Category: Classic Camera Revival – Film Review

Separate from the Classic Camera Revival review blogs and podcast, the CCR:FRB or Film Review Blogs are designed to review classic and new film stocks. The only rule is that the film has to still be produced.

CCR:FRB – Review 14 – Fomapan 200

CCR:FRB – Review 14 – Fomapan 200

Fomapan 200 is a film stock that like TMax 400 and Delta 400 I’ve struggled with. I find it far too grainy for 200-speed film stock, often rather soft on the edges and can be rather fickle about lighting conditions. But it’s not a bad film; I think it needs to be handled with little extra care. Fomapan 200, was the first of the Fomapan films that I tried, and while initially disappointed in it, I quickly learned to like the film, for certain applications.

CCR:FRB - Review 14 - Fomapan 200

Film Specs
Type: Panchromatic B&W
Film Base: Polyester
Film Speed: ASA-200, Latitude: 64-800
Formats Avaliable: 35mm, 120, Sheets

Roll 01 – Kodak HC-110
You know, there’s something about a little bit of imperfection that makes you enjoy a film and developer combination. And that’s HC-110 and Fomapan 200, it just gives a classic look, that depression era dustbowl tone, contrast, a little soft around the edges, a bit of grain to set it all off. Far from perfectly sharp, toned, and fine grain, but in situations, it works rather well.

CCR:FRB - Review 14 - Fomapan 200 - Roll 01 (Kodak HC-110)CCR:FRB - Review 14 - Fomapan 200 - Roll 01 (Kodak HC-110)CCR:FRB - Review 14 - Fomapan 200 - Roll 01 (Kodak HC-110)CCR:FRB - Review 14 - Fomapan 200 - Roll 01 (Kodak HC-110)

Technical Details:
Mamiya m645 – Mamiya-Sekor C 45mm 1:2.8 N – Fomapan 200 @ ASA-200
Kodak HC-110 Dil. H 9:00 @ 20C

Roll 02 – Rodinal
It’s strange to describe a film as being ‘soft’ when developed in Rodinal. Normally whenever I soup a film, it’s sharp and has an uptick in grain. On Fomapan 200, I found the negatives underdeveloped, and rather soft. And while the grain is rather noticeable on the images, I don’t find it pleasing in any way. It just doesn’t look good for me. But I wouldn’t stop you from using Rodinal and Foma 200, use the 1+50 dilution and the 9 minute time, the results from what I’ve seen on Flickr are far superior. But if you insist on using the 1+25 dilution, add an extra 30 seconds. The top two images were done at 5 minutes the bottom two at 5.5 minutes; the difference is pretty clear!

Stone & MortarLong SealedPresbyterianThe Bridge

Technical Details:
Hasselblad 500c – Carl Zeiss Planar 80mm 1:2.8 – Fomapan 200 @ ASA-200
Blazinal (1+25) 5:00 @ 20C & Blazinal (1+25) 5:30 @ 20C

Roll 03 – Kodak D-76
If you want a classic look, then look no further than Fomapan 200 in D-76. But it’s not an unpleasant softness, but a classic one. The edges are smooth along with the contrast and the tones. Then there’s a grain, while D-76 is not known for reducing grain, it generates a fairly pleasing grain pattern, similar to that you’d see on Fomapan 400 pulled to ASA-200. It still makes for an exciting film!

CCR:FRB - Review 14 - Fomapan 200 - Roll 03 (Kodak D-76)CCR:FRB - Review 14 - Fomapan 200 - Roll 03 (Kodak D-76)CCR:FRB - Review 14 - Fomapan 200 - Roll 03 (Kodak D-76)CCR:FRB - Review 14 - Fomapan 200 - Roll 03 (Kodak D-76)

Techincal Details:
Mamiya m645 – Mamiya-Sekor C 45mm 1:2.8 N – Fomapan 200 @ ASA-200
Kodak D-76 (1+1) 9:00 @ 20C

Roll 04 – Kodak Xtol
I have to say, after developing Fomapan 200 in Xtol, I nearly gave up on both Xtol and Fomapan 200. While described as a fine grain developer, it did little to help out with the grain on Fomapan 200. Not to say the grain is terrible on the stock, I was expecting something a little more, clean than what I got. But don’t let the result discourage you, I think if developed for a shorter time, or a slight pull given to the film, the results would be a bit different.

