WEEK 4, The Kodak No1 Pocket JNR,
Forgive any grammatical errors, I have no wifely to check this week!
I had picked up the folder a few days before to give me a chance to get a feel for it and give it a clean. My first proper folder! There were many makes, models and variants to choose of his shelf but this ran 120mm and looked in good nick. This model from around the mid to late 20s we think had shutter speeds of 25/50/100th – aperture ran from f6.8 to f32 and focused with a ring distance finder marked 6ft up to 100ft…slow then! I practiced loading with spare backing paper and found the spring holders and single pin on the advance knob left a slackness in the film roll, the only thing keeping the two ends apart was the folding section when you refitted it.
I loaded the first film. Ilford HP5 thinking the 400 speed would give me more flexibility with my vintage clip on yellow filter hood combo. I decided to run it as aperture priority fixed 100th speed. First shot I set up purposefully got all my stings right and clipped on the hood, click! One of the 8 in the bag! Damn, the clip had spun the focus ring way out – note to self…. I won??™t bore you with every shot but 2 and 3 took an hour of dedicated labour involving stepping back to assure the tripod mounted camera was in fact level, attempting to nail the settings and trying to frame where I thought the oncoming ship would end up! The waist level viewfinder perched by the lens is about 10mm by 15mm, clear but tiny! I found myself actually doing the square finger framing trying to visualise the 9x6 frame. This continued through the short roll. I developed it in rodinal, Stand for 1 hour, a safe option which would give me a starting point. The results were good, I had low expectations and fully accepted there would be light leaks etc. there was, but the images were good – very good! I was pleased!!!!!
Roll 2, I debated whether to run a colour but I felt I had unfinished business and loaded an FP4+, risky slow film given Sundays forecast. I gaffered all possible light leaks and set off to the moors, shot 3 landscapes with due care then drove to Meavy river/bridge to try some slower shots, set at 1/25th , tripod in failing light deep in a wood! The last frame had dropped below the levels of the camera but I took it anyway. Home and straight in the tank, this time I tried a new developer fo r me, Ilfosol 3, I chose weaker option and took 30 seconds of the advised times. I held my breath but the negs looked light! Thin! I need not have worried once scanned they were beyond my expectations. Depth, detail with nice exposure levels, I was very happy.
To sum up I liked shooting this old lady, it was deliberately slow yet satisfying. You could throw money at it to cure the leaks but as a cheaply priced camera as many folders are just good old gaffer tape and care will do the trick giving a nice cheap entry into medium format. I got great satisfaction from just 16 frames, and I will add I learned something about my own photography processes along the way, a most rewarding experience, I will definitely be adding a folder to my brood!
Please click on the photo to lots more from this Kodak