Author Topic: The Contraption 19: Old Film Compensator for Android  (Read 9966 times)

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Francois

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The Contraption 19: Old Film Compensator for Android
« on: March 24, 2015, 02:52:29 PM »
Well, this is another first for me!

Over the last three days, I have been working on an Android version of my Old Film software. Now while the previous version was nice, this one has the added benefit of being installed on your phone. When in the field, no problem, just take out the phone and fire-up the program.

Not being a programmer, I managed to re-write the software to port it to the new operating system using a new programming language (and without any prior knowledge of how to do that!)

For those who are not aware of what Old Film Compensator is, it's a program that estimates relatively accurately the sensitivity of expired negative films. It works well with color negatives and its recommendations mostly prevent the brown tone you usually get from expired films. The program calculates the most precise sensitivity derivation, locates it on a scale of standard DX sensitivities and suggests the closest full value. It's easy to use and pretty foolproof. While not as precise as a full sensitometric test would be, I find that it gets to be close enough to get decent results. For me, it's the simplest way to use expired film without compromising results.

It's been tested under KitKat and Jellybean and it works just fine.

You might be wondering why I'm not using the Google Play app store? The answer is simple: they want 25$ upfront for the hosting, a service I'm not sure is worth it for something I'm essentially giving away.

If anybody is interested in trying it just let me know and I'll put up a link to my Google Drive with instructions on how to install it :)

Here's a screenshot of the program so that you get an idea of what it's all about. It might not be pretty but it works very well.

Here's the download link too
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B1dmZoIlURfDMElOMkw5RUlnUUE/view?usp=sharing

modifications: hides the virtual keyboard when calculate is clicked. Prevents errors due to empty fields.
« Last Edit: March 30, 2015, 05:20:44 PM by Francois »
Francois

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Re: The Contraption 19: Old Film Compensator for Android
« Reply #1 on: March 24, 2015, 04:05:58 PM »
I'll gladly have a go Francois. I'm currently running KitKat and heading out with some 8'ish year expired expired 64T II this eve!

Francois

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Re: The Contraption 19: Old Film Compensator for Android
« Reply #2 on: March 24, 2015, 06:00:23 PM »
Here's the link to the zip file containing the app and a text file explaining how to install it if you've never installed anything by hand on the 'Droid.
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B1dmZoIlURfDMElOMkw5RUlnUUE/view?usp=sharing

Hope you like it and find it useful. I never used it with slide film so I don't know how good the suggestions it does are for that type of emulsion.

Happy photography!
« Last Edit: March 30, 2015, 05:19:25 PM by Francois »
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Re: The Contraption 19: Old Film Compensator for Android
« Reply #3 on: March 24, 2015, 06:56:32 PM »
It seems to have installed correctly and display functionality. I'll incorporate it's reading into my bracketing and let you know how it performs. Cheers!

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Re: The Contraption 19: Old Film Compensator for Android
« Reply #4 on: March 24, 2015, 08:06:56 PM »
i wonder how well it will work on my canadian blackberry phone...
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Francois

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Re: The Contraption 19: Old Film Compensator for Android
« Reply #5 on: March 24, 2015, 08:13:56 PM »
Probably just fine if you use their android player...

While the calculations are precise, it's not a piece of very sophisticated software. I think it would even run on Android Froyo!
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Re: The Contraption 19: Old Film Compensator for Android
« Reply #6 on: March 24, 2015, 08:40:56 PM »
I think it would even run on Android Froyo!

i have an old htc phone in a drawer somewhere that runs donut, i be surprised if it worked on that ;D
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Francois

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Re: The Contraption 19: Old Film Compensator for Android
« Reply #7 on: March 24, 2015, 09:27:15 PM »
Well... that's probably pushing it a bit......

You still have that?
Probably only good as an alarm clock nowadays  ;D
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Re: The Contraption 19: Old Film Compensator for Android
« Reply #8 on: March 24, 2015, 10:16:22 PM »
Francois

I'm impressed, I've played around with trying to write something for android and find it confusing.

I'd be interested in the software package you used to build your app?

