Friday, 20 December 2013

Twenty Years Since

Twenty years ago I received my first SLR camera, a secondhand Praktica BC1, as a Christmas present. I'd had a Halina point-and-shoot camera for three or four years, which, although I used it avidly, provided fairly indifferent results. At the time, Prakticas were much cheaper than any other secondhand SLR cameras (I don't recall seeing Zenits around then) and the price differential was greater than it is now. What had provoked the desire for an SLR camera was, as a student at the time, a couple of months earlier I'd had a basic introduction to photography as part of my Foundation course in art and design.

For this introduction to photography, I shared a camera and a roll of film with four other students. I was first to have the camera and shot five full frames on the start of the roll of film. I did write notes in my sketchbook at the time, but did not make a note of either the camera used (a manual SLR, possibly a Pentax K1000) or the film (Fuji 400-PR in the rebate), or the developer (probably ID11). The photographs were shot during my lunchbreak before I handed the camera to the next student to use it. When thinking about writing this post, I couldn't remember the details of this introduction, but as I kept a diary at the time I've been able to look back at it. I had forgotten was that I was the demonstrator for the rest of the students: the photography technician had his arm in a sling, so I had to sit at the front of the class and demonstrate how to load film on a developing spiral, then load the film into a developing tank in the dark, and finally develop it while the technician explained the stages involved.

Sketchbook page, October 1993
I suspect the reason I was chosen to be the demonstrator that day was three years earlier, as part of GSCE Modular science, in a module on photography we shot and developed a roll of film with the basic darkroom we had at school. For the GCSE project, we used a rangefinder camera, and I particularly remember the rangefinder spot as a diamond, and that it seemed an arcane way to focus. I haven't been able to find the original negatives from 23 years ago, but I did later make a contact sheet (below), which shows that the film was Ilford HP5- before the 'Plus' version which was launched in 1989. I don't recall the results impressing me very much at the time, but it's possible that I retained enough of what we had done then to pick me out to demonstrate to the other students three years later.

GCSE Modular Science contact sheet from 1990
I kept my first prints from the Foundation course introduction in the sketchbook. From those precious five negatives, I printed three of them during the afternoon of the introduction, and below is the first print I made. I wrote in my diary that I was 'almost impressed' by my results and that I would 'definitely do more photography'.

Sketchbook page with my first print
The first black and white film that I shot and developed with the Praktica BC1 (actually the second film through the camera, the first had been a colour film to document a college project set over the holiday) was also for a college project. We had been given an number of words to make work in response to, and two of these that I chose were 'form' and 'analysis'. For 'form' I took a number of photographs of torsos of Greek sculpture in the British Museum and contrasted these with the trunks of trees (new scans of the negatives below). 'Analysis' gave me an opportunity to take photographs of housing being demolished along the route of the M11 link road (now the A12), which I passed on the Central Line while travelling to college every day. I continued to take photographs along the route for the rest of my course, and have collected these together as the M11 Link Road Archive.

Tree study, Praktica BC1 with Ilford HP5 Plus
Torso, Praktica BC1 with Ilford HP5 Plus
The Praktica BC1 didn't last very long: the shutter got stuck after four months, and it wasn't worth repairing (the camera cost £50, and I was quoted £60 to repair it), but I was able to buy a new body, a BCA, for £26 and keep the original 50mm lens. I used the Praktica BCA all through my following degree course and afterwards, until I bought a Canon A-1 when I first began to make some money from commissions and selling work a few years after leaving college.

Monday, 9 December 2013

127 Day - Winter 2013

Canalside Properties, Baby Ikonta, Ilford FP4
For last Saturday's 127 Day, I retraced my steps from last year, walking around the perimeter of the London 2012 Olympic Park. On this year's July 127 Day, I had used the last of my 'new' 127 format films, and also shot 35mm film cut and rolled to 127 backing paper. Since then, I'd bought a couple of expired films, one roll of Macophot UP 100 with a "develop before" date of 1/2004, and a roll of Ilford FP4 from December 1976. I had previously used 127 FP4 with a similar date with good results two years ago. I also had a roll of 828 Verichrome Pan (with a develop before date of August 1977) which I had removed from its backing paper and backed with 127 paper. 828 was one of Kodak's numerous film formats from the early 20th century, and was made well into the 1980s; the format uses unperforated 35mm film. I'd used old Verichrome Pan on a few occasions before, with mixed results. All three films were shot with the Baby Ikonta. The FP4 and Verichrome Pan films were stand developed, while the Macophot UP 100 film was developed according to the Massive Dev Chart recommendations. Of the three films, the FP4 was clearly the best, despite being the oldest film. Other than some pinholing, the film probably could have been shot at box speed, rather than at 50, which was what I rated all three films at to compensate for age.

