5 frames with Kodak Ultramax in a Konica Autoreflex T3

My last ‘5 frames’ was a thinly veiled opportunity to complain about the ergonomics and reliability of the Minox 35EL. Even then I remained entranced by its tiny (and excellent) lens.

The camera

The Autoreflex used is the first real camera I owned (other than a brief one-night-stand with a Canonet). I’ve got a lot of cameras and have had even more, but this particular T3 is special to me.

These shots are from the first roll I’ve put through it since swapping the original body plates for a set of smart black ones. They act as a useful confirmation that everything went back OK.

The film

This film marks my first attempt at processing C41 film. I’ve long done my own black and white, but had always stayed away from colour processing. When I got involved with 35mmc, I followed Holly Gilman through her first attempts at B&W. Like Holly, the first two rolls I processed (back in 1979) were also quite free of images, with the third being the charm. Holly then launched into her first experiments in Colour processing.

Holly’s adventurousness made me realise just how ‘trepid’ (as opposed to intrepid) I’d been over the years. I decided I would take the plunge, I would get some Colour film and a processing kit and I would be brave!

The hiatus

Having acquired myself a CineStill two-bath pack and a bulk pack of Kodak Colour films. I stored up Colour films so that I could do batch process once the solutions were made up. Inevitably, my tendency to prevaricate did take over. Despite Holly’s observations that absolute precision with temperature wasn’t mandatory for decent results, I found myself delaying until the air temperature was higher, and the magical 38 degrees was more in reach. The opportunity was almost missed.  I would probably have delayed until next summer, but we got an oppressively hot spell at the end of August into September.

The processing

I went for it. Choosing one of the Kodak rolls (because I knew them to be in date, more than could be said for some of the films found in cameras that were in my parents’ house when we cleared it out…), I processed the roll. I was delighted on two counts.

  1. It worked! I managed to make up the chemicals and manage temperatures and timings sufficiently well to get a complete roll of well exposed images.
  2. It turned out the random roll I picked out was from the T3. Apt somehow to share another exploration in photography with an old friend.

The pictures

I was also pleased that the film included a set of shots taken during a trip to Greenwich. To my mind a good subject takes you a fair way along the road to something presentable. So I give you – Five Frames of Historic Greenwich with a fifty year-old Konica Autoreflex T3 and Kodak Ultramax 400 film processed with a CineStill CS (color simplified) 41 kit. To the best of my remembering, all were shot with a 28 mm Hexanon f/3.5 lens.

The Queen’s house at Greenwich was designed by Inigo Jones. The idea was to build a house for the early Stuart Queens that would give access to the river and also to Greenwich park. The Great Hall, shown here, is a precise 40ft cube.
The Tulip stair in the Queen’s House is just one of the loveliest subjects I’ve ever come across. Constructed of wrought-iron and stone cantilevered from the walls with each tread supported by the one beneath it. This was the first freestanding spiral stair in the country.
A view down the Tulip Stair. I love the subtlety of the light that infuses from this window.
A corner of the Old Royal Naval College, now home to the University of Greenwich. Henry VIII was born on this site, when ‘Placentia’ was the main royal palace in London. The passageway that links the two halves of the Wren-built building and a skittle alley off it, are the only parts of the old palace that survive.
Some rather more industrial history: the coal pier for Greenwich Power Station – currently disused as TfL’s emergency generators for the Underground system use gas these days.

My thanks…

Many thanks to all who share their knowledge here – and in particular to Holly, who seems to have inspired at least one old dog to learn some new tricks…

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4 thoughts on “5 frames with Kodak Ultramax in a Konica Autoreflex T3”

  1. Thank you for the write up and the wonderful images you shared. I am glad Cinestill CS41 worked out for you. Great results. I picked up a TCS1000 largely because it exists and have had great luck with it.

    Closing in on my own retirement from IT and looking forward to it.

    Have great day.

  2. I do like the way you’ve captured the diffused light in those interior shots.
    The coal jetty is a favourite subject of mine too, especially at low tide when the intricacy of its construction can be appreciated.
    Funnily enough, only yesterday afternoon I started to draft a pair of connected Five Frames that are also Greenwich-centric. Luckily neither the Queen’s House nor the coal jetty are on the short-list of images.
    Best of luck with the colour processing.

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