Sydney Harbor Defenses - Stubbert's PointSydney Harbor Defenses - Chapel Point BatterySydney Harbor Defenses - Stubbert's PointSydney Harbor Defenses - Stubbert's Point

Technical Details:
Hasselblad 500c – Carl Zeiss Distagon 50mm 1:4 – Fomapan 200 @ ASA-200
Kodak Xtol (1+1) 8:30 @ 20C

Final Thoughts
There’s no denying it, Fomapan 200 is a soft film, no matter what you develop it in! Now, there is a variant of Fomapan 200 that I don’t represent here, a motion picture surveillance variant that is a touch sharper and has a finer grain. However, that is only available in 35mm. There is nothing wrong with the common consumer variant of Fomapan 200; I did give it the benefit of shooting all these in medium format as well. But it’s a classic look, soft all around, there’s some grain, but it’s a classic pleasing grain. It reminds you of the film of yesterday, so something for me to try at reenactment events. If you’re looking to pick some up, I find Fomapan 200 hard to find in physical stores, however online retailers like Argentix.ca or Freestyle Photographic. If you want to try the surveillance variant, you can pick it up at FPP B&W 200 through the Film Photography Project.

CCR:FRB – Review 13 – Fomapan 100

CCR:FRB – Review 13 – Fomapan 100

The Fomapan series of films are ones that I only recently discovered in the past couple years. It actually was in 2015 when I visited Europe for the 200th Anniversary of Waterloo and popped into a camera shop in the old city of Amsterdam. And there was the whole range of Foma products from paper to film. Well, when I returned I made a point to start checking out this Foma product line. While Fomapan 100 wasn’t my first experience with the product line, it is my favourite of the three film stocks.

CCR:FRB - Review 13 - Fomapan 100

Film Specs
Type: Panchromatic B&W
Film Base: Polyester
Film Speed: ASA-100, Latitude: 40-400
Formats Avaliable: 35mm, 120, Sheets

Roll 01 – Kodak TMax Developer
I’m not sure if it was the lighting or the developer on this one, but not exactly my favourite combination. Yet, it’s not a bad choice of developer, you get the resolving power that you have with Fomapan 100, fine grain, the tones, but the image is just flat. Sure you have the blacks and the whites, but even those are a little off for my taste. If there was a time for 1+4 you might see an improved contrast. But still, if you want this low contrast look, then yes, a solid choice.

CCR Review 82 - Mamiya 645 AF-D IIICCR Review 82 - Mamiya 645 AF-D IIICCR Review 82 - Mamiya 645 AF-D IIICCR Review 82 - Mamiya 645 AF-D III

Technical Details:
Mamiya 645 AF-D III – Mamiya 645 AF 80mm 1:2.8 – Fomapan 100 @ ASA-100
Kodak TMax Developer (1+9) 8:00 @ 20C

Roll 02 – Kodak HC-110
One of my favourite developers for Fomapan 100 is HC-110, because not only do you get a good contrast even with low dilutions like H and F, you maintain amazing tonality across the spectrum and a sharp look and fine grain. Sure you may need to develop it a bit longer than usual or use a different agitation pattern. But trust me this gives you that classic look that you have come to expect from the Foma line of films without losing sharpness or increasing the grain.

ParatrooperA Quick Way Around CampUS ForcesLittle bit of Conversation

Technical Details:
Contax G2 – Carl Zeiss Planar 2/45 T* – Fomapan 100 @ ASA-100
Kodak HC-110 Dil. F 7:45 @ 20C

Roll 03 – Rodinal
If you want contrast on the nose, then Rodinal is your choice for developers with Fomapan 100. You also get to see how sharp the film is, but you do get far more noticeable grain especially when you shoot in 35mm, but far less noticeable in 120. Rodinal is by far my primary developer with Fomapan 100 because it’s a classic looking film, it should always be paired with a classic developer.

LUiNA StationOpposing DoorsWater from the RockLittle India

Techincal Details:
Hasselblad 500c – Carl Zeiss Distagon 50mm 1:4 – Fomapan 100 @ ASA-100
Blazinal (1+50) 9:00 @ 20C

Roll 04 – Kodak D-23
For a slow working developer you get a whole lotta contrast out of Fomapan 100, and like Rodinal it gives a strong look to the film. Smooth tones, great contrast, and fine grain. Now you do lose a bit of sharpness but not enough to be overly concerned about it. Of course the downside is that you do have a ten minute developing time, but it’s worth the time.

