In this unusual period we are all living through, I have tried to keep the momentum going, reading quite a few articles on internet and trying to stay focused on what/how to improve my whole experience. Finally, despite only starting my journey just a month ago, I shot my first roll of 120 which I am fairly happy with.
I feel guilty of having done an error which I think is characteristic of a beginner: being attracted by gear. I know, at my level is not the gear that make the difference, but what can I do?! But the damage is already done now.
I love the feeling of TLRs and rangefinders. Most of all the TLR makes me comfortable, I love the fact that I have to think before pressing the shutter button.
I love to carry them and their history too. Thinking that these objects are many years old and they are still in use, producing awesome results is something that fascinates me.
I could not resist the Yashica 124G. After I read this article and after having watched a few videos on youtube, I started looking for a decent model at a fair price. I did search on eBay and I placed an offer, being sure that it would have not been accepted because it was quite a bit lower than the price requested… and guess what?! My offer was accepted almost immediately!
After a few days the camera arrived at home and I noticed that the focusing screen was a bit dirty, it was quite bright but dusty, so I decided to try a step forward. I decided to clean the focusing screen and also the mirror. I can’t hide that I was a bit scared, but I could not hold myself back.
I have to admit, it was not that easy, but in the end it was worth it. One hour later it was much better than before: brighter and cleaner. Happy days!
Anyway, keeping it short, I loaded up a roll of Fomapan 200 and I went out in the estate where I live, hoping that the camera was working well and then hoping for some decent shots. Because the weather was a bit dull and not completely clear, in my mind I was expecting some sharp images with smooth contrast.
I did not test the camera’s light meter so I used the Lumu app and I exposed for the shades, looking out for bright highlights.
In less than one hour I finished the 12 shots and I headed home couldn’t wait for the developing.
Every time I develop, I think about the environment and I am determined to reduce the pollution as much as I can. I started to search on the internet about different chemicals and I found out some interesting info.
I need to double check, but it seems that the Kodak Xtol is considered an Eco developer. Because it is also considered a good developer, I think I will give it a go.
Furthermore I read some articles about Caffenol which explain how to produce a developer at home made of several natural ingredients. I am not too sure about it yet. I guess that using it will develop the images, but how good can it be?
I also stumbled across the Bellini developer which so far seems to be the easiest way?
Another little environmental help could be to use a home made the stop bath. I read on some website that 20-30 grams of citric acid powder in 1l of water, does the trick. In theory this should help the wallet as well.
Another way could be to dilute vinegar, but is not recommended as it could thin down the negatives and ruin the gelatine. I don’t think I should pursue this path, but it was interesting to read about.
There is a lot to dig about this topic and I want to know more, so hopefully I will be back with more info and experiences.
As usual, I would really appreciate if you could comment with your thoughts and give me some feedback and tips.