Monday, April 29, 2013

T-Max Semi Stand Development Process

In this article I will explain a technique for using T-Max developer in a high-dilution solution to extend development times and provide a generally foolproof development strategy, not only for T-Max film, but also other film.

All of the images for this article were scanned on a Screen C├ęzanne flatbed scanner and edited as needed in Photoshop CS5.  Please refer to the image caption for specific technical details regarding the equipment and development process used for each photograph.

Example 1: Nikon F4, 55mm f/2.8 Micro AF Lens, T-Max 100 35mm film rated at ISO 50, T-Max RS developer at 1:19 dilution, semi-stand development.

Kodak's T-Max film and corresponding T-Max developer (or T-Max RS for sheet films) is a combination formulated specifically for high resolution, low grain photos. Despite having a relatively straightforward development routine, T-Max film and developer can be a frustrating combo without rigorous testing and strict adherence to time and temperature controls.

Example 2: Nikon F2, 20mm f/2.8 AF-D Lens, T-Max 100 35mm film rated at ISO 50, T-Max RS developer at 1:32 dilution, semi-stand development.

Kodak's recommended dilution for T-Max developers is 1:4, or 1:9 for longer development times. What I have experimented with is using dilutions of 1:19 up to 1:50 with "semi-stand" development. With semi-stand development, I would add the diluted developer to the tank and agitate for 30 seconds, and then leave the tank alone for 30 minutes. At that time I would do another 30 seconds of agitation and leave the tank for another 30 minutes (total of 1 hour). Finally, I would fix and wash as normal. This hands-off development procedure is very simple, and generally the temperature of the solution is not critical (it was generally between 65 and 70 degrees F).

Example 3: Nikon SP, 50mm f/1.4 Lens, T-Max 100 35mm film rated at ISO 50, T-Max developer at 1:32 dilution, semi-stand development.

Using the developer in this way was also conducive to one-shot development.  I diluted the developer to the proper dilution and used it once, and then threw out the chemicals. Due to the high dilution, a 1-liter stock solution should last you for many, many rolls of film (probably around 100 35mm rolls of film).

Example 4: Mamiya 645 PRO, 80mm f/1.9 Lens, Tri-X 400 120 film rated at ISO 200, T-Max developer at 1:32 dilution, semi-stand development.

My findings concluded that, generally speaking, every film should be shot at about half the recommended ISO or ASA. For T-Max 100, I shoot it at 50. For Tri-X 400, I use ISO 200. The dilution of the developer determined contrast, similar to what one would do with time and agitation, a la the Zone System (refer to Ansel Adams' seminal book The Negative for more information).

Example 5: Mamiya 645 Pro, 45mm f/2.8 Lens, Tech-Pan 120 film rated at ISO 25, T-Max RS developer at 1:40 dilution, semi-stand development.

For N development (normal contrast, what most shots need), a dilution of 1:32 worked well. For increased contrast (N+), the 1:19 dilution was best. And finally, for less contrast (N-), 1:39 became my standard. A 1:50 dilution was generally too much, but for scenes with a lot of contrast, it might be appropriate. These dilutions worked the same whether using T-Max developer or the RS version.

Example 6: Chamonix 4x5, Schneider G-Claron 150mm f/9 Lens, T-Max 100 film rated at 100, T-Max RS developer at 1:39 dilution, semi-stand development.

As with any development recipe, you should definitely test and determine your own EI (exposure index). You may find that slightly different dilutions give you better results. These results reflect what worked best for me. I am continuing to experiment with this technique with different films and situations, so it is an ongoing "development."

I hope that this development recipe gives you another tool to use with your film photos.

Contributor Bio:
Bryan Garris is a musician, recording engineer and photographer in Valdosta, GA. He enjoys shooting film in all formats, from 35mm to 8x10, and teaches photography classes in the area. To see more of his film work highlighting the South GA area, visit his blog at valdostafilm.blogspot.com.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Free Shipping is Back!

Free shipping is BACK for a limited time!  This weekend only, enjoy FREE shipping on all orders of NEW and USED gear over $100.00.   Start the season off right by stocking up on all the camera gear you'll need for Spring!


To qualify for free shipping, place an order of $100.00 or more of NEW or USED equipment online or by phone between Friday, April 26 and Sunday, April 28 (promotion ends at 11:59 p.m. Eastern time), and receive FREE shipping via FedEx Ground anywhere in the contiguous United States.  Qualifying international and expedited shipping orders will receive a credit of $9.95 towards shipping costs. Promotion is not applicable to prior purchases or existing orders.