TFSM - Spring '17TFSM - Spring '17TFSM - Spring '17TFSM - Spring '17

Technical Details:
Hasselblad 500c – Carl Zeiss Planar 80mm 1:2.8 – Fomapan 100 @ ASA-100
Kodak D-23 (Stock) 10:00 @ 20C

Final Thoughts
If you’re looking for a classic emulsion that feels like a film you’d have shot in the mid-twentieth century then Fomapan 100 is for you. While you do need to purchase the stock through more speciality film stores Freestyle, Argentix, Maco Direct, B&H, it’s well worth the effort because it is slightly less expensive than mainstream films from Kodak, Fuji, and Ilford. But to get the best results for the film, stick to classic developers, HC-110, Rodinal, and D-23. While I haven’t tried the film with D-76 yet, I’m sure that it would do just as good a job.

CCR:FRB – Review 12 – Kodak Tri-X 400

CCR:FRB – Review 12 – Kodak Tri-X 400

Kodak Tri-X, the mention of the film stock is usually met with awe or aversion. But for me, Tri-X is my film of choice no matter what situation I’m going into. I know that with the film I can get consistent results no matter what situation I throw myself into from abandoned buildings to a wedding, and will get amazing results no matter what chemical I toss the film into. With a classic look and feel, you can torture this film to your heart’s content and will always get the results you need.

CCR:FRB - Review 12 - Kodak Tri-X 400

Film Specs
Type: Panchromatic B&W
Film Base: Acetate
Film Speed: ASA-400, Latitude: 100-6400
Formats Available: 35mm, 120, Sheets (Note: Sheet films of Tri-X are known as 320TXP)

Roll 01 – Rodinal
Like my aversion to using Rodinal with Bergger Pancro 400, I thought the exact same thing with Tri-X, putting a sharp developer on a fast film will result in a grain fest. Yet, I wanted to give it a go anyways and the results astounded me. The grain, while more present than normal, is reasonable, it is a little more noticeable in 35mm, it also shows off exactly what Tri-X can do. With sharpness, tonality, and contrast that show you exactly how the world is supposed to look in black & white. If you want something a little smoother, bump the dilution to 1+50 for even better results. Just remember to use a chemical stop bath, I forgot one time and overdeveloped the sheets.

Amy & Jeremy - 12th August 2017Amy & Jeremy - 12th August 2017Amy & Jeremy - 12th August 2017Amy & Jeremy - 12th August 2017

Technical Details:
Hasselblad 500c – Carl Zeiss Planar 80mm 1:2.8 – Kodak Tri-X 400 @ ASA-200
Blazinal (1+25) 7:00 @ 20C

Roll 02 – Kodak HC-110
The first roll of Tri-X I developed on my own was with HC-110, back in 2012. Now you’re probably screaming that I developed for less than five minutes, which is a big no-no apparently. And even now that I use longer developing times (), the results are the same! But it works for me. It seems that, at least to me, HC-110 and Tri-X are made for each other. The tones are there, the sharpness is there, and the contrast is through the roof. And it also shows off how well Tri-X can handle even the worst lighting conditions like a rainy day in Arras under heavy clouds.

Rainy Day in ArrasRainy Day in ArrasRainy Day in ArrasRainy Day in Arras

Technical Details:
Contax G2 – Carl Zeiss Biogon 2,8/28 T* – Kodak Tri-X 400 @ ASA-400
Kodak HC-110 Dil. B 4:30 @ 20C

Roll 03 – Kodak TMax Developer
While not my favourite choice for Tri-X, that doesn’t mean TMax Developer does a good job, it does, it just doesn’t make Tri-X look like the Tri-X I know and enjoy. But thankfully, Tri-X looks good, no matter what you develop it in. The grain is far more chunky as if it’s trying to make classic grain look like modern grain. It may even look close to a classic Tri-X with big grain and lower than normal contrast. But if it’s all you got, it does its job. Though I personally would knock the developing time back 15-30 seconds next time, or pull the film further back to 200.

