A Development In My Hobby - The Film Journey

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Not a helpful post I apologise but home dark rooms and development sound like a real headache and frustration.

I would have thrown it all against the wall by now so you have good patience.
 
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Placed against the backdrop of digital imagery, its not surprising some feel film photography is a bit of a faff, can't blame them for that, it is.
Its easy to feel that way if you consider both mediums to produce the same thing...:)
 
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Was this developed at a higher temp. Shaun? The grain is still very prominent in the image which may be a result of far to much sharpening, incorrect exposure at the time of taking the image or development of the negatives.

Have you got sharpening being applied during the scans? If so this needs turning off; it's a little checkbox in the Epson scan software.
No just the alternative method Fraser. To be honest every image looks too grainy as to what should be expected. This is after grain reduction in post processing. Sharpening is ticked when i scan, I will try it without when I get home to see if it makes a decent. For the next roll I’m going to send it off to be developed and scanned to see if it’s my actual technique of taking the shot as opposed to wrong developing and scanning.
 
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Not a helpful post I apologise but home dark rooms and development sound like a real headache and frustration.

I would have thrown it all against the wall by now so you have good patience.
The whole process seems quite simple to be honest. Just haven’t mastered it yet. It’s only my second roll developed. It really is quite fun and exciting, just need to work out where I’m not getting it quite right through trial, error and advice on here
 
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No just the alternative method Fraser. To be honest every image looks too grainy as to what should be expected. This is after grain reduction in post processing. Sharpening is ticked when i scan, I will try it without when I get home to see if it makes a decent. For the next roll I’m going to send it off to be developed and scanned to see if it’s my actual technique of taking the shot as opposed to wrong developing and scanning.
Definitely turn the scanner sharpening off! Also turn off grain reduction! you shouldn't have any of these options checked when scanning - just keep a lookout for the software adding a tick back in the checkbox by sharpening; the Epson software does this by default! (PITA).

Are you editing in lightroom?
 

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Home development, especially black and white, is really not too difficult (and can be done without a darkroom).
I have to agree. I was managing to cope with all the complexities while still at primary school...

I really would like to see Shaun's actual negatives to assess how much grain they have. Shaun could perhaps answer the question himself if he compared the negatives with some from the same film type developed professionally (assuming that it was processed properly by the professionals).

I'm afraid that I am frankly saddened at some of the slapdash methods I come across being advocated by many - but then I was drilled at school about the need for accuracy to 4 decimal places on the weights of chemicals, and had this reinforced on a chemistry degree course. I shudder at the thought of my developer temperature being half a degree out (and this with black and white); and more than one degree from the 68 Fahrenheit for ANY of the other steps (including the final washing) is anathema. I have experienced (once) the baleful effects of reticulation, a crazy paving pattern in the emulsion caused by cracking due to rapid temperature change; and I am aware that less severe reticulation can look like grain. You only develop a film once (not strictly true in theory or practice, but I'll let that pass); you may use the negative to make a print more often. I take the view that the time taken to get everything just so at this one unrepeatable stage is ultimately time well spent.

I also know that the observable amount of graininess can be influenced by the developer temperature as an absolute value, even if all the steps are carried out at the same temperature.

And I'm also aware that my fears and precautions are not shared by many :(.

[It's at the printing stage that I become slapdash - I never had the patience to make a decent print except by accident.]
 
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Definitely turn the scanner sharpening off! Also turn off grain reduction! you shouldn't have any of these options checked when scanning - just keep a lookout for the software adding a tick back in the checkbox by sharpening; the Epson software does this by default! (PITA).

Are you editing in lightroom?
Grain reduction is turned off, it’s in PP reduce grain, it’s only the sharpening that’s turned on by default and I kind of just left it on lol.

Yeah edit in Lightroom, two reasons a) I’ve always used it for digital b) it seem so process noise a lot better
 
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I have to agree. I was managing to cope with all the complexities while still at primary school...

I really would like to see Shaun's actual negatives to assess how much grain they have. Shaun could perhaps answer the question himself if he compared the negatives with some from the same film type developed professionally (assuming that it was processed properly by the professionals).

I'm afraid that I am frankly saddened at some of the slapdash methods I come across being advocated by many - but then I was drilled at school about the need for accuracy to 4 decimal places on the weights of chemicals, and had this reinforced on a chemistry degree course. I shudder at the thought of my developer temperature being half a degree out (and this with black and white); and more than one degree from the 68 Fahrenheit for ANY of the other steps (including the final washing) is anathema. I have experienced (once) the baleful effects of reticulation, a crazy paving pattern in the emulsion caused by cracking due to rapid temperature change; and I am aware that less severe reticulation can look like grain. You only develop a film once (not strictly true in theory or practice, but I'll let that pass); you may use the negative to make a print more often. I take the view that the time taken to get everything just so at this one unrepeatable stage is ultimately time well spent.

