Regular 8mm Film Making

I have been shooting and processing Regular 8mm movie film. Here is one frame from a sync sound film.

Fomapan R-100
Fomapan R-100

Why Regular 8mm? The camera, a Bolex H8-REX4 outwardly is identical to 16mm Bolex cameras. So, learn to shoot on economical  8mm film and then you can use more expensive 16mm film later. The camera is cheaper, too.

Regular 8mm film is the same width as 16mm film. There are twice the perforations on 8mm as on 16mm. Regular 8mm film has 80 frames to the foot and 16mm film has 40 frames to the foot. Regular 8mm film is exposed one half at a time. The film is slit in half. You get twice the frames, twice. One-hundred feet of Regular 8mm film will last as long as 400 feet of 16mm film.

A 400 foot magazine on a Bolex H16-REX is HUGE. But not as huge as a 1200 foot magazine on a 16mm Auricon camera. I had one of those. That is the usual size, 1200 feet or 1000 feet depending on the camera. Several 400 foot magazines, with motors, are needed to shoot 16mm film professionally.

How good is Regular 8mm? See for yourself above. I had a 2K scan made and a test of the 4K scanning. The image is the same, only larger. It fills up a monitor more the larger the scan gets. It is like using a larger movie screen and moving the projector back farther away from it to enlarge the image.

There is new color negative film for sale. There are movies on the web about them. The samples are astonishingly sharp, clear, bright, and lacking defects of any kind. Regular 8mm film is steadier than Super 8mm film most of the time.

Regular 8mm Bolex cameras have all manual things to set. There are no automatic anything on Bolex H8 cameras. A light meter is used which must be hand held. Many 16mm cameras are like that. Super 8mm cameras are mostly automatic. Manual settings are an afterthought on them. Exposures are automatic. A 16mm camera like that costs a fortune.

I shoot reversal black and white regular 8mm film and have it scanned for digital editing, sound synchronization,  and Blue-Ray disk final products.

This is a picture of the camera I use.

Bolex H8-REX4

It is a Bolex H8-REX4.

Beseler 45H

Beseler 23C ll and  Beseler 45H
Beseler 23C ll and
Beseler 45H

The 23C on the left allows a 6×9 negative to be printed, however, I’ve begun to use 70mm 616 film and have lots of very old 116 negatives. Those needed a larger enlarger. So, I went shopping on line you know where. Free shipping was offered. A close inspection of the photos showed a lens and a negative holder were included. I went for it. The enlarger was essentially free in that case. I had to make a video about unboxing it since the box was so huge. It is on my channel. I had two lenses for the 4×5 enlarger already so was ahead of the game. But the instruction book had to be ordered from Canada and I bid on a 4×5 negative carrier, and bought a glass 4×5 negative carrier. The one in the kit is for 6×6 and I will drill, saw, and file it out to fit the 70mm negatives from my Kodak Monitor 616 70mm camera.

Now, it really does not fit vertically. The top goes up into the ceiling. How much it must be raised I do not know yet. I just today made the base.  And I have to play with the thing yet.

The Biggest Lenses



This is a new bag I bought to carry the 500mm f5.6 lens attached to the Pentax 6×7 camera body, which is at the bottom inside the bag. The lens is 17 inches long. Above it on a shelf is the Wimberly Head that goes on the tripod shown on the left, carried outside the bag. I don’t like to have it sticking up as it is shown in the literature provided with the bag.

The 600mm f4 lens also fits in place of the 500 lens. It is not too wide a circle to fit in the bottom. The camera rides on top in that configuration. That makes more room available as it is a shorter lens.  That is good because there are extension rings and teleconverters to carry with it.

I’d tried carrying one lens at a time attached to everything without a bag and it does work. I walked quite a ways down Braddock Avenue. Then back up and home. It made me feel a little vulnerable.

According to YouTube videos, this is the way professional wildlife photographers carry super telephoto lenses around to do their work.

After the shoulder straps were adjusted for a long torso the pack is quite comfortable. The weight is on the hips. I believe one could cover great distances carrying this pack and lens camera combination.  Other packs may do as well, I do not know. This Lowepro Lens Trekker 600 AW lll is great.

Now the longest and heaviest lenses may be used with the Pentax 6×7. The available lenses may all be used.  There are many 4, 5 & 600 lenses out there to get and use.


Mirror Slap?

Two photographs were taken on the same day at the same place with the same exposure with the same lens. The only difference was that one did not have the mirror locked up and the other one did have the mirror locked up. Both were hand held.  Light was 160 to 160-1 block on the Sekonic light meter incident meter which is overcast. Exposure was 1/250 f8-11. Film is Ilford HP5+400 iso. The lens was 165 f2.8.  They were cropped to match, not full frame, and scanned at 2400.

The top one is 14,5 NO MLU

NO Mirror Lock UP
NO Mirror Lock UP

The bottom one is 14,6 YES MLU

14,6 YES MLU
14,6 YES MLU

There IS an exposure difference. One is lighter and the other darker. Other than that they look the same to me.

