As loyal readers already know, at the beginning of December I faced (after almost 15 years) traveling exclusively using film cameras only. In this post I showed the equipment that I planned to use. Furthermore, I also had an Olympus OM10 with three Zuiko lenses (28, 50 and 135mm) as a backup just in case. Once in Munich (Bayern), I bought a nice Olympus OM2n, accompanied by a Zuiko 35-70mm f/3.5-4,5 and a Tokina RMC 24mm f/2.8. The films I used were Ilford XP2 Super 400, Kodak T-Max 400 and Ilford Delta 3200. In total, I took 8 rolls of 36 frames. A ridiculous number of shots when compared with those obtained in a half-day with any digital camera. But this is precisely the reason that led me back to the film, so I am absolutely delighted to have chosen this path.
As mentioned in previous posts, the test results of the Minox 35 GT with Kodak Tri-x has been less satisfactory. The negative was too contrasty and grainy. What disappointed me the most was the greytones compression, used as I was to the excellent results of the same Tri-x in 120 format.
Months ago, I published a post about the Lubitel 166U and one about the Agfa Synchro Box. During these days, I shot with the little Minox 35 Gt too. Since I had started a new roll of film, I waited to finish it, before developing both …. But time passed, and just recently, I developed the second one. In the first case, I used a Kentmere 100 film, souped in Ars-Imago Fd with the traditional tank. In the second, a Kodak Trix 400, with the same developer but using the Agfa Rondinax, which I mentioned in my previous post.
Some time ago, stimulated by certain images seen on the net, I wanted to try the Ilford XP2 Super 400 film. This stems from the XP1, which appeared in the early ’80s to make more widespread treatment of b/w and to provide less grain than other films of these times (which often had too much of it). I must have somewhere a series of negatives taken with the XP1 ….. The XP2 must be developed by the classic C-41, used routinely for color films. This could have been a major point in its favor, at least until the advent of the digital era.
As described in the second post of this blog, I recently made an “hazardous” test with a film (Adox CMS 20) rather difficult to treat, even with its dedicated developer. The test was done at box speed (ISO 20) and as developer, I used the Ars Imago-Fd. The negatives were rather “hard” and contrasted, though (at least when scanning) image data seemed well present in the shadows as in the highlights. But, the ultimate goal of an image shot on film is undoubtedly the wet print in the darkroom. Only on the final print we can make a judgment that has a real sense and evaluate details such as definition, grain, and so on.
When we venture into the mysterious field of infrared photography (IR), we enter the realm of the unknown, or rather of the invisible. The human eye, in fact, is not able to perceive the luminous radiation of infrared above 750 nm. And it is beyond this threshold that infrared radiation vibrate. What is therefore beyond the insuperable limit of the visible? Since the 30s of last century, the photographic technology allowed us to find it out, creating emulsions with appropriate sensitizing elements to these frequencies.
As the “lucky” readers of the previous post will have noticed, there are simple and inexpensive cameras that allow us to take good photographs. So, it’s useless to blame our equipment if we can not achieve good results. Better to focus on how we work, analyze our mistakes and learn from them, treasuring every single experience. Compared to what I propose today, the Lubitel used the last time, was a an expensive and highly sophisticated camera … … 😉
A small (and lightweight) plastic parallelepiped, a not so sophisticated lens (plus another for framing), a focus ring, one dial for setting the apertures and another for shutter times, a cocking lever for the shutter, a winding knob for the film and a trigger lever. The Lubitel 166U is all here. A Soviet medium format TLR, produced at Lomo Fabrik during the eighties. After all, to take photographs we need just a few things (and sometimes even less, as we shall see in the future), but when you come back from a weekend and realize that you missed (technically speaking) just one of 12 frames, you continues to be a bit surpised.
Unlike my first post of this blog, where I told briefly about one of my first shots of my new analog experience, this time I would like to talk about my latest experiment. A rather reckless one …. I launched into an “unlikely” test with a film and a developer I never used before. So far, you say, there’s nothing so strange. Who has not ever done? Yes, it’s true, but the film was not one of those more or less “standard”. And in addition, has a dedicated developer. And who am I, after just about twenty developed rolls, to do such a test?