Mike

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Re: The Contraption 19: Old Film Compensator for Android
« Reply #9 on: March 24, 2015, 11:07:45 PM »
I still have a functioning Motorola Select "Digital GSM" phone that take credit card sized sim. :D my favroite is this one standard mini sim size but the battery is 4.8v, but the battery compartment can fit 4x almost dead flat AA size batteries or 4x 1.2v rechargeable AAs.
« Last Edit: March 25, 2015, 07:19:45 AM by tkmedia »
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Re: The Contraption 19: Old Film Compensator for Android
« Reply #10 on: March 25, 2015, 08:45:00 AM »
let me know if you make a version in java :D then it might just work on my sony ericsson


waiting for a call by jojonas~, on Flickr

simple websites almost work better though. I've made light versions of the DOF calculator and the wizard from mr. Pinhole
/jonas

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Re: The Contraption 19: Old Film Compensator for Android
« Reply #11 on: March 25, 2015, 12:44:52 PM »
Francois

I'm impressed, I've played around with trying to write something for android and find it confusing.

I'd be interested in the software package you used to build your app?

Mike
I must admit that it took me forever to find an easy to use and free tool.
Most of the time, the packages I found would just choke my old computer. Then I stumbled on a site for the MIT app inventor 2. This is a great language because it's very basic like and the app can be directly tested on the device without installing and compiling the app. Then, it gets compiled on the MIT server (fast) and runs directly in the browser. Its only drawback is that by default it sets the permissions for everything the language can access and not simply what is used. But for me that's small stuff.
Give it a try. It's the type of stuff that can be learned in a few days. Just let me know how you like it!
« Last Edit: March 25, 2015, 12:46:34 PM by Francois »
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Re: The Contraption 19: Old Film Compensator for Android
« Reply #12 on: March 25, 2015, 03:20:50 PM »
if your app is that "simple", for blackberry 10 you can always try to re-package the app, apk to bar. I known some folks who made a usable bb10 app from android in a few clicks.
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Francois

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Re: The Contraption 19: Old Film Compensator for Android
« Reply #13 on: March 25, 2015, 07:31:59 PM »
I don't know if it works but I tried this site http://apk2bar.org/ and am waiting for it to send the result back...

As for a Java version, I don't know the slightest thing about Java so I guess it won't be happening. Same thing for IOS... sadly.
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Re: The Contraption 19: Old Film Compensator for Android
« Reply #14 on: March 26, 2015, 12:58:13 PM »
ohyeah, I have some bb too. dunno what model it is but I can try that. thanks :)
/jonas

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Re: The Contraption 19: Old Film Compensator for Android
« Reply #15 on: March 26, 2015, 02:18:32 PM »
I tried to use APK2BAR and for some reason it didn't like my app... keeps telling me its name is too long!

So I guess the BB users are stuck using the Android Player app...
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Re: The Contraption 19: Old Film Compensator for Android
« Reply #16 on: March 26, 2015, 06:43:31 PM »
I'll see if I can rewrap it when I get home in a few days. I was told it's just a simple tool even a lot of non developer end users had it to make apk apps useable.  There are a lot of converted android apps hosted on BB World app store and cost almost nothing to host last I check. Less common practice now for end users as the newest bb10.3 can run a lot of android apps and can install and use Google Play store and Amazon App store.
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Re: The Contraption 19: Old Film Compensator for Android
« Reply #17 on: March 26, 2015, 07:32:55 PM »
You can always give it a go.

I think the site probably had issues with the unsigned manifest file... everything on BB is so secured...
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Re: The Contraption 19: Old Film Compensator for Android
« Reply #18 on: March 26, 2015, 08:00:25 PM »
I must admit that it took me forever to find an easy to use and free tool.
Most of the time, the packages I found would just choke my old computer. Then I stumbled on a site for the MIT app inventor 2. This is a great language because it's very basic like and the app can be directly tested on the device without installing and compiling the app. Then, it gets compiled on the MIT server (fast) and runs directly in the browser. Its only drawback is that by default it sets the permissions for everything the language can access and not simply what is used. But for me that's small stuff.
Give it a try. It's the type of stuff that can be learned in a few days. Just let me know how you like it!

Thanks. I have used app inventor to make a jingle type app. Have also tried android studio but only got as far as hello world.  A lot of the tutorial seemed to have been written for another program which this has replaced but the haven't been updated for the new one, and there is a lack of good ones for the new.

Mike

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Re: The Contraption 19: Old Film Compensator for Android
« Reply #19 on: March 26, 2015, 09:15:03 PM »
For me, the biggest issue was the speed. It took about 5 minutes to get the development interface up... then another 10 minutes to load my project... and emulator testing was next to impossible.

With the app inventor, everything went relatively easy once I got the hang of things. The hardest things were finding my code in the non-zooming window and figuring out where they store the commands I needed. Some blocks are not compatible with others... it took me a good day of fumbling around to get to know where the functions were located. Then one day of writing (writing with this is much slower than typing). One day of debugging and various but fixes until I was happy with it.

