Category Archives: Film choice

Fomapan film and grain

Over the last few years I have had long discussions about the use of Fomapan film on several occasions with different people as I do use a fair few rolls of Fomapan film. These discussion typically start of with specific questions about developer dilutions and times and sometimes agitation. Often the problem is that people have excessive grain and want to make sure to avoid that in the future.


Foma Fomapan 100 @ EI 100; developed in HC-110 dilution H for 10 minutes, agitation: 2 inversions every 30 seconds
Foma Fomapan 100 @ EI 100; developed in HC-110 dilution H for 10 minutes, agitation: 2 inversions every 30 seconds

I don’t claim to be a specialist but I know from experience that when exposed correctly and developed via the standard methods, Fomapan 100, 200 and 400 does not have excessive grain at all. I think the problem is in the first part of that statement; indeed when you expose Fomapan film incorrectly, the latitude of the film is not very great and this will result in heaps of grain no matter how you develop it. I’m surprised how little attention many people pay to correct exposure, blindly following rules of thumb or their TTL light meters. If you are using the ‘sunny 16 rule’ or similar as one of the people asking me was using, you are better off using Fuji Neopan Acros 100 in my opinion as its latitude is impressive and this rule of thumb is not very accurate. But even if you are using the TTL meter of your camera you must be aware at all times how the light meter works and when it can get fooled in either over- or underexposing the photo. And it does get it wrong! I recommend to use your camera’s spot meter function and exposure locking feature or use an external spot meter and the manual mode of your camera for best possible results on Fomapan.

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Redscale film

Redscale film is easy to make if you have a dark room or a change bag: Simply take all of a C-41 film out of the canister, cut it off and tape it back, back to front, and spool it back into the canister so the film will be exposed on the wrong side. All layers of C-41 film are sensitive to blue light, so the blue layer is positioned on the top normally absorbing the blue light. The result of using redscale film is a clear colour shift to red due to the red-sensitive layer of the film being exposed first as it is now on top.
You would need to overexpose a few stops to avoid having just everything in red as overexposure allows light to reach the less sensitive green and blue layers of the film. And if you are using expired film for this, you would need to overexpose even more. It is a bit trial and error.

Shot on expired Kodak Gold 200 at EI 20 as Red Scale
Shot on expired Kodak Gold 200 at EI 20 as Redscale

Shot on expired Kodak Gold 200 at EI 20 as Red Scale
Shot on expired Kodak Gold 200 at EI 20 as Redscale

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Dancers in the fog

This year we visited the same area in the Vosges as last year. I like doing that, being able to visit the same places again under different circumstances. The old mirabelle trees that I photographed last year were still there and this year I visited the location in a thick fog.

ROLLEI PAN 25 @ EI 25; developed in HC-110 dilution G for 22 minutes, agitation: 2 inversions every 30 seconds ROLLEI PAN 25 @ EI 25; developed in HC-110 dilution G for 22 minutes, agitation: 2 inversions every 30 seconds

The fog isolated the trees completely from the background and made the trees appear like ballet dancers.

I shot this on Rollei PAN 25 film, I have no idea if this film is identical to ADOX PAN 25 film. I always assumed so but the Rollei film curled a lot more than the ADOX film so I have my doubts now.

I did get a better exposure now that I’m using my Seconic L-758D meter (spotmetered) instead of the Seconic L-308S Flashmate that I used last time. The TTL meter was suggesting all kinds of under- or overexposures so using that would have been useless in this situation.

