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Here's one more feature to add to the awesomeness of the Sprocket Rocket - dead simple redscale shots.

Background

Redscale is a film technique where you shoot through the back of the film. When you shoot through the back of the film, the light passes through the substrate first, then the red-sensitive layer, then the green-sensitive layer, and finally the blue-sensitive layer. This is backwards from the normal order, so pictures take on a reddish, orange-ish, yellowish, greenish look depending on the length of the exposure.

Traditionally, there are two approaches to shooting redscale. One is to turn the film upside-down in the canister. The other is to turn the canister upside-down in the camera. Turning the film upside-down in the canister is a bit tricky and needs to be done in complete darkness. Turning the canister upside-down in the camera requires a special camera.

One side-effect of shooting 35mm film in a camera designed for 120 film is the ability to load the film upside-down to shoot redscale, but even then you have to remove the film in a dark place. In most 35mm cameras, the canister chamber is designed so that you can’t accidentally put the film in upside-down, which brings us to our tipster…

The Sprocket Rocket’s Dirty Little Secret

The Sprocket Rocket doesn’t have a safety feature to prevent you from accidentally putting the film in the camera upside down. So, all you need to do is reshape the leader on the film so that you can slip it into the slot on the take-up spool.

The Tip

First, cut off the leader like this:

Flip it upside-down and use it as a template to cut a new leader.

You want to end up with an upside-down leader like this:

Now, for the magic! Just put the roll in upside-down like this:

Wind it on as usual and replace the back.

Important Note: Cover the film information window on the left with black electrician’s tape. If you don’t cover the window, you will get strong light leaks like this:

Shooting

Shoot in lots of light and use a fast film. My examples were on a slightly cloudy winter day, using 800 ASA film, with the aperture set to “Cloudy”. As you can see, they still came out underexposed. I think I could have gotten away with using a tripod, “B” setting, and operating the shutter quickly, or “N” setting and operating the shutter multiple times. 1600 ASA color film would not be overkill, but good luck finding it.

Examples

written by gvelasco

17 comments

  1. kiwikoh

    kiwikoh

    Cool!

    almost 4 years ago · report as spam
  2. vicuna

    vicuna

    cool tipster!

    almost 4 years ago · report as spam
  3. wuxiong

    wuxiong

    Hahahaa, cool tipster. It seems that I haven't understtod my Rocket well enough... <:))

    almost 4 years ago · report as spam
  4. ricah_018

    ricah_018

    more reason for me to want a sprocket rocket >.<

    almost 4 years ago · report as spam
  5. natalieerachel

    natalieerachel

    Would this work if I tried it with a Diana Mini? :O
    I'm not sure if the back would close if I flipped the canister over.

    almost 4 years ago · report as spam
  6. novakmisi

    novakmisi

    great idea, I thing its working also with a smena 6 ! : ))

    almost 4 years ago · report as spam
  7. willyboy

    willyboy

    Some jubbly stuff there.

    almost 4 years ago · report as spam
  8. blormore

    blormore

    Great tipster! I now magically have 20 rolls off redscale in the fridge! :)

    almost 4 years ago · report as spam
  9. gvelasco

    gvelasco

    @natalieerachel: This does not work with the Diana MINI.

    @novakmisi: This "kind of" works with my Smena 35, but the geometry of the insides is just a bit off. The rewind knob is left sticking out and when you try to rewind it, it can turn the canister so that the film jams between the film and the "lip" of the canister. With the Smena 6, you don't have to rewind, so this should work beautifully. That makes the Smena 6 a redscale machine!

    almost 4 years ago · report as spam
  10. peropero

    peropero

    THIS IS AMAZING!
    cant wait til i get my sprocket next week!! :D

    almost 4 years ago · report as spam
  11. mailesmiley

    mailesmiley

    That's AMAZING! I need to get me some!!!

    almost 4 years ago · report as spam
  12. kylethefrench

    kylethefrench

    also this works like a dream with the diana and I actually published a tip about it coming up, the fun with the holga and deana version is that if you just have the 120 back then you dont need to cut anything, im excited to try this with the rocket though

    almost 4 years ago · report as spam
  13. kylethefrench

    kylethefrench

    yeah also the sprocket does need A LOT of light

    almost 4 years ago · report as spam
  14. gvelasco

    gvelasco

    The difference here is that you can rewind the film. When you do this with a 120 camera - Diana, Holga, etc, you have to remove the film in a dark room or changing bag. This particular trick does not work with the Diana+ 35mm back. I've tried this with every camera I have and it's extremely rare to find a 35mm camera that lets you put the film in upside-down - let alone be able to rewind it. I have a 35mm pinhole kit that I modified slightly for this to work on. It also "kind of" works with my Smena 35, but the film can get stuck and the rewind lever sticks out. As someone mentioned, this will work with a Smena 6 (and earlier) because you don't have to rewind. But, that's about it for 35mm cameras.

    almost 4 years ago · report as spam
  15. pangmark

    pangmark

    great examples

    over 3 years ago · report as spam
  16. bokiopaki

    You said "My examples were on a slightly cloudy winter day, using 800 ASA film, with the aperture set to “Cloudy”. As you can see, they still came out underexposed." Did you use N or B setting? Do you think that with an 800 ASA film, on aperture set to "Cloudy" on a bright sunny day I could use N setting and get good exposition?
    over 3 years ago · report as spam
  17. gittlob

    gittlob

    I have just tried this in the back garden - fingers crossed!!

    over 3 years ago · report as spam

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This is the original article written in: English. It is also available in: Deutsch.