I also know that the observable amount of graininess can be influenced by the developer temperature as an absolute value, even if all the steps are carried out at the same temperature.

And I'm also aware that my fears and precautions are not shared by many :(.

[It's at the printing stage that I become slapdash - I never had the patience to make a decent print except by accident.]
Stephen if I knew how to asses grain from an actual negteive that would be great lol, I can send you a strip if you fancy taking a look lol?

I’m going going to send the next roll to be developed professionally and scan myself to see if it’s something I’m doing wrong in the scanning process/shooting process.

I see you mention slapdash methods lol, I hope you don’t think I’ve dove in completely unprepared. I’ve read a lot on the home methods of developing, studying biomedical science at uni also helps to mix Chems accurately and maintain a constant temperature when developing
 
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Stephen if I knew how to asses grain from an actual negteive that would be great lol,
That's half the battle Shaun, actually learning what is a good or a bad in a neg.
Its something that's difficult to learn from forums, the neg is so small and the failures can be so subtle in the hand that its difficult to correctly assess/identify cockups.
People don't get to spend time in the DR learning from colleagues/tutors and the like, its something you have to do the best way you can, trial and error.
 

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I see you mention slapdash methods lol, I hope you don’t think I’ve dove in completely unprepared. I’ve read a lot on the home methods of developing, studying biomedical science at uni also helps to mix Chems accurately and maintain a constant temperature when developing
No, no reference to you personally - just a general observation. I always tend to think in terms of development parameters as affecting grain, but I'm a black and white photographer. In the case of colour (current processes, anyway) the grain you get in black and white has been completely replaced by dye.

Where some of us have an advantage in terms of comparing different negatives is that we have some means of projecting an enlarged image of the negative and looking at that directly, rather than having the negative go through a digitising process that can significantly alter the appearance.

I don't know whether you would be able to see any difference using a powerful hand lens to examine the negatives.

Ultimately, it's consistency that counts in processing.
 
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I'm afraid that I am frankly saddened at some of the slapdash methods I come across being advocated by many - but then I was drilled at school about the need for accuracy to 4 decimal places on the weights of chemicals, and had this reinforced on a chemistry degree course. I shudder at the thought of my developer temperature being half a degree out (and this with black and white); and more than one degree from the 68 Fahrenheit for ANY of the other steps (including the final washing) is anathema. I have experienced (once) the baleful effects of reticulation, a crazy paving pattern in the emulsion caused by cracking due to rapid temperature change; and I am aware that less severe reticulation can look like grain. You only develop a film once (not strictly true in theory or practice, but I'll let that pass); you may use the negative to make a print more often. I take the view that the time taken to get everything just so at this one unrepeatable stage is ultimately time well spent.

I also know that the observable amount of graininess can be influenced by the developer temperature as an absolute value, even if all the steps are carried out at the same temperature.

And I'm also aware that my fears and precautions are not shared by many :(.

[It's at the printing stage that I become slapdash - I never had the patience to make a decent print except by accident.]
Hi Shaun,

Stephen has replied that this isn't directed at you but it does allude to my earlier post in that the temperature accuracy and agitation required for colour development is simply not possible by the methods you are using no matter how careful you are; trust me, I know because I tried it when I first started to develop colour and wasted a huge amount of time/money in the process.

Everything is critical with colour - your chemicals need to stabilise for an hour in the water bath. (developing at lower temps increases the development time and hence grain). The agitation really needs to be rotational and constant.

This is impossible to do with your current methods and to get consistent results requires quite a large investment. Like i said you may get lucky and get one good film but being able to repeat that exact same process is the very hard part. (temperature needs to be held within 0.2 degC!)

Home developing colour and B & W is rewarding but you need the right equipment - I don't care what YouTube shows - I know from experience, and the equipment isn't cheap

Anyway............It's all your fault Shaun! I have invested in a Jobo processor again! :)

In respect to Lightroom - what are you using for Grain Reduction (In the colour picture I posted earlier in the thread there is no grain reduction used and, as colour negatives should be there is very little noticeable grain.

Fraser.
 
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Hi Shaun,

Stephen has replied that this isn't directed at you but it does allude to my earlier post in that the temperature accuracy and agitation required for colour development is simply not possible by the methods you are using no matter how careful you are; trust me, I know because I tried it when I first started to develop colour and wasted a huge amount of time/money in the process.