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ADOX CHS 100 II reciprocity failure information

Now that ADOX CHS 100 II film is available on 120 format (as well as on 135 format and many, many different sizes of sheet film) it is getting really interesting. I have used a lot of ADOX CHS 100 ART on 120 format and loved the results and ADOX CHS 100 II film is said to be just as good. As a medium and large format shooter, I’m really happy that this film is now available in all formats.
ADOX provided a technical sheet for this film here, but crucially, the reciprocity failure correction information was missing. I emailed them, and they kindly obliged and provided me with the following information. I have not been able to verify any of this, I hope that you can let me know how you got on with the information below; it will certainly be a good start:

Up to 1 second, no correction required.
2 seconds: 1.5x (3 seconds)
4 seconds: 2x ( 8 seconds)
8 seconds: 2.5x (20 seconds)
15 seconds: 3x (45 seconds)
30 seconds: 4x (120 seconds)
60 seconds: 6.5x (6 minutes 30 seconds

In a graph it looks like follows (time metered on the horizontal axis versus the required exposure time on the vertical axis):

ADOXCHS100II

See also Howard Bond’s article on reciprocity departure for a really good article on the subject which is also referred to as the Schwarzschild effect.

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Scanning Large Format

I really need a better scanner that can handle the large format 4×5 inch negatives that I’m working with now, but at the moment I have no choice but to use my Epson V500 PHOTO.

For the moment I found the following solution: I scan the negative in parts and use the Photomerge feature in an old version of Adobe Photoshop Elements to stitch the parts back together.  Not a great way, probably not recommended, but so far it has done the trick. 🙂

Update: I’ve now obtained an Epson V800 PHOTO scanner and get much better results.

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Doubles

While walking around Skansen in Stockholm I had the chance to shoot some ADOX Color Implosion film and some Kodak TRI-X. As Skansen isn’t too large, we came upon the same scenes several times and I shot the same things with the different films.

ADOX Color Implosion film Kodak TRI-X at EI 400, developed in HC-110 dilution H for 11 minutes, agitation: 2 inversions every 30 seconds

This is not intended to be a comparison between colour and black and white as ADOX Color Implosion film is of course a very atypical colour film.

 ADOX Color Implosion film Kodak TRI-X at EI 400, developed in HC-110 dilution H for 11 minutes, agitation: 2 inversions every 30 seconds

Even though I enjoyed shooting the ADOX colour film and the results were fun, I probably won’t be buying it and will continue to rely on slidefilm for my colour photos and for black and white film for everything else.

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Infrared: Efke IR820 film

After having used infrared film in 2012 and earlier, I have been struggling a bit with fogging. I’m pretty sure the problem was due to the fact that it takes a while to load my Pentax 67II; my Pentax 645NII is much easier to load in a darkened room so I went back to this camera even though it meant that I had to remember to switch off the exposure data recording on the side of the negative as this also fogs the Efke IR820 film.

Efke IR820 at EI 100, developed in APH 09 1:40 for 11 minutes, agitation: 2 inversions every 30 seconds

This summer I wanted to try again, I followed the notes that I had taken for this film and used F/11 and 0.5 seconds as exposure on that fine and sunny day.

Efke IR820 at EI 100, developed in APH 09 1:40 for 11 minutes, agitation: 2 inversions every 30 seconds Efke IR820 at EI 100, developed in APH 09 1:40 for 11 minutes, agitation: 2 inversions every 30 seconds

As I was only experimenting, trying to see if I could successfully expose and develop a roll of Efke IR820 film, I only exposed a handful of negatives. Of course, then the weather changed and the clear skies and burning sun were gone.

Efke IR820 at EI 100, developed in APH 09 1:40 for 11 minutes, agitation: 2 inversions every 30 seconds Efke IR820 at EI 100, developed in APH 09 1:40 for 11 minutes, agitation: 2 inversions every 30 seconds

I didn’t want to wait too long before developing the film, so in the end I decided to expose the last frames as a normal ISO 100 film without using the Hoya R72 filter. What do you know, the results are a bit grainy for an ISO 100 film, but overall it isn’t a bad film.

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ADOX Color Implosion

A few weeks ago I picked up a few rolls of ADOX Color Implosion film and gave it a spin at the Medieval Festival at Vianden Castle last week.