CCR:FRB - Review 12 - Kodak Tri-X 400 - Roll 03 (Kodak TMax Developer)CCR:FRB - Review 12 - Kodak Tri-X 400 - Roll 03 (Kodak TMax Developer)CCR:FRB - Review 12 - Kodak Tri-X 400 - Roll 03 (Kodak TMax Developer)CCR:FRB - Review 12 - Kodak Tri-X 400 - Roll 03 (Kodak TMax Developer)

Techincal Details:
Nikon F5 – AF Nikkor 50mm 1:1.4D – Kodak Tri-X 400 @ ASA-320
Kodak TMax Developer (1+4) 7:15 @ 20C

Roll 04 – Kodak D-23
While D-76 is a good choice of developer for Tri-X, I personally prefer the slower working D-23 as it really helps show off the range for Tri-X, and actually gives the film a far more classic look than newer developers. You get the same tone and sharpness that I have come to expect from the film but it does knock back the contrast but not by much if you prefer more contrast D-76 would be a better choice.

Project:1812 - Fortress HalifaxProject:1812 - Fortress HalifaxProject:1812 - Fortress HalifaxProject:1812 - Fortress Halifax

Technical Details:
Hasselblad 500c – Carl Zeiss Planar 80mm 1:2.8 – Kodak Tri-X 400 @ ASA-400
Kodak D-23 (Stock) 7:30 @ 20C

Final Thoughts
Kodak Tri-X will remain, one of my favourite films, I can push and pull the film no matter what and can always pull good images out of it. And though you don’t get the clean modern look as you would with TMax 400, it’s that classic grain and contrast that I desire when I’m out on the street or in portraiture. It’s the classic in the yellow box and one that you can get pretty much anywhere you can buy film. While I wouldn’t develop in TMax developer, it sings in Rodinal, D-23 or D-76, HC-110 and so many other developers.

CCR:FRB – Review 11 – Ilford Delta 100

CCR:FRB – Review 11 – Ilford Delta 100

By far my favourite of all the Delta films (which isn’t hard, there are only three) and my favourite of the mid-speed Modern Films (Delta, TMax etc.). Delta 100 is what I expect from a modern film, sharp, fine-grained, and can do anything you want it to without any major issues. Unlike the faster films, this one can work with pretty much any developer I throw it in and loves any lighting situations. And while as an indoor film it can suffer from rather harsh reciprocity failure, if done right, you don’t have to worry.

CCR:FRB - Review 11 - Ilford Delta 100

Film Specs
Type: Panchromatic B&W
Film Base: Acetate
Film Speed: ASA-100, Latitude: 50-800
Formats Available: 35mm, 120, Sheets

Roll 01 – Rodinal
While not a personal favourite developer with Delta 100, which is strange, Rodinal does a good enough job to show off the more modern look and feel of the film. And despite being a 100-speed film I did notice a bit more grain with the film than I was expecting, but nothing too serious, the grain is of course, far less noticeable if you bump up the negative size to sheet (4×5) in my case. But you still get bright, clean negatives with tones across the scale.

DO:H - Christ's Church CathedralDO:H - New Vision United ChurchDO:H - St. Lawrence the MartyrDO:H - New Vision United Church

Technical Details:
Hasselblad 500c – Carl Zeiss Distagon 50mm 1:4 – Ilford Delta 100 @ ASA-100
Blazinal (1+25) 9:00 @ 20C

Roll 02 – Kodak HC-110
If you want to show off what Delta 100 can do, there are two developers; the first is DD-X, the second is HC-110. These both show what Delta 100 can do, blacks are black, whites are whites, and there are so many shades of grey in between they could write some terrible books about it. Not to mention you can adjust the dilution to get the level of contrast you want. Personally, I find with B it’s a little too contrasty, and E does it just right. Not to mention you maintain the same level of sharpness and fine grain you’d come to expect from the film.

