Shooting Film Follies 2009

2009_003_05.jpgA quick update on my commitment to shoot film with my M6 prior to springing for an M9. Well, I finally got the kinks worked out of my development process and tools, so I am ready to go. Remember the first two rolls I sent through? Almost decade old TMZ and TRI-X? I found the answer of what was going wrong - it wasn't me. The tank I was using had developed a crack that was invisible for the most part but not invisible to the film. I did the latest roll with a larger different tank and no more giant fog and "opened the camera back" look.

I did order a replacement small batch tank and a bunch of fresh film. I ordered some fresh stuff in both medium format and 35mm. I figured if I am going to fire up the wet process there was no reason to just shoot with the M series. I will give my medium format film stuff some exercise as well. This is actually fun. The images included with the post are two frames from the beginning of that last roll that didn't have any obvious faults. Again 7 or 8 year old TRI-X that I had never processed. There are actually a bunch of frames that have some potential. I wonder why I chucked this roll to the side way back when? Most likely I got busy with commercial stuff and didn't have a slot for the the film type/developer for it and forgot about it.

For anybody that is remotely curious the developer that I have been using is Pyrocat HD in2009_003_03.jpg glycol. I have a bit of experience with it in the past and now that it comes premixed in glycol it should keep extremely well - the glycol doesn't do anything but preserve the stock solutions better than water but that is important if I am not going to be doing high volume work. The liquid kit cost about $30 and makes 50 liters of working solution. For my uses that is about 100 rolls of film. I could probably double that if I change my process a bit but 500 ml is about the practical limit for a single roll of film in my setup. So I guess the price is about 30¢ a roll - not too extravagant.

The fresh films that I ordered are Kodak TRI-X 400 (TX), TRI-X 320 (TXP), TMAX 100 (TMX), TMAX 400 (TMY), and Efke R100. For the uninitiated, the TX and TXP are completely different films - both wonderful - but Kodak should have probably named them something completely different. The only thing they have in common is spectral response. The TMX is one of my go to films, the TMY is the new version that I have never tried so I am going to calibrate it and see what I think - just in case TRI-X goes away or maybe I will be surprised and find that I love it for some reason. The R100 is to see if this is actually the same really old style stuff that gives me results like Veripan - I tried some of it a long time ago and it had a really nice scale so we will see.

RB

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