[rollei_list] Re: Old film

  • From: Eric Goldstein <egoldste@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: rollei_list@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Mon, 30 May 2005 19:55:02 -0500 (GMT-05:00)

A couple of statements to clarify here... A 60's Planar will only give equal or 
better results if you like the character of the older lens/coatings. The modern 
version with multicoating, recomputed for modern glass and manufactured to 
tighter tolerances will propably give consistently higher test numbers.

As for older meters being inherently less accurate, here too you would need to 
qualify which meter and for what type of measurement. A good norwood director 
on a film set would likely be as accurate as any other meter but remember we 
are talking about incident readings exclusively here and a half-stop on color 
negative film is all the resolution/accuracy that's needed. Learning the dome 
is more important than the 10th stop display in this instance...

Eric Goldstein

-----Original Message-----
From: Marvin Wallace <Marvin0@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Sent: May 30, 2005 7:34 PM
To: rollei_list@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: [rollei_list] Re: Old film

An interesting distinction here between the photographer and the collecter.
A Rollei a 1960's Planar will give equal or better results than the modern
equivalent; old film is not as good as modern film; older b/w papers are
sometimes better because of the higher silver content.
And ask for old light meters ! A modern light meter will give a more
accurate measurement of light; so that the lighting conditions can be more
accurately translated to film (modern film) which records better.
I am always surprised that people use old meters the modern equivalents are
much better.
An analogy regarding the use of light meters would be, the USA making a
Space Rocket and then using a compass as the guidance system.

-----Original Message-----
From: rollei_list-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
[mailto:rollei_list-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of Richard Knoppow
Sent: 31 May 2005 05:12
To: rollei_list@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: [rollei_list] Re: Old film

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Don Williams" <dwilli10@xxxxxxxxxx>
To: <rollei_list@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Sent: Monday, May 30, 2005 12:23 PM
Subject: [rollei_list] Re: Old film

> At 05:10 PM 5/28/2005, Dick wrote:
> . . . . .
>>    Silver is more stable than dye but is actually not 
>> very
>>stable unless toned. Silver sulfide is extremely stable.
>>Silver sulfide images are the result of using any of 
>>Sulfiding toners, often called Sepia toners. Kodak Brown
>>Toner and the very similar Agfa Viradon are examples of 
> I think I have a variety of prints, some of which may be 
> tintype, in a box
> I picked up from my stepfather many years ago.  I think 
> some of them are
> indeed tarnishing a bit.  Any suggestions.  (I haven't 
> even looked in there
> in a couple of years, since some of the photos were in 
> mounts and I didn't
> want to sort out the broken glass, guess it's about time.
   Tintypes, more properly Ferrotypes, are photos made by 
coating a very thin sensitive layer on polished metal. Since 
silver in very thin layers is reflective, a direct positive 
is had by making the backing black. The silver image looks 
white in comparison. Tintype coating may be gelatin but many 
were also made using collodion. Restoring them is really a 
job for a professional conservator.
   Regular prints can show the effects of oxidation of the 
silver by "mirroring" or
"bronzing". This is an effect where the image silver is 
oxidized, the oxide being extremely fine is able to migrate 
to the surface where it may be again reduced to metallic 
silver by other pollutants. The result is a noticeable shiny 
area especially over the denser portions of the image. 
negatives, in principle, are also subject to this redox 
effect but the image silver grains are so much larger than 
print grains that the effect is rare.
   There are treatments that can remove the surface 
material. They consist in general of bleaching in a 
permanganate bleach and redeveloping. Any such treatment can 
destroy the print so the best procedure is to make the best 
copy negative or scan possible before trying any remedial 
   Kodak has a couple of good books on identifying and 
preserving old images. I have to search mine out to give you 
publication data. Again, its wise to consult a professional 
before attempting anything other than copying damaged old 
   I am not sure if your reference to broken glass refers 
glass slide mounts of glass plate negatives. The emulsions 
of broken glass plate negatives can often be transferred to 
a new support. There are techniques for stripping both 
gelatin emulsion and collodion (wet plate) coating but I am 
not an expert.

Richard Knoppow
Los Angeles, CA, USA

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