An Operator Problem

This photo is from the first roll of film I shot with the Yashica Mat 124. The Fuji Neopan 100 Acros film is one of two types of black and white 120 film I bought to try out with the camera. Because the meter no longer works, I used the “Sunny 16” to judge the exposure. It was easy enough because there was bright sun at the time I shot it, so I set an aperture of f/16 and shutter speed of 1/125th of a second to match the sunny lighting condition to the ISO 100 film. It seems to be okay if you just look at the photo above, but that is deceptive.

The Operator Problem

I haven’t developed any camera negatives since 1971, except for the film used in traditional offset printing, which is a different undertaking, though there are many similarities. Because it is impossible to get 120 and 220 black and white film developed locally and I don’t want to send my film out to a pro lab fortysome miles away because of the expense, I gathered and bought the materials and chemicals that I needed to develop 35mm and 120 film at home.

Using “throwaway” film, I practiced loading the developing reels a few times over a two-day period, then decided I was ready to do it “for real” last night. I was anxious to see both how the Yashica was functioning and how the developing process went. 

The changing bag I ordered from Adorama hadn’t arrived, so I turned off all of the lights last night, closed the door to my office, then sat in the closet and closed the closet doors. After waiting a few minutes to verify that no light was coming into the closet. I began threading the film onto the developing roll. Threading the roll took me nearly four minutes. The 120 film is a bit harder to thread  in complete darkness than the 35mm. I expect that the process will be quicker with some practice.

I loaded the developing roll into the light-tight Paterson developing tank and closed the lid, then developed the film this morning in the garage sink, following the directions for the Fuji film. After developer, stop bath, and fixer, I let the film wash clear with running water for 25 minutes, then extracted the film from the reel.

A Bit of Fakery

Though the fakery is not on the order of what I wrote about in the Engaging In Fakery post, the photo at the top of this page is not representative of the real result. It is a crop. The photo to the left shows what all of the frames on the roll actually looked like. I hadn’t added enough developer, etc., for the tank. It was a disappointment, but there is an “up” side to the experience: I won’t do that again…

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