Everything is critical with colour - your chemicals need to stabilise for an hour in the water bath. (developing at lower temps increases the development time and hence grain). The agitation really needs to be rotational and constant.

This is impossible to do with your current methods and to get consistent results requires quite a large investment. Like i said you may get lucky and get one good film but being able to repeat that exact same process is the very hard part. (temperature needs to be held within 0.2 degC!)

Home developing colour and B & W is rewarding but you need the right equipment - I don't care what YouTube shows - I know from experience, and the equipment isn't cheap

Anyway............It's all your fault Shaun! I have invested in a Jobo processor again! :)

In respect to Lightroom - what are you using for Grain Reduction (In the colour picture I posted earlier in the thread there is no grain reduction used and, as colour negatives should be there is very little noticeable grain.

Fraser.
Wow those JOBO kits are impressive, I’m not ready for that kind of commitment yet lol. I just used the noise reduction sliders to make it look less noisy.

So am I right I’m thinking after reading up a little, and your comment, the lower the temp, the longer the development time and less agitation will generally make grain more prominent?

I’m going to try the method with the higher temperature, however it’s going to be near impossible to keep the temperature stable. My improvised water bath only maintains 32 degrees at the most as it’s heated by an aquarium heater. Google doesn’t give me anything that will hold a higher temperature for what I need, just shows heaters for boilers etc.

For agitation, obviously the tank I use is more aimed at the hobbyists like me, would it do any harm manually agitating the tank for the full amount of development time? There is a stick that rotates the drum inside the tank, so I could gently rotate this throughout?
 
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No, no reference to you personally - just a general observation. I always tend to think in terms of development parameters as affecting grain, but I'm a black and white photographer. In the case of colour (current processes, anyway) the grain you get in black and white has been completely replaced by dye.

Where some of us have an advantage in terms of comparing different negatives is that we have some means of projecting an enlarged image of the negative and looking at that directly, rather than having the negative go through a digitising process that can significantly alter the appearance.

I don't know whether you would be able to see any difference using a powerful hand lens to examine the negatives.

Ultimately, it's consistency that counts in processing.
My apologies Stephen, I misinterpreted your post after a few too many beers
 

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And I wasn't clear after too few :D

To be honest, I've found a lot of people have difficulty understanding what I mean when I say (or write) anything. :(
 
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I don't know about Sunday Club, but I'm partial to an Orange Club or even a :jaffa:

:D
 
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Hi Shaun,

Nova processors do a heater that will go to a higher temp but you need the full processor as an absolute minimum. Not having a cover on the water bath will not allow consistent enough temps. You also need a way to circulate the water as convection currents in an open water bath will stop the temps for colour processing being consistent enough.
Regarding agitation of the tank - this is for consistency between films - you can not do this by hand accurately enough.
The investment is substantial! Is there a reason you haven't started with B&W to see if it is for you?
Please don't take any of the above as criticism - I just want you to avoid the mistakes I went through 30 years ago! It isnti anything your doing regarding the processing it's just the equipment.

HTH
 
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Hi Shaun,

Nova processors do a heater that will go to a higher temp but you need the full processor as an absolute minimum. Not having a cover on the water bath will not allow consistent enough temps. You also need a way to circulate the water as convection currents in an open water bath will stop the temps for colour processing being consistent enough.
Regarding agitation of the tank - this is for consistency between films - you can not do this by hand accurately enough.
The investment is substantial! Is there a reason you haven't started with B&W to see if it is for you?
Please don't take any of the above as criticism - I just want you to avoid the mistakes I went through 30 years ago! It isnti anything your doing regarding the processing it's just the equipment.

HTH
I have a little filter in that circulates the water. Hmm, a lot to think about lol. It’s very much a new hobby this film stuff, so it’s good to get lots of feedback and knowledge from everyone. I might see how I get on at a higher temperature and make do with what I have for now and see if I can get any better results.

No reason to be honest, I just decided to go for it and just try colour. It’s still pretty cool to be honest and I’m enjoying it so far. It’s gettin me out more and it’s quite fulfilling processing the film, rather than sittting watching rubbish TV or something.

Cheers Fraser
 
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Me again guys, how does this look to you? Got a clearer head today, and re-scanned some shots from the same roll. This was with no options ticked this time when scanning, at 3200 saving to a JPEG. Resized smaller in PS, sharpening applied and slight sat boost and contrast.