On Selling my prints

Prints are for sale. I’m working on making a Gallery to select from.

My goal is to provide collectable fine art prints. If you want to start collecting my photographs you will have to contact me directly by phone or by email. 412-973-4316 or at

Most of the prints that I have made are Resin Coated. Some, only a few so far, are on Fiber Paper. Fiber paper is 100 percent cotton and supposedly lasts longer than Resin Coated paper. The goal is to produce Fiber Based prints. However, there will be many more RC prints getting there. That is the paper that I have the most of. And that is the paper to use to figure out how to print the photographs.

One package of 25 sheets of 16×20 paper is Fiber Based. One print has been made of the Dark Lady. I worked on it again today. It was printed on March 10, 2016 and today I toned it using Selenium. No color change occurred. The paper is Arista EDU Ultra FB Glossy. That is good to know that no color change occurred.

One other package of formally 100 sheets is 8×10 in size and is also Fiber Based. I printed some with it. Toning tests are yet to be done.




Kodak Medalist ll camera


This is my new old camera. It takes 620 film; I wind it from 120 new film. The camera makes huge 6×9 medium format pictures. Here is a page of negatives. It only can make 8 pictures on a roll at a time.

51 negs

The negatives read top to bottom, and left to right, numbers are correct under the images and that is why some are upside down.

my Facebook page shows positive images and there is a link to a video I made about the camera.

What I want to show here are some closeup enlargements that I tried to make from  1200 dpi scans.

51-1 crop

51-5 crop

51-6 crop

51-7 crop

51-8 crop

The last one was made at f22 and 1/50 of a second with the camera on a post. They were scanned through plastic sleeves so could be even sharper. The other landscapes were shot at f5.6 and are the darker negatives. The film is TMY400.

I am eager to try printing some super enlargements in the darkroom.

What is a Proper Negative?

What is a proper negative? Let’s look at exposure in a different way. The flash unit I’ve been using seems to think that it know best as to what is a correct exposure and as a result what is a proper negative. Let’s have a look. When the flash is set to an automatic setting, Red or Blue, it will adjust the duration of the flash to achieve a reflected light reading, made through the sensor on the front of the flash head, and the results will be pretty much the same all of the time. In this inquiry we will be looking at direct flash pictures taken with automatic settings. No bounce flash will be used until proper samples are shown.


43-3, and 4 next to it, not shown here, were taken with automatic settings and a direct flash. Note the nasty shadows in white on the negative on the right side of the camera. 90mm LS, no 2x converter, dot 400, WA, Red, 0 degrees, U, 8, f2.8, 1/125 The next shot passed the Green flash test so this is the same, same settings. Focus was off but that is not the subject here. f2.8 makes it difficult to focus. “This is the first time that all of the pictures came out correctly. The even tonality suggests to me that the flash has adjusted everything to its own settings. I tried a variety of things.” I did want more contrast in the negative and bought new film to develop longer.


44-6 from page 85, Arista 400, 90mm, dot 400, WA, Red, 0 degrees, U8, f2.8, 125 12’, Green, The overhead light was on and so was the lamp behind me. Developing was by the box information. 12-13 minuets in D-76 1:1. I used 13 minuets. Different film, longer development, different effect, pretty much the same though. Just a little darker.  Pages, like 85, are in my journal which is not published; this is lifted from it because I cannot print a hard copy right now as I am out of ink.


45-2 from page 92, TX400 called Tri-X 400, 90 LS, 2X teleconverter, Vivitar 2800, room lights, Pentax 6×7 4158461 Chimney Finder and strap, camera set to 220, Camera on 8, lens on U, I was on the couch almost 9’ away. F4. The 2X teleconverter takes two stops of light. The light meter was set at the line under 100. No panel was used in the flash. The shutter on the LS lens was set on 1/250 for hand holding this big honking lens. A floor lamp was on situated at the right Ceiling lights were on full and it was dark outside. A torch was used to focus with.


46-3 from page 95, 400TX 165 LS, 4 on camera speed is 1/4th of a second, chimney view finder, Big pipe tripod, Vivitar 2800 flash, Blue Automatic, f8, closest focus possible at 5’1” to back of chimney. It was daytime, the lights were on, all of them. F8, 4, Blue. 400 line. Shot 6 had all of the lights turned off and it looks just the same.


47-7 from page 100. Vertical counter clockwise rotation with the flash on the bottom left. f8, Blue, 9’ away. Automatic setting on the flash.


47-9 from page 100. Vertical, clockwise rotation with the flash on the top right, f16, Manual, 9’ away, 1/250. The camera was 4148168, the lens 165LS, the camera was set on 4. The sun was up but not shining into the living room, Vivitar 2800 flash, Manual mostly, 1/250th of a second shutter, 400TX film, pentaprism TTL finder, 400 line. I wanted better focus so manual was used with f16. Ambient light played a part in this exposure. More on that later.