CCR:FRB - Review 11 - Ilford Delta 100 - Roll 02 (HC-110)CCR:FRB - Review 11 - Ilford Delta 100 - Roll 02 (HC-110)CCR:FRB - Review 11 - Ilford Delta 100 - Roll 02 (HC-110)CCR:FRB - Review 11 - Ilford Delta 100 - Roll 02 (HC-110)

Technical Details:
Rolleiflex 2.8F – Carl Zeiss Planar 80mm 1:2.8 – Ilford Delta 100 @ ASA-100
Kodak HC-110 Dil. E 7:30 @ 20C

Roll 03 – Ilford DD-X
Like my review of Delta 400, rather than use Kodak TMax developer, I went with Ilford’s DD-X. And by far this is my favourite developer to use for this film. Even with the 35mm size, you get a beautiful film with amazing contrast, tone, sharpness, and fine grain. Everything you would expect from a modern emulsion and grain structure. And to be perfectly honest, DD-X and Delta 100 are my favourite combo for DD-X as a whole.

CCR - Review 5 - Nikon F2 PhotomicCCR - Review 5 - Nikon F2 PhotomicCCR Review 5 - Nikon F2 PhotomicCCR - Review 5 - Nikon F2 Photomic

Techincal Details:
Nikon F2 Photomic – AI-S Nikkor 50mm 1:1.4 – Ilford Delta 100 @ ASA-100
Ilford DD-X (1+4) 12:00 @ 20C

Roll 04 – Kodak D-76
As with Kodak TMax 100, you can show off exactly how well these modern films take to classic developers, while I haven’t used the stock dilution with Delta 100, the 1+1 shows off the beautiful contrast, tones, and fine grain you get with the film. And while it is a longer developing time, the extra effort is certainly worth it. And if this is the results from 35mm, I would love to see how much better it would be with medium and large format.

Industrial LightsClose UpGosserPeeling and Painted

Technical Details:
Nikon F5 – AF DC-Nikkor 105mm 1:2D – Ilford Delta 100 @ ASA-100
Kodak D-76 (1+1) 11:00 @ 20C

Final Thoughts
Delta 100 is one of those films that you cannot do anything wrong with. No matter what you develop the film in, it gives you solid results. And if you’re looking for that solid modern look in your images in the street, in portraits, landscape, and architecture this film will deliver it to you. Like any of these modern films, however, it is hard on your fixer, and you’ll probably want to give it another minute or so from the standard time of 5 minutes, and pre-wash and hypo-clear is a must to clear off that purple anti-halation layer that does stay on your negatives.

CCR:FRB – Review 10 – Rollei Ortho 25 Plus

CCR:FRB – Review 10 – Rollei Ortho 25 Plus

In the early days of Photography, most photographic stocks were Orthochromatic, which means they didn’t see a certain colour on the spectrum, mostly this meant the film stock could not see red light, other times it meant the film didn’t see blue light. And while today Panchromatic stocks are the norm, there is still a need for technical films. While shooting Ortho 25, I worked under the assumption that it didn’t see red light. However, I’m not sure of which colour the film is not sensitive to. But it doesn’t matter now; Ortho 25 is an amazing slow black & white film that is deadly sharp and so fine-grained I don’t think it has any.

CCR:FRB - Review 10 - Rollei Ortho 25 Plus

Film Specs
Type: Orthochromatic B&W, Spectral Sensitivity to 380 – 610nm
Film Base: Polyester
Film Speed: ASA-25, Latitude: 12-50
Formats Avaliable: 35mm, 120, Sheets

Roll 01 – Kodak D-76
When you have a film that’s rated to ASA-25, I think it is impossible to get any heavy grain pattern. And while D-76 is a fairly common developer, it still produces amazing images with Ortho 25. You do see a bit more of darkening of the reds in the images, mainly brickwork in the buildings. But nothing seriously heavy. Sadly there’s no 1+1 time available at the moment, but I would love to see what a more dilute image would look like.

CCR:FRB - Review 10 - Rollei Ortho 25 Plus - Roll 01 (Kodak D-76)CCR:FRB - Review 10 - Rollei Ortho 25 Plus - Roll 01 (Kodak D-76)CCR:FRB - Review 10 - Rollei Ortho 25 Plus - Roll 01 (Kodak D-76)CCR:FRB - Review 10 - Rollei Ortho 25 Plus - Roll 01 (Kodak D-76)

Technical Details:
Rolleiflex 2.8F – Carl Zeiss Planar 80mm 1:2.8 – Rollei Ortho 25 Plus @ ASA-25
Kodak D-76 (Stock) 6:00 @ 20C

Roll 02 – Rodinal
I was expecting a little more drama, reds that were coming out black, something exciting. And it pains me to say it, but these images look normal, sure you get next to no grain, images sharp enough to cut yourself on. But still, I was expecting something a little bit more out of this film, to be honest. Now, it’s not to say Rodinal is a poor choice for this film; it works well you get a full panchromatic image which is unexpected, but still a pleasing look all the same. Very low on the contrast however in many of the shots. I only really noticed the darker rendering of the reds in the brick detail shot.