If they could just add an interactive text based interface a bit like Visual Basic...
Francois

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Re: The Contraption 19: Old Film Compensator for Android
« Reply #20 on: March 27, 2015, 09:00:21 PM »
let me know if you make a version in java :D then it might just work on my sony ericsson
I dont have a Sony Ericsson, but do have a Ericsson made in Sweden!
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Re: The Contraption 19: Old Film Compensator for Android
« Reply #21 on: March 27, 2015, 09:44:45 PM »
Those were the good days... I had three Nokias made in Finland before MS bought them out...
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Re: The Contraption 19: Old Film Compensator for Android
« Reply #22 on: March 27, 2015, 10:27:57 PM »
Strange, I dont have any Nokias made in Finland. Mine are all Made in USA, or Made in Korea.
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Re: The Contraption 19: Old Film Compensator for Android
« Reply #23 on: March 28, 2015, 01:02:04 PM »
Its hard to say for mine since I sent them all to recycling a while ago... But from memory they were made in Scandinavia.
I must admit that they were really old candy bar style phones.
I know that the candy bar style phones were more popular in Europe than in America so that probably has something to do with it.
Francois

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Re: The Contraption 19: Old Film Compensator for Android
« Reply #24 on: March 28, 2015, 03:43:24 PM »
I still have a functioning Motorola Select "Digital GSM" phone that take credit card sized sim. :D

No, you have the best keyboard ever. IBM buckling spring, yeah?

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Re: The Contraption 19: Old Film Compensator for Android
« Reply #25 on: March 28, 2015, 06:03:14 PM »
No, you have the best keyboard ever. IBM buckling spring, yeah?
nope, it's just a old Packard Bell keyboard based on a BTC style dome-switch keys. I really dont like the lexmarks and ibm buckling spring. I perfer a few of the older rubber dome style, or with mistumi switch.
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Re: The Contraption 19: Old Film Compensator for Android
« Reply #26 on: March 28, 2015, 07:38:22 PM »
Well done but why is an app needed when all one must do is cut the ISO in half for every decade the film has aged?

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Re: The Contraption 19: Old Film Compensator for Android
« Reply #27 on: March 28, 2015, 08:36:46 PM »
Well done but why is an app needed when all one must do is cut the ISO in half for every decade the film has aged?
Simple... what if your film is expired for lets say 8 years?
That's not exactly a full stop but it's not nothing either. And for 5 years: should be ½ stop but if you happen to go for 3 years? It's not at full speed anymore but at what speed is it? And if you have 1998 vintage emulsions, how do you expose that? (an old 100 ISO from 1998 would actually be closer to 32 ISO by now).

Well this is what the app does. It tells you with more precision the speed of the film based on that 1stop/decade rule.
You can always live without it, but I like that fact that it's kept me out of the brown zone for quite a few rolls by now... especially since I got a freezer full of film I got for around 30¢ a roll when a local lab closed.

The program actually does the calculation based on the number of months the film has been expired. This gives it the possibility to get increments that are smaller than going at it by decade only. It's not a sensitometric calculation but it's better than nothing.

It suggests the speeds in full and partial stop increments from 3 ISO to 5000 ISO.

The app is actually based on something I coded years ago for Windows and have been using ever since. If you want to test it, you can give me some film speeds and their expiry date right here on the forum and I'll give you the program's suggestions. That way you can try it without installing it.

I kinda like having user feedback on this because it gives me a chance to check how good the 1stop/decade rule actually is for different films. I know so far it works for a lot of stuff I have that expired in 2004 in both Kodak and Fuji color negatives. I know it works on B&W negative. But I have no idea when it comes to slides or infrared film.
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Re: The Contraption 19: Old Film Compensator for Android
« Reply #28 on: March 29, 2015, 03:43:26 AM »
Hi Francois I have no smart phone.  :-[ But I do have some old film that I would like to shoot.  :D Portra 160vc expired 12/2007 Portra 800 expired 7/2004 Could you try this on your app?