Car Park, Baby Ikonta, Macophot UP 100
Drapers Field, Baby Ikonta, Macophot UP 100
The Macophot UP 100 had noticeably more fog, and a patterning which appears to have come from the backing paper: while hanging up after developing, I could also see the numbering from the backing paper, but this cleared on drying (this has been a manufacturing problem with a number of films in recent years). Additionally, both the Macophot UP 100 and Verichrome Pan films both had a very pronounced curl, while the FP4 was no worse than 120 film would be.

Verichrome Pan
The Verichrome Pan film had a patterning from the backing paper showing rather more than on the Macophot film and also suffered a little from light leaks. As 828 film is fairly short, this provided 12 images on the film rather than the 16 or 17 frames from conventional 127 film; the image above is from the very end of the roll with holes from the film clip for hanging.

At the end of the day, to finish the Ilford FP4 film, I returned to shoot a couple of the night photographs from two years ago, although I couldn't exactly match the second image below due to continuing work around London's Olympic site.

London 2012 Olympic Park, Baby Ikonta, Ilford FP4
A106 Eastway, Baby Ikonta, Ilford FP4

Sunday, 8 December 2013

Welta Weltini II

Weltini II with f2.8 50mm Schneider Kreuznach Xenar lens in Compur shutter
When Kodak introduced the daylight-loading 35mm cartridge in 1934 it helped to popularise the use of 35mm film for still photography. Many camera manufacturers soon produced cameras inspired by Kodak's Retina, the first camera designed for the 35mm cartridge. As the Retina was designed and built in Germany by the Nagel cameraworks in Stuttgart (acquired by Kodak in 1931), it is perhaps unsurprising that many of the early 35mm cameras inspired by the Retina were produced by Nagel's German competitors such as Certo, Balda and Welta.

Welta's 35mm cameras closely follow the development of the Retina. The first Retina model was scale-focused but was soon followed in 1936 by the Retina II, a rangefinder version. A year behind Kodak AG, Welta brought out the scale-focused 35mm Welti in 1935, and a rangefinder version, called the Weltini, in 1937. My Weltini is the second version, which although not given a different name by the manufacturers, is generally referred to as the Weltini II to distinguish the camera from the original model. The Weltini cameras were closely based on the Welti, and used the some of the same components, notably the body itself, a design decision undertaken for the economics of production. As a result of fitting the rangefinder to the Welti body, the camera is in essence turned upside down, meaning the Weltini opens from the opposite side, the advance and rewind knobs are on the camera's bottom plate, the shutter release is on the left, and the film runs left to right inside the camera (which means that the negatives read right to left in sequence, in reverse to most 35mm cameras). The left-handedness of the Weltini also seems to extend to the frame counter reset and rewind release, small levers on the back of the camera most easily operated with the thumb of the left hand. The Weltini II greatly redesigned the first version's 'bolted on' look, streamlining the whole top plate (providing space for a depth of field scale), reducing the bottom plate's profile. Some minor changes to the Weltini II also occurred during production: the body release was redesigned, the stand for vertical images was changed to fold in the other direction and the shutter release was given a sharper rim. The picture below shows the Weltini next to a Weltix, a cheaper version of the Welti.

Welta Weltix (left) and Weltini
My Weltini came with a non-working shutter, a Compur-Rapid which had the cable release socket missing, so presumably had been used to donate components to repair another shutter. I subsequently bought the Weltix camera which had a working Compur shutter with a Steinheil Cassar f2.9 lens. The Weltini had a Schneider Kreuznach Xenar f2.8 lens with a rather neat serial number: 120000 (dating it to December 1937). My intention was to simply swap the shutters, but I soon discovered that although similar, the linkages to the shutter release are different, which meant that simply replacing the non-working Compur-Rapid with the Compur shutter would mean having to use the Weltini with a cable release, or just tripping the release lever where the linkage is attached to the shutter - not uncommon to cameras from the first half of the 20th century - but the bottom folding strut is positioned just in the right place to make this difficult.

