ad: AlphaRF-1

Multiple identical-looking VTVM's.

Discussion in '"Boat Anchor" & Classic Equipment' started by W1GUH, Sep 16, 2014.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
ad: L-HROutlet
ad: l-rl
ad: QSOToday-1
ad: Left-3
ad: abrind-2
ad: L-MFJ
ad: Subscribe
ad: Left-2
  1. K8ERV

    K8ERV QRZ Member QRZ Page

    Similar. I used to print mono prints for a lady in advertising at my company, Tappan.

    She would leave a 35mm neg roll on her desk for me to pickup and process that nite.

    One time she put out a color neg film roll . I did not notice it in time and started processing as mono film. (I did not do any color work). Halfway thru the development I saw the mistake.

    Now what should I do? No idea. I stopped the development and finished the process. Got VERY dense and contrasty mono negatives.

    Took many tests and very lengthy enlarger exposures. I sweat blood and many hours trying to come up with good prints.

    They were not great, but maybe useable.

    I delivered them next morning. She liked them so much she wanted a second set!!. I could have died.

    Would not have been so bad if I had recorded the exposure times and contrast grade for each frame, but had to do it all over.

    TOM K8ERV Montrose Colo
  2. KB1WSY

    KB1WSY Ham Member QRZ Page

    My first camera had large-format film, or at least larger than 35mm, and it came in rolls, not in cartridges. The pictures had a square aspect ratio. The camera had solid plastic bellows. The flash was one of those small umbrella-like things and you had to put in a new, single bulb for each use. To me, the main advantage of the larger negatives was that I could make contact prints and they were large enough to put in an album.

    This was in the mid-60s in France when all of my friends were being given Kodak Instamatics with the four-shot (?) Flashcubes and the 126 color film. I felt a bit hard done by, but in retrospect I'm the one who was lucky and got to learn about real photography by developing and printing my own pictures.

    My first enlarger was made from a kit. The body was cardboard, the lens was plastic, the bulb was a regular 220V incandescent and the stand looked like a cheap towel rail mounted vertically on a thin plywood base. I used that thing for a couple of years and got surprisingly good results, until Santa brought me a Real Enlarger. I can still remember "dodging" the bad exposures with a piece of cardboard.
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2014
  3. K8ERV

    K8ERV QRZ Member QRZ Page

    But processing your pix, seeing and correcting your mistakes was the very best way to learn how to take good pix.

    No book could come close.

    TOM K8ERV Montrose Colo
  4. W1GUH

    W1GUH Ham Member QRZ Page

    Wow. A second story demonstrating that an artist shouldn't judge his or her work. But it's pretty impossible not to! Thanks, enjoyed reading that.

    Always wondered what would happen if color film was processed like B&W. Did she say anything at all about getting B&W prints from color film?
  5. K9STH

    K9STH Ham Member QRZ Page

    My first 35mm enlarger, which I still have, but not on the processing deck any more, was a Federal that used a special round bulb. At the time, I was writing a lot of articles for amateur radio publications and, since photographs took up space when the article was published, that meant more money. I learned how to "paint with light" to eliminate shadows when taking photographs of the underside of chassis, etc. I think that the Federal cost me something like $15.00, used, at a camera shop that used to be in a grocery store less than a mile, straight south, from where I lived at the time.

    I replaced the Federal with a Beseler 35mm enlarger that I bought new at a camera shop that was owned by an amateur radio operator friend of mine.

    There was a strong rumor that Omega was going out of business and a major camera store, here in Dallas, Texas, sold their inventory of brand new Omega enlargers for a fraction of what the new price had been. I got a C760 color enlarger for less than $100 with all accessories. This is the C760 with the considerably more expensive Dichronic enlarger head. Then, Omega got sold and the enlargers definitely were not discontinued. A week, or so, after I bought the enlarger, the price went up to almost $300.00 for exactly the same model. Of course, a "regular" C760, that can only be used for B&W, was a LOT less expensive.

    My 5X7 enlarger is about 6-feet tall when run to its full height. It is securely bolted to the table.


    To obtain the desired print size, there is a large wheel, on the left hand side, that runs the enlarger head along a toothed "track" on the main support.

    Glen, K9STH
  6. K8ERV

    K8ERV QRZ Member QRZ Page

    This was LONG ago. She made a mistake in putting color film in the usual pick up spot and I did not think to check it. All I remember is she was happy with the prints which were a bit grainey as I remember. I think the negs would have been better if I had not developed them so long, but I used the usual B&W time.

    I used the Varigam?? system where the print contrast was varied by using colored filters with one type of paper. Worked well but took a longer exposure time.

    TOM K8ERV Montrose Colo
  7. KB1WSY

    KB1WSY Ham Member QRZ Page

    No to mention the smell of stale developer, and its muddy color and consistency.

    Also the glow of the film-safe darkroom lighting.

    Edited to add: I found the 50-year-old B&W negatives! They are 2 1/4" x 2 1/4".

    Last edited: Sep 21, 2014
  8. K8ERV

    K8ERV QRZ Member QRZ Page

    The chemical or person?

    TOM K8ERV Montrose Colo
  9. W1GUH

    W1GUH Ham Member QRZ Page

    "Step into my darkroom and see what develops!"

    "Wow! That's some enlargement there."

    "Going to expose it."

    "Better stop. Bath time."

    "Well, I'll fix 'er."


    Hands on "practice" makes perfect, and Ansel Adams will teach you how to fix all those thing you don't like. My snow scenes were usually gray instead of white until I learned the zone system. How Mr. Adams (well, his books) instructed me fixed THAT problem immediately, and I learned all about 18% gray cards. Or just my arm when I didn't have one of those.

    Koday had/has (I think it's still sold) Polycontrast.

    Glen - Were the Beseler and Omega anywhere near similar models? If so, which did you like better. Sounds like it was the Omega.

    Got a Beseler 67CP in '81, and still have it, but I'd been thinking Omega - what I used in the college darkroom. The guy at Adorama, when they were on 34th St. said it's better and I really liked it. And it worked just fine up to 6x7.

    I was spoiled in college where I cut my darkroom teeth. BIG Omega for up to 4x5, and the rest of the equipment was pro all the way including a thermostatic water valve and a dust proof negative dryer. Spent, HOURS there and I SURE WISH I had those pix now! It was one of those darkrooms where the entrance was constructed such that one could enter or leave without admitting light.

    I can still smell the hypo. Is there an air freshener in that scent?
  10. W1GUH

    W1GUH Ham Member QRZ Page

    Darkroom in the basement cicra '92...just behind shelves full of radios. The backs of: 75S-3A, HQ-180, Valient, TR-4. There's a Mohawk out of sight on the bottom shelf. Took it with the Rollie I got at a hamfest in Paramus, NJ. Not to mention the 4x1 in the background. And the box for the memory expansion board for the Amiga 500.


    Still have all the equipment. There used to be rental darkrooms in the city but don't think they're there anymore.
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2014
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page

ad: Alphaant-1