48-1 n

48-1 from page 103. 4148168 400TX 165LS 4 Vivitar 2800 no panel 400 line 1/250, all the lights were on.  M f5.6 75* +2  Now this is a shot taken with the flash set on Manual and the light bounced off the ceiling but it makes a good computer print and it looks like the other negatives so it may be a proper negative.

49-2 n

49-2 page 105. This film was pushed to 1600 in processing to see how dark it would get. The others were developed 9 3/4-10 min but this was 13 1/4 min. It shows. The positive looks great. The dark statue prints nicely in the PC. 400TX in 4148168 on 4 165mm LS lens, Vivitar 2800 flash, 400 line, no panel 1/250 hand held, TTL Pentaprism finder.Daylight window light was on the left, and the face was black +2 exposure at f5.6-8 with a 45 degree bounce flash on Manual.


This IS a little light as the statue is so dark. However, it is necessary in order to get the detail to show. It could be printed darker to get the paper to show more notes and the wall to be a little darker. I think that the thicker emulsions are needed to eliminate white specks. Very thin negatives look bad especially in the darks and are loaded with specks.


Pentax 6×7 Exposures Evaluations

49-10 Taken by my son
49-10 Taken by my son

April 22, 2016 This photo is pretty good, for a single bounce flash. It is very dark under the brows, but I can see the eyes, just barely, and it is dark under the chin all around the throat. The flash was aimed at the ceiling, what do you expect? What I am interested in is the condition of the shadows on the negatives and what controls them. So, this is what I intend to do. 120 negatives taken of a statue, my son, and a couple of me will be compared. 400TX is the film. We’ll look at rolls: 40, 46, 47, 48, & 49. They are all 120 400TX. Roll 45,135-24, did not have a backing that colored the pre-rinse water even if 400TX so excluded.

40-6 Blue, 200 iso line f5.6, 250, T&S, flashed (flash check?) fill lamp on couch, no panel, 0 angle, light was blocked with a notebook from the flash sensor. 90LS and the 2X teleconverter. I was tired of thin negatives and really liked this one because it was so dark. 10 min development. The flash sensor got covered.


46-3 Blue, 400 iso line f8, 125, LS shutter speed makes no difference in exposure on automatic. 4&U, 165mmLS lens. It was daytime and all the lights were on. 10 min development. Turning off the lights made no difference in the negatives.


46-9 Red, 400 iso line, f4, 250, Bounce, 45 degrees, Green, (focused at 9’) 165mmLS lens, 10 min development. Daylight. No panel in flash. This is a bounce flash and although underexposed is what I want to do. The others have the annoying flash shadow on them but are better exposed.


47-5 Manual, 400 iso line f4, 250, Bounce 60*, 165mmLS lens, I assume that processing was the same, 10 min development, although it was not noted. The sun was up but not shining into the living room. 15’ = f11. This is a +3 exposure.


47-10 Manual, 400 line, f8, 250, Bounce 45*, 165mmLS lens, 10 min development, This exposure had the lens opened one stop more than what was indicated on the flash head. +1. 15’=f11. It was day time but not bright and no direct sun inside. I wanted more depth of field so closed the lens 2 stops from that used in 47-5. I had a white shirt on.

48-1 n

48-1 All the lights were on and it was bright there. 4148168 400TX 165LS 4 Vivitar 2800 no panel 400 line 1/250. 9 3/4 min development. M f5.6 75* +2, the next shot at +1 didn’t work as well as this one did.

48-5 n

48-5 M f4 60* +3 4148168 400TX 165LS 4 Vivitar 2800 no panel 400 line 1/250 M f4 60* +3

48-7 n

48-7 M, Camera on 2, f5.6 60* 250 +2 This is pretty good, too. I just wanted to test the sync speed on the camera. The robe is whiter than in 48-5

48-8 n

48-8 M 4 f5.6 60* +2 My eye sockets are so deep they were dark in 47-10 so I kept my head up to catch the light from the ceiling bounce flash 9 3/4 min development

48-10 n

48-10 Manual, f11-8, +1, 0*, 11’ focus I set up the shot then handed off the camera to Melita who took the shot. You can barely see the shadows around the ears. All the lights were on. 9 3/4 min development

49-2 n

49-2 It is easier to print good shadow detail when there is detail in the shadows. #1 looked good until you try to make a positive out of it. 400TX in 4148168 on 4 165mm LS lens, Vivitar 2800 flash, 400 line, no panel 1/250 hand held, TTL Pentaprism finder, Daylight on left of head, face was black. 13 1/4 min development Manual +2 f5.6-8 45*

49-7 n

49-7 f8 +2 75* M bounce I stood in the doorway looking down. Darks on the negative, the light areas, do look darker as do the shadows show more grays in them. Developed for 1600 iso. Bounce distance varied so exposure was adjusted

49-10 n

49-10 +1 f8 M 75* Bounce flash I don’t know why this came out. Perhaps the extended development did work. What would a +3 look like? Try duplicating 40-6 again to see if that fill lamp really did work. Bracket on manual. Use the 165LS lens and 13 1/4 min development Turn on all of the living room lights and see if improvement occurs.

Here is a positive larger of my son in 49-7