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Site news archive - October 2017 (Click here for current)

2017 October 30

Fujichrome Velvia 50 (35mm)
AF Nikkor 70-210mm f/4-5.6

This autumn season has mostly been green foliage and late color transition; around the 23rd I noticed many of the trees had suddenly changed, but not the oaks. Because of the weather, there could be color well into November this year again.

2017 October 20-22

The weather has definitely been a factor in this season's autumn foliage, so as yet I haven't seen a whole lot of great autumn color.  There's always "that one tree" here and there, but many of them have leaves already browning at the edges.  And the rest... are still green!  In fact, this is about the greenest the trees have been this time of year, pretty much ever.

The oaks don't change color until relatively late in the season, but even those seem to be about one to two weeks delayed.

Meantime I've got a bunch of metalworking-related stuff that I've been wanting to put up here, so hopefully I can get that posted soon. 

A number of people have asked me about the Sangean WR-11 radio with external antennas.  The main point is that you don't need a long-wire antenna or aerial to get enhanced reception;  you can just use one of those tabletop-style inductive loop antennas that I've mentioned here and there on the site.  It just sits next to the radio.  That said, a long-wire antenna can work, but finding a place to string it can be a challenge. I have been wanting to do some articles on long-wire antennas, so perhaps I'll give that a go soon.

2017 October 11

Color Film

A reader tried the techniques I mentioned in the C-41 shelf life articles (here and here) and obtained very good results.  How about this: "The first roll I developed was in April 2016 and the last roll in October 2017. In conclusion... the chemicals can be used for more than a year (up to 1.5 years!), if you develop 2 rolls per month."


Note here that a lot depends on how many rolls you develop.  When I did the original test, I really put the C-41 chems through their paces, because not only were they 4-5 months old, but also I developed something like 22 to 24 rolls of film with them. 

I posted this photo a while back, but it's noteworthy because this was somewhere around roll #20 and four months;  the chems were still able to produce color differentiation between the reds and blues.  (You need that for a good sunset!!)  Once it got to the next roll a month later, suddenly it wasn't doing that anymore;  the red-spectrum was pretty much gone.  But if you don't reach the number of rolls where it depletes, it's at least possible that the chems could last up to 18 months!

So, as long as you store the solutions so that air and heat can't work on them, the loss of developing strength seems to be more a function of "number of rolls" than shelf life in the fridge.  Which is pretty awesome, because that means you don't have to wait to mix your C-41 until you have a wheelbarrow full of film to develop.  Do this right, and you can just sort of shoot film as you go, developing whenever it's convenient.  Even if it were 4-5 months only, that would still be way more shelf life than anyone expected from the Unicolor kit.

Be sure to read the basic C-41 dev article for additional precautions on storing your developing chems;  basically, don't put them where someone could mistake them for a beverage (you knew that, though...)

2017 October 9


In the days of using paper calendars, it seemed I always knew what day it was. Now with everything electronic, you'd think it would be easier than ever to keep track.  And yet I posted October 8 when it's actually October 9.

This calls for an Ansel Adams 2018 wall calendarThis calendar, featuring clouds in color (not an Ansel Adams) is also tempting.


By this time of year there's normally bright autumn foliage.  That's just starting to appear in the maples.  We've had some unusual weather leading up to this, to say the least;  ninety degrees in September, etc.  A while back I tried to figure out how the weather affects autumn foliage.  Mainly, I think, the colors require mild-but-sunny days and chilly nights through September and October. 

Good autumn colors are in some way an indicator of normal climate and weather, I think.


Couple things I just noticed;  no idea how long these deals will last.

Blendtec Total Blender Classic currently 31% off.

Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron Skillet currently 78% off.

Victorinox Huntsman II Swiss Army Knife - few dollars off, at the moment.  Such a tool won't directly protect you from hypothermia on your autumn walks, but it takes up very little space and is sure good to have along if you need some basic tools.

Nikon D3400 certified refurb with AF-P 18-55 VR and 70-300mm lenses.  90-day manufacturer warranty. 

Lotos Plasma Cutter and stick / TIG welder.  This will cut 1/2" plate with no problem, according to the specs;  however I haven't tried this unit.  As a stick welder it can output 200 amps DC, which means you can use it with everything up to and including 1/8" 7018 on thick steel.


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