camera of this age and price range, and as can be seen when the front elements are removed the rear of the first group is nicely concave as would be expected with a Tessar design. Just my speculation. As a side note my inspection of the front elements revealed that my copy is suffering from minor fungal growth. I will probably let this be and chalk up any effect on the optics to vintage character.

The Graphic 35 features a hot shoe. At least it appears to be hot. The trouble is that the shoe seems a bit shy of the standard width. I was unable to get any of my flash units to slide on, at least not without the use of more force than seemed wise. If it were that important I suppose a few minutes with a small file or a bit of sandpaper on the foot of a small cheap flash unit might get it to fit but this isn't something that seems worth while in my case.

Changing film is not too unlike most 35mm cameras you might be used to although rather than the standard hinged door the back/bottom cover of the camera comes right off to allow access. A lever switch on the bottom is used to unlock it for removal revealing a fairly standard left to right film transport system with sprocket wheel and built in take-up spool that shouldn't be any mystery to anyone familiar with loading just about any mainstream manual wind 35mm camera from more recent decades. Rather than counting up the frame counter dial can be set to the number of exposures on the roll you just loaded and it will count down to zero as you go through the roll. There is no rewind release button. Instead pulling up on the winding knob and giving it a small twist to keep it from falling back into working position will releast the film to be wound back into the cassette. 

The top front of the camera above the lens is the real control centre of the Graphic 35. It's unusual arrangement seems to bring thought back to things that might be a bit routine on cameras with a more standard layout of shutter speed dials and aperture rings. The focus distance is displayed via a rotating dial similar to a mechanical bathroom scale. Moving away from the body from there we come to the aperture slider. It's continuously adjustable from f/3.5 to 22 with colour coded zones for each stop. These zones get narrower at the smaller apertures and there is only a few millimetres separating f/16 from f/22 so a little care may be required. Next is the shutter cocking lever because, yes, there is no automatic cocking mechanism. This is the hardest part about using this camera because you don't expect to need to cock the shutter on a small handheld camera like this. 
Finally there's the speed dial for the between the lens Prontor shutter. Unlike the other dials that can be read and set from the top, setting the shutter speeds requires the photographer to view the camera face on. The dial itself is on a ring surrounding the lens in a manner will be familiar to large format photographers. Available shutter speeds are 1/300th, 1/100th, 1/50th, 1/25th, 1/10th, 1/5th, 1/2 and 1 second plus "B". Not surprisingly for a leaf shutter camera of the slower shutter speeds in my copy stick as you go down and at a full second it needs to be coaxed along to close at all. This isn't so bothersome for me as it might be on a larger format camera as the Graphic 35 is really made to be hand held and I will probably only ever use it set to one of the top three speeds where it's fine. 

The first few rolls I put through the camera were hand rolled from a bulk spool of Kodak Plus-X that expired since the late 70's. Interesting but needless to say not a good indicator of what the camera itself might be capable of. I had the notion that this could be a viable take-along, sort of a side-arm camera on photo treks for those more off the cuff shots I wouldn't want to drag a larger camera out for. Loaded up with a fresh roll of Kentmere 100 it was there for the grabbing when it was decided one brilliant one brilliant Saturday that I would lead a small party of bored teenagers on a fun little jaunt down the Niagara Glen.

Though it was the kind of day I spoke about in the previous episode, better suited for barbecue, I couldn't quite tear myself away from the idea of taking along the Hasselblad outfit. I didn't anticipate using in much, and on that count I was not wrong, but you never do know when you might regret not having it. The Graflex saw much more use on this day, in part because it was a little handier, and in part because using it didn't entail burning through a little more of my precious supply of endangered (though not yet extinct) Fuji Acros.

When I say it was a bit handier than the 'Blad, I do mean a very little bit handier. In fact if I wasn't so careful about keeping the larger camera coddled in a padded backpack I might have found it a somewhat easier to use. That's probably largely a matter of familiarity. The Graphic 35 takes some getting used to. Much of this is simply getting used to the notion of a compact 35mm rangefinder that needs to have the shutter cocked for every exposure. Time and again there was that first false start then ended with the realization that, oop, I forgot to do it again. As the day wore on I got a little better with this. If it were my only camera I'm sure this would become habit and I'd never need to think of it.

