Reverting to film photography

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velojym
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Reverting to film photography

Post by velojym » Sun Jan 10, 2016 9:20 pm

We have a number of folks who practice various old school methods, from food production to weaponry (well.... that's also food production in most cases).
In the interest of keeping a record of happenings, and lacking the infrastructure to operate modern equipment... mostly electricity and a working computer/printer/internet, it seems that keeping up a bit of practice in film photography, which would have to include processing the film, to be useful, and there'd have to be a means of printing the developed images.
This stuff was done before we had a deep industrial/technological base, and some folks have gone back so far as creating their own wet-plate setups, taking and processing photos with methods that predate the Civil War.

On a shorter term, I've considered a few situations in which currently available film might be still useful, and not so much digital cameras.

- An oppressive government has regulated "smart" devices which can be turned off in areas during times in which TPTB would not like anyone to be able to record the local happenings. In a fictitious environment, for instance, an independent photojournalist might turn to his old Canonet and a vast available stock of even expired B&W film and paper, which are usually useful FAR past their expiration dates. Chemicals are still common, but even if not, the photographer can use instant coffee and Vitamin C powder to develop the film. In a modern world, these images can still be scanned into a computer for use, if not enlarged to paper the old fashioned way.

- Big happenings, earthquake-zombie outbreak-superstorm, have a similar effect. Photographer finds that his battery is dead and turns to one of his old manual SLRs, say a Pentax K1000, and is able to continue taking photographs until services are restored. Once again, since we're getting services back, he can either wait to have his or her film developed, or do it between photo excursions with 'proper' chems or caffenol, and scan the stuff in later. Properly cared for, negatives can last a long, long time.

The latter situation doesn't have to be an issue if the photographer is prepared for loss of power. A simple alternative charger (solar, crank, etc.) and extra batteries would allow for a huge number of photos to be taken while waiting for things to come back to normal.

More of a concern, a long-term event, bringing humanity down to an earlier technological level for an extended period. On the way back to where we are now, there are folks who have worked out how to create their own emulsion and apply it to plastic film backing. Photographic paper is even simpler. While the small batteries used in many camera exposure meters won't last forever, "Sunny 16" is always valid, and there could be a huge resurgence in use of the Kodak Brownies sitting on shelves at thrift stores all over.


Just some thoughts on a subject I don't really ever see on prepper sites. I've developed 35mm B&W and color film at home, in the bathroom, and have a few medium format cameras I still enjoy using, even though I have a pretty nice couple of dSLRs I use primarily.
I'm not just looking for specific reactions to the above situations, but would also like some general conversation about photography in general, particularly during and after a disruptive event.
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Re: Reverting to film photography

Post by Anianna » Sun Jan 10, 2016 9:56 pm

So long as you have some film, you can devise a pinhole camera with just about any materials. If cameras are somehow outlawed or whatever, you could still have one that looks like a book or a tin can or whatever you can put a hole in.
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Re: Reverting to film photography

Post by velojym » Mon Jan 11, 2016 11:20 am

Anianna wrote:So long as you have some film, you can devise a pinhole camera with just about any materials. If cameras are somehow outlawed or whatever, you could still have one that looks like a book or a tin can or whatever you can put a hole in.
I agree, that can be part of the charm. Even now, folks who might look at me suspiciously for wielding a modern dSLR have approached me in a far friendlier manner when I'm out with a TLR or one of my Kowas. I guess my Bronicas still look a bit modern for that, though, but I don't get much negative feedback from using 'em either. A cleverly built pinhole, on the other hand... ultimate candid photography there.

Czech this guy out:

http://gizmodo.com/5039967/czech-photog ... -just-fine

Or this:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=18-5xaVfhR8

While they ain't comfortable now, these guys can still be in business even when everyone else is sitting on the porch, waiting for Uncle Sugar to show up with their food and rechargable debit cards.
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Re: Reverting to film photography

Post by 111t » Sun Apr 03, 2016 2:52 pm

It were me I would get a bulk film loader and a few 100ft rolls of Tmax 400.

Multi-Tank (4 x 35mm) No.1540 https://www.amazon.com/dp/B000LRH2RG/re ... axbT5R91PV

Watson Model 100 35mm Bulk Film Loader https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0000E214E/re ... axb6173MTH

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/2 ... _Roll.html

120$?! lol.

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/2 ... TP125.html

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/2 ... Black.html

Kodak D-76 Black & White Film Developer Powder to Make 1 Liter. https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00009R76P/re ... axb2TYCVVE

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/2 ... ution.html

It's true.. This thing requires electricity... But I bet you could retrofit it to run off led's.

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/3 ... Black.html

Need somma this shit...

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/2 ... owder.html

Then a few bottles of this stinky ass shit...

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/2 ... iquid.html

And finally a giant stockpile of this stuff...

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/control ... yes&sts=pi


You know what on second thought fuck all that shit. Thanks for the trip down memory lane... But no. My professional opinion it would be a lot easier to get digital equipment to give you photos the post apocalyptic world that it would be to make all that shit work. Keep in mind it's all chemicals. All of it ages. All of it expires. If you want a hobby go for it. Keep in mind all that shit will give you black-and-white photos only. Do you want color it's a whole shit storm of other stuff. Figure out a way to charge a a digital camera and hope there isn't an emp. Respectfully.
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Re: Reverting to film photography

Post by BullOnParade » Sun Apr 03, 2016 3:53 pm

Interesting and totally valid thought process.
I know my girlfriend was the last graduating year at a local community college where they taught darkroom in the photography program.

Seems like an important skill if you're the type to document happenings.
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