ADOX Color ImplosionADOX Color ImplosionADOX Color ImplosionADOX Color Implosion

Getting back the negatives from the shop was a bit of a shock: instead of the normal orange colour cast from a colour negative, the negatives were dark red. I scanned them in raw mode and corrected the colour cast by hand, not trusting the software to get decent results when applying its standard filters it uses for normal colour negatives.

As promised the colours were all over the place and it has got lots of toxic grain! Like the web site states, it looks like a cheaply developed film incorrectly stored for 30 years and just found in an attic. No Instagram filter will come close to the results.

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Neutral density & exposure

There are probably online calculators or Apps for this, but when I’m in the field I prefer just to have a couple of printed pages where I can see the exposure to use at a glance. See here for the PDF and a far more complete version of the table below.

A typical set of Neutral Density filters consists of an ND2, ND4 and an ND8 filter which can be combined and, if combined, the resulting ND number is the multiplication of the ND numbers of the filters used. For example: Combining the ND2, ND4 and ND8 filter will result in an ND64 filter: 2x4x8=64.

Use your exposure meter (TTL or external) to get the base exposure time and then apply the filter(s) to the lens. Find the base exposure in the first column in the table below to get the exposure time to use for the ND number of the filter(s) on the lens and then apply the correction for the Reciprocity Failure of the film that you are using, if applicable. Typically this information is provided by the manufacturer of the film and usually available for download in PDF form from their site, but also see here for more details. The easiest is when the Reciprocity Failure correction is expressed in added stops so you can just use the table to skip to the correct line.

Exposure ND2 ND4 ND8 ND16 ND32
1/60 1/30 1/15 1/8 1/4 1/2
1/50 1/25 1/12 1/6 1/3 2/3
1/40 1/20 1/10 1/5 2/5 4/5
1/30 1/15 1/8 1/4 1/2 1
1/25 1/12 1/6 1/3 2/3 1 1/3
1/20 1/10 1/5 2/5 4/5 1 3/5
1/15 1/8 1/4 1/2 1 2
1/12 1/6 1/3 2/3 1 1/3 2 2/3
1/10 1/5 2/5 4/5 1 3/5 3 1/5
1/8 1/4 1/2 1 2 4
1/6 1/3 2/3 1 1/3 2 2/3 5 1/3
1/5 2/5 4/5 1 3/5 3 1/5 6 2/5
1/4 1/2 1 2 4 8
1/3 2/3 1 1/3 2 2/3 5 1/3 10 2/3
2/5 4/5 1 3/5 3 1/5 6 2/5 12 4/5
1/2 1 2 4 8 16
2/3 1 1/3 2 2/3 5 1/3 10 2/3 21 1/3
0.8 1 3/5 3 1/5 6 2/5 12 4/5 25 3/5
1 2 4 8 16 32
1 1/3 2 2/3 5 1/3 10 2/3 21 1/3 42 2/3
1 3/5 3 1/5 6 2/5 12 4/5 25 3/5 51 1/5
2 4 8 16 32 64
2 2/3 5 1/3 10 2/3 21 1/3 42 2/3 85 1/3
3 1/5 6 2/5 12 4/5 25 3/5 51 1/5 102 2/5
4 8 16 32 64 128

I realize that if the table gives you an exposure time of 6826 and 2/3 of a second, the 2/3 of a second isn’t really going to make a difference but Excel insisted 🙂

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ADOX CHS 100 II in August

I’m chuffed to let you know that ADOX is getting ready to ship ADOX CHS 100 II which they claim will be very close in characteristics to the original ADOX CHS 100 ART and will be available in the full range from 135, 120 to large format except 127 format. Because it is newly developed, it will benefit from new technologies to avoid problems with light piping (no more loading the film in the dark) and a new coating avoiding scratching the emulsion during development. See here for details.

On Monday 22 July, ADOX followed up on their Facebook page with the following statement:

Today CHS 100 II saw the dark of the coating alley. Now it has to settle and harden. After August 15th we can start cutting it up. We hope to keep “August” as a delivery date for the first rolls.

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