As it is though, while I'm sure my little Graphic 35 will see continued use as a fun little take-along or perhaps a functional novelty at gatherings, its practical limitations will likely mean it will never be much more than that. This means I'll probably just go on eternally forgetting to cock the shutter on the first go.

Friday, 8 June 2018

Sunny Days Are For Barbecues

In my part of the world we've been having a lot of the kind of weather you normally spend most of the year hoping for. I'm glad of it, it's good for so many things. It's just that photography isn't really one of them. That's not to suggest that brilliant warm cloudless days and worthwhile photographs are mutually exclusive. The above image was made on just such a day and I'm happy enough with it. It's just to say that if I'm looking for weather that will lend itself to interesting images, perfect is less than ideal.

 All of the images you will see in todays episode were made during a single afternoon jaunt down one of the many out of the way and relatively unknown glens the Niagara area is blessed with. The day was, by most standards, ideal - warm though not at all uncomfortably so and not a cloud in the sky. Take away the fact that I had come intent on doing a bit of photography one might have deemed the day perfect. The perfect day for a hike, or if that's not your speed maybe a picnic or a back yard barbecue. For photography though, not the kind of day I would have chosen.

Many of you will know what I'm talking about here and the images below should atest. Though I worked as meticulously as possible with the spot meter to keep as much shadow detail as possible without sending highlights into that irretrevable upper plateau of the contrast curve the images still look, I don't know, blasted. It's not a technical thing that can be managed. I could be wrong but I imagine that even if I was one of those photographers who used the Zone System in it's full form and had worked out an N-1 development I can't imagine it would have helped much. Harsh light is harsh light. The things that typically lead us to describe this kind of day as beautiful just don't translate well onto film and/or light sensitive silicon chips if that's more your thing.

These are all straight up quick and dirty, un-played-around-with scans. As I'm sure most of you would be quick to point out they are all long exposures made with a 10 stop ND filter. Long exposure images on film can be contrastier once reciprocity failure kicks in, but all images were 60 seconds or less shot on Fuji Acros which, as I discussed last time, is well within the pre-failure portion of that film's reciprocity curve so I don't think this has contributed to the overall sun-blasted look.

Now some of you may be thinking some of these images are pretty okay-ish. It might be interesting to re-scan one or two of these a bit more carefully and see just how much could be done with them. If these were images taken in some some exotic location I was unlikely ever to get back to I might be tempted to try. As it is I usually visit this place a few times a year.

For comparison here is an image made in the same glen on a different sort of day two years previous. The light wasn't completely bland but it has a feel I don't think could ever be extracted from any of the examples above.

And just to make the obligatory point that there are no hard and fast rules when it comes to this sort of things there's that image at the top that I think is a keeper. It was made on the same day and in the same conditions as all the much too harsh image examples. Hard light has it's strong points, especially earlier or later in the day when it comes from the side rather than straight down from above. It's often what's behind those particularly dramatic effects, backlight, grazing light and whatnot. I think something like that happened in the image with the girl below the waterfall. (Every photographer should know a girl who is fond of waterfalls.) It was still mid-afternoon when this was taken but the slope of the north-facing waterfall seemed to be just such that it was catching the light at a bit of a grazing angle. This was helped along by the difusing gossamar like quality of the water in long exposure (it also helps when the girl who likes waterfulls is really good at holding still!)

In the end the message is that if you head out with a camera on a bright sunlit day you might come back with something more than just tan-lines. You might also want to wait for a day when your chances will be better. After all, it's the perfect kind of day for a barbecue.

Wednesday, 16 May 2018

Deathbed Vigil for an Old Favourite

Unless you're brand new to film photography you/ve been witnes to the buzz in the photographic community that comes with the announcement that a new film stock is about to hit the market, or more likely an old one is being re-introduced. Just as surely you've seen the the reverse play out when a film stock disappears from the market. While inevitably these announcements are accompanied by lamentations by some about how this is a sign that choice in the film market is drying up, the wiser among us realize that in the wider picture there is no such trend. Of course things will never be the same as they were when film was the only viable way to do photography, but that's a done deal now. For the most part anyone who was going to give up using film for digital has already done so. What we see today is not a decline. Films come, films go. They always have.