As a result of having to open the shutters and forcibly remove the linkage and release mechanism from the rest of the components (best left to those with more experience), in my clumsy attempt to put the shutters back together I didn't do a very good job on the Compur - although not tested for accuracy, the only speeds that sound near to being accurate are at 1/100th and 1/300th, which, although the Weltini camera is now working, does limit its use.

Weltini II, showing advance and rewind knobs.
The advance release button is just discernible against the gunmetal where the paint is worn away.
Having shot some film in the camera, with all the constraints of the shutter speeds taken into consideration, the Weltini is undeniably awkward in use. The nearest comparison I can make is to my Kodak Retina IIa, although it's not a fair one as the Retina IIa is a later camera, evolved from the original and contemporary Retina II rangefinder. However, thanks to the Weltini's construction, operation of the camera isn't all that smooth, mainly due to the advance knob being on the underside of the camera. There is small flat button under the lens which releases the film advance for each frame (this interlock requires the sprockets inside to be turned, either with film or manually), and when in the Weltini's ever-ready case, which has parts cut out specifically to use these controls, they are quite small and not instinctively easy to access. To add to this, the advance lever feels like it should naturally turn in the other direction than it does. One advance over the Retina is that the Weltini has a lever which resets the focus of the lens to infinity automatically while closing, and closed, the elegant design of the Weltini II's rangefinder housing and low profile advance and rewind knobs do make for a fairly smooth, if heavy, pocketable camera. For its aesthetics, I wanted to like the Weltini more than I did. Perhaps a left-handed photographer would find the Weltini II a more instinctive fit.

Sample image from Weltini II on Ilford FP4
Sample image from Weltini II on Ilford Ilfodata HS23

Sample image from Weltini II on Ilford Mark V Motion Picture film
Sources/further reading:
http://camera-wiki.org/wiki/Weltini

http://galactinus.net/vilva/retro/weltini2.html 
http://rick_oleson.tripod.com/index-174.html

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Rollei RPX 400

Rollei RPX 400 in medium format and 35mm
In my post Two Years On, I attempted to sum up the current state of black & white film production, and mentioned the wide range from Maco under the Rollei brand. I used Rollei RPX 400 for this year's 'Take Your Box Camera To Work Day' day, and as it performed well in my very basic Lumiere Scoutbox, especially in comparison with the Fomapan 400 I also used on the day, it seemed worth further investigation. I'd bought the RPX films in medium format before, in both 100 and 400 speeds, partly due to being cheap, although there are very few stockists in the UK. Discussions on internet forums around whether the RPX films are Kentmere films repackaged by Maco have elicited the information that RPX films are coated for Maco by Harman, Ilford's parent company which manufactures the Kentmere 100 and 400 budget films (see this discussion on APUG). The limited availability of the RPX films in the UK provokes the question as to whether there is some agreement over the markets for these films - notably, this page at AG Photographic redirects from RPX to Kentmere for 35mm films.

Medium format (6x9) developed in Rodinal 1:25, 9min45s at 18ºC
At the time of writing, West End Cameras is one of the few stockists of RPX films in the UK, priced at £4 a 36-exposure roll (by comparison, on the same site Kentmere 400 is £4.50; at other stockists Kentmere goes for: Silverprint £3.61; Firstcall £2.99; edit 20/2/14: Silverprint are now stocking the range of RPX films, with both RPX 400 and RPX 100 retailing at £3.60). From Macodirect, RPX 400 is €6.45 for a 35mm twin pack, which, at current exchange rates is roughly £2.75 per film. Obviously shipping from the continent is higher than UK postage; at these prices it makes sense to buy in bulk. In medium format, West End Cameras sells RPX 400 at £4.00 per roll, while from Macodirect it's €3.46, or a pack of five rolls for €16.67. (A further distinction between the two brands is that the Kentmere films are only available in 35mm, unlike the RPX films). For this post I'm only looking at RPX 400, but it would be instructive to compare the two films side by side.

Rollei RPX 400 latitude test contact sheet
Having had good results from the medium format Rollei RPX 400 I'd used previously, I decided to make some tests in 35mm. For the first roll, I tested for the film's latitude. On the contact sheet above, the first six frames are rated, left to right, 200-400-800-1600-3200-6400; the next six frames in the second row run 100-200-400-800-1600-3200; the third row was all shot at 400. The film was developed in Rodinal 1:25 for 8 minutes at 20ºC, the manufacturer's recommended time for RPX 400 at box speed. The results appear to show that the film has a good working range of latitude, although as the tests were shot in good light, a more rigorous approach would also test for latitude in poor light where I'd expect the results not to be as good.