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Re: The Contraption 19: Old Film Compensator for Android
« Reply #29 on: March 29, 2015, 02:22:44 PM »
Hi Francois I have no smart phone.  :-[ But I do have some old film that I would like to shoot.  :D Portra 160vc expired 12/2007 Portra 800 expired 7/2004 Could you try this on your app?
Here you go Ralph
Portra 160VC= EI 100 (good at this value for a bit of time since at the upper end of the scale)
Portra 800= EI 400 (still close to the top value, but not quite as much)
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Re: The Contraption 19: Old Film Compensator for Android
« Reply #30 on: March 29, 2015, 02:39:07 PM »
Thank you!  :D  Now I hope to get some free time to shoot.  ;D

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Re: The Contraption 19: Old Film Compensator for Android
« Reply #31 on: March 30, 2015, 08:00:05 AM »
let me know if you make a version in java :D then it might just work on my sony ericsson
I dont have a Sony Ericsson, but do have a Ericsson made in Sweden!

did I mention that I just yesterday had my birthday?? ;D
I'm actually back on my back up Sony Ericsson (always had some kind of Ericsson but my first was a motorola that was like an argus c3 haha).

Had this Sony Ericsson C902 for a while that I got from a relative but it crapped out not too long ago.
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Re: The Contraption 19: Old Film Compensator for Android
« Reply #32 on: March 30, 2015, 08:17:57 AM »
Hi Francois I have no smart phone.  :-[ But I do have some old film that I would like to shoot.  :D Portra 160vc expired 12/2007 Portra 800 expired 7/2004 Could you try this on your app?

Here you go Ralph
Portra 160VC= EI 100 (good at this value for a bit of time since at the upper end of the scale)
Portra 800= EI 400 (still close to the top value, but not quite as much)

and there's always the very good version for your computer :)
http://www.filmwasters.com/forum/index.php?topic=2580.msg23812#msg23812
/jonas

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Re: The Contraption 19: Old Film Compensator for Android
« Reply #33 on: March 30, 2015, 08:54:45 AM »
I know that the candy bar style phones were more popular in Europe than in America so that probably has something to do with it.
Nokia was not very well known for their flip phones, they had very few til 2004 or so, mostly for the american market. They are mostly known for bars like you said and slider phones.
Quote from: jojonas~
I'm actually back on my back up Sony Ericsson (always had some kind of Ericsson but my first was a motorola that was like an argus c3 haha).
good thing about sweden nordic mobile networks is that the three main carriers still support the old GSM900, so you can use that old Motorola bricks (Motorola international, telekoms) from 1992 with the full credit card size sim.

sorry for the non app talk.
tk

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Re: The Contraption 19: Old Film Compensator for Android
« Reply #34 on: March 30, 2015, 10:04:08 AM »
sorry for the non app talk.
aye, sorry :P
/jonas

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Re: The Contraption 19: Old Film Compensator for Android
« Reply #35 on: March 30, 2015, 01:01:35 PM »
Thanks for this Francois! I have installed it on my Oneplus One running Android 5.0.2 (CM12 Nightlies) and it works fine. Very useful.

best

Leon.

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Re: The Contraption 19: Old Film Compensator for Android
« Reply #36 on: March 30, 2015, 01:03:54 PM »
If I could make one suggestion ... (and I have NO idea how difficult these things are to code etc) ... could you make the keyboard disappear when the 'calculate' button it triggered? It is a bit of a pain as the keyboard obscured the results. I can manually get rid of the keyboard, but it would be nicer if that happened automatically :)

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Re: The Contraption 19: Old Film Compensator for Android
« Reply #37 on: March 30, 2015, 02:25:02 PM »
I'll have to look into that... But I don't think I have any control over the android keyboard in itself. The type of keyboard shown is linked to the text field when you make the interface and not much else.

But I'll have a look anyways.

Thanks for the nice comments
Francois

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Re: The Contraption 19: Old Film Compensator for Android
« Reply #38 on: March 30, 2015, 03:28:00 PM »
They managed to hide the keyboard on an app we use at work, and that was coded by a blind monkey so should be pretty simple.

Would love to try this, but cant manually install apps on my work phone and my own phone is an iphone

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Re: The Contraption 19: Old Film Compensator for Android
« Reply #39 on: March 30, 2015, 04:40:48 PM »
It sounds like a great app Francois, I wish there was an ios version.  Reading this thread all I could think about is how nice it would be to include reciprocity of expired film.  I'm not sure how that would be calculated, I always seem to have trouble getting it right with my estimations.  I did find a few reciprocity applications for ios but they don't take into account expired film. 

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/reciprocity-timer/id459691262?mt=8

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/pinhole-assist/id466757473?mt=8

Maybe a collaboration with one of the creators of the above applications or one of the light meter apps would get us an ios version of yours. 

