Beginner 1st attempts at 120 film and pinhole

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Hi all - I've never really stopped using 35mm film (in point & shoots) and in the last couple of years dabbled in half frame and some b&w. I've been v pleased with D&P for colour by AG Photolab but not really satisfied with the D&P results from the Ilford/Harman lab.

I decided I wanted to get into medium format b&w by a cheap route and develop said film and intially try contact printing before looking for a 6x6 enlarger. Here's my cheap kit:

Will edit and post a pic when I find out how too!
 
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Pic now in post below.

The meter is lovely. Got the Ivercone and both cases with it off a certain auction site.

The camera (Lubitel 166b) came from same site (£30) boxed, instructions, unused strap and case - the only thing missing is the double lens cap. I honestly think it's unused - all speeds, timer, B function etc work perfectly and all the glass is clean.

Now I'd read on line that focusing the camera was difficult/impossible. I can confirm that is the case - I can only get focused using the pop up aid if I spend ages and on something clearly defined like text. So it's been out with the tape measure for under 4 metres and zone/guess focusing over 4m. I'll live with the odd looks.

120 dev & printing trials to follow.
 
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ChrisR

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Cheap kit:
View media item 107539
The meter is lovely. Got the Ivercone and both cases with it off a certain auction site.

The camera (Lubitel 166b) came from same site (£30) boxed, instructions, unused strap and case - the only thing missing is the double lens cap. I honestly think it's unused - all speeds, timer, B function etc work perfectly and all the glass is clean.

Now I'd read on line that focusing the camera was difficult/impossible. I can confirm that is the case - I can only get focused using the pop up aid if I spend ages and on something clearly defined like text. So it's been out with the tape measure for under 4 metres and zone/guess focusing over 4m. I'll live with the odd looks.

120 dev & printing trials to follow.
Welcome Auntie Mary. We're very interested in your results and you should get some useful help around here. At the moment, your image isn't showing for me:

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Have you tried using the "Attach files" button at the bottom of the post window? Needs to be 1024 pixels or less maximum dimension...
 

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Welcome to the best bit of the forum, look forward to seeing some of your shots when you've got some processed.
 
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120 film developing for first time: I got a large Paterson film bag before Xmas and a 2 reel AP tank too. First film (FP4+) went onto the Dev reel fine and in the tank. The only problem was I thought the changing bag was going to cut off my arm circulation.

Chemicals (Suprol, Amfix and the same brand of stop bath) mixed up in 35p Wilko measuring jugs. The stated 2 min dev time for Suprol 1+ 19 seemed a bit vicious so as I wanted a bit more control I found the "Massive Dev Time" thing and extrapolated to 7 mins at roughly 1 + 49. All went well - the kids enjoyed using the timer and the shaking/agitating - and a final rinse with a drop of washing liquid and negatives produced! Well chuffed.

Second roll of FP4+ was more difficult to load on the reel and much swearing occurred but got it on eventually. Will cut the film next time where it is more firmly glued to the backing paper at each end. Reused all the same chems and again we have negatives.

Hung to dry on random home made clips. Velly, velly pleased.
 

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Will cut the film next time where it is more firmly glued to the backing paper at each end
All the 120 film I've used has a piece of tape holding it down to the backing paper which can be picked off and unpeeled. You do get used to it.
 

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...Second roll of FP4+ was more difficult to load on the reel and much swearing occurred but got it on eventually. Will cut the film next time where it is more firmly glued to the backing paper at each end. Reused all the same chems and again we have negatives.

Hung to dry on random home made clips. Velly, velly pleased.
Well, you HAVE done well! Could the problem with the second roll have been partly caused by the reel not being bone dry, d'you think?

I use bulldog clips on rubber bands to hang my film in the doorway to the shower cabinet. Home made clips sound great, as long as they work.(y)
 
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Many thanks for praise and advice but the error on 2nd film Dev was this -Dev 2 film was the first 120 film I ever loaded in the camera. Having never seen 120 backing paper apart from online and never through a little red plastic disc I kept winding on untill the penny dropped on frame 9! I then - in the changing bag - rewound the film back onto the spool. In daylight I then loaded it in the camera again and shot it. I hadn't rewound it tight enough and there were some wrinkles in the backing paper at one edge of the spool which led to some fogging - I'll post a pic of it later.

