One of the biggest things in film photography these days is taking old ‘dead stock’ and respooling it for regular photographic use, and the most recent addition to these boutique films is Street Candy ATM 400. As the name suggests, the film is aimed at street photographers (or those who identify as street photographers), and ATM means this is a former film used in surveillance cameras on Automated Teller Machines. And since most modern ATMs use digital technology to fill the need for security surveillance. While originally available only in Europe it’s been recently brought into North America through the Film Photography Project. It certainly makes for a unique film to run through your regular cameras.
Type: Panchromatic B&W
Film Base: Acetate
Film Speed: ASA-400, Latitude 200-800
Formats Avaliable: 35mm
Roll 01 – Kodak D-76
I wish I had done this roll first, instead of doing HC-110 and Pyrocat-HD as my first two rolls. Because here are some results that I’m okay with, not completely happy, but okay. Let’s get obvious out of the way, there’s grain, there’s a lot of grain. But in this case, there’s much more adding to the frame than being a distraction, because the images are sharp at the same time. Although I think using a 1+1 dilution might improve the results. It’s a balancing act. Plus finally, I’m getting contrast and tonality on point. I think the one failing in this film is that you want to push and pull it, and I don’t think the film likes any deviation from box speed. Not the first time I’ve encountered this, both classic Efke and Adox films are no fans of being pushed or pulled.
Roll 02 – Kodak HC-110
I’ll be the first to admit, the images here are from less-than-ideal lighting and conditions. The day was dark, grey, and rainy. However, even with a one-stop push, you’re starting to get extremely dark, gloomy, and gritty images. But I like them. There is certainly a show of grain here but the images are sharp, and I’m sure in better conditions they would be far brighter and in better shape. But when it comes to respooled surveillance film you expect it to work in any condition. The contrast is strong, but with good tones through a limited range, the images are sharp and grainy, but the grain is not too bad in its structure and adds something to the image. I certainly agree that you can push this film, but you’ll want to use a better developer to handle the developing, something like Ilford Microphen, just use the HP5+ times.
Roll 03 – Ilford Microphen
And here I have my favourite results. Everything is right on point, images are sharp, grain while present is pleasing. Contrast and tone are dead on the money for my tastes. There’s a certain dimensionality to these images that speak to me stronger than any result from this film from the other three combinations. And it only further solidifies my view that you can’t shoot this film at anything but ASA-400. Again like D-76 I think the images would be even better with a 1+1 dilution.
Roll 04 – Pyrocat-HD
I certainly expected more from this roll of film, a one-stop pull and Pyrocat-HD is usually enough to tame something so grainy. And yet, here we are with a grainy mush. Now, these are much nicer than say the shots I got from HC-110 (albeit with a one-stop push), however, I got the same amount of grain. However, the images are far sharper with the Pyrocat-HD and a pull. The tonality is decent however the contrast falls rather flat in some images. Certainly better than most, but not a redeeming combination.
I had some high hopes for it and I just could not seem to get it right! Push, Pull, Box, it just did not respond to anything I tried. I even skipped Rodinal because after the first couple rolls I decided I didn’t want to get into that mess. But those first couple rolls I did strange things, yes just one-stop push and one-stop pull which usually does not make a film go funky. Yet when I shot it at box speed, I ended up with decent results! And while the documentation for the film does say you can do a +/- one-stop, I say ignore it and shoot the film just at ASA-400. The film does respond best with Kodak D-76 and Ilford Microphen, but those were also both shot at ASA-400. With my favourite being Microphen, another good combination, according to a good friend and trusted photographer, Mat Marrash it sings in Kodak Xtol (1+1). But I think any developer designed to deliver fine-grain would be your best choice, even TMax Developer would probably give strong results. Will I try the film again? Probably not, it just isn’t to my tastes. You can pick up the stock through the Film Photography Project here in North America or through Analogue Wonderland in the UK.