CCR:FRB - Review 10 - Rollei Ortho 25 Plus - Roll 02 (Rodinal)CCR:FRB - Review 10 - Rollei Ortho 25 Plus - Roll 02 (Rodinal)CCR:FRB - Review 10 - Rollei Ortho 25 Plus - Roll 02 (Rodinal)CCR:FRB - Review 10 - Rollei Ortho 25 Plus - Roll 02 (Rodinal)

Technical Details:
Nikon F5 – AF Nikkor 35mm 1:2D – Rollei Ortho 25 Plus @ ASA-25
Blazinal (1+50) 6:00 @ 20C

Roll 03 – TMax Developer
I wasn’t too sure about TMax Developer, but I think Ortho 25 responded well to it. While the Massive Developer Chart calls for a 6 minute time in 24C water, I didn’t realise that until after I had prepared the developer in 20C, thankfully I was able to calculate the time and just gave it about three fewer seconds to make it a common time. I continued to be amazed here at the quality of the images, and you even see a greater darkening of the reds here than with D-76. But you do lose some of that razor sharp images that you get with Rodinal, while no surprise, even in D-76 Ortho 25 is super-sharp, but in TMax Developer, they’re a little softer, not by much but enough to make them rather pleasing.

CCR:FRB - Review 10 - Rollei Ortho 25 Plus - Roll 03 (Kodak TMax Developer)CCR:FRB - Review 10 - Rollei Ortho 25 Plus - Roll 03 (Kodak TMax Developer)CCR:FRB - Review 10 - Rollei Ortho 25 Plus - Roll 03 (Kodak TMax Developer)CCR:FRB - Review 10 - Rollei Ortho 25 Plus - Roll 03 (Kodak TMax Developer)

Techincal Details:
Mamiya m645 – Mamiya-Sekor C 45mm 1:2.8 N – Rollei Ortho 25 Plus @ ASA-25
Kodak TMax Developer (1+4) 8:15 @ 20C

Final Thoughts
While it’s impossible to get any grain with a film this slow, I still think your best bet for developing to show off the sharpness and fine-grain nature you want to use Rodinal. I also enjoy the fact that many of the developing times for Ortho 25 are in the six-minute range which isn’t something you see in many films this slow. I’m mostly thinking RPX 25 here. While I can’t see much use for the film myself, it does give another slow film option other than RPX 25 or Ilford Pan F+ something we don’t see that often these days with most companies producing films rated at ASA-100. Ortho 25 is readily available, but only in online shops, Argentix, FreeStyle and Maco Direct.

CCR:FRB – Review 09 – Ilford Delta 400

CCR:FRB – Review 09 – Ilford Delta 400

If there is one film out there that I have disliked the most but have had a radical change of viewpoints Delta 400 is that film. Like TMax 400, I just find Delta 400 too modern, and boring. It’s not a bad film; it’s just not exciting. It gives you a film that is almost equal in performance as TMax 400. And while I’ve found that the film isn’t bad, it just needs better development in many cases. While some people have managed to tame the film, I do have found through Delta Def Jam; it’s a great choice if you can’t get your hands on TMax 400.

CCR:FRB - Review 09 - Ilford Delta 400

Film Specs
Type: Panchromatic B&W
Film Base: Acetate
Film Speed: ASA-400, Latitude: 100-3200
Formats Avaliable: 35mm, 120, Sheets

Roll 01 – Kodak HC-110
I don’t think HC-110 has ever steered me wrong and I do have the Delta Def Jam event to thank for this one as it was here I discovered what I could get out of Delta 400. With HC-110 you get the rich tones and smooth grain. While you do lose a touch of sharpness, it isn’t much to worry about. As for contrast, that’s easily controlled by increasing or decreasing the dilution, but for me, it’s right to perfect at Dilution B.

