Egypt & Istanbul vacation on 35mm nitrate, 1937 Kodak Panatomic X

Discussion in 'Antiques and Collecting' started by dutchsteammachine, Oct 11, 2018.

  1. dutchsteammachine

    dutchsteammachine Member

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    I am currently scanning through 10 35mm rolls, altogether containing about 300 photos.
    These rolls are Kodak Panatomic X on nitrate base, and contain photos from a 1937 trip to Egypt and Istanbul.
    The photos were taken by dutch professor v.d Plaats

    3 of the rolls are in good condition, the others in fair and bad shape. Some have a brown tint, others are turning dark. Perhaps the silver is oxidizing? the pictures are still recognizable, and hopefully with the power for digital enhancements I can get some good results out of the worse rolls.

    The rolls:
    [​IMG]

    Each roll was/is stored in its own aluminum container.

    Here is the archive, note this is a work-in-progress:
    https://www.flickr.com/photos/161307915@N03/albums/72157696452235130

    Some scans so far:
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    Scans done at 4000 DPI with Nikon Super Coolscan 8000 ED and vuescan software.

    Tell me what you think of the photos and scans!
    regards,,
    Niels
     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2018
  2. Theo Sulphate

    Theo Sulphate Subscriber
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    Wow! These are historically valuable. There is ongoing erosion (natural and as a consequence of human activity) at the Giza site. I suspect archaeologists/Egyptologists would find those photos interesting.

    Good job!
     
  3. Alan Edward Klein

    Alan Edward Klein Member

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    Wonderful shots. What's the background? How did you get possession of these?
     
  4. slackercrurster

    slackercrurster Member
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    Fantastic project. Well done. I've always loved orientalist photos. Wish I could go back in time to shoot them.

    Thanks for preserving history!
     
  5. EdSawyer

    EdSawyer Member

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    Nicely done. Keep up the good work and update with more scans as you get them done. Definitely historically significant.
     
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    dutchsteammachine

    dutchsteammachine Member

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    A video showing off some film rolls, and scanning some images!



    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    The land time forgot:

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  7. OP
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    dutchsteammachine

    dutchsteammachine Member

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    Do you know any archaeology forums where I can post my stuff? Or how I can get in contact with some organizations that might have interest.
     
  8. AgX

    AgX Member

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    The archeological sites and the respective works should be well documented, I guess. Likely they are more interesting for us than for locals or archeologists.
    Off track photos could be more interesting, though they are unlikely at a vacancy.

    I'm curious of what you will show us more.
     
  9. Theo Sulphate

    Theo Sulphate Subscriber
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    The Egyptologists Electronic Forum (EEF, http://www.egyptologyforum.org/ ) is well known, but maybe you will have better luck by contacting someone on this site:

    http://www.egyptologie.nl/
     
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    dutchsteammachine

    dutchsteammachine Member

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    Thanks, will try.

    [​IMG]
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  11. OP
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    dutchsteammachine

    dutchsteammachine Member

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    Have sent messages to relevant facebook accounts in an attempt to contact the family, but no response yet.

    The Nikon Coolscan 8000 scanner has failed, it does not want to pull the film carriers inside. I have read that the rails can be dry, so I bought new lubricant on the advice of a repairer. If this does not work, I will have to look for a replacement, maybe a 9000.

    We know with the help of someone the name of this boat:

    [​IMG]

    This is the MS Balorean. She was a Dutch ocean liner who regularly traveled between Rotterdam and the Dutch East Indies. The place is probably Port Said because it is located just before the Suez Canal.

    The film is now stored in an ammo box.
     
  12. Kino

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    Don't seal nitrate up in an airtight container. It needs to breathe, just like any other film.

    It is just flammable, not explosive UNLESS sealed into an airtight container and it starts to off-gas and decompose. The fumes from decomposition are what is potentially explosive.

    Cool, dry and away from any heat source.
     
  13. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber
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    Panatomic-X was introduced in 1938 and was a safety film, ie not a Nitrate base, as were Super-XX and Tri-X.

    These images are on Panatomic film which is a different film.

    Ian
     
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  15. AgX

    AgX Member

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    Not quite...
    Balorean sounds englisch at best, but not Dutch at all. I looked it up and it was instead spelled Baloeran, which to me sounds indoneese. Which would make sense again.
     