Edit: Apols- getting a bit mixed up with timelines here. The above happened but tank had been thoroughly dried and I used the second unused/ bone dry dev reel. Think the struggles getting film on dev reel were more due to my in experience.
 
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Darkroom - guess it's an age old question on where to site. The only place is the bathroom but it's our only bathroom so will have to be a temp set-up. I'd spent weeks trying to get framed hardboard sheets to fit in the windows but wasn't working. In a fit of pique I gaffer taped the darkroom fabric to the window and door. Not pretty or practical - but no light leaks at all

Contact printing- got the chems mixed and to right temp in plastic sandwich boxes that the MG IV paper (3"X3") fits into. Board that doesn't fit window as a bench on the bath, and 2 desk lamps - one with 40w incandescent bulb other with LED colour changing bulb set to red and dimmest setting which can be turned off & on with remote. Photo paper, neg and sheet of glass from a photo frame making a sandwich then expose to light for 8 secs then dev, stop and fix to manufactures times.

First couple of tries paper darkens to black in the dev after 5 secs. Second couple of tries lamp further away and higher still going dark in dev - image obtained but extremely dark. 3rd try 25w incandescent bulb and expose paper less - still darkens well under the Ilford 1 min recommend dev time but some images obtained. 4th time as 3rd but with dev diluted by 100% - feel as though I have some control of dev time at around 40 secs. Some images usable but most washed out and not evenly developed.

The 2 best ones. Image 1 f4.5, 1/60 sec, handheld and I think dev method 4. Image 2 f4.5 1/15 sec, tripod and timer and dev method 3 I think.

V pleased with the camera capabilities less so with my contact printing.

Any thoughts or tips would be great before I have another try at wet printing. IMG-20200105-WA0005.jpg

IMG-20200105-WA0006.jpg
 
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Anyway, this as far as I've got with 120 film so far. Looking back it's quite a lot being as though my first shot wasn't taken til 27/12/19. I've loaded and used a fully manual camera, learned how to use a light meter, tank developed 2 films, made a rudimentary darkroom and to a lesser extent contact printed some wet prints.

Here's some of the less successful contact prints with kids faces obscured. Me with the boat shows how I fogged the film after re-spooling. These are the emergency negative clips - I have some bulldog clips now!
IMG_20200106_193517721.jpg

IMG_20200106_193647801.jpg
 
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Anyway, this as far as I've got with 120 film so far. Looking back it's quite a lot being as though my first shot wasn't taken til 27/12/19. I've loaded and used a fully manual camera, learned how to use a light meter, tank developed 2 films, made a rudimentary darkroom and to a lesser extent contact printed some wet prints.

Here's some of the less successful contact prints with kids faces obscured. Me with the boat shows how I fogged the film after re-spooling. These are the emergency negative clips - I have some bulldog clips now!
...
Bloomin' 'eck Auntie Mary, you're really going for it! Fantastic stuff, well done indeed, most of us would have taken a year to get this far.
 
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Thanks ChrisR

To be fair I've had about 5 months buying 120 and developing stuff Inc getting items for birthday & Christmas. We had loads of time over Christmas and getting a changing bag was the final piece of the jigsaw.

It was good to get out taking pics on the Lubitel at last (light was rubbish most days) and getting the kids involved. It certainly beat too much Christmas telly
Bloomin' 'eck Auntie Mary, you're really going for it! Fantastic stuff, well done indeed, most of us would have taken a year to get this far.
 
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An interest ng tale, and I'm really impressed with your diy approach to some of the darkroom kit - the film clips, developing trays, lamps, etc. Keep at it, you're doing so well.
Thanks, I've only bought what I considered absolutely essential. I couldn't justify new "proper" 8x10 developing trays at £40 - if I find some used ones in time then great. My largest paper (Harman Direct Positive) is only 4x5 so the 75p sandwich boxes are the perfect size.