Waldie's BlacksmithThe Old Post OfficeBob'sNever Forget

Technical Details:
Hasselblad 500c – Carl Zeiss Planar 80mm 1:2.8 – Ilford Delta 400 @ ASA-400
Kodak HC-110 Dil. B 7:30 @ 20C

Roll 02 – Ilford DD-X
While I’ve been using TMax developer and it does work well with Delta 400, I decided to switch over to DD-X the Ilford equivalent for the Delta films. DD-X is probably the best choice for this film using the 1+4 dilution as standard you see the full power of the modern T-Grain, good tones, sharpness, and decent grain control. While you do see an uptick in grain, it really isn’t too bad once you get into the larger formats. Also, make sure your camera’s exposure is dead on, or else you’ll get some terrible results.

Toronto - New Year's DayToronto - New Year's DayToronto - New Year's DayToronto - New Year's Day

Technical Details:
Rolleiflex 2.8F – Carl Zeiss Planar 80mm 1:2.8 – Ilford Delta 400 @ ASA-400
Ilford DD-X (1+4) 8:00 @ 20C

Roll 03 – Kodak D-76
To be perfectly honest this was the singular roll I shot for this review that I was the most concerned about. I had a rough time the last roll of Delta 400 I had shot in 35mm. But this time around I remained pleasantly surprised. Like TMax 400, Delta 400 responds wonderfully to D-76, and even in 35mm you get a moderate contrast, I would like a little bit more. But you have the sharpness and modern look of the film. While I do notice an uptick in grain, I was expecting this when I pulled the negatives out, but you do get a sharp image at the same time, so it’s a worthwhile trade-off. That being said I do prefer Delta 400 in the older D-23 over D-76.

CCR:FRB - Review 09 - Ilford Delta 400 - Roll 03 (D-76)CCR:FRB - Review 09 - Ilford Delta 400 - Roll 03 (D-76)CCR:FRB - Review 09 - Ilford Delta 400 - Roll 03 (D-76)CCR:FRB - Review 09 - Ilford Delta 400 - Roll 03 (D-76)

Techincal Details:
Nikon FE – AI Nikkor 28mm 1:3.5 – Ilford Delta 400 @ ASA-400
Kodak D-76 (Stock) 9:30 @ 20C

Roll 04 – Pyrocat-HD
I had originally planned to use Pyrocat-HD with one of the Delta Def Jam entries but instead ended up using Kodak D-23. And you know, the wait was worth it. While Pyrocat-HD is based on some of the oldest developers out there, it works wonders on modern films. Giving you a clean, almost grainless look, sharp images, and amazing tones and contrast. Plus it almost gives the film a classic look about it.

CCR:FRB - Review 09 - Ilford Delta 400 - Roll 04 (Pyrocat-HD)CCR:FRB - Review 09 - Ilford Delta 400 - Roll 04 (Pyrocat-HD)CCR:FRB - Review 09 - Ilford Delta 400 - Roll 04 (Pyrocat-HD)CCR:FRB - Review 09 - Ilford Delta 400 - Roll 04 (Pyrocat-HD)

Technical Details:
Mamiya m645 – Mamiya-Sekor C 35mm 1:3.5 C – Ilford Delta 400 @ ASA-32
Pyrocat-HD (1+1+100) 16:00 @ 20C

Final Thoughts
So where does that leave us? Well, I can’t say I’ve been won over with modern films, but it certainly does give me one more type of film to shoot in a pinch when I can’t always get the ones I want. And certainly, if I can’t get my hands on TMax 400, I can get the same results with Delta 400 and I would give the edge to Delta 400 over the Kodak film stock. And for me, that’s saying something. Plus overall, it’s just a bit more exciting than TMax 400 in my view.

CCR:FRB – Review 08 – Ilford HP5+

CCR:FRB – Review 08 – Ilford HP5+

When it comes to iconic films, Ilford HP5+ rates as one of the big ones, with a history as old as Ilford FP4+ and dates back to 1935. And while it only got its ASA-400 speed rating in 1960 is certainly is a film that can take amazing images. While many see HP5+ as a direct competitor to Kodak Tri-X, I do see two separate films each responding differently to the range of developers out there. And while I’ve had a rocky time with the 35mm version of the film, I’ve come to accept HP5+ is certainly an amazing film!