Rollei RPX 400 at box speed, developed in Rodinal 1:25, 8 minutes at 20ºC
The next tests were to push process the film. The ability to push a film must be directly related to its latitude, as push processing is simply underexposing and then overdeveloping to compensate. I shot a second roll at 800. With Rodinal, Maco's only recommended times are for RPX 400 at box speed, while the Massive Dev Chart gives times for 400 and 800 EI in Rodinal. At 800 the Masssive Dev Chart recommends 10 minutes using a dilution of 1:50 at 22ºC; as Rodinal seems to work better at lower temperatures, I used the same time, but diluted 1:25 at 20ºC.

Rollei RPX 400, rated 800 EI, developed in Rodinal 1:25, 10 minutes at 20ºC
I also shot two rolls shot at 1600 EI. With no recommendations for developing RPX 400 in Rodinal at this rating, I extrapolated from the times given for other developers. For the first of two rolls rated 1600, I developed this in Rodinal diluted 1:25 for 14 minutes at 20ºC. As an alternative method for the second roll at 1600, I used stand development with Rodinal diluted 1:150 for three hours. This was based on the good results I'd had with HP5 Plus at 1600. The benefit of using stand development with highly dilute Rodinal is, in theory, lower contrast thanks to the compensating effect, thus countering the inevitable higher contrast inherent in push processing. The film stand developed in this way appeared to bear this out when compared with the film developed more conventionally at 1:25, although the scans below have lessened the difference, and this is more easily seen from examining the negatives.

Rollei RPX 400, rated 1600 EI, developed in Rodinal 1:25, 14m at 20ºC
Rollei RPX 400, rated 1600 EI, stand developed in Rodinal 1:150 for 3 hours
The reasons I'd originally used Rollei RPX 400 and 100 were to do with finding an alternative to the Fomapan films at a similar low price. Having taken the time to do some basic tests, the results show RPX 400 performing very well. Fomapan 400 does have a certain characteristic look that I do like, but the reason for buying Foma films has always been price. Foma also credit their 400 speed film with excellent latitude, but I have not found this to be the case when developing with Rodinal, and certainly when using a box camera with limited exposure controls -or none at all- latitude is very important (see the Massive Dev Chart's 400 ISO film test, where Fomapan appears worst in the latitude comparison). For a recent entry into the black and white film market, Rollei RPX 400 is a very welcome one, especially as it's available in both 35mm and medium format. The film has the look of a traditional cubic-type emulsion, and is quite fine-grained for its speed, in part due to the distinct softness of the grain, which also gives a smooth silvery quality to its tonality, and RPX 400 is a much better film than one might expect from its price.

Rollei RPX 400 at box speed, developed in Rodinal 1:25, 8 minutes at 20ºC
Rollei RPX 400, rated 1600 EI, stand developed in Rodinal 1:150 for 3 hours
Rollei RPX 400, medium format (6x9)
Rollei RPX 400, medium format (6x4.5) developed in Rodinal 1:50
Rollei RPX 400, medium format (6x4.5)

Saturday, 9 November 2013

Found Glass Plates

Closer inspection of the numerous boxes that I posted about as 'A box of vintage plates and paper', I found that two of the unsealed boxes had developed plates inside. One of the quarter-plate HP3 boxes contained fifteen plates, which I've scanned and posted to Flickr. The images revolve around mid-twentieth century outdoor life: mostly photographs of fish, either hanging or arranged by a gravel path, alone, or being displayed by (presumably) the proud fisherman, badly framed, and a girl in what looks like a night-dress. Then there are a couple of plates of a fallen tree, and also one apiece of a young boy, and an older man, each holding an axe over what appears to be a different fallen tree, and then two plates, one out of focus, the other with camera shake, of a man in a power boat.








See the complete set here.

Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Air Ministry Plates

Box of Panchromatic Photographic Plates produced for the Air Ministry
In my post Recent Glass Plate Work-part two I mentioned that 5x4 plates don't appear in auctions very often in comparison to other sizes. Since then I've only found one box of 5x4 inch glass plates, but one that's an interesting curiousity. The plates in the sealed box are described simply as 'Plates, Photographic Panchromatic'. The label is printed with the initials 'A. M.' which, with the crown symbol, stands for the Air Ministry; the Air Ministry existed from 1918-1964 before being subsumed into the UK's Ministry of Defence. The box has a maker's identification number ('TE12') which could be used to discover which company made the plates, but this isn't the sort of information that can be readily found on the internet. The date of coating appears to be '12/5/34' (it's just possible that the partially stamped digit is a '5' for '54' but comparing it to the '5' present, it does look like a '3'). These are the oldest securely dated glass plates I have used (the box of Mimosa Porträtyp-Antihalo plates might be older, but are not dated like this box).