The blackout material is the seconds version of this: https://www.easyblindsonline.co.uk/blackout-material/black-blackout-material . It only had one pinhole which was easily covered with gaffer tape.
 
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Had a re-think on the light proof material for the darkroom- I need something quicker and reusable. Repositionable rug tape for the window - doesn't leave marks when removed and stays on the fabric for storage. 5 mins to put up.

Low level wood working and 2 nails for the door covering. 2 mins to put up. Window and door sets packs away conveniently. IMG_20200109_142658712.jpg IMG_20200109_150505033.jpg IMG_20200109_150514628.jpg

My original aim of getting the darkroom put up or packed away within 15 minutes now seems achievable.
 
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I was wanting to try out the light proofing with further contact printing but with the kids bedtime etc approaching that will wait untill Friday evening when there is no pressure of school. So...

Pinhole photography: (This happened the day before the 1st 120 roll).
Very basic stuff really. I had the "This Book is a Camera" for Father's Day and I'm ashamed to say I've not used it yet. I bought some pinholes pre-drilled (off the auction site delivered from Lithuania) as that was something I didn't fancy making. I've made a simple light tight box from a cut down larger box (showing in pic 1) that takes 4x5 film or paper. The smaller box is designed to take my Harman Direct Positive paper cut down to 2x2 1/2 as a cost saving measure. I used the Mr Pinhole site to guide me on optimal focal length, angle of view etc.

I've used the 4x5 box 3 times. 2 indoor exposures of an hour plus 1 outdoor exposure at 30 mins. Images obtained but not worth showing here as the indoor shots were very underexposed and the outdoor very overexposed.

I developed the 3 images inside the changing bag with someone passing the chemicals in and taking the resulting print out to wash whilst my arms were in the bag!

This is possibly why I thought I thought it would be easier to get better contact prints - if I can get images cramped in a changing bag using a darkroom with space would be easy! Deving the pinhole paper I also did Dev, Fix then Stop:(

Plan is to take more pinhole shots over the weekend.
IMG_20200109_185206255.jpg IMG_20200109_190434411.jpg IMG_20200109_190458667_BURST000_COVER_TOP.jpg
 
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Devving in a dark bag, that's definitely a new form of torture! Presumably once the fixers in you can get the tray and your hands out of the bag and just cover the tray up? Certainly by the time you're ready to wash...
 
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Devving in a dark bag, that's definitely a new form of torture! Presumably once the fixers in you can get the tray and your hands out of the bag and just cover the tray up? Certainly by the time you're ready to wash...
Dark bag deving - not to be repeated! My arms were in the bag and the exposed paper tucked in a corner. Someone (my very accommodating wife) passed me the three sandwich boxes with 100ml of each solution plus an empty bean tin to keep bag top out of the liquids. She zipped up the bag and I deved a print. Wife unzips the bag takes the print for washing and zips me up and I repeat to do Dev print 2. No print 3 attempted...

This why I'm so pleased to have a realistic solution for turning a bathroom into a temp darkroom!!
 
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No photos taken, deved or printed but had a 23kg delivery from eBay (pics on new toy film related thread).

The Axomat 3 enlarger works perfectly and although 35mm (and masks of that down) only it came with 120 and 35mm contact printing frames, making easel,trays, thermometers, print tonges, clocks, timers, print dryer, nearly full box of 7 X 5 paper etc.

Just turning on and playing with the enlarger has showed that my earlier attempt at contact printing was using a light source that was too intense.

Can't wait to give it all a try in the darkroom!
 
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I had a Lubitel 2 (the forerunner to the 166) in the early 80s and found I had to get my eye down fairly close to the flip-up magnifier to focus on the centre spot, other than that it wasn't a bad little camera, and capable of producing some quite nice results:

Thank you Mr Badger. I'll give that a try. Like the photo too.
 
