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The journey in analogue [and sometimes digital]

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NOW AVAILABLE: Clip-It: || DIY EDITION ||

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A Special Offer For Those Adventurous Types

About a year ago I posted about a new product I was trying to bring to reality by 3D printing it.  It all started with a sketch.

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The idea was simple.  I wanted to use red, orange, and yellow filters with my SX-70, and I didn’t want to have to hold a filter in front of the lens, and I didn’t want to have to compensate for the exposure meter.

The end-goal was to take the prototype and mass-produce it at some point, and I was going to use Kickstarter to fund it, but along the way I was able to make a prototype that can be 3D printed pretty accurately.

So, if you are the adventurous sort and don’t mind a little DIY, I am going to offer it up for sale on my Shapeways store.  Here’s the link:

Clip-It:  Early Adopter || DIY EDITION ||

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What can you expect?  It will come as 5 separate pieces, the Clip-It main body, a front and back filter holder, and a front and back eye filter holder.  

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Making Your Own Gel Filters

From there you can put in your own gels and glue it together with Super-Glue.  Here’s a link to the gels I use and they only cost $3!

ROSCO CINEGEL SWATCHBOOK

What About The Cost?

One of the key points about this project was to try to make something that was pretty affordable when mass produced.  And that is still the goal…for the mass produced version.  Unfortunately 3D printing isn’t cheap and there are still no discounts on mass producing items.    That means that right now, the 3D printed prototypes aren’t at the price-point I want them to be at.  

So, how much?  Well, it’s going to be $70 for 1 Clip-It Holder and a Gel Holder and Eye Holder, and $88 for 1 Clip-It Holder and 3 Gel and Eye Holders.  I am going to also put up the Gel Holder and the Eye Holder as separate items so that you can make different gels to put in your arsenal.

And I’d love any feedback anyone has on this so when I get ready for production I have a product that is battle-tested.

Some Examples

Curled Up

Clip-It with Orange Filter

Water Bucket in Tub

Clip-It with Yellow Filter

Gen2Color600-Test004-1 week later

Clip-It with ND filter and no Eye Filter

What Else Should I Know?

The material I chose to use is fairly accurate,  but only comes in one color, a frosty clear.  It’s also said to be a little more brittle than normal plastics, but I haven’t had any breakages in the models I’ve been using, but I’m not normally hard on things.  So, just be aware it’s not as robust as the final version will be when it’s mass produced.

I’d love to hear what you guys think, and every purchase will go towards getting this thing closer to mass production.  And even better, I have a few other products I’m working on to expand the SX-70 and using IMPOSSIBLE film.  Hopefully this is just the start of things to come.

Filed under Clip-It impossible SX-70 Filter ND Filter BW Filter Polaroid Clip On Filter Yellow filter red filter orange filter camera accessories

2 notes &

Gen2Color600-Test004-1 week later on Flickr.I was recently going through my Pioneer Test Shots with the new IMPOSSIBLE Gen 2 Color 600 film and I noticed that all of the specks that I had were slowly fading away after about a week.  Nice to know!

Gen2Color600-Test004-1 week later on Flickr.

I was recently going through my Pioneer Test Shots with the new IMPOSSIBLE Gen 2 Color 600 film and I noticed that all of the specks that I had were slowly fading away after about a week. Nice to know!

7 notes &

The NEXT Generation: IMPOSSIBLE Gen2 Color 600 Review

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The Birth Of The Next Generation

On March 12th, 2014, IMPOSSIBLE announced that they had a new test film that developed in 2 minutes.  We all went nuts and wanted to try it, wanting to see if the claim was real…and Pioneers were the first ones to get the film.  I finally got mine and spent the day shooting it. Here’s my report.

2 Minutes?  REALLY?

Let’s get this out of the way first…yes, in two minutes you can start seeing your image.  In 5 minutes you know if you got the shot.  After that, it takes about 20-30 minutes for the full image to come in…but..they did it, folks…it’s mind-blowing how much this changes things.  The film isn’t perfect, and I’m sure they will improve on it, but it’s amazing to watch as is.

