getting serious about cameras

Past few years, Ive been up to collecting, maintaining and using old cameras. It all started when one of my partners directed her passion towards photography and i managed to vicariously enjoy the process of analog film photography.

I remember one day we were talking about costs of development and printing and i had this the thought of starting a dark room so we can develop our own film. its quite funny that black and white development and printing here in Sweden is more expensive than C41. So i got myself a beginners paterson development kit from Gunnar Olssons Foto and setup a small darkroom in my bathroom. It was super stressful the first time loading the film into the tank. and by that time my partner was shooting 120 film almost all the time. it went well, we made it! i was over the moon about it.

B&W development lead to B&W printing. So we got this enlarger in august of 22 that can go up to 6×6. we printed a bit with it. not using it as much as i want but now we are able to print fully analogue when ever we want!

We are now in 2023: Next step was to have a C41 development setup. we got ourselves a Cinestill kit and got to work. and it worked! but it needed some adjustments, there was so much heat loss so i doubled the container and also added a 2nd pump and heater. Version 2 was pretty damn good!

C41 “development tank” Ver. 1.
C41 “development tank” Ver. 2
Additional heater and pump to circulate better

And just like that we could develop film all by ourselves! (the caveat here is that i still dont have the tools for developing sheet film and im not really interested about sheet film right now).

In the mean time we figured out that the photoshop that we used for printing actually digitizes the films first and then prints it. we were very bummed out about it then. but hey. thats alright! we can start our own scanning, right? just a light table (made out of one of those SAD lights), a cheap DSLR and bang, we got that done too.

Scanning setup (more or less!)

But our real passion all these years has been glass plates. its always been about plates. Thats when we found about zebra dry plates. A few more pushes and here we are, getting to know old 9×12 plate cameras, repairing some bellows, some lenses and cleaning up rust here and there from these old plate holders, we were able to use both Zebra’s standard plates through out 2nd half of 23 along with their dry tintypes just when the new years (2024) rolled in!

Some tintype tryout!

It has been such a rewarding process! I have so much more left to do! but its just such a blast and i wanted to write about it a bit!