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Roger Hicks -- Author of The Rangefinder Book

Roger Hicks is a well known photographic writer, author of The Rangefinder Book, over three dozen other photographic books, and a frequent contributor to Shutterbug and Amateur Photographer. Unusually in today's photographic world, most of his camera reviews are film cameras, especially rangefinders. See www.rogerandfrances.com for further background (Frances is his wife Frances Schultz, acknowledged darkroom addict and fellow Shutterbug contributor) .


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Smell-O-Vision
Old 10-18-2011   #1
Roger Hicks
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Smell-O-Vision

What smells are photographically evocative for you? Fixer, of course. But what prompted this thread was the hot smell of the hot lights on my Kaiser copying stand. Fresh film. A new box of paper. Then there's the semi-cured leather of FSU camera cases. And as Frances says, the lingering smell of developer on your fingers, even after you've washed your hands.

Any more?

Cheers,

R.
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Old 10-18-2011   #2
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The canvassy smell of my recently new Billingham 225, and the more musty whiff from my used Billingham S3.
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Old 10-18-2011   #3
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Ah; the taste of a madeleine cake dipped in fixer ...
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Old 10-18-2011   #4
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For me, fresh film. Nothing like it to get the creative juices flowing.

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Old 10-18-2011   #5
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Yeah, for me it's the smell of the film when you first pop the canister open.
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Old 10-18-2011   #6
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The oil/lubricant of old cameras.
Smells a bit like weapon oil...
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Old 10-18-2011   #7
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Quote:
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The oil/lubricant of old cameras.
Smells a bit like weapon oil...
One of the worst smells I can think of is 90W Gear Oil...yuck...
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Old 10-18-2011   #8
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Fixer and Stop Bath are just smells that come with film developing or printing...as much as I dislike the smell of Kodak's Indicator Stop Bath I do get a whiff of it when I mix it for printing...I know my nose will be offended but I still do it...
Smelling the back of your camera...hoping to detect if a roll of film is in there...

I have this Tamrac Camera case/backpack that stores my Zone VI 4x5 view camera...
When I unzip it it has this scent/smell that's unique to this bag & camera...I'm not sure what it is but it's been there as long as I can remember...

Do any of you old timers remember the smell from a print dryer when the fiber based print wasn't fully washed of fixer...??? Ahh...good times...
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Old 10-18-2011   #9
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The smell of some old camera coverings (decaying leather / glue combo?) can take me right back to times as a very young child playing around with an ancient folder of some sort (Kodak perhaps) that my maternal grandparents had. For some reason I loved the smell of that old thing as much as just handling it.
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Old 10-18-2011   #10
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Oooh... ahh!

Scent of a woman for sure!
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Remembered smells
Old 10-21-2011   #11
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Thumbs up Remembered smells

Quote:
Originally Posted by Keith View Post
Oooh... ahh!

Scent of a woman for sure!

Go with Keith on that one

I can still remember the smell of the packing as I opened my new OM1 all those years ago (but prefer to remember Keiths )
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Old 10-18-2011   #12
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90-weight gear oil is NOT small arms weapon greas ...

i love the smell of new film in the morning. smells like ... photography.
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Old 10-18-2011   #13
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The smell of fix always makes me hungry.
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Old 10-18-2011   #14
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I don't really like the smell of fixer- especially the smell left over on my hands. I guess the dislike has waned over time- it doesn't bother me too much anymore. or I'm losing my sense of smell... I never knew that fresh film had a smell!


for what it's worth, my M2 smells awful. but that shouldn't be a surprise because it's probably a bacteria haven. maybe it's time for a bath...
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Old 10-18-2011   #15
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Not to be too damn cheesy but the smell of fresh air going out and about looking for things to take pictures of.
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Old 10-20-2011   #16
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Quote:
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Not to be too damn cheesy but the smell of fresh air going out and about looking for things to take pictures of.
Same here.
I'd take the smell of fresh Autumn or Spring air over any smells associated with photography.

I don't like fixer smells, I don't like ammonia smell from sepia toner, I don't like the smell of lith developer.

In fact, I'm going to spend money on a good exhaust fan when I'm finally ready to do my darkroom in the new house.
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Old 10-18-2011   #17
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Quote:
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I use one of those regularly! Love the sound, but it does make me have to pee sometimes. Usually when I can't open the door yet... sorry, was that an over-share?

Smells: fresh film and FSU leather cases.

My main experience with FSU cases is watching them turn green in the wet Brisbane summers!
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Old 10-18-2011   #18
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Quote:
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My main experience with FSU cases is watching them turn green in the wet Brisbane summers!
Yes, they can rot out rather quickly, but they smell like the baseball mitt I had as a kid. In little league I was a right fielder, so I really didn't have much to do out there except smell my mitt.
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Old 10-18-2011   #19
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Bleach, trichloroethane, Perchloroethylene and sulfur.

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Old 10-19-2011   #20
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Imagine your favorite camera wrapped in baseball glove leather...
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Old 10-19-2011   #21
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Cocoa butter: reminds me of girls in bikinis and the beach where I grew up. (and still live) Nothing for me is as evocative.
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Old 10-20-2011   #22
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The smell of new leather... I just opened up my new shoes (Dr. Martens 1461 For Life in Oxblood) yesterday and my house is now full of the aroma. I need to break them in, and what a better way to do so than going out and shooting a roll of Tri-X through my P?
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Old 10-20-2011   #23
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The one, the only, the original.....ODORAMA!


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Old 10-20-2011   #24
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Flies in the hot lights. Instant incineration, and the smell of my studio for years.
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Old 10-20-2011   #25
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The smell of stale cigar smoke in an old camera case bought on Ebay.
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