Mystery Camera and the Film From Within…

Every once in a while I’ll stumble across a ‘classic’ camera when I visit the local second hand store. I recently picked up a Kodak Duaflex IV that was in pretty bad shape. The faux leather case was hard and cracked, there is rust on anything that could rust and weird corrosion on whatever wasn’t rusty but the lenses looked OK and the shutter moved. I was thinking that this would be a great camera to pull apart for the glass and shutter mechanism. I’ve been doing an on again off again search for simple camera shutters for my own creations, the Kodak looked to be a likely source. I’d rather have a nice Copal or Zeiss shutter from a folding camera but this would do.
How I managed not to open it while I was at the store is beyond me. If I had I would have noticed the exposed roll of vintage 620 format Kodacolor-X that was neatly waiting for someone to process it. At first I thought that the external moisture damage would have destroyed the film but no. The inside of the camera was clean and free of any water damage so I think the camera had been kept in a place of high humidity and not dunked. Now, you might think that it would be simple to get the film developed and see if there was anything on it but that’s not the case. This version of Kodacolor-X needs C-22 processing, a type of chemistry that stopped being common in 1972 (wiki ) I did manage to find some info about what chemicals are needed to duplicate C-22 but the cost and the likelihood of me poising myself are both too high. I found a few places that will develop it for me but it starts at $30 and goes up. I like a good mystery but I also like keeping things withing realistic budgets. The camera only cost me $4 so that’s a bit much. I did read how you can use Kodak HC110 black and white developer if you don’t care about monochromatic negatives. I don’t mind at all, so I think I’ll be going this route. I’ve been poking around on the ‘Net for a while and the best advice is to treat the film like Tri-X. I did see that there is a technique for developing the film as B&W and if there is anything on it, bleaching the film with C-41 bleach and then sending it out to be processed by a lab that will do C-22. Simply amazing info! So, if there is anything on the film I can still hope to salvage it if I can get some C-41 bleach. Shouldn’t be that tough I should think. This is all assuming that the film won’t crumble into dust when I try to spool it on to my developing reel. I’ll be posting progress reports as soon as I can. Next step, buy some HC110 developer!

For more info about the Kodak Duaflex IV camera have a look at the write up at Camerapedia.org.

UPDATE:

I was very successful in processing the Kodacolor-X!
Found film
I have a collection of all the photos up on Flickr.
Processing info:
5 min pre-soak, HC-110 dilution B, 73 degrees for 7-1/2 min. with agitation for 10 sec evey 60 sec (apx.) Contact printed on Promaster VC paper, 60 sec exposure (apx) and developed in old Dektol (no dilution)

Posted: May 13th, 2010
at 10:36pm by John

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Categories: General,Hacked,Historic,Photography

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