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Switzerland

A Film Tear

Anything that can go wrong will go wrong.

As I wrote last week, the Horizon S3 U-500 is a panoramic film camera developed by Zenit near Moscow. The camera has a swing-lens that moves from left to right to expose a 120° angle on 35 mm film. Using slow shutter speeds, e.g. ½ of a second, there is a noticeable lag during the exposure of the picture. The left side of the photo is exposed earlier than the right side. The resulting picture however still appears to show a frozen moment that supposedly corresponds to the facts of the scene. Is it true or false?

Metaphysics aside, I actually thought that I had sealed a light leak of my camera. But yesterday the film (Ilford FP-4+) came out exposed with light that didn’t all come through the swing-lens only. It might have been the consequence of a tear of the film in camera. So in short, everything that can go wrong did go wrong. Nevertheless, here are some of the exposures.

Landscape in a nature reserve at river Aare in Switzerland. Ilford FP-4+ film developed in Rodinal.

Instead of scanning the negatives using a flatbed scanner – which is a pain due to dust and the length of time needed – I photographed the negatives using a macro lens on the DSLR. Nikon sells a film scanning adapter (ES-2 for the 60 mm macro), but I “built” my own.

Scanning film negatives using a DSLR and macro lens.

For the one with the swan, I placed a piece of paper back-illuminated and closely behind the negative to add paper structure to the film.

Landscape with swan at the river Aare. Ilford FP-4+ film developed in Rodinal 1+50 for 12 minutes.

After a few frames, there was a film tear. I had to wait to return home to take the film out of the camera.

A light leak in the Horizon S3 U-500 panoramic camera.
Film tear.

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