Monday, March 27, 2006

Roll Film

As the world goes digital, I seem to be moving more and more Old School. Last fall, when I mail-ordered Rodinal, I had to order some film as a make-weight to meet the dollar minimum. So I bought a few rolls of the most obscure film that I could think of that I've actually been meaning to try: Ilford's Delta 3200, in 120.

When that arrived, I dusted off the MF cameras. Rediscovering the Rollei was so satisfying that rather than wait for my B&W results, I stopped in at Photo-Lab and bought the slowest color print film they had on hand:

Feb 11, 2006: 1 roll Portra 100 UC $5.27 + 8% = $5.69
(Nice that I could buy a single roll on a whim, but it's only $3.99 at B&H. It's fully 30% more expensive locally.)

Kodak has stopped selling "DP-12 for 120", but they still *honor* them. So I sent it off to District Photo, 16 day turnaround.
(ALSO just like the old days...)

And seeing THOSE results was so much fun that this weekend I stopped in NYC to stock up on 120.

March 25, 2006 K&M Camera, 1st & 23rd AND Broadway (8.375% tax)
16 asst'd rolls of 120:

2 Reala @ $2.59
4 Pan-F+ @ 2.95
2 Plus-X @ 3.07
2 Tri-X 320 @ 3.24
4 Tri-x 400 @ 3.19
2 HP5+ @ 2.59
2 Delta 400 @ 2.74

(and 4 rolls of the last Agfa APX 400 135-36 @ 2.99)
$67.24 + $5.46 tax = $72.70 total
that's $59.74 for eighteen 120 films ($3.32 each)
and $12.96/ four 35mm ($3.24)

Notice a couple of things:
- I can buy 100-speed Fuji in NY for HALF the price of 100 EK here locally.
- Reala (color!) is CHEAPER than most B&W films.

And note the discovery of "K&M Camera": B&H prices, and open on SATURDAY! (Where has THAT been all my life?)

In other "120" news:
researching the camera ads, we learn that K64 was available in 120 from 1986 to 1996. The final processing run was a few years later (1999?).

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Tuesday, March 07, 2006

A certain 'Old-World' charm

Photo-Lab in Schenectady has been around since 1914, they've been at the corner of State and Erie since the 1930s - since George Eastman was alive. My father used to be their customer. Last year, when Kodak dropped B&W paper, the media called up Photo-Lab in Schenectady for comment.

Most of my photographic life, I've been oriented more toward Albany, or, more typically, NYC. So I don't recall EVER buying anything there: I've always been price-conscious enough that I buy my photographic supplies by the pallet, usually in NY, or wherever I find a bargain. (But come to think of it, I might have brought them a roll for processing, once. On my bicycle.)

I find myself currently woefully low on my inventory of roll film, waiting for my springtime expedition to B&H. But, the other Saturday I happened to find myself in Schenectady (when they were actually open!) and dropped in at Photo-Lab to purchase A Film. A Film for My Rollei.

"One roll of your slowest 120, please".
I paid cash.

I felt like Bertie Wooster:
It was like the 20th Century had never happened.
(Or most of it, anyway.)

(PS: I'm going to send it in for processing on a Kodak mailer.)

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Thursday, March 02, 2006

A Post Office Box in Schenectady

Kurt Vonnegut in The Guardian:

`I became a so-called science fiction writer when someone decreed that I was a science fiction writer. I did not want to be classified as one, so I wondered in what way I'd offended that I would not get credit for being a serious writer. I decided that it was because I wrote about technology, and most fine American writers know nothing about technology I got classified as a science fiction writer simply because I wrote about Schenectady, New York. My first book, Player Piano, was about Schenectady. There are huge factories in Schenectady and nothing else. I and my associates were engineers, physicists, chemists, and mathematicians. And when I wrote about the General Electric Company and Schenectady, it seemed a fantasy of the future to critics who had never seen the place.'

Of course, today, Schenectady more closely resembles something from Blade Runner

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