Being under quarantine has me doing all sorts of film-related experiments. In addition to following EMULSIVE’s 65 projects on what photographers can do when stuck at home, I decided to try out a roll or two of expired 35mm film in an old medium format camera, the Ansco Rediflex.
I decided to use an old camera that a friend of mine gave me. It was his Dad’s camera and it means a lot to me that he gave it to me to learn film photography with.
The Ansco Rediflex is a fixed-focus TLR that doesn’t give me a lot of options while shooting. In fact, there are no real options to speak of. These constraints can sometimes be very fun. While the camera is supposed to use the now defunct 620 film stock, I have shaved down spools of 120 film stock and managed to capture a few images. However, I had read and seen others jam a roll of 35mm film into cameras like these and I loved the results. Seeing the sprockets of the film, since the exposure goes all the way to the edge, gives the exposures an immediate retro look.
While on our social distancing daily walks I would shoot a roll of expired film until I got things right. The first roll had a ton of light leaks because I didn’t block the film-counter hole in the back of the camera properly. It was also triple exposed (this is what I get for accepting film from relatives). And, I wasn’t advancing the film far enough between exposures.
At first I started with just two-and-a-half spins, it turns out four spins is just about right.
With these issues ironed out, I managed to capture some pretty fun images. They appear a bit underexposed but I blame both the film and the way overused C-41 developer I’m using. C-41 seems to be sold out just about everywhere right now so I’m getting the most out of the developer I still have.
These types of experiments are a ton of fun and I can’t wait to do more of them. Happy shooting everyone!
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This series is produced in conjunction with Hamish Gill's excellent 35mmc.com. Head on over to read the other half of these stories there.
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