As I wasn't expecting much from the plates at this age, I didn't do a test before shooting a couple of plates, on the same night as I shot some more Ilford G.30 Chromatic plates. I stand developed all the plates in Rodinal 1:150 for 1 hour 20 minutes (using the dilution of 1:150 rather than 1:100 in an attempt to keep the contrast of the night scenes down). Having low expectations, I was surprised by the results, which were a little thin, but printable. What was also notable was the backing: on most other plates I've used this washes off during the developing process. I also usually soak the plates in water before stand development for 2-5 minutes, but with the Air Ministry plates, the backing is thick and gelatinous, and during the final wash stage I had to take each plate out of the wash individually and use my fingers to rub away the backing.

Air Ministry plate, MPP Micro Technical Mk VI with Schneider Kreuznach Xenar 150mm f4.5 lens.
Scan from contact print.
Air Ministry plate, MPP Micro Technical Mk VI with Schneider Kreuznach Xenar 150mm f4.5 lens.
Scan from contact print.
After the initial results, I decided to use one plate to make test exposures in order to determine a working exposure index. The box gives no indication of the original speed of the plates, but comparing the exposures of the first two plates against the results of Ilford G.30 Chromatic plates previously shot, I reckoned the Air Ministry plates to be around half as sensitive.  For the test, I metered the scene at 6 EI, and made three successive exposures on the plate to give 6, 3 and 1.5 exposure indexes. It is a little hard to judge the results, partly as the background fog pulls up the shadow values, at 6 EI there is a lack of shadow detail, but the middle exposure at 3 EI looks to be printable (the image from the plate below is a scan from the negative).

Air Ministry plate test. Three successive exposures at 6 EI.
I subsequently shot another couple of the Air Ministry plates at night, choosing for the first plate a difficult subject with the brightly lit building against a foreground which is almost featureless; the second plate, a longer exposure to use a smaller aperture for greater depth of field (18 minutes at f8) shows more effects of age on the plate. Apart from a few spots, all the plates show marks from the cardboard runners holding the edges of the plates in pairs in the wrapping, but generally, for glass plates which might be 79 years old, the results are impressive.

Air Ministry plate, MPP Micro Technical Mk VI with Carl Zeiss Jena Tessar 16.5cm f5.3 lens.
Air Ministry plate, MPP Micro Technical Mk VI with Carl Zeiss Jena Tessar 16.5cm f5.3 lens.

Thursday, 17 October 2013

Ilford FP4 Plus

Ilford FP4 Plus in medium format rollfilm, 35mm and large format sheet film
FP4 Plus is Ilford's fine-grained medium speed complementary to HP5 Plus. Ilford introduced emulsions at different times in different formats, and according to the product index in Silver By The Ton, the earliest emulsion given the name Fine Grain Panchromatic appeared as sheet film in 1930, rated 30 ISO, with rollfilm formats following in 1935, and glass plates in 1937. The name FP4 was first used for glass plates in 1955, with the full name Fine Grain High Speed Panchromatic and a speed rating of 160 ASA (post 1960 revision in film speeds), although according to Photomemorablia this was not the same emulsion as the film version, available from 1968. The rollfilm FP4 emulsion was rated 125 ISO, which it remains to this day in its current 'Plus' iteration, introduced in 1990. (There was also an FP Special glass plate introduced in 1949, with a speed of 80 ASA). FP4 Plus is currently available in 35mm, 120, and numerous sheet film sizes.

In my post on HP5 Plus I wrote that it had been the default black and white film for me at one point, and, partly due to the kind of photographs I used to take, I tended not to use films slower than 400 ISO. This was the case for many years (when I didn't have access to a darkroom I mainly used Ilford XP2), until I returned to developing films myself. Subsequently, using Rodinal as a film developer has led me to be a little more discerning over my choice of the films due to its effects on grain, and, although I still use HP5 often, I started using FP4 around the same time.

