Using the MICROCORD and the resulting photographs

Microcord medium format camera with waist level viewfinder.
The Camera

On my last blog I wasn't sure whether to shoot black and white or colour film, my decision was made easier by the completion of my darkroom, meaning if I shot black and white I could develop my own film.

I chose Ilford HP5 400 and loaded it into the camera. Off I went to Manchester with half an idea how to use the camera. As it was a rare sunny day I tried to find splashes of light in the Architecture. I set the camera to its fastest shutter speed of 300th then all I had to worry about was the aperture. I have a phone app that acts as a light meter but decided to get readings by composing with my digital camera and transferring the settings to the Microcord. After a few shots I felt confident enough to shoot without testing light conditions first (the reason being that I want to try some street photography with this camera next time and would not have time to take light readings)

The first big major change is using the waist level viewfinder, firstly on a bright day it is difficult to see the image clearly and secondly as the image is reversed you find yourself moving the camera in the wrong direction. To be honest though this is one of the fun elements.

My biggest fail when using the camera was my inability to remember whether I had wound the film on after each shot, the answer was "no" on a few occasions resulting in double exposures. I am going to try and use this mistake to my advantage next time by purposefully not winding the film on until I am ready to take the next shot, this way I may be able to get creative and take some double exposures on purpose.

The camera and the experience was a real pleasure and I cannot wait to try it out again. Anyone who is interested in photography should try out a similar camera at some point.

Quick developing overview.

I unloaded the film in the darkroom at which point you have to load the film onto a spool (in the dark) a process which I had tried in the light with an old film so I knew what to do. For some reason I fumbled about for far too long (maybe even 10 mins or so) eventually I got the film onto the spool and into the light proof container. Next you need to wash the film, work out how much developer to mix (this is different for different films) 6.5 mins with some agitating every minute. Next fixer, stop and a wash and the film is ready to be exposed to light. Relief at this point as I can see the negatives look ok. I left the film to dry overnight excited to get up the next day to look at my results and scan the film into my computer.

The whole procedure is pretty addictive and rewarding.

#environment #cyclist #microcord

#shadows #manchester



#doubleexposure #mistake

#manchester #printworks #footballmuseum

#manchester #coffee #streetphotography

#tractor #endoffilm