Shop now by visiting us on online at www.keh.com, or by contacting our sales department via telephone at (770) 333-4200.   Our friendly and knowledgeable sales representatives will be happy to help you with all of your camera equipment needs Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m - 9:00 p.m., and Saturday from 10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. Eastern time.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Photos of the Month

All images submitted to and chosen from the KEH Camera Flickr Group pool.  To view a photographer's profile or to enjoy a larger version of  their photograph, click on the link below the image to be directed to their Flickr page.

Thank you to our Flickr members for the wonderful submissions.  Please join our group, and your photograph might be featured in next month's post!















 

Monday, April 22, 2013

Get Paid to Recycle Your Camera

As today is Earth Day, it's the perfect opportunity to recycle your old camera equipment.  Instead of your camera collecting dust in your closet or basement, consider selling or trading in your old gear.  Not only is it a great option for the environment, but you can make some extra cash too.            


For 34 years, KEH Camera has been dedicated to reselling, reusing and recycling photographic equipment, and we are here to help you with environmentally friendly options regarding your used camera gear.  Get paid to recycle by selling or trading in your used film or digital bodies, lenses, flashes and accessories.

We are not always able to make an offer to purchase certain older or broken items.  However, we will be happy to help you recycle your used photographic gear in an environmentally friendly manner if you would like to donate them to KEH.  We are able to recycle and repurpose countless photographic items.

The process is easy and free.  All you have to do is contact our purchasing department via email or by telephone at (770) 333-4220 or (800) 342-5534.  We always pay top market value for clean, used gear, and shipping is free.
 
Whether you decide to sell, trade or donate your used camera equipment, you'll feel good about saving time, money and helping the environment.  
~L.M.

Friday, April 19, 2013

A Camera Technician's Testing Tools

Just as the cleaning tools featured in A Camera Technician's Cleaning Tools are an important step in the equipment grading process at KEH Camera, our technicians utilize a variety of testing tools to thoroughly check the working condition of every piece of equipment before it is made available for sale.  Below is a behind the scenes look at some of the testing tools used by our technicians to ensure that each item we sell will be in good working order once it reaches our customers.

 

What: Filter Ring Tool
Use: Repairs Slightly Bent Front Lens Rings


What: Spanner Wrench & Adjustable Spanners
Use: Remove Retaining Rings on Lens Boards


What: Light Box 
Use: Creates Grey Scale for Checking Digital Sensor Imperfections


What: Unique Soft Edge Sensor Cleaning Swabs, D-SLR Brush, 7X Visible Dust® Sensor Loupe & Digital Sensor Cleaning Fluid
Use: Cleans Digital SLR Sensors


What: LensAlign® MkII
Use: Tests Back Focusing & Calibrates Focus of Lenses


What: Minolta Collimator RC 1000 III Machine
Use: Tests Focus & Infinity


What: ZTS Tester V & Light Standard
Use: Checks Shutter Speeds of Leaf & Focal Plane Cameras


What: Kyoritsu Tester
Use: Checks Shutter Speeds for Specific Tolerances on Hasselblad Equipment

- Omar Hosein

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

KEH's Most Wanted

Featured below are a selection of KEH Camera's "most wanted" items of the month.  We are currently seeking digital & film bodies, lenses, flashes and major accessories in all formats, but the featured items below are at the top of our "most wanted" list this month.



















* We currently need all clean, gently used medium format equipment & large format field cameras.

In addition to the photographic equipment featured above, we are also looking to purchase the following gear:

* Canon EOS: 7D, 40D, 50D, 5D Mark II, 5D Mark II, 6D and Rebel T3i 

* Nikon: D300, D600, and D90 

* Rollei TLR: Rolleiflex 2.8 F, 2.8 G, 2.8 FX and 3.5 F 

* Lenses: All Canon IS and Nikon VR lenses

* Meters: Pentax Digital Spotmeter, Pentax Spotmeter V and Minolta Spotmeter F

To sell any of the above featured items (or if you have other gear you'd like to sell), please contact us via email or give us a call at (770) 333-4220 or (800) 342-5534.  If you are unsure about an item, just ask! Your used camera equipment may be worth more than you think.

