Like many of our customers, we also have an interest in developing very old FOUND roll film that has been exposed and lying undiscovered until now in vintage inactive cameras. Here are some of their findings as well as our own.
Joaquin From Fotografica had an old roll of 616 film he took from a camera he was given by an antiques dealer thirty years ago when he still lived in Mexico. He knows that my friend Troch and I love to see what is on old rolls of film so he dropped it off. It turns out 616 is a bit trickier to develop. As it fits no spools, Troch had to tray process the film. Luckily there was some success with all her effort. First off, there was one clear frame of a man and a woman dressed warmly with lots of snow in the background. I love seeing old cars in these photos. In this one there’s possibly a Chev and a Pontiac.
I actually like the second frame too as it is an interesting double exposure. In the foreground there are two women (one of which appears to be the same lady from the other frame). Then behind the second exposure of the ladies there is an outline of another classic car and spooky trees that seem to wash the background with different shades of grey. Everything looks very ghostly. It looks neat, however had both photos been taken on their own frames they would definitely have made interesting singular shots too.
Bruce Maclellan bought a Traveler 120 Box Camera off Ebay, and when I borrowed it a few weeks ago we discovered it had a roll of partially exposed 120 loaded in it. Once again after processing it there was only one clear frame. This film seemed to be very aged, which in my opinion made it look delightfully eerie! It is a photograph of a sunrise or sunset over a lake with a dock. The water appears to be very still.
You may have already seen my newsletter article about these next few rolls, but in case you’re a newcomer to my Found Film Series, I have included them in this post.
Goran Basaric, developed an old roll of 116 film he found in a camera he purchased. “A few years ago my son Philip, who is a Kodak Brownie collector, got a box full of old film cameras from our friend. Among them was this Kodak Brownie Autographic No.2A with a #116 type Kodak Verichrome Pan film still inside. The film was most likely exposed in the 50’s or the 60’s. Somebody recognized a 1953 Dodge Regent station wagon from one of the pictures.On the back of the camera the red filter window was missing and paper backing was so long exposed to the light that it bleached the paper’s original color without affecting the latent image. Just an amazing quality of old Kodak film.We have no idea where these pictures were taken or who the kids were. The previous owner of the camera doesn’t know anything about it either. The only clue is this detail – possibly a model of the car – “Regent”? There is a good chance that pictures are taken somewhere in British Columbia. The big mountain range behind the girl reminds me of eastern BC. Well, the kids deserve to have those pictures finally delivered – voilà.” Goran also included his developing method: “Processing of old #116 Kodak Verichrome Pan film: For processing I used a set of Paterson reels to accommodate the film width of 70mm. After 60-70 years of sitting in the camera film of this age is extremely dry and brittle. It almost has the strength of a coil. Be extremely careful and wind film onto the reel very slowly. Before loading film to the reel, clip corners of the film to make loading easier, as with any other 120 film.I did pre-wet the film for 4 min before developing, just to soften the emulsion a bit. Then I used Kodak HC110, dilution H for 8min at 20C with regular agitation (30 sec. first minute and for 10 sec. every minute after). Regular plain water stop, fixer and Ilford archival film washing sequence after that.”
I realized I had the very same Kodak Brownie Autographic No.2A model as Goran. This Kodak No.2A also had a shot but unprocessed roll of 116 film in it. This film was a bit trickier as it was colour, which tends to age badly. Troch battled it out and we got thin detail on some VERY dark green negatives. Then Kathy used her wizardry in post process to correct it enough to see some detail. (From Kathy: My wizardry was really just to scan the negative with as much detail as possible using the positive film option. I then inverted it in Photoshop, turning the negative into a positive, and made a channel mixer adjustment layer. Make sure monochrome is checked and then play with the channels to filter out the extreme colour cast that is a result of the film being so old. This brings out the contrast and detail in the image. Make other adjustments to the curves and levels as needed afterwards.)
I found this roll of colour 127 in a box camera I purchased a while ago. Troch also processed this film for me. It had aged badly resulting in a bright magenta colour, however this time there was a little more information left. Again Kathy used her wizardry in post process to correct it. These photos were pretty cool. The first ones were of a small child all gussied up in what looks like a first communion dress. And then there was a very under exposed everyday household shot with is a faint outline of the mother exclaiming something or yawning and the little girl appears to be sitting on the bed.
The cover photo is from an old Kodak of Bruce’s. Its the photo that kicked off my growing obsession with chance found rolls of film!