Friday, August 29, 2008

Seven To Ten Days

Years ago, all color film was developed in one place: Kodak headquarters. At the drugstore, when someone brought in a roll of color film (“when” is the operative word here, as most film was b&w), we would say, “You should get it back in seven to ten days.”

The person who picked up the envelopes would send these to Kodak hq in Rochester NY and the processing was done there. Many years later, perhaps the late ‘60s, I had a friend who ran a photo shop in a small city. He sprung for a small color developer and did his own work – probably a few years behind the larger places. But even there, film did not have to take the long trip back and forth.

Film, for those of you in the younger set, was on a small reel with paper at each end. When you ran it out, you would remove it from the camera, lick the glued label and make the reel tight. Into the drugstore envelope it went and, days later (depending on color or b&w) it was back.

My grandfather had a Kodak 620 camera with large negative film. Made great photos, although you can do the same down with much smaller film. You opened up the camera and it had a bellows; there were settings for aperture, time and, I think, something else. It was a work of art and precision. I took many fine photos of it, including inside with no flash and outside into the sun. It’s in the hands of a trusted friend now, on long-term loan; a person who can appreciate an excellent product.


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