Is the grain less prominent? And how would you rate the grain prominence of how it should look in your opinion/experience. It was taken on AGFA Vista 400

LWVLake
by Shaun Palmer, on Flickr
 
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Me again guys, how does this look to you? Got a clearer head today, and re-scanned some shots from the same roll. This was with no options ticked this time when scanning, at 3200 saving to a JPEG. Resized smaller in PS, sharpening applied and slight sat boost and contrast.

Is the grain less prominent? And how would you rate the grain prominence of how it should look in your opinion/experience. It was taken on AGFA Vista 400

LWVLake
by Shaun Palmer, on Flickr
It looks absolutely fine to me. I can see some grain, but nothing that I wouldn’t expect fro 400 asa 135 film. It’s a sharp, well exposed photo. The only thing I would point out are what appear to be a few dust spots that you could easily clone out.
 
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For agitation, obviously the tank I use is more aimed at the hobbyists like me, would it do any harm manually agitating the tank for the full amount of development time? There is a stick that rotates the drum inside the tank, so I could gently rotate this throughout?
I use a Rondinax daylight tank, which relies on continuous rotation (== agitation). To compensate, you would need to reduce dev times by 15% (ie to 85% of the times shown in the MDC).
 
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It looks absolutely fine to me. I can see some grain, but nothing that I wouldn’t expect fro 400 asa 135 film. It’s a sharp, well exposed photo. The only thing I would point out are what appear to be a few dust spots that you could easily clone out.
Cheers Fish, I would imagine some of the grain is probably exaggerated by the scan process, it’s a lot better than what I’ve been getting using other settings. Yeah I noticed them, just a quick edit to test some settings.

I use a Rondinax daylight tank, which relies on continuous rotation (== agitation). To compensate, you would need to reduce dev times by 15% (ie to 85% of the times shown in the MDC).
Cheers Chris I’ll check it out
 
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Shaun, I've been scanning a couple of thousand negs other the past month (or two), with a large range of films from Velvia slide film through to some no name brands that I have no idea where they came from.

All of the colour films were developed by half decent labs, with the majority being split between two labs. The grain in your photograph above is more than acceptable compared to a number of the negs I have scanned, and some of those are 100 and 200 ASA. I've only recently gone back to film and, like you, was very surprised at the grain when I started to scan the negs in. One thing I do find, and I think other people have stated this, is that the grain appears accentuated on the screen as compared to a print. I have some old lab prints lying around of the negs I've scanned and the grain appears much less prominent than the scan. Maybe it's because the prints are 6"x4" instead of viewing on a 24" monitor.

Grain in film is a bit like having to accept the odd pop and scratch on a vinyl record.

I would be very happy with your results, with the only doubt being repeatability.
 
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Much much better Shaun :) (Although has a strong Magenta cast)

Here is a link you may find interesting and give you a project in the evenings :)

https://emulsive.org/experiments/ho...emi-automatic-film-processor-pt-1-by-joe-pitz

Keep going - big improvements from your first scans. A resolution of 2400dpi is plenty to get really good quality on your scanner - try dropping to this resolution in the Epson software and see how that goes, also try adjusting the histogram sliders in the scanning software to get the best dynamic range for the scan.

Scanned at 2400dpi, cheap camera, cheap film, old Epson 3200 & bloody awful pic but posted for example of scan resolution:

img 6
by Fraser White, on Flickr
 
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Shaun, I've been scanning a couple of thousand negs other the past month (or two), with a large range of films from Velvia slide film through to some no name brands that I have no idea where they came from.

All of the colour films were developed by half decent labs, with the majority being split between two labs. The grain in your photograph above is more than acceptable compared to a number of the negs I have scanned, and some of those are 100 and 200 ASA. I've only recently gone back to film and, like you, was very surprised at the grain when I started to scan the negs in. One thing I do find, and I think other people have stated this, is that the grain appears accentuated on the screen as compared to a print. I have some old lab prints lying around of the negs I've scanned and the grain appears much less prominent than the scan. Maybe it's because the prints are 6"x4" instead of viewing on a 24" monitor.

Grain in film is a bit like having to accept the odd pop and scratch on a vinyl record.

I would be very happy with your results, with the only doubt being repeatability.
Thanks for the Input Lee, I’m hoping I can get more consistent results the more I practice. Is it 10,000 hours they say before you become a master of your craft? Only got 9,998 to go haha

Much much better Shaun :)

Here is a link you may find interesting and give you a project in the evenings :)

https://emulsive.org/experiments/ho...emi-automatic-film-processor-pt-1-by-joe-pitz

Keep going - big improvements from your first scans. A resolution of 2400dpi is plenty to get really good quality on your scanner - try dropping to this resolution in the Epson software and see how that goes, also try adjusting the histogram sliders in the scanning software to get the best dynamic range for the scan.