Monday, April 15, 2013

A Camera Technician's Cleaning Tools

One of the most important steps in the equipment grading process at KEH Camera is making sure the camera gear is fully cleaned in order to achieve the most accurate grade possible.  Every piece of equipment is given a general cleaning before it even reaches a technician's desk.  Some of the cameras and lenses we see on a daily basis are decades old, but with a thorough cleaning they can look as good as new.

Every technician has an air hose at his or her desk to blow dust off of the camera equipment.  For more delicate items, we use a rubber air blower to remove dust and debris.  It directs a delicate current of air to remove dust, and has a one-way valve to prevent dust from spreading back into the equipment.

Giottos® Air Blower

For more stubborn dirt and dust, we use a variety of brushes to clean the camera equipment.  Toothbrushes with soft bristles can be used to scrub certain kinds of equipment. A good way to clean up the rubber on a camera grip or lens is to scrub it with a toothbrush. This cleans off the oxidation, which appears as a white residue.

Variety of Brushes for Cleaning

We also use a product by STP® called Son of a Gun!®, a protective polymer silicone formula spray that will moisturize and renew the rubber commonly used on cameras.  Products like naphtha or lighter fluid can be used to de-grease metal parts or to remove any other material off of metal surfaces.

Cleaning Solvents for Rubber & Metal Surfaces

Some of the equipment we see will have battery corrosion. Heat from general use over time or from storing the equipment in warm or humid areas will cause batteries to expand and leak a chemical paste of potassium hydroxide. When the chemicals come in contact with the spring and terminal of the electronic it is powering, it produces a blue-green powder as it corrodes the metal. The best way to keep this from happening is to remove any batteries while the item is not in use. If we see that a camera or flash has battery corrosion we can use vinegar to remove it. Sometimes the equipment can be saved and sometimes the metal terminals are too far corroded to work.

Eraser Pencil Used to Clean Flash Hot Shoe

Often we will see electric contacts on flash hot shoes, lenses or camera bodies with dirt and corrosion. This can cause the flash to not fire, or the camera to not recognize when a lens is attached. A simple pencil eraser can be used to clean the contacts. We use eraser pencils, which can be sharpened to clean smaller areas.

Eraser Pencil Used to Clean Lens Contacts

Other liquids commonly found on a technician's desk are alcohol and Windex® to clean glass. We use a diluted mixture of Windex®, alcohol, and distilled water on most optical glass, which is great for removing smudges and marks without leaving streaks or residue.

Variety of Liquids Used for Cleaning

To clean optical glass we use cotton Q-tips® and Kimtech® tissues that are gentle and won't scratch the surface.

Q-tips® & Kimtech® Tissues for Cleaning Optical Glass

To clean the front or rear glass of a lens we dip the Q-tip® into the diluted Windex® mixture, gently wipe the lens in circular motions working from the center out, and then wipe it off with the tissue. It is very important to make sure there are no large particles of dust or debris in this process, which can scratch the glass.

Applying Diluted Cleaning Fluid to Q-tip®
Gently Cleaning Front Lens Element
Wiping Front Lens Element With Tissue

A quick cleaning can drastically improve the appearance and picture quality of a camera or lens.  In addition to these tools and methods, the KEH Camera Repair Center offers sensor cleanings and internal glass cleanings for lenses with dust inside.
- Mollie Damon

For your camera equipment maintenance & repair needs, please visit the KEH Camera Repair Center online or contact them by telephone at (770) 333-4210.  

Please note that the nature of this article is to be informative and we do not condone the repetition of  its contents.  If you choose to clean your own camera equipment, you do so at your own risk.  We recommend that cleaning and repair services be provided by a trained technician.   

Friday, April 12, 2013

Newly Added Digital Pentax Gear!

We've just added $600,000 in digital Pentax gear to our inventory.  That's more than 2,500 digital Pentax items that are available now and ready to ship.

This huge addition to our Pentax digital selection is straight from the manufacturer, and includes tons of current and discontinued products in almost new condition.


Don't miss this opportunity to stock up on all your favorite Pentax DSLR bodies, lenses, mirrorless cameras, flashes and accessories!     

To shop KEH Camera's selection of digital Pentax equipment, click HERE.

Your purchase is backed by a 14 day return privilege and 6 month KEH Camera warranty, so you can shop with confidence.

For additional information and reviews on Pentax equipment, be sure to check out the following websites:

* Official Pentax Product Website
* Pentax Forum Camera Reviews
* Imaging Resource Pentax Reviews
* Digital Photography Review (Pentax)