FP4 Plus has many characteristics similar to HP5 Plus: although it is slower and finer grained, the film still possesses good latitude, and, as a traditional cubic-type emulsion, it has a similar look. The Ilford FP4 Plus technical information sheet gives a recommended range of meter settings from 50-200; it also gives development times for 'accidental exposure' at 25 and 400 EI with a couple of specific developers (on the Massive Dev Chart, there are ratings from 25-1000 EI, depending on the developer used). I've only developed FP4 Plus with Rodinal, and usually at box speed (although with my Olympus Pen EE3 half frame camera, I like the look of the film with a slight push to 200 EI). Using Rodinal, particularly in 35mm, the results I've usually liked best are those at higher dilutions, mostly at 1:50, but also I particularly like FP4 when stand developed in Rodinal diluted at 1:100. Additionally, I usually develop at sightly lower temperatures than the standard of 20ºC as this also has a bearing on the appearance of grain. With the exception of the first example below (a demonstration print made for a black & white film photography introduction), the rest of the images are scanned from the negatives.

Ilford FP4 Plus (35mm half-frame), rated 200 EI, developed in Rodinal 1:50, 25 minutes at 18ºC.
Scan from print on Ilford MGIV RC.

FP4 Plus (35mm), developed in Rodinal 1:50, 18m30s at 18ºC.
FP4 Plus (35mm), developed in Rodinal 1:25, 10 minutes at 19ºC.
FP4 Plus (6x9 medium format), shot at box speed, developed in Rodinal 1:50, 18m30s at 18ºC.
FP4 Plus (35mm half-frame), shot at 200 EI, developed in Rodinal, 1:50
Grand Palais, Paris; FP4 Plus (6x4.5cm medium format), rated 125 ISO, developed as 200 EI in Rodinal, 1:50, 24m45s at 18ºC



Sources

Silver by the Ton - A History of Ilford Limited 1879-1979, RJ Hercock and GA Jones
www.ilfordphoto.com
http://www.photomemorabilia.co.uk/Ilford/Chronology.html

Friday, 13 September 2013

A visit to the Lubitel Shop

In St Petersburg, visiting Loft Project ETAGI, at the ground floor entrance to the building, there's a shop called Photo Lubitel ('Lubitel' is the name of a Russian-made twin lens reflex camera which was the budget medium format camera of choice when I was at college nearly twenty years ago, and produced by the St Petersburg/Leningrad based factory GOMZ, later renamed LOMO). They have a website, http://b-w-foto.ru/en/, which doesn't have a lot of information in English, as more seems to be on their VKontakte site in Russian (they also have a second shop in St Petersburg, in Bolshi Gostiny Dvor). The shop had lots of FED and Zenit camera bodies, with a bargain bucket of them for 200 roubles apiece, as well as a good general range of secondhand Russian and Eastern Bloc cameras of all types. What caught my eye in one display case was a Kiev subminiature camera with a 350 roubles price ticket. Attempting to ask to see the camera, a boxed Kiev-30M was brought out from under the counter (it looked as though there were many such boxed sets in stock) for 700 roubles, although after trying it out, the advance was rather sticky, so another box was produced, this one for 750 roubles, which seemed to work fine. The first box had three rolls of Svema film inside, and, with the lack of a common language between me and the shop assistant, I bought the second box, and got them to throw in the three rolls of film from the first. Incidentally, the shop looks like a good place to buy film in the city, with a range of 35mm and medium format Foma, Ilford and Kodak films (although I wasn't buying any film, as I didn't use all I'd brought with me as detailed in my previous post).

Svema Foto 65 16mm refills

It seemed a shame not to shoot the Kiev-30M with the Svema film in St Petersburg while I was there. Inside the boxes of film, there's a sealed packet of black paper and foil containing a length of unperforated film; without a darkroom to load the film into the cartridges, I had to improvise by using the hotel wardrobe: inside, at night, with the door closed and all the lights off outside, it was dark enough to load the film. I loaded and shot both cartridges. Developing the film, on my initial inspection, it looked as though nothing had come out, but although very heavily fogged, some images were visible (the clearest image, despite heavy scratching, was at the very end of the second film, shot after my return). The best of the frames from St Petersburg are below.

Kiev-30M with expired Svema 64 film
Kiev-30M with expired Svema 64 film
Kiev-30M with expired Svema 64 film
Sources/further reading:
Soviet-era subminiature camera list on Commie Cameras
Kiev-30M variations on Fotoua.com
Kiev-30M on USSRPhoto.com