Well I’ve done it. I’ve jumped head first into the world of film photography.
I found a Canon Canonet QL17 (not the giii) online at a camera shop in MLPS. I wanted a Canonet or an Olympus Trip 35. The black Canonet won. It was a big leap of faith for me, buying an old film camera, online. I got lucky. The camera is in great, not perfect, condition. I needed to replace the light seals and clean the rangefinder. Of which I did both. (Thank you YouTube!)
Before I put any good film through it, I shot an expired roll and took it to the local camera shop for processing. No light leaks!!
The next issue to figure out was the light meter and the battery dilemma these cameras face. I didn’t want to spend $6 on a single battery, but I did. Then after digging through some older photography forums I discovered I could just buy a zinc air hearing aid battery (675) and slip a #8 o-ring around it. Perfect fit and function (and the correct voltage)!
So should I take my film to the local camera shop for processing or should I develop it myself? Well duh, I’m going to do it myself! I took some photography classes way back in the day (30 years ago, before digital was a thing) and loved the process of developing film.
Fast forward one week…
I got my kit and mixed my first batch of chemicals (Unicolor C-41 powder). And of course I waited for my anxiety to die down a bit before going any further. That’s the funny thing about my anxiety, it typically travels with my need for perfection. No way was I going to attempt to develop my first roll of film without the perfect (insert all possible excuses, conditions and whatnot).
Monday, September 2, 2019, I developed my first roll of film. Successfully! It all came back to me like I’ve been developing film for the past 30 years. But to be honest, I did sacrifice a roll of expired film to practice with.
I think I actually jumped up and down once I saw images on the film as I pulled it off of the spool. I was so happy that it worked!
I ran my fingers down the wet length of film (hey, we didn’t have fancy squeegees back then) and hung it up in the bathroom to dry. All the while, wondering if the images were worth the time and effort of developing them. I’m still new to that camera. Were they over or underexposed? In focus? I cleaned up the kitchen and tried to keep myself busy as the film dried.
Later that afternoon, it was time to scan. I am also new to the Epson V600 scanner. Sure, I’ve scanned more than my share of documents, images, etc. Film was totally new to me. After a few more YouTube videos, I scanned 24 images and opened them in Lightroom. Three of the 24 made it past that step. Many were out of focus. Some overexposed. Some underexposed. Some were me just trying to get through the roll.
The images included with this post are those three. Nothing too exciting other than what they represent. And for that, I love them.