Of course it's a little easier to keep this perspective when the film whose immenent demise has just been announced is not one of the mainstays of your own working method. Sure it was a shame when the Kodachrome process was shut down for good, but honestly I hadn't shot with that particular film in the ten years prior to that. In the past all of these discontinuations came and went with me sad to see another emulsion go, but happily going on with my work no differently than before.

This time though, with Fuji's announcement that they will be discontinuing their Neopan Acros in all formats as of October 2018, five short months from this writing, it finally hits home for me. It has been roughly five years since I returned to shooting film for virtually everything creative that I do. Over that time, though I haven't kept count, I'd say at least half of the rolls that have gone through my cameras have been Acros, and it wouldn't surprise me if I were to learn that it had been a good deal more.

If you're not familiar with it's characteristics, Acros has all the basics covered. It's a 100 ISO black and white negative film with sharpness and grain that put it in roughly the same league as Kodak's T-Max. While it's almost purely a subjective thing, its tonality is something I find pleasing, and at the very least few find it objectionable. Acros has a few other tricks up its sleve though. It is uniquely good at handling highlight detail. This makes it particularly useful in contrasty situations. This also means over exposure is less of a worry, so if you're struggling with shadows you want to see detail in you can usually give it an extra stop and let that lattitude cover the rest. If one were looking to fault Acros you could accuse it of being so forgiving as to invite carelessness.

To me though shooting Acros comes with one over riding delight that beats all the others, and that is that reciprocity failure is something you almost don't have to think about (For those not familiar with reciprocity failure please see the excellent explanation by Mat Marrash on the FPP web site.) Given that I, like many photographers who share a love of the landscape, enjoy experimenting with long exposure techniquest, this makes it a very special film. With many black and white emulsions exposures as short as one second may require an exposure adjustment to compensate for the film's deficiencies with lower light levels. With Acros no adjustment is needed for exposures of up to two minutes.

Now I'm not above bringing along a reciprocity cheat sheet or even doing a bit of math in my head, so why worry too much about having to compensate? It's simply that reciprocity failure can quickly get out of hand, and the more prone to reciprocity failure a film is, the more easily this can happen. With some films for example, if after accounting for reciprocity failure I determine and exposure of 30 seconds at f/8 is appropriate, but feel the scene requires me to stop down to f/16, my new exposure time may become not 2 minutes as we might expect, but 7 or 8 minutes. And if the light may be changing on you over that duration of time the shutter is open any real chance at an accurate exposure may come down to little more than a semi-educated guess. For my money, its' best just to keep things as linear and predictable as possible.

Of course the final factor is simply that Acros is what I'm used to, it's what I've learned to handle. For me it is a known and predicatable commodity. In my case it even has an added bonus in that processing time in my developer of choice, PMK Pyro is exactly the same for Acros as it is for HP5, which is the film I usually turn to when I need a bit more speed, so I can just develop everything together.

Change is inevitable of course, but that doesn't mean we can't fight it. Even though I probably had enough Acros on hand to get me through the summer as it was I immediately put in a panic order as soon as I heard the announcement. Shortly after this Acros was nowhere to be found at any of the online outlets I knew or could find. This was probably due to a rush created by all the other fools who made the same panic buy I did when they heard. When they went out of stock I saw that B&H simply listed Acros as discontinued making me wonder if that was it, so when it was again listed as in stock earlier today, you guessed it, I put in another panic buy. I imagine there will be one or two more in the coming months, as well as the need to buy a larger freezer. I may be in Acros for a few more years yet.

Of course that's only prolonging the inevitable, but so is all of life if you think about it. What happens when it's finally gone? Seems I should have a while to think about it. By then there may be something new.