Scanned at 2400dpi, cheap camera, cheap film, old Epson 3200 & bloody awful pic but posted for example of scan resolution:

img 6
by Fraser White, on Flickr
That project is great! I don’t think I have the DIY skills to pull it off lol.

That shot is so clear Fraser that’s impressive. I’ll have another play around with settings tonight and see what improvements if any I can get from the scanner.
 
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It's hard to tell from the photos, are those 'missing' frames actually there but very under-exposed, or are those frames totally or partially blank? It seems strange that some of them seem fine, were those taken with a different lens?
 
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It's hard to tell from the photos, are those 'missing' frames actually there but very under-exposed, or are those frames totally or partially blank? It seems strange that some of them seem fine, were those taken with a different lens?
They just look totally blank, all the same lens. Think I've done something whereby there all majorly overexposed
 
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If they're clear then they'll be very underexposed, or not exposed at all. Light is dark and dark is light with negatives. It's just some of them seem to be part there but horizontally. Is that right or were the shots that look 'partially there' taken in very contrasty light (sunlight and heavy shadow)? Sorry if I'm not making much sense, it's been one of those days and it's getting late!
 
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If they're clear then they'll be very underexposed, or not exposed at all. Light is dark and dark is light with negatives. It's just some of them seem to be part there but horizontally. Is that right or were the shots that look 'partially there' taken in very contrasty light (sunlight and heavy shadow)? Sorry if I'm not making much sense, it's been one of those days and it's getting late!
it was very contrasty for some shots, very bright sunshine against some shadowed area. come to think of it at one point the shutter speed was flashing, then I adjusted the aperture to compensate. So I think i've not noticed on some of the shots and over exposed them :/ I'm scanning them now so i'll see if theres anything worth keeping lol. Another learning curve though I guess
 
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Are the frame numbers visible on the negatives in the blank frames? If so, then either a camera or operator issue!
 
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it was very contrasty for some shots, very bright sunshine against some shadowed area. come to think of it at one point the shutter speed was flashing, then I adjusted the aperture to compensate. So I think i've not noticed on some of the shots and over exposed them :/ I'm scanning them now so i'll see if theres anything worth keeping lol. Another learning curve though I guess
Not over exposed but under exposed. Negative film renders highlights as dark and shadows as light. If you have no detail in the blank frames, then you have extreme under exposure (or no exposure at all).
 
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Any news on this Shaun? Looking closely at the negatives some of them appear 'half exposed'? This would indicate a shutter problem in the Camera known as 'Capping' I assume the shutter in this camera travels vertically and not horizontally?

It usually happens at the higher shutter speeds so if it was a bright day then the shutter speeds would be high.
 
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Any news on this Shaun? Looking closely at the negatives some of them appear 'half exposed'? This would indicate a shutter problem in the Camera known as 'Capping' I assume the shutter in this camera travels vertically and not horizontally?

It usually happens at the higher shutter speeds so if it was a bright day then the shutter speeds would be high.
Hi guys sorry I haven’t been on a while. Yeah I think what I’ve done is left the aperture open too wide so the shutter speed wasn’t fast enough, must of been at its max speed and I just never realised.
 
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Hi guys sorry I haven’t been on a while. Yeah I think what I’ve done is left the aperture open too wide so the shutter speed wasn’t fast enough, must of been at its max speed and I just never realised.
Not possible Shaun! As others have said if the exposure was too bright (over exposed as you suggest) your negatives would be black! Your negatives have had no/part exposure so there is a fault with the camera at high shutter speeds, you can see some of the negatives have been partially exposed - this is called shutter capping and is a fault.
 
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image.jpg image.jpg
Not possible Shaun! As others have said if the exposure was too bright (over exposed as you suggest) your negatives would be black! Your negatives have had no/part exposure so there is a fault with the camera

Ah yeah I see I’m getting confused lol. I don’t know what I did to be honest. It must of been user error, I’ve just developed a roll from a railway museum today and they look ok
 
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This is the camera I got from my wife’s grandad, few shots to follow when I’ve scanned them in. Can’t believe I actually got something from the film after all these years and opening the back not realising there was a roll still in from the early 90’s lol

Anyone any ideas on what model it is? It looks very similar to a M-II from looking on google but doesn’t have it wrote on anywhere
image.jpg
57D105DA-AAED-46F2-A2C2-A5F187B7AB59.jpeg
 
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