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Re: The Contraption 19: Old Film Compensator for Android
« Reply #40 on: March 30, 2015, 05:23:11 PM »
I don't know how that would work out either...

I just did an update to the file. I recommend uninstalling the old one before installing the new.
It now auto hides the keyboard when it's not needed anymore. Much nicer that way.
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Re: The Contraption 19: Old Film Compensator for Android
« Reply #41 on: March 30, 2015, 06:59:51 PM »
Superb. Thanks Francois. It is a really handy thing. Thanks for all the hard work!

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Re: The Contraption 19: Old Film Compensator for Android
« Reply #42 on: March 30, 2015, 08:37:53 PM »
You're welcome!

I always love making stuff that others appreciate :)
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Re: The Contraption 19: Old Film Compensator for Android
« Reply #43 on: April 02, 2015, 03:26:30 PM »
Works perfectly on my Samsung Galaxy S1 (GT-I9000) running CyanogenMod 11 (4.4.4). The permissions are a bit annoying, but I can deactivate them in CyanogenMod.

Thanks for your efforts. One suggestion for future Versions: Is it possible to take into account whether the film was stored cool or at room temperature? I bet that makes for a big difference.

Shooting expired film sure is fun. This is from a test roll of Agfa Portrait XPS 160 (exp. 6/2005) at EI 100. Your App suggested EI 80, which in deed might suit it a tad better.

Canon EOS 30 | EF50/1,4 | Agfa XPS 160 (exp. 2005) | EI 100



I'll gladly have a go Francois. I'm currently running KitKat and heading out with some 8'ish year expired expired 64T II this eve!

Did you allready get them developed? What was your experience? I still have about 10 rolls of 64T in the freezer. So far I have only cross processed it and found it's best at EI 100 for this task.

Pentax 645N | FA75/2,8 | Kodak 64T (exp. 2002) | EI 100 | x-pro


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Re: The Contraption 19: Old Film Compensator for Android
« Reply #44 on: April 02, 2015, 04:02:31 PM »

Did you already get them developed? What was your experience? I still have about 10 rolls of 64T in the freezer. So far I have only cross processed it and found it's best at EI 100 for this task.


Unfortunately not, been so busy this past week, but will certainly post my results when I get round to it.

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Re: The Contraption 19: Old Film Compensator for Android
« Reply #45 on: April 02, 2015, 09:14:07 PM »
Works perfectly on my Samsung Galaxy S1 (GT-I9000) running CyanogenMod 11 (4.4.4). The permissions are a bit annoying, but I can deactivate them in CyanogenMod.

Thanks for your efforts. One suggestion for future Versions: Is it possible to take into account whether the film was stored cool or at room temperature? I bet that makes for a big difference.

For the permissions, there's nothing I can do about that since it's set by the language I used...
As for taking into account how the film was kept, this would be very hard too since I have absolutely no idea what the conditions of storage are and its effect on the film. But as a rule of thumb with negative film, it's always better to overexpose. So if you have a film that you know has been kept for a long time in a hot place, you can always give it 1/3 to ½ stop more exposure just in case.
Francois

Film is the vinyl record of photography.

Sid Dongre

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Re: The Contraption 19: Old Film Compensator for Android
« Reply #46 on: April 24, 2015, 04:00:28 PM »
At last, I've managed to have some of these shots developed!

Without further ado, here's 2 sets of 2 images, taken on a Rolleiflex T at ASA40 and 25, 25 was the recommended setting, based upon 07/2002 expiry date on 120 Fujichrome 64TII.

The third example for each set, (one of which is too big to upload here), is a +1 exposure boost in photoshop with some white balance and ~0.7 gamma enhancement, something more representative of what I feel would be ideal for the image. I shall post those, and another tripartite example also too large to upload here, on my blog and post a link here if you're interested in seeing them.

« Last Edit: April 24, 2015, 07:31:03 PM by Sid Dongre »

Francois

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Re: The Contraption 19: Old Film Compensator for Android
« Reply #47 on: April 24, 2015, 09:01:43 PM »
Not too shabby...
Francois

Film is the vinyl record of photography.

Sid Dongre

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    • A/Chromaticity: Explorations in film & development; colour and B&W
Re: The Contraption 19: Old Film Compensator for Android
« Reply #48 on: April 25, 2015, 03:54:00 PM »
Indeed, your contraption appears to work pretty well!

Francois

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Re: The Contraption 19: Old Film Compensator for Android
« Reply #49 on: April 26, 2015, 03:14:24 PM »
Makes me happy :)
Francois

Film is the vinyl record of photography.