Sunday, 26 February 2017

Counting Down to the Countdown

Perhaps not unlike many of you reading this I have been keeping half an eye on the Film Ferrania site for the past couple of years now. Tonight I checked in for the first time in a while expecting the usual reports of slow steady progress but happily I found more than I expected. Much more. Admittedly some of you may be way ahead of me here so apologies in advance if this is old news to you. Any new film is welcome news, especially when it is introduced by a new (or at in this case resurrected) manufacturer. Given that Ferrania set their sites on the E-6 market and I'm primarily a black and white guy however my interest has been more along the lines of wanting the best for the overall health of the analog photography industry. Sure I plan to get myself a few rolls once they hit the market and still kick myself for waffling over whether to contribute to the kickstarter until it was over, but if my overall pursuit of photography could be described as a journey, I can't see it being much more than a quick side trip.

Not that long ago Ferrania noted another mile stone on their site, having produced their first test film. Naturally enough it was a black and white emulsion. They even shot the film and posted results. Looking at them it's easy to see why this is an important step. For a first ever go it looks like they made a pretty decent film, but the results revealed production problems that need to be solved, streaks in the emulsion and blotches caused by bubbles in the emulsion. You can't solve a problem if you don't know about it. Baby steps right?

Well, that was a couple months ago and as news often trickles out of Ferrania rather slowly I didn't think to check the site again until tonight. Featured heavily are images of a box of Ferrania P30 Panchro film. This in itself seems no big deal. Prior to the demise from which they are currently being resurrected Ferrania was a company with a long and storied history and P30 is the most classic of their black and white emulsions. This doesn't look like any of the classic packaging I've ever seen though and as I read on I quickly learn that it's not. It seems that first go at producing a black and white film for testing was more than just a stepping stone on the way to producing a much more complicated E-6 emulsion, it's also become the basis for a new version of P30 that Ferrania is getting ready to introduce to market. I don't know about you but this is something I'll be keeping my eyes actively peeled for.

It's hard to know how long this is something Ferrania has had a notion to do. When the kickstarter was launched it was clear they had determined E-6 was the way to go. It only made sense.  E-6 was, after all, something that the old Ferrania had experience with. More importantly, at the time Fuji was the one and only company making colour transparency film, and their history of dispassionately discontinuing any emulsion the moment it appeared demand no longer warranted its production meant there was no guarantee even they would remain. But while Fuji remains the only manufacturer currently producing E-6 films, as noted last time Ferrania is no longer the only company gearing up to join them. With Kodak expecting their new Ektachrome E100 to hit the market some time next fall it seems the colour transparency market is no longer relying on Ferrania alone to shore it up against the possibility that Fuji's offerings will eventually dwindle down to nothing. I can't help but think that this had something to do with Ferrania's decision to turn what might have been just a stepping stone into a landing of its own.

Hoping to get your hands on some? As of this writing Ferrania's Shop page makes it clear an announcement is imminent. There's a line of large text reading "This text will become a countdown clock in just a few days! Watch this page!!". Presumably the coutndown will start soon. We're just counting down to that.

Thursday, 5 January 2017

The Once and Future Ektachrome

This isn't a regular post, but I thought if today's announcement from Kodak was enough to warrant a double take from me it might be something readers would be interested in knowing. In this post truth era when I saw this my first instinct went something like "yeah, right", but the words are right from the horse's mouth and up there from the world to see at In short, those words are:

"KODAK EKTACHROME. We're Bringing it back."

Kodak made the announcement today at CES 2017 in Las Vegas and there are a few more details available in their accompanying press release such as:

  • Ektachrome will be in development over the next 12 months with initial availablility expected in the last quarter of 2017
  • It will be manufactured by Kodak factory in Rochester
  • Plans are to release Ektachrome as a Super 8 motion picture film and additionally in 35mm cassette format for still photography. 

The decision to bring back Ektachrome seems largely to intended as a compliment to Kodak's efforts to revive Super 8 film making by offering a film stock that can viewed directly in a projector. With the dwindling lineup of reversal films being offered by Fuji this, along with the progress still being made in the heroic efforts to revive Ferrania, can only be good news for fans of E-6 colour photography. Even more, for any photographer who has seen a treasured emulsion disappear, it's affirmation that a favourite film, though possibly somewhat transformed, can indeed come back from the dead.

