I must admit that the main photo and the title of the article are a little joke. The PF Micro 110 camera is near the simplest thing ever invented and the 3M-110 film cassette expired in 1987. I will explain how this adventure has developed.
In a street market in Barcelona I found a lot of cameras on a table, some of them new and others in a state of junk. I was struck by a 110 format camera in its original box, but I did not want to buy it. A week later we returned to the market and my wife bought it for 3 Euros (the vendor asked for 5) to encourage me to write this article.
The camera could not be simpler, f/11 & 1/100s and with the film chassis exposed – it protrudes from the side of the camera when loaded. Unfortunately I have no photos of the camera with the film chassis sticking out.
The camera can be found on the internet under the PF Micro 110 brand and other brands for about 6 Euros plus shipping, there are even review articles.
To use the camera I would have to buy a 110 format film which is not easy to find and which would cost me three times as much as the camera. Then I remembered the article I did about a Halina 110 camera that was included in a car accident kit with a 110 format film (3M – 100ASA). The problem was that the film had expired in 1987 and had been unsealed in 2014. I closed my eyes and just said COME ON JORDI!!!
I chose a sunny day in Plaza Catalunya in Barcelona and took the twelve photos (the first two on the ground) varying the subject as much as possible, I did not see it possible to photograph in cloudy weather, shade or indoors. I had many doubts and few hopes.
Developing a disaster
I took the film to the photography store “JOMA” in Barcelona and the owner, who personally takes care of the artisanal development, gave me little hope. The next day I received the result by Wetransfer. The shock was enormous, you can see the result: darkness, deep magenta tone, spots of all sizes and great noise. I was about to give up and possibly buy a fresh reel and start over.
To make matters worse, the viewfinder, which was a simple plastic frame, tricked me several times and I took the photo without the subject appearing.
I did not want to abandon the adventure and tried to edit the crap.
Normally I use the Corel Photo-Paint X6 editing program, which is very intuitive and complete. After some tests I saw that with the “Image adjustment laboratory -> Automatic adjustment” tool a single click was enough to obtain an acceptable result. A little denoising and a little less magenta in the red channel still improved the result.
I saw that in all the photos there was a watermark in the shape of a large number, this surprised me and I could not imagine its origin. It could not be the lens of the camera because they were different in each photo and I doubted that they were factory watermarks.
When separating the RGB channels, the watermark only appeared in G and B channels, while it was less in R channel. I discussed it with my son Jordi who is foreign to photography and he suggested a solution that I accept as correct (unless someone suggests another). It was an imprint of the numbers on the backing paper of the film that over time would have been transferred to the gelatin / celluloid in color composed of G and B and less in R.
To my surprise, a simple camera coupled with very expired film has worked and I am very satisfied. I know some will say that the effort was not worth it, but I think the adventure was not without emotion and I’m happy because I had fun.
Thanks for reading my article – you can find my other posts on 35mmc here