Monday, September 29, 2014

Dwayne's Photo Review

I sent some 120 film into Dwayne's Photo for developing. I had heard about Dwayne's from the Film Photography Podcast. I sent two rolls in using a bubble type mailer. I filled out the form for B&W developing, weighed my package, and bought postage at USPS. I mailed it in on a Monday. To my surprise, I received my negatives on the following Saturday. Pretty fast service for Dwayne's and the USPS.

One roll was taken in a HolgaPan 120. These negatives turned out as well as expected. The negatives arrived clean, packaged uncut in a sleeve, rolled in a cardboard tube. The only thing missing was the 120 roller, which I asked to be returned.

The second roll was taken in a Lubetel 66. I messed up sequencing these images + I didn't have the setting correct (images too dark) so there's not much to blame Dwayne for on this roll.

Given the quick delivery and good processing of the one roll, I will definitely use Dwayne's again. The price is very reasonable too.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Gorilla Duct Tape Review

I've been using Gorilla Tape for awhile now. It is the best "duct" tape out. I have used it in making my pinhole cameras. I have used it making masks for my through the lens-finder photos. It is suited for any kind of construction with cardboard or foamcore.Excellent in every way  Tough. Very adhesive - but can be removed without too much trouble. No sticky mess. It costs a little more but it is definitely worth it.

You can find Gorilla Tape at Home Depot. Their website is here.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

My first attempt at encasing an insect in epoxy

I have long wanted to cast a insect in epoxy. When I found a good cicada specimen recently, I thought I would give it a go. This entry is about the mistakes I made. Hopefully, after reading, when you try you will avoid the same mistakes.

I used EasyCast clear casting resin from here.It is low odor and easy to work with.

I read the instructions (yes, I did) but continued to ignore them. The result was less than spectacular, but a learning experience.

Here is a list of my mistakes in hope that you will do better.

1) Used wrong kind of mold - Polypropylene or polyethylene resin mold are required. I am sure I used poly something, but it was too stiff and the epoxy bonded with it extremely well. I had to cut the piece out of the mold. USE THE RIGHT LIND OF MOLD.

2) Use a mold release - I skipped this as well - Instructions suggest using Castin'Craft Mold Release/Conditioner. USE MOLD RELEASE.

3) Bubbles - I had major bubble on head of the cicada. I believe it is suggested to coat the insect prior to placing in the mold of resin. You can coat the insect with using a small brush. WATCH FOR BUBBLES. COAT THE OBJECT.

4) The legs of my cicada protruded out of the resin. The cicada was very close to the edges. I should have used a bigger mold. USE THE CORRECT SIZE MOLD.

I have learned quite a bit. When the opportunity arises, I will try again. Hopefully without the issues described above.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Light Seal Material for pinhole camera

I used this felt which I found at Lowes for the light seal in my 4x5 pinhole camera. I found it in the furniture pad/floor protection area.

Add External Flash to Polaroid EE100

I recently purchased a Polaroid EE100 on Ebay. I wanted to add an external flash rather than using flashcubes. I read on the net where you can use the two pins where the flashcube attaches to trigger an external flash. You have to solder wire to these pins and connect the other end to your flash.

Tools Needed

1) Wire strippers
2) Soldering Iron (with pencil tip)
3) Solder
4) Needle nose pliers

Material Needed *

1) 1 ft flash sync cord (to connect to pc adapter)
2) Hotshoe with pc input **
3) Electronic flash
4) Flash bracket

* get hotshoes and pc cables from
* *Hotshoe may not be necessary if your flash has a pc input

Cut the unused end of of the sync cord. Strip back the insulation. Peel back the wire braid and twirl into a wire. I apply solder to center wire and braid prior to soldering to flashcube contacts.

Scratch the flashcube contacts with a sharp object to clean off any crud or oxidation. Solder the braid of the sync cord to one contact. Solder the other wire to the other contact. You may melt a bit of the plastic around the flashcube contacts, that's why a pencil tip iron should be used.

I covered my soldering job with duct tape. Do not cover the center of the flashcube mount. The center piece must be free to operate.

You can test the flash operation without film installed as long as you have the batteries installed.

Here are a couple of images of the completed assembly.