Our clock and local ghosts – Mamiya Universal, 75mm Sekor

At last a day with some light; being Sunday, I wasn’t out very early – bacon and eggs are obligatory – but by late morning I was out with the Mamiya Universal and one of the best Press/Universal lenses, the 75mm f/5.6 Sekor, with a 6 x 9cm back loaded with Ilford FP4 Plus, 125 ASA. This would really be a strain for most digital shooters – just eight shots so no snap-happy shooting here. Only six here; one doesn’t fit the story, the other was blank as I forgot to take out the dark slide 😦 . I decided on a short walk up to ‘our clock’ – the clock in the tower of the once notorious Victorian High Royds psychiatric hospital.

Back home by just before 1.30pm, I shot the final frame out of our sitting room window, thus ‘our clock’, using the 250mm, f/5 (I don’t carry this monster around; it’s the one you see in my gravatar ‘self-portrait’), then developed both films. This was an interesting experiment – see below. (I hope you like the ‘gallery’ presentation; I think it’s great, putting all the pictures together, but a click on any one gives you a full-screen slide show and makes writing full descriptive captions worthwhile).

I also took the Contax AX as I really wanted to finish the film which has been sitting in the camera since I was ‘forbidden’ to take pictures of my nephew playing football late last year. But this will be the subject of another post.

I wanted to use the Universal hand-held so used the fabulous accessory 75mm viewfinder. However, there is a bit of guesswork involved as that covers the Polaroid format. However, switching between that and the built-in viewfinder set for the 100mm lens it’s possible to frame reasonably well.

Having taken the final shot through our window, to save time I decided to develop both films at the same time, the 120 FP4 in a larger tank and the 35mm Rollei 400S from the AX in a small Durst 35mm tank, 18 mins for the FP4 and 22.5 mins for the 400s at room temperature (about 19.5 deg C), sharing between them 900 ml of RO9 developer made up at 1:50. Handling two tanks at the same time is a bit exciting!

Scanning, this morning (Monday), remains a pain (my brain obviously works in a completely different way to that of the developer of VueScan, especially when used in conjunction with my Epson 4990) but I eventually got something useable. I’m thankful I’ll be using the Minolta for the 35mm when I get to that.

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