The Process

Here’s my setup for these shots that you are going to see:

  • I used my SX-70 and my Clip-It Filter holder with an ND4 filter inserted
  • This film was called LE Generation 2.0 color 600 film (Pallet: Unit 7) just in case you want to compare with your film
  • My first shot was set 1 notch to dark and it came out too dark, so the rest of them were shot dead on normal as I always do with this camera.
  • My SX-70 has a Frog-Tongue on it.
  • I shot these all outdoors in 70F temps and BRIGHT sunshine
  • After the shot, I would walk inside (roughly 30 seconds away) and then set up the shot as you see it and take digital shots every 30 seconds or so.  No additional covering was done.

600 Film in an SX-70, HOW?

There are many ways to shoot 600 film in an SX-70, but I invented a little device that clips to the front of the camera that you can slide in various filters over the lens and electronic exposure eye to compensate for BW film, or in this case, faster film.  I didn’t cover up the eye in this case as I just wanted to reduce the light going to the film.

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I’ve used pack filters and held up glass filters, but using this set-up was SO much easier and nicer.  No jammed frames, no crinkled filter, and I used ROSCO gel filters and I feel like they don’t affect color at all compared to some other pack filters.  Hopefully I will have a version that you can use on your camera soon…Keep watching this space for a special :: Early Adopter DIY Edition :: 3D printed version in the near future!

Watch It Develop

So, check out the development process below.  I’ve put time-stamps on them so you can see the progress.

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30 seconds or so after shooting. All you can see is my reflection and a new, paler denim colored opacifying layer.  That’s the Clip-It with ND4 filter on the left.

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About a minute in and in person I could just start to see an image starting…blue opacifier going greyish.

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2 minutes in and the image is really starting to come out now.  You can tell if you got your exposure right at this point.  Amazing.

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3 minutes in and now the color is showing up, and it’s getting clearer.  Have I said how easy it was to shoot with the Clip-It? ;)

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5 minutes in and it’s just getting better and better.  At this point, though, you also start seeing some “specks” on the image.  Hard to see here, but I’ll talk about them in a bit.

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6 minutes and it’s clearing more.

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About 20-30 minutes later you have the full image.  Pretty nice, huh?

Initial Thoughts On Gen 2

The promise of quick developing film is a reality. And I really didn’t cover these up indoors to develop, just on ejection from the camera.  To put it simply…if you want quick development, this is the film.  It’s amazing.

Contrast

The film is very contrasty, and it brings out any blemish, scar or other micro-contrasty things in your shots.  It’s not horrible, but I would like to have a little less contrast in my color shots.  Hopefully IMPOSSIBLE will adjust to be more like the current generation of color film when it comes to contrast.

Color

Color seems a bit muted and a little on the pastel side.  I don’t mind it, but this batch doesn’t have quite the color fidelity of the current generation film, but it’s got plenty of color, and maybe the contrast of the film is hiding some of the color.

The SPECKS

Okay, the biggest issue with this TEST BATCH is that it has some undissolved specks in the final shot.  You can check them out on Flickr, but here’s what I’m talking about.

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From past test film, I’ve seen this when one of the elements in the process isn’t quite as refined or pure as it needs to be.  This seems like the same thing.  Great for testing, but in the final product it can’t be there.  I’m not worried about this as in the past, as IMPOSSIBLE get this ready for the public, there won’t be these particles.

It’s Nothing Short of IMPOSSIBLE

I honestly didn’t think IMPOSSIBLE would get to this point this quickly.  I thought this year we’d be refining the color film in smaller steps and just have to live with slow development times.  I am honestly blown away by this new film, and it will be hard to go back to the current generation, even with the specks in this film.  My shooting was a lot quicker and I could move on to the next shot with more confidence in Gen2.

