Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Fuji reclaimed negatives revisited: The 4x5 edition

Taking a short break from the Fujipet posts (two more to come, I believe) to talk a but more about reclaimed Fuji negatives. More specifically, 4x5 Fuji negatives, and even a bit more specifically, Fuji 4x5 black and white negatives. This is applicable to the regular-sized Fuji film, as well, so fun for all.
I recently bought myself a Fuji PA-45 back for my Crown Graphic. Same thing as a Polaroid 550 back, but easier to find (though not cheap). What does a PA-45 use? Fuji 4x5 pack film. A regular Polaroid 4x5 sheet film back looks like this:

While a PA-45 back looks like this:

Flies in the face of the definition of "compact". So Fuji makes this giant pack film that works exactly like smaller Polaroid pack film, such as Type 669, 667, etc.

There were three types of Fuji 4x5 being made...FP-100C45, FP-100B45 and FP-3000B45 (same as the smaller packs, with a 45 at the end). Well, they stopped making FP-100B45 (and FP100B) last year, and I've heard that they are going to stop making FP-100C45 and probably FP-3000B45 in the next year (though the will still keep making FP-100C and FP-3000B). Bummer! But all of them are readily available on the internet at this point, even FP-100B45 (on eBay mostly). So I don't feel like I'm talking about something here that is unattainable for all of you.
So, as mentioned above, I'm going to talk about reclaiming the negative from FP-100B45. You can seem my previous post for the basics of bleaching a negative, Color is easy...black and white is a bit more delicate. You can rinse a FP-100C negative to your heart's delight and it will probably be fine (though you can lose emulsion along the edges if you are rough with it). FP-100B will wash right the heck off of the plastic. So you need to be able to bleach and rinse the opaque side while retaining the soft image on the other side. How? Well, that's what I'm here to show you...
First you have your negative, which is the side that you peel from the print. It looks like this before you tamper with it.

You need bleach and a soft brush (I use an oil brush that probably cost $20, but use whatever as long as it is not course so you don't scratch the plastic). And, of course, you need negatives to work with.

I use a piece of glass to work on. This one is actually meant for rolling printer's ink onto for block printing. But anything smooth should work.

You don't want anything with texture because it will allow water to flow under the print. So first I wet the glass.

Water will soften the emulsion, but adding water to the glass creates a seal for when you bleach and rinse, preventing water from flowing under the print and washing away the emulsion. So lay down your negative, emulsion side down (the not black side) on the wet glass. I always have it so the white strip is along the top, because the other end seems to be more sensitive to washing away (for both color and black and white negatives). Then you start scrubbing the black surface with bleach.

Rinse and repeat. You will see your image through the plastic as the black stuff washes off.

You want to scrub a bit, then rinse, then scrub a bit more, and rinse, etc. The black stuff will quickly start to wash away. Make sure you aren't letting the running water hit along the top edge, lifting the print up. You want to maintain the seal under the print.

I can usually get all off the black junk off in about three minutes. I like to get all of it off, because any left will be opaque and scan as white spots.

Carefully lift the print off the glass. It will look a bit messy...

All you should do now is let it dry.

Do not rinse off the emulsion right away, thinking you need to get rid of the developer, because you will wash off the softened emulsion, or it will bubble and look like this:

Once the negative has dried and hardened, you will have something that looks like this...

Interesting that some of the black and white negatives seem to have some color...red areas...possibly solarization? Can't wait to scan and see! But...first we do want to get some of that "salt" off of the negative. Now that the negative is dry, you can very carefully rinse it under the tap.

You can take a very gentle finger to it (that's what she said), but you want to only rinse it maybe for 30 seconds and if you start to see bubbling or warping, stop! I wash off both side so I don't get streaks on the shiny side from stray water. Then you just set it aside to dry once more. It should look like this if you did it correctly (and were lucky):

Time to scan! The negative in color...

And then converted to black and white and cleaned up...

The print for comparison. And you can see one of the problems with the PA-45 back...leaks. Mijonju had one when I was in Japan and it seemed to have a similar problem. Haven't taken the time to figure out why or where it is leaking.

The negatives are very thin and require some adjustment in Photoshop. Another scan, this one with bubbles from the emulsion softening too much.

So sometimes you get something good, other times you screw it up. Still fun to try.


Bleaching still works better with Fuji FP-100C45.

EDIT: I made a video demonstrating a bleach of a Fuji F-100B negative to show how easy and fast the process is. One thing I have changed through some experimention is I don't re-rinse the film to remove the developer goop. Instead, I run the emulsion side under cold water for 20 seconds or so, rubbing very gently to kind of "even out" the goop, so there aren't any "wave" forms on the scan. The developer actually does a very good job of protecting the emulsion, and as soon as you start to wash the developer off, the emulsion washes off as well. Better just to leave it.

Tape the negatives to the scanner bed.

You can see again how the negatives look in color...red and blue.

A scan of the print for the negative bleached in the video:

And the bleached negative.

This negative has so much solarization that it actually works as a "positive" scan, as well.

The detail in the shadows is much greater on the negative, much like 3000 goop scans. I'm sure the solarization is increased with cold (it was in the 40s F), which is also a characteristic of 3000 goop negatives.
One more for good measure.

So have at it! Until next time!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Fujipet Goodies...mmmmm!

Part two of my Fujipet/フジペット website conversion to blog format (Part 1 here). Easier than I expected as the website was written in a narrative format. This time up we have Fujipet accessories and such, AKA...

A complete package, including a promo price card. This is probably a later model. The lighter wasn't part of the deal! It's assumedly there for size comparison (I notice the Japanese often use a lighter or a Lucky Strike cigarette box for size comparison). This set sold for around 52,000 yen.