  16. Kino

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    Well, I took for granted that the NITRATE edge marking was on the film (why else would you call it Nitrate?), but in looking at the video, I don't see that. I DO see edge markings that show the film was manufactured in 1936, but no Nitrate edge markings at all.

    Still, don't store it in an airtight container!
     
  17. Ian Grant

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    You might have misread what I meant. The OP stated the films are Panatomic-X which they aren't as it wasn't available in 1937, more importantly the cans are actually marked Panatomic which is an earlier film..

    Safety film normally had that included in the edge markings, some early safety films also break down but don't spontaneously combust like Cellulose Nitrate based films.

    The OP should contact Kodak and ask what base Panatomic film used, it's not mentioned in the books/adverts I have, and also what precautions to take. I worked in silver recovery and we dealt with Nitrate film, in fact the company had taken over a company whose premises had burnt down due to a fire caused by Cellulose Nitrate cine film it wasn't covered by insurance.

    Ian
     
  18. OP
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    dutchsteammachine

    dutchsteammachine Member

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    I dont know where I ever got the 'Panatomic-X' from, I must have confused thoughts.

    The film edge indeed states 'Panatomic' and 'Nitrate'
    See the video at 3:54 where the edge states 'Nitrate'
     
  19. Kino

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    Well, I am sitting on over 140 million feet of nitrate in 124 vaults and handle at least a few features a week of the stuff, so I do know about it and it's properties, but you are right about finding out for sure what base this film stock is coated upon.

    Motion picture stock had very standard and established edge markings by that date, and I was using those edge markings (maybe misguidedly), but I would think Kodak would tend to use them uniformly across their products, but I might be wrong.

    Here's what I could find in a quick search ...

    panatomic.jpg
     
  20. Kino

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    OK, now I see it. You indeed have Panatomic motion picture stock repurposed as still film and it IS nitrate.

    I am at work and don't have a lot of time to scan the videos...
     
  21. Kino

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    Here's something else I found...

    Seems it was used both as still and motion picture stock.

    panatomic-x.jpg
     
  22. peanuts252

    peanuts252 Subscriber

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    You might have success in reaching out to someone at Leiden University's Archeology Department. They're one of the best Antiquities departments in Europe. Specifically, you should reach out to Peter Akkermans, their Near Eastern specialist. He'll probably have a grad student who would love to scan those negatives on a Flextight or something of the like.
     
  23. Kino

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    Sorry for the sporadic posts, and I'll have more time to try to research this later, but it will be interesting to see if we can determine if Panatomic (x) came out as a motion picture stock first, later or simultaneously with public offerings of prepackaged still film.

    There is a good chance it is simply motion picture film bulk loaded from short ends. That's pretty much how the Leica and other "miniature" film cameras came into being; using motion picture stock.
     
  24. OP
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    dutchsteammachine

    dutchsteammachine Member

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    I can say the rolls have 35mm photo camera frame numbers, usually from 0, -1 to 36-38. One roll has frame numbers up to 64, might be more, not sure.

    I think the rounded-off sprockets are an indication of motion picture stock.
     
  25. Kino

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    Interesting about the frame numbers. Do they appear to be latent numbers (constant density consistent with the edge name and date symbols) or do they vary in density with each exposure?

    If they are part of the latent edge data on the film, that is an edge marking I haven't seen before, but has to be specifically for the still photo market, as Standard Cine frames are vertically oriented and only 4 perforations high (on one side), not 8 perfs and horizontal. Much later, the Vistavision Format used 8 perf images (horizontal) in motion pictures, but in 1938, it was almost assuredly a still camera. It was probably a Leica, but that's an unsubstantiated supposition...

    As for the perforations, B&H perforations, or "Barrel" perfs were the predominant means of perforating all forms of film from about 1909 to 1947 or so when the more rectangular KS (Kodak Standard) perforation became standard for motion picture positive and still film use. That's a greatly simplified history, but generally true.

    Just the history of film perforations and edge markings is very complicated; especially in the years from 1897 to 1920 or so...
     
  26. Ian Grant

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    Yes Panatomic-X is listed twice in the 1938 BJP Almanac, as a still film 35mm roll film & sheet film, it doesn't say it's a safety film however a Kodak Ltd catalogue printed a year later does and also includes Tri-X only available as sheet film. It's also listed as a motion picture film on a later page. Kodak claim it's a significant improvement in terms of fine grain compared to Panatomic.

    Ian
     
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