I can’t wait to use the final film for actual shoots.  One of the scary things about shooting the current generation color film is that when you are on a shoot you can’t wait 30 minutes to see if you got the shot.  You get pretty good at guessing whether or not you got the shot, but you might not take a shot at something extra challenging on a shoot because you can’t guess if it will come out…now you can!

The First Shots

Here’s the first few shots I did with this film.  Click on them to go to Flickr and see the full-sized versions.  And when this film comes out, buy it…don’t ask, don’t worry…just buy it.

Gen2Color600-Test001

L/D wheel set 1 notch to dark…underexposed. Clip-It filter holder with ND4 attached.

Gen2Color600-Test002

Noticing the film is a little contrasty and the colors aren’t as saturated. Clip-It filter holder with ND4 attached.

Gen2Color600-Test003

Used a diffuser outside to help with shadows…Clip-It filter holder with ND4 attached.

Gen2Color600-Test004

Used a diffuser outside to help with shadows…Clip-It filter holder with ND4 attached.

Gen2Color600-Test005

Indoors, reflector to the right.

In Conclusion

I’ve said it many times in this review, but this is a big deal.  I can’t wait for IMPOSSIBLE to make the next version with some tweaks to it and hopefully by summer we’ll all be peeking at our shots a lot sooner.

As always check out my latest on Flickr and Twitter.

Filed under Impossible Frog-Tongue impossible project Gen2 Color600 Pioneer test film 71 Studios Clip-It for SX-70 ND filter Polaroid SX-70 Time Zero Autofocus Model 2

2 notes &

The Bitter December - Portland in 110 film

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A GREAT TRAVEL CAMERA

I’ve talked about the cold-snap that Portland had in December before, so I won’t dwell on it, but knowing it was going to be cold, I decided to take the diminutive Pentax Auto 110 with me.  I had a test roll of Fukkatsu Color 400 film that I’ve never gotten around to shooting, so I threw it all into my bag and headed to Portland.

PJC's Pentax Auto 110 with 50mm

THE PERFECT POCKET CAMERA

It was fun shooting with it in the cold.  I could keep it in my coat pocket and whip it out when I needed to and then back into my pocket it would go.  I never got in the way and other than switching out lenses in the cold, it was not complex to shoot with.

I got back home and had the plan to send the film back to Portland to Blue Moon Camera for processing.  I talked to the guys at the store while I was there and they do great work.  But I never sent it in.  It was a little more than I wanted to pay (shipping always kills me on things like this) and it really just fell off my radar.

PJC Pentax Auto 110 Open Back

HOME DEVELOPING OF C-41

Fast forward a few months and I was looking at Freestyle Photo’s catalogue and saw that a home C-41 kit was only $18.  I had done a kit before, but it was more expensive and didn’t last as long as I wanted.  I gave this one a shot and last weekend I finally mixed it up and developed my Portland 110 film from December.

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Let me tell you right now…if you do your own BW developing, get a C-41 kit and do your own color.  It’s drop-dead simple.  Just get bottles that can collapse (so that you can squash them down to get the air out…air kills color chems) and a Coleman cooler to put hot water in to keep your chemicals at 102F and you are good to go.  It’s SO much simpler than BW development other than temp control.  Pre-soak in water, Developer, Blix, Rinse, Stabilizer.  15 minutes and you are done.  And the negs come out SO much better than CVS, Costco or other non-pro labs.

FUKKATSU COLOR 400

New ISO 100 110 Color 24Exp with Backing Paper 3 Packs

Now take these shots with a grain of salt.  The developing did a great job, but this film just isn’t what I expected.  There is a constant streak in the film, and the first shots in the roll were very washed out and felt pretty expired.  But some of them came out great, and in the end, I kind of like, hell, even love some of the “uniqueness” of this film.  But don’t try to find this film…the manufacturer only made a batch of it and then disappeared.  You can still get it at the Film Photography Project Store, but it’s not cheap, and now that Lomo has color film, I’d just go with that.

