Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2018/07/06

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Subject: [Leica] Unusual Photo Story: A Recovered Picture
From: jshulman at (Jim Shulman)
Date: Fri, 6 Jul 2018 08:39:05 -0400

A few days ago a friend showed me his latest acquisition: a Vest Pocket
Kodak Autographic camera, which looked to be from the 1920s or so.  There
was a partially used roll of film inside, which he finished with some
snapshots in the back yard.   Visions of long-gone flappers filled the
imagination, saved on the film therein.

I told him I'd process the film, but as with any photographic film that old
getting any discernable images was a crapshoot.  I'd heard that the rule of
thumb for developing old film is lose one f-stop per each decade.  When I'd
loaded the film onto the reel (not so easy with film that had been coiled
for decades!) and sealed the tank, I took a look at the backing paper.  It
was decidedly more 50s-60s looking, and at the top include an exposure chart
with a note that Verichrome Pan is ASA 125.  That would probably peg it late
1950s and later, and the look of the backing paper reminded me of 50s/60s
Kodak product.

With that in mind I figured that the usual VP developing time in D-76 1:1
was about eight minutes, with each pushed stop adding about four minutes.
Given five decades, that would be an additional 20 minutes, the total
rounded to a half-hour.

That seemed to do the trick.  When I removed the film from the tank two
exposures taken decades ago were perfectly clear, but the recently taken
shots a vague, blurry mess.  Perhaps the camera had deteriorated in the

The picture shows a family with clothes and hairstyles of about 1965.  Why
they were using a 40 year old folding camera is an answer lost to the ages.
I have no idea who they were, or the occasion of the picture.

Replies: Reply from don.dory at (Don Dory) ([Leica] Unusual Photo Story: A Recovered Picture)
Reply from hlritter at (Howard L Ritter Jr) ([Leica] Unusual Photo Story: A Recovered Picture)
Reply from jhnichols at (Jim Nichols) ([Leica] Unusual Photo Story: A Recovered Picture)