Saturday, 17 December 2016

Back Into the Vortex

Two years ago I posted "Budget Time Travel : A Photographers Guide" explaining the notion that, at least in sorts of latitudes where I live, winter photography can transform familiar, well worn scenes into something other, providing the photographer willing to brave the cold with an alternative to long distance travel in order to find fresh subject matter. That was written during the winter or 2014-15, the second year in a row in which a weak polar vortex failed to keep arctic temperatures confined to the arctic, allowing them to run amok over the eastern half of North America including the Great Lakes region. Last year though the term 'polar vortex' which was becoming oh so familiar was replaced with 'El Niño', and with it came more mud than snow. While this was a relief in just about every other way, it didn't make for much photographically.

NOAA/NASA GOES Project Image
So here it is, mid-December 2016 and for the third time in four years we're hearing about the polar vortex again. Really I've been hearing the term bandied about since the summer, usually in discussions that started with the old "they say it's going to be a nasty winter" without any mention or probably even conception about exactly who or what "they" are. It wasn't really until just this week when a normal, possibly even warmer than normal autumn suddenly gave way to mid-winter conditions that I took much notice. Not that I or anyone else who lives in this part of the planet had much choice if they had any plans involving stepping outdoors.

As this cold weather snap coincides with that time of year where days are so short I drive both to and from work in the dark it wasn't until yesterday I had some free time during daylight to take advantage photographically. Given this is also the time of year for holiday preparations it was not a whole lot of time though, so with time constraints I decided to stay in town and make the most of my favourite local well trodden subjects, a decision it seems that turns out to have been the right one.

Take the lead image for example. Some readers may recognize the subject as that same crumbling break wall that was featured in my post almost exactly a year ago in "One Subject, Many Approaches II". It also appears in the post just previous to this. Other than being some structure jutting out into the water, with its thick coating of ice it seems almost unrecognizable here. I had actually headed out the door on bright sunny morning to do some shopping but noticing the heavy band of clouds hanging over the lake turned around and collected my Mamiya gear. It was only in the last few hundred metres of my drive out to the lake that the sun became obscured by cloud cover. That came as a bit of a disappointment as I'd been hoping to capture a dramatically sunlight foreground to make the dark clouds over the lake seem even more dark and ominous but looking at it now that might have been too much contrast. The clouds are plenty dark on their own. It only got cloudier the longer I stayed and before long I was having to take measures to keep the falling snow from collecting on my equipment.

I made the mistake of leaving without a good cable release. I had the $5 cheapie that sits at the bottom of the pack as a spare but after an hour or so in the cold that came apart and with the diminishing light as the once distant clouds moved overhead started bringing exposure times uncomfortably low to manually release even with the tripod I decided that shopping I had shouldn't be put off too long. I did manage to slip out again later that afternoon just to finish the last half of the roll that was in the camera.

I guess it's possible that this cold snap may be just the prelude to an otherwise normal winter. If so I was glad I got this chance and there will no doubt be a few more notable days before the season gives way to spring. On the other hand given how things so far are right in line with what the meteorological pundits have been saying, and experience with other recent winters, this may be just the tip of the iceberg.

Finally, for your enjoyment, here's some more from my first photographic foray of the new winter:


Sunday, 27 November 2016

What's In The Box Is Outside The Box

It's been a while since I've made a good impulse buy, so I was well passed due for one when I ran across this lot at everyone's favourite auction site (or least favourite depending who you talk to, it seems there are no in betweens). I became the proud owner of five rolls of Svema CO-32d colour reversal film, expired just slightly before the Soviet Union itself, at a price I could easily shrug off if the experiment was a total failure.

It might seem like an odd way to go for someone such as myself who prefers good sized negatives made with excellent optics to produce full range black and white prints. At first blush it may strike you as a better choice for a member of the Holga toting, happy accident fostering, low fidelity image crowd. Though it may strike some as the polar opposite of what I usually go for I don't see it that way. One of the qualities I care about most in my images is character, however it's achieved.