PORTLAND IN 110

Cafe Racer

I took a similar shot on IMPOSSIBLE film, and I love it just as much as I love this shot.  The color is pretty good, and the Pentax nailed exposure and it came out pretty dang sharp.  As you can see on the left side there is some funky orange stripes and they are throughout the whole roll. I’ve seen other Fukkatsu Color 400 shots with the same thing, so it just must be a defect in the film.  I think it kind of adds to the look though.

Red Dot

As we were walking up Southwest Pine Street to go to Bijou Cafe’ for brunch, I saw this sticker for Venue 126 and just loved the louvres and contrast.

Scooter

Even the electric scooters were affected by the cold.  Down by Saturday Market, where brave souls still sold their wares.

Skidmore Fountain

The 50mm lens (100mm 35 equiv.) is just a great lens.  I loved having the telephoto and the wide during the trip. I didn’t take my 24mm (50mm equiv) and I’m glad I didn’t. I find the 50 and the 18 are perfect together.  Skidmore Fountain by Saturday Market.

Portland Oregon Sign

Another one that the quirky lines through the film actually add to it for some reason.  I had to venture out into the street with the 18mm, but it came out great!

Burnside Bridge and Pigeons

It was so cold, the pigeons were basking next to the concrete on the side of the Burnside Bridge, just trying to stay warm.

Self in the Bitter Chill

Probably my favorite shot of the trip.  I wanted to do a self-portrait next to the Portland Outdoor Company sign downtown, but I didn’t have a tripod, cable-release, etc.  So I told my wife what I wanted and then directed her.  Unfortunately for her, that meant almost laying down on the freezing sidewalk to get the shot.  But she got it and nailed it.  BTW, she had never used the Pentax Auto 110 before.  It’s pretty simple to use and gets great results!

The Schnitz at Night

After a great dinner at Raven & Rose, I wanted to walk down the street to The Schnitz and try to get a hand-held shot of the sign at night.  I took some digital ones, but then decided to try the Pentax.  10F weather, tiny camera and freezing, I really didn’t expect much, but this little camera amazes me.

Sunset at PDX

Our flight was delayed, so we had some time in the airport.  As the sun was setting, I once again wanted to get a shot, and didn’t think the Pentax would do it.  But wow…faults and all in the film, this shot just came out exactly like I wanted.  Bonus points for the selfie if you can find me.

PDX Ceiling

I’m sure a guy walking around PDX with a tiny camera looking for good pictures doesn’t set off any alarms, but when I looked at the ceiling of PDX, I loved the architecture and patterns.

COLD, FUN, AND SMALL

If you get anything from this post, it should be two things:  

  1. Don’t always think of 110 being “lo-fi”, but combined with funky film, it will still give you great results
  2. Start developing C-41 at hom

The Pentax Auto 110 is a seriously great camera.  The only downside is not being able to control the aperture, but if you stop thinking like that, and use it as the travel camera that goes anywhere, you will love it.  It’s tiny, and the lenses are spectacular.  

The Fukkatsu film was an interesting idea.  At the time, Lomography hadn’t come out with color 110 film, so it was exciting to get “new” color film.  It’s not what I expected, but if I could get these funky results at a reasonable price, I would have used it.  Now, I’d just go with Lomo film from the Film Photography Project.

And start developing color at home.  It’s really not that hard.  Just control your temp and you will be amazed at the simplicity.  

Whew, that was a long time coming, and a long post.  I hope you enjoyed it, and to see what I’m doing, just check out Flickr, or Twitter!

5 notes &

The Rites Of Spring on Flickr.Sometimes I shoot multiple images to make one big image frame with IMPOSSIBLE film.  I tend to do that more with the Instant Lab, but this time it happened with my SX-70.
I was shooting during the day and using my Clip-It filter holder I created (with a red filter) as I worked in the yard and around the house, and I wasn’t really trying to have images tie together, but when I laid them out together, they all connected to me.

The Rites Of Spring on Flickr.

