Post by belgiumreporter on Sept 17, 2016 15:08:36 GMT -5
i've got a soft spot for old (photo) shops. They have that uniqueness to them as mostly they are run by one person or family who take care of everything, from sales to interior and exterior decoration, window display ad so on. I found this shop (or what's left of it) in a small village on the Antwerp left bank. I am unaware if ever they sold miranda cameras, or if the owners daughter was called Miranda (hence the shop name).
What i do know is that the shop seems to be out of buisness for a long time as the billboard on the door says : New years action, buy a Agfa camera, projector,movie camera or electronic flash and get a long playing record with international christmas songs for free! Today the complete house is for sale, who knows what comes free with that purchase?
PS i would love to buy that shop just to display my camera collection in a period way.
Another indication that the shop has been closed for a long time is the Agfa-Gevaert logo. They sold their consumer imaging division and stopped marketing film and cameras to the public about 2004. However, they still make film for aerial photography which is repackaged and sold by Lomography, so if you really want some Agfa film, you can still get it. Sort of.
I only know this because I recently bought a Kodak No. 2-A Autographic Brownie which had film in it, tightly wound onto the take-up spool, and looking to be in excellent condition. However, the small section of the paper backing that I could see, even unrolling a little bit, just says "EXPOSED" and "FOLD HERE" - - no manufacturer's name and no film type. I knew only that the film was 116 size, and because it was on the old metal and wood type spools, I guessed was at least 50 years past its expiration date.
I got the film off the spool, onto a developing reel, and into a tank, hoping that the other end of the backing was labeled. It wasn't. It just says "START." But the little paper strip is still there, and it says:
MADE IN WILLIAMSTOWN MASS.
MADE IN U.S.A.
Before developing this old film, which may contain nothing but fog or nothing at all, I'm trying to find Gevaert's development suggestions to use as a starting point. No luck so far, and I'll just take a guess at it before long. Research over the past few days indicates that Gevaert started making film in the U.S. around the end of World War II, having bought an old factory building in Williamstown, a small town in the north-west corner of Massachusetts, about 112 miles = 180 kilometers from Boston.
116 film is 70mm wide. I have one Nikkor reel in that size and the film is on it. The film was tightly curled, although not as badly as some I've had. To relax it a bit I wrapped it around a cylinder that would just fit in the developing tank and let it sit for a couple days before loading it onto the reel.
HC-110 is my usual developer, and also what Kodak Customer Service suggested for some 2x3 Super Panchro Press Type B that I got with a baby Speed Graphic. Expiration dates on the film boxes were 1952 - 1964. Developed in November 2010 - - 46 years later. Or 58. The film was extremely fogged and blotchy, but several images could be made out through the damage. Here's the best one - a straight copy without any Photoshopping.
And here's a picture I took of some cabinet doors on an unexposed sheet of the same film.
OK, so the film is developed - - if anyone cares. 10 minutes in HC-110. It's not badly fogged - more than zero, but not too bad. Eight frames as expected. However, the contrast is extremely low and it is difficult to decide what I'm seeing. Several are clearly people, but beyond that I can't say anything. If I were forced to guess, I would say that the images were all underexposed quite a bit and would have produced very thin negatives even if developed promptly. I may scan one, or rephotograph it, and try to boost the contrast in Photoshop. Or not.
These are the most readable images. Rephotographed the negatives and pushed the contrast, brightness, and levels sliders around in Photoshop. Quickly done - not enough image to work with to justify much more time on this "found film."