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As mentioned in the New toy film related thread I got to use the enlarger, contact printing frame and some of the dev trays last night but not for long due to family commitments.

It was very useful to work with a controlable light source which made me realise where I'd gone wrong in previous attempts at contact printing. I had a couple of tries at enlarging from 35mm half frame too.

The darkroom blinds got a full work out and were successful plus I have managed to find somewhere to store the large amount of new kit. Overall a good learning experience.

Just the tricky bits to develop now - like skill and technique!
 
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I had a Lubitel 2 (the forerunner to the 166) in the early 80s and found I had to get my eye down fairly close to the flip-up magnifier to focus on the centre spot, ...
I had a practice with the Lubitel the other day and it does help a lot but it's still not easy. I found myself checking the distance shown on the camera matched what I was trying to focus.

However whilst loading a film I found one of the knobs that releases the top take up reel had fallen off!. I've still got the internal pin and managed to load the film but not sure the loss of a part is letting light in. It will be very easy to loose the internal pin so I'm going to have to see if I can make a new knob or bodge the missing part but disappointed to say the least.
 
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I had a practice with the Lubitel the other day and it does help a lot but it's still not easy. I found myself checking the distance shown on the camera matched what I was trying to focus.

However whilst loading a film I found one of the knobs that releases the top take up reel had fallen off!. I've still got the internal pin and managed to load the film but not sure the loss of a part is letting light in. It will be very easy to loose the internal pin so I'm going to have to see if I can make a new knob or bodge the missing part but disappointed to say the least.
And then there's parallax error of all TLRs as you are looking through the top lens, rather than the taking one. Not a problem at a distance, but makes a difference if you're getting close in to the subject. Not that I've made that mistake myself earlier this week. :whistle: :asshat:
 

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And then there's parallax error of all TLRs as you are looking through the top lens, rather than the taking one. Not a problem at a distance, but makes a difference if you're getting close in to the subject. Not that I've made that mistake myself earlier this week. :whistle: :asshat:
...and you end up with a shot like this :eek: :LOL:

Taken about 65 years ago
 
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I had a practice with the Lubitel the other day and it does help a lot but it's still not easy. I found myself checking the distance shown on the camera matched what I was trying to focus.

However whilst loading a film I found one of the knobs that releases the top take up reel had fallen off!. I've still got the internal pin and managed to load the film but not sure the loss of a part is letting light in. It will be very easy to loose the internal pin so I'm going to have to see if I can make a new knob or bodge the missing part but disappointed to say the least.
Sorry to hear that, perhaps someone with a 3D printer might be able to make a new part for you if you measure the dimensions of the pin it attaches to? If not, then perhaps keep your eye on eBay and see if there's any 'spares or repair' ones going, or a working one at a bargain price?
 
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Sorry to hear that, perhaps someone with a 3D printer might be able to make a new part for you if you measure the dimensions of the pin it attaches to? If not, then perhaps keep your eye on eBay and see if there's any 'spares or repair' ones going, or a working one at a bargain price?
Thanks Mr Badger that's sort of my plan. I'm a member of something called "Hackspace"(sort of a very well equipped "men in sheds") and they have woodworking equipment, metal lathes, 3D printer etc so hopefully I can make one or get someone to help me make one.

For the moment 2 layers of electrical tape over the hole is required!
 

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And then there's parallax error of all TLRs as you are looking through the top lens, rather than the taking one. Not a problem at a distance, but makes a difference if you're getting close in to the subject. Not that I've made that mistake myself earlier this week. :whistle: :asshat:
What you need is the Voigtlander Superb, with built-in parallax adjustment.
 
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What you need is the Voigtlander Superb, with built-in parallax adjustment.
Not familiar with that one Nick, but I'll keep an eye open. I know you get a "paramender" thing for the Mamiya tlr, but I feel I want to concentrate on a smaller number of cameras, rather than buying more. :whistle:
 

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Apparently they are an excellent camera but rare and therefore expensive. I've been looking for one for a long time at a reasonable price but no luck so far.
 
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