Sometimes I shoot multiple images to make one big image frame with IMPOSSIBLE film. I tend to do that more with the Instant Lab, but this time it happened with my SX-70.

I was shooting during the day and using my Clip-It filter holder I created (with a red filter) as I worked in the yard and around the house, and I wasn’t really trying to have images tie together, but when I laid them out together, they all connected to me.

Filed under Cyanograph The Uncle Larry Polaroid SX-70 The IMPOSSIBLE Project

3 notes &

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Inspired by Derek Jarman, a provocative artist, film director, diarist and gardener IMPOSSIBLE decided to commemorate Jarman’s life with the release of a very limited quantity of a monochromatic, low-contrast all-blue film they referred to as Cyanograph SX-70 after Jarman’s movie, titled Blue, which consisted of 79 minutes of a single image of saturated blue.

When IMPOSSIBLE sent an email to Pioneers inviting them to get in on pre-orders for the only batch of this film, I knew I needed to get some.

As the first images started appearing from others, I knew this was going to be a special film and I wondered what I was going to do with my 4 packs of this film.  As is often in my life, a mundane drive home from work sparked an idea.  I told my wife what I wanted to do and used to my crazy ideas by now, she got on her bikini and away we went.

It was pitch black out and I had my trusty SX-70 with flash-bar and also brought out my brand new Sony NEX-6 to cover all my bases. I directed my wife to do certain poses and soon realized she couldn’t hear me with her head partially under water.

So, here’s the series, entitled “Water”.  It’s a mixture of an SX-70 shot and NEX shots using the Instant Lab.  

Water - Cyanograph

The Trusty SX-70

I didn’t know how many shots I was going to do with the SX-70, so I did some digital shots with the NEX-6 to see how the flash would act.  After a good test, I got out my SX-70 with a flash-bar, communicated to my wife with hand signals and got the shot.  I kept it under the frog-tongue and then put it in my bag to develop.

After about 20 minutes I looked at the shot and noticed some dark horizontal bars across the image and I thought maybe my rollers weren’t clean.  I checked my rollers and didn’t notice anything, so I decided to wait and see.  

After about 40 minutes, I checked again and I was presented with a beautiful cyan monochrome image.  The bars disappeared and the image looked amazing!

Water 3

NEX and The Lab

After seeing the great results of my SX-70, I looked through the files from my Sony NEX-6 and a series of images started piecing itself together.  

I knew I wanted to use the IMPOSSIBLE Instant Lab with these files.

One of the cool features of the Sony NEX series is the built in WiFi, so I got my iPhone 5, loaded up Sony’s Play Memories app and transferred the selected photos directly to my phone.  Now, I’m usually a RAW only guy, but the JPEG’s looked great on the camera and I wanted to try a very simple work-flow idea.  Shoot, transfer, print, was my thinking.

I converted the files to greyscale in Google Snapseed and did a test print…and found out that I needed to make some adjustments.  Instead of going through all the steps I did, check out the original digital image, and then next to it check out the final version that went to the Instant Lab.

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As you can see, I really toned toned the brightness, brought up the shadows and basically made everything really grey.  But I can’t argue with the results as you can see below.

Water 4

And really, these scans don’t do this film justice.  They have a smoothness and depth that is pretty amazing.

Water 1

And after playing with this film, I really think that we are playing with the beginnings of a new Black and White film.  A chromogenic version that will have the blue opacification layer, not rust and shift, and have greater tonal range. 

Water 2

The only downside I’ve seen to this film is, like the color film, developing times are looong.  Fix that and I really, really can’t wait to use some more!

Water 3

Water 4

Water 5

Now I wish IMPOSSIBLE would come out with a Magenta version too!  

I hope you get a shot of using this film.  I know it is sold out and was a limited run, but it’s worth tracking down, and if you are in New York near the NYC store, I hear they have some packs at the store!

As always, check out what I’m doing on Flickr for the latest.

Filed under impossible project instant lab cyanograph sony nex 6 Polaroid SX-70 Time Zero Autofocus Model 2