Here is a Pet with the original box and instructions. I believe the other brochure is a catalog and the white sheet is a warranty or registration card. The different covers on the booklets are probably dependent on the production year.

A nice set with a flash. This flash looks the same as the one from the manual, so it may be an official Fuji product.

Boxes: Fujipet, Pet 35 and Fujipet EE.

A Pet 35 with its goodies...

A Fujipet still in its original bags. Note the price card at bottom right.

A complete set for a red Pet...

And a complete set for a green Pet.

A close-up of a Fujipet box. One side is stamped stating the color of the camera. Also includes a very surly chihuahua.

An EE complete with box, instructions and warranty card.

Another box with a kawaii girl instead of robot boy seen above.

A complete set for a very minty EE, with a different box from above. Interesting Fuji logo on the plastic bag. This set even includes the silicate bag!

A closer look at the EE box.

A closer look at the design on the bag and the silicate pack!

 Yet another box design for the Fujipet EE.

And a Pet 35 box.

This bag sold separately for 300 yen. It sports a vinyl exterior with a plaid cloth interior. The logo is a decal of sorts. Note the name tag holder attached to the strap.

The camera case for the original 120 was leather. I assume it was sold separately.

Both the case and bag for comparison.

A case that says simply...PET.

A lighter brown Fujipet case.

A very fitting sticker affixed to this bag! Matching hair! Also on the top is written Sekiya...the original owner?

A much-loved first-generation Pet with fancy car stickers.

A rare yellow pet with sweet stickers (sentai?) on the bag!

Someone personalized this well-worn Pet with a cute heart tag!

Here is a Fujipet EE with its leather case.
A Fujpet EE case with Mount Fuji on the front.

The Pet 35 leather case has a very sporty look.

This Pet has a nice wrist strap that screws into the bottom mount. These are common in Japan.

A yellow filter ring. I don't know if they made others, but a Pet R. (red) isn't unlikely.

One was made for the EE, as well.

Here you can see how the flash attaches. I'm not sure if Fuji made an official Fujipet flash. The flash on the left is odd and bulky. The umbrella flash looks the same as the one in the manual. These pictures come from this site.

Another modern flash on a vintage Pet! And at right is, I believe, a pinhole Fujipet, with lenscap. Or it could have been modified to shoot photos of stars and the moon. I've found evidence of this somewhere on the web.

I'm not sure if this tripod was made by Fuji, but it looks exactly like the tripod that appears in the manual.

A promotional pin, made of brass. Looks great on someone's jacket, I bet!

And a pin for the EE, available in different colors...

This is a metal bank. Very cool characters on the front!

The back of the bank.

A Fujipet crate! For what? I have no idea. Fujipet ramune?

And another Fujipet crate!

A major "what the heck?" here...a Fujipet bike! Probably some cross-branding from a store that sold Fujipets, or possible a contest prize.

And to prove more than one exists...a sweet red ride!

Gee, the monkey camera on this tin whistle looks familiar! Also available is a pig whistle. These are fairly common an eBay...

Figurines. The website they come from is now down, but they sent me a nice e-mail once.

Promotional cards.

Two adverts from Japanese camera magazines. Translation: Fuji Film. Everyone's Camera - Fujipet. Bag 300 Yen. The different S, SS and SSS are three Neopan Films by Fuji.

Some old Japanese photography magazines...one featuring Fujipets!

A Fujica brochure featuring the Pet 35 and Fujipet EE.

A foldout brochure with various Fuji cameras.

And another nice brochure.

And another promo (prize?) flyer...

 A magazine ad.

A single-sheet Fujipet calendar!

A very cool promo hanging poster on cardboard...

A promo poster.

And a page from a Fuji catalog for the EE.
This neat little book was gifted to me...basically a "how to take photographs" book from Fuji in 1958.

Here are a few shots of kids with Fujipets. The third is from Fujifilm's official site (bottom right) titled フジペットによる撮影会, or "Fujipet Photo Session".. The dog could be Hachiko (not the original, who died in March 1934), waiting for his master to return home. The last (top right) comes from this site...a young priest with a Fujipet, according to the caption.

 Another photo from a Japanese book on photography. Note the carrying case.

An excellent shot, this one is...

And one more small snapshot, identifiable because of the case.


Talented young photographers? From a Fujipet exhibition in 1957.

A kakui kid carrying a Fujipet EE.

Evidence from a crime scene? Or part of a game...Fujima-san in the temple with the Fujipet. Most likely they are prizes for some contest or promotion.

The Fujipet featured in a modern magazine. I have a couple different magazines/mooks that feature the Pet.

Promo flags, probably for hanging in stores.

This is a Chinese Fujipet copy, "Kofuku". More information can be found at this site. A quick translation states that it was probably made in Tianjing factory in 1960, maybe used by the children of affluent Communist Party staff. It is made out of metal because production of plastic parts was probably difficult at that time in China. It has a double lens, as opposed to the Fujipet, which has a single lens.

A Holga in disguise! Created by TGray and borrowed from the toycamera.com forums.

The one and only Polapet! An amalgam of a few broken Fujipets and a Polaroid Square Shooter. I think it needed a screwdriver to fire the shutter. It's a monster!

And two shots taken with the Polapet using expired film.

And the Instax Pet I made a couple years ago...

A shot from the Instax Pet...

Something interesting going on here with a Fujipet...digital? Not sure.

And a Fujipet cake!

The Fujipet was also featured in the original logo for Lightleaks magazine (designed by me, of course). When I stopped doing the magazine design, it became Light Leaks, and recently went kaput. Browsing through the first three issues I did, I had forgotten how cool it looked! =P

That's plenty for now. Still have manuals and a breakdown to cover. Also want to talk about Bronicas and I've had a couple requests about self-developed color. Soon!