Like many impulse buys however there were a few aspects to this one that might have given me pause had I taken more time to consider things. I knew a colour reversal film from what was then the Soviet Union probably wasn't made for the standard E6 process like the Fujichromes and Ektachromes of the same era, but I didn't think this would be a big deal since I intended to cross process in C41 chemistry anyway. It was only once it had arrived that I started to research my options for processing the stuff and what it turned up suggested a change of plan was needed. I found a thread in the APUG forums suggesting a standard C41 process would strip the image from the film, a suggestion that was corroborated by the scraps of information I was able to find elsewhere in my online searches. One commenter was stated this was simply the result of the relatively high temperatures typical of colour processes and that they'd be fine in C41 chemistry with extended development at room temperature. More numerous, and it seems to me authoritative, were claims that it was the bleach employed in C41 chemistry do in the images resulting in a blank strip of film at any temperature and that C22 chemistry was the only viable option if I didn't care to gather all the ingredients needed to reproduce the original ORWO reversal process, It can be hard enough getting my hands on standard chemistry sometimes and the quest (no doubt the expensive quest) to get my hands on the oddball chemistry needed couldn't be justified for the sake of these five rolls of film which might not work out in any case.

What's a guy to do? Improvise! Among the posts in that APUG thread I found was one that listed the recipes to make every step of the C22 process from raw chemistry. The active ingredient for the bleach step appeared to be just Potassium Ferricyanide which I keep around because of its uses in black and white print making. Having most of the other ingredients as well I matched the formula as well as I could to produce half a litre of experimental C22ish bleach.

Bleach is just one step in the colour process though, and it was only through luck that I had materials on hand to create a reasonable facsimile of the one chemical bath. For the rest of the process I'd have to wing it. Stitching together various other nuggets of advice either found through web searches or offered up in discussion forums in response to my own queries I put together the following plan based on a working temperature of 20oC
  1. Water pre-soak: 1 min
  2. Unicolor C41 developer: 20 min
  3. Stop bath (standard film dilution ): 2 min
  4. Water rinse: 2 changes w/ 30 sec agitation each
  5. C22ish bleach: 7 min
  6. EcoPro Clearfix (1:4): 6 min
Followed by the standard wash I would give to any black and white film. There's nothing special about the choice of fixer, this is just what I use for black and white processes. The only real departure from this plan was necessitated a discovery made when loading the film onto the reel for the daylight developing tank. Over the decades it seems the backing paper had begun to adhere to the back of the film. I suppose I could have dealt with this afterwards but if nothing else I didn't want little bits of black paper floating around the chemistry baths, most of which would be re-used. The pre-soak stage was increased from 1 minute to about 200 minutes with several changes of water supplemented with sessions in full darkness of rubbing little bits of damp paper off the surface of the film. The effort was largely, if not totally, successful.

As I pulled the film back off the reel following all of this it wasn't clear if my efforts had been in vain. Of course there was base fog like nobody's business with plenty of mottling and density variations, but while I could see that there was actual image hiding in there it wasn't clear if it would be usable. Not surprisingly my first attempts to scan them didn't look like much, revealing far more mottling than image, but I managed to find a trick. The messiness was confined to the red and green layers of the scans, but the blue layer was just the opposite, revealing just enough mottling to make it interesting. I wound up making two scans of each image, one a monochrome image weighted almost entirely to the blue channel, and a second scan made just for colour balance. I then pasted the first scan as a luminosity layer over the second colour scan. The results are what you see here.

As you can readily see, especially in the third image, my efforts to remove the adhered backing paper were not entirely successful. Another good soak might just clear away what remains, but I'm still unsure whether this is advisable or even desirable. I bought this film with a mind to achieving some interesting and unusual results and in my estimation at least it was a success. The only question now is whether to stick with what worked reasonably the first time or experiment to see if I can get something even more satisfactory. I metered for an ISO of 8 for most of the roll, going down further, maybe to 4 ISO, seems advisable. Perhaps a bit more time in the developer or perhaps mimicking the original process even further a short soak in a standard black and white developer before moving on to the colour developer might yield negatives that at the very least won't be as hard to work with. I've got some room to experiment at any rate. The Ukrainian seller had one more lot of 5 rolls left and I just claimed it.