Fur Brigade Trail (No. 10-3, 11-4, 11-6) Peachland, British Columbia, Canada, September 2018. Copyright © Gary Nylander. Digitized from 2 1/4 x 3 1/4 negative. Baby Speed Graphic, 101 mm Kodak Ektar lens.
Several years ago I purchased a baby Speed Graphic along with a number of other photographic items. The camera once belonged to a well-known newspaperman, Alec Merriman of Victoria, B.C. Included was 3 boxes of old film (expired 1965), 2 1/4" x 3 1/4" Kodak Royal Pan (400 ASA), each box containing 25 sheets, one box was half used, the other two never opened. The camera came with a couple of film holders and a third holder that held 12 sheets and by "shuffling the deck" a new sheet of film was dropped into place by pulling a level after a photo has been taken.
After a long period of procrastination, I decided to load up the old film holders and take it out for a walk with my sister and her partner who came to visit with me. We walked along the beautiful and historic old fur brigade trail that runs between Peachland and Summerland in the Okanagan Valley of British Columbia, Canada. The trail is known for its spectacular views of the lake and valley. I shot more than a dozen sheets of film, some of the view and others in a lovely little-forested area dotted with some small gnarly birch trees.
After my guests had left I processed the film in Kodak HC-110 film developer, dilution "B", aside from some overall fog and some edge fog, where the box might have been opened at some point, I was able to make some quite nice usable pictures, despite the film being quite grainy. At some point, I will shoot the remaining film to see what that yields. The images posted here were copied with a macro lens on a digital DSLR camera and then enhanced in my daylight darkroom (aka computer).
When I have used up the old film I will have to source out some new film of that size ( 2 1/4" x 3 1/4"), I think Ilford sells it as a special. A 120 roll film adapter would be handy, but apparently, my old speed graphic has an unusual back so there are not many roll film adapters around that fit it. The lens looks sharp, the rangefinder seems accurate and the shutter speeds are all working along with the aperture. So its worth using the camera and making some possibly great pictures with it.