Regular Maintenance – Keeping your Camera in Fighting Shape
Ever since Ontario lost Roger, the former owner/operator and general all-around genius with most camera systems, getting your camera maintained has been a hit-and-miss operation. But there are plenty of options that you can do yourself! And to bring us up on how he handles his used cameras is James Lee. One of the best tools he uses is the Mr Clean Magic Erasers to help clean up scuffs, marks, oils, and generally ground in dirt. Lysol Wipes are okay, but a little too damp, however, you would be better off using Electronics Cleaner or isopropyl alcohol works best and leaves no residue. Gun Oil is great for lubrication, as it’s designed for lubrication, WD-40 is not.
But not all cameras can be worked on at home, in the case of Hasselblads we take all our gear to Joe Vieira, who is trained with Fuji, Sinar, and Hasselblad equipment and that’s factory trained! But if you just need to reseal the magazines, that you can order online and it’s simple to do at home! Another camera that you don’t want to work on yourself is a Kodak Medalist, and while it took a while to get back, it was well worth the effort. But one of the simplest methods to keep your electronic cameras and flashes is to remove the batteries. Leaking batteries can be cleaned up but could cause damage to the circuitry.
Speaking of electronics, did you know that if you still have a pile of Fuji FP-100c, but the battery in your Polaroid Automatic Land camera has died. It’s a super easy process to change the camera to use AAA batteries. Get either a 2 AAA (3V) holder, or you a cheap LED flashlight 3 AAA battery holder (4.5V), and solder it onto the old contacts. It’s something Alex has done many times for many friends! But if you’re using a camera that takes the old Mercury cells, Bill recommends the Kanto Camera SALE battery adapter which allows you to use new safe batteries rather than blow money on WYNE cells.
If you want to learn how to CLA cameras, Mike suggests using the Argus C3, they’re cheap, plentiful, and if you screw up, it’s no big loss. If you want to give it a shot you can check out this blog that basically walks you through everything!
Shooting Expired – Don’t Sweat It
We all love film around the table, but sometimes the film we love goes away, names like Kodak Plus-X, Kodak Panatomic-X, Kodak Verichrome Pan, Efke KB100, and more. And while we get some that are short dated (less than a decade), and others had expired before some of us around the table were born. And while there’s a rule of thumb, to drop a stop for each decade, but honestly, if you have a slow B&W film, you can shoot it at box speed. But if you’re shooting some faster film, Kodak Tri-X and Royal Pan, you will want to knock that film speed back. Also, you want to look at the format, sheet and medium format will far more stable than say 35mm, but it’s still a crap shoot you can get strange patterns, paper transfer, and so much grain. You also have to take for note how the film was stored, we’ve had some decently short dated film but poorly stored and didn’t work. You also have to note the film base, early films used a nitrate base which is extremely explosive, even processed it’s still flammable, and if you have and it’s best to have it properly disposed of by a fire department. Of course, you can still watch nitrate motion pictures at the Dryden Theater located as part of the Eastman House Museum in Rochester, NY. But what sort expired films that we think you should look for? Well, we recommend, Fuji Acros 100, Kodak Technical Pan, Kodak Plus-X, Kodak Panatomic-X, and Kodak Verichrome Pan.
Of course, that’s the black and white side of things, when it comes to colour you have to be a little picky especially the date. The older the film you will get more significant shifts in colour. Now, it doesn’t matter as most modern scanning and post-processing software can fix it up, and you can get some form of natural colour. Kodak Slide films will lean towards the magenta or cyan when it expires; Fuji will undoubtedly go magenta as well the older it gets. But others will turn out excellent, such as Lomography’s F2/400 which is cold stored Ferrania Solaris 400 while a limited run, turned out some fantastic images. But with colour, the key is cold stored for your colour, other than that; it’ll just be a game of Russian roulette.
Did you want to join the CCR gang on a photo walk, well we have two upcoming events that you should join us for! The first is the Summer Toronto Film Shooter’s Meetup, taking place on the 21st of July, 2018, we’ll be meeting at 3 pm at the Exchange Brewery (7 Queen St, Niagara-On-The-Lake, Ontario), you can find all the details on the Facebook Event Page, also mark the 8th of September for the 2nd Classic Camera Revival GAS Meet, we’ll have the details nailed out soon, but we’ll be meeting in downtown Historic Galt or rather Cambridge, Ontario!
Looking for a good spot to get your gear and material fix check out Burlington Camera (Burlington, ON), Downtown Camera (Toronto, ON), Film Plus (Toronto, ON), Belle Arte Camera (Hamilton, ON), Pond’s FotoSource (Guleph, ON), Foto Art Camera (Owen Sound, ON). Out West there’s The Camera Store (Calgary, AB) and Beau Photo Supply (Vancouver, BC). Additionally you can order online at Argentix (Quebec), buyfilm.ca (Ontario), the Film Photography Project or Freestyle Photographic.