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Found Film: Kodak UltraMax 400 in a Canon EOS Rebel 2000

I found an expired and partially exposed roll of Kodak UltraMax 400 35mm film in Dad's old Canon EOS Rebel 2000/EOS 300.

Several years ago Dad sent me his Canon Rebel EOS 2000 35mm film camera. I was surprised when the package arrived in the mail and called Dad for an explanation. He explained that he wanted to upgrade his Canon to digital and wanted me to find out what needed to be done. I was confused by this request. I explained to Dad that his camera was a 35mm consumer film camera, and that conversion was not possible. After some questioning, we both came to realise what had caused Dad to think could modify his film camera to be a digital camera.

Canon used the EOS Rebel 2000 branding for the United States market, but the camera was sold internationally as the EOS 300 and EOS Kiss III in Japan. The Canon Rebel EOS 2000/EOS 300 came with a Canon EF28-80mm f/3.5-5.6 II kit lens. The Rebel EOS 2000/EOS 300 was a consumer-level 35mm single-lens reflex camera produced from 1999 to 2002 and sold exceedingly well and dominated its market sector.

Canon EOS 300
Canon EOS 300. Ansgar Koreng / CC BY-SA 4.0

When Canon moved their EOS product line to digital, they kept the naming convention. The original Canon EOS (Electro-Optical System) product line was a set of autofocus single-lens reflex (SLR) cameras introduced in 1987. In 2000 Canon released a new line of digital single-lens reflex (DSLR) cameras with EOS Rebel branding. In 2012, Canon introduced a line of mirrorless-interchangeable-lens (MILC) cameras using the EOS M naming convention. Canon put the letter “D”, for digital, after the model number to designate the model as a digital model. These newer cameras used a new EF-S electronic system, but existing EF lenses were compatible with the more contemporary EF-S mount. In 2003, Canon introduced the EOS 300D marked in the USA as the EOS Digital Rebel and Japan as the EOS Kiss Digital. It seems that Canon likes reusing product names.

Canon EOS 300D
Canon EOS 300D. Sven Storbeck, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Because the camera model had the number 2000 confused Dad, he had probably read that the 2000 cameras were digital. Unless you are a savvy consumer, it is easy to get confused, and my Dad was probably in his early stages of Lewy body dementia. Dad was disappointed, but he told me to keep the camera. I advised him to buy a good quality smartphone.

Last year while cleaning out my photography clutter, I found Dad's Rebel EOS 2000/EOS 300 in a box with a partially exposed 36 exposure roll of Kodak UltraMax 400 (35mm) Colour Negative Film still in the film chamber. I think Dad exposed about 10 of the frames. Storing the camera in the basement all those years was not a good idea. The camera body and lens had a lot of dust, and the lens looked a bit “cloudy”. I popped in a new battery anyway and spent a week shooting the remaining frames. I assumed the film roll had been in the camera since Dad sent it to me, but I was curious about whether the unexposed frames were usable.

They were not. I sent the roll of film to The Darkroom for developing and scanning. Only a few frames were remote usable. Those are the ones I have included here. The interesting and perhaps exciting bit of finding exposed film is doing the detective work to understand the "who/what/when" of the revealed images after the film roll is developed.

It seems that when Dad exposed this roll, he was in St. Vincent, our homeland, during the yearly Carnival in July. St. Vincent carnival combines European carnival traditions with the religious customs of freed West African slaves. Vincy Mass is the biggest festival in St. Vincent and the Grenadines. The celebration starts in the middle of June, culminating in a Monday and Tuesday in July. The main town, Kingstown, is filled with street parties, calypso and steel pan performances, and costume parades. The last two days of Vincy Mas are Mardi Gras and J'Ouvert, a contraction of the French term Jour Overt meaning early morning. J'Ouvert runs from midnight to dawn. I don't know who the people are in the photos below, but those are Carnival "revellers" dressed in costume for what must have been a parade.

Canon EOS Rebel 2000 | EF28-80mm f/3.5-5.6 II | Kodak UltraMax 400

The photos below are of our family home's backyard. The house is on Dorsetshire Hill Road just east of Kingstown harbour. In one of the frames, probably taken from the veranda at the front of the house, you can see Kingstown Harbour. The back lawn used to be lush with a yard full of trees when I was a child.

Canon EOS Rebel 2000 | EF28-80mm f/3.5-5.6 II | Kodak UltraMax 400
Canon EOS Rebel 2000 | EF28-80mm f/3.5-5.6 II | Kodak UltraMax 400
Canon EOS Rebel 2000 | EF28-80mm f/3.5-5.6 II | Kodak UltraMax 400
Canon EOS Rebel 2000 | EF28-80mm f/3.5-5.6 II | Kodak UltraMax 400

Author: Khürt Williams

human being, information security architect, avid photographer, nature lover, F1 fanatic, drinker of beer.

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