CCR:FRB - Review 08 - Ilford HP5+

Film Specs
Type: Panchromatic B&W
Film Base: Acetate
Film Speed: ASA-400, Latitude: 100-6400
Formats Available: 35mm, 120, Sheets

Roll 01 – Kodak D-76
You usually cannot go wrong with D-76, however, in this case, I cannot recommend the developer as I feel it doesn’t show off the film as well as I’ve come to know the product. Which is strange because the film does better in the slower D-23. The biggest issue here is that they produce a rather boring image, the tones are too close together and a bit more grainy that I have come to expect from the film stock. While not a bad combination, I do think there are better choices.

CCR:FRB - Review 08 - Ilford HP5+ - Roll 01 (D-76)CCR:FRB - Review 08 - Ilford HP5+ - Roll 01 (D-76)CCR:FRB - Review 08 - Ilford HP5+ - Roll 01 (D-76)CCR:FRB - Review 08 - Ilford HP5+ - Roll 01 (D-76)

Technical Details:
Mamiya m645 – Mamiya-Sekor C 35mm 1:3.5 – Ilford HP5+ @ ASA-400
Kodak D-76 (Stock) 7:30 @ 20C

Roll 02 – Pyrocat-HD
I remember the first time seeing Mat Marrash’s work with Ilford HP5+ and Pyrocat-HD and decided that is the look I want out of my HP5+. And while you lose a stop of speed, the loss is well worth it. You get amazing tones across the board, fine grain (even in 35mm), and sharp images. Great for when you’re shooting in any light as you have a compensating developer to back you up. Not to mention as a fun little note, if you look at the actual negatives, you have a 3D relief similar to what you have with Kodachrome slides.

The Old Mission ChurchAmong the CrossesThe Old 31The Ore Dock -- From Above

Technical Details:
Intrepid 4×5 – SK Symmar-S 210/5.6, Fujinon-W 125/5.6 – Ilford HP5+ @ ASA-200
Pyrocat-HD (1+1+100) 9:00 @ 20C

Roll 03 – Kodak HC-110
When I was exploring how to develop HP5+ in 35mm better, one of my obvious choices was HC-110. It’s always done well in most films I’ve developed in it, and HP5+ is no exception. Rich tones, smooth grain, and sharpness all in one package in no matter what format you shoot it in. You can easily shoot the film in mixed light with this developer and find all your details right there and makes the film easy to print!

A Space between ThemMaking an ExitLow LevelsA Mere Trickle

Techincal Details:
Nikon FA – AI-S Nikkor 35mm 1:2.8 (Yellow-12) – Ilford HP5+ @ ASA-400
Kodak HC-110 Dil. B 5:00 @ 20C

Roll 04 – Kodak TMax Developer
Sadly, in this case, TMax developer and HP5+ do not play well together. And I’m honestly not surprised because the beginning of reviewing cameras I used HP5+ in Ilford DD-X and wasn’t too pleased with the results. The resulting images I found were muddy, grainier than normal and just plain boring in the long run! I certainly would not be using a T-Grain developer with this film.

CCR Review 83 - Fuji GSW690IICCR Review 83 - Fuji GSW690IICCR Review 83 - Fuji GSW690IICCR Review 83 - Fuji GSW690II

Technical Details:
Fuji GSW690ii – EBC Fujinon-W f=65mm 1:5.6 – Ilford HP5+ @ ASA-400
Kodak TMax Developer (1+4) 6:30 @ 20C

Final Thoughts
While I only came up with two solid options for developing this film in this blog post that doesn’t make the film a bad option. In fact, HP5+ is a wonderful film that if you want something different than Tri-X is certainly worth a purchase. And there are plenty of other amazing developers that work well with the film. While I haven’t developed it in Rodinal, I really should give it a pull to ASA-100 and give it a go, also several other Ilford Developers such as Perceptol and Microphen allow you to push to film to the top of its latitude of ASA-6400. While it’s not Tri-X, nor should it be compared to it, HP5+ stands tall on its very own as a good choice for a fast film.

CCR:FRB – Review 07 – Bergger Pancro 400

CCR:FRB – Review 07 – Bergger Pancro 400

The name Bergger has been until recently been relatively unknown here in North America (at least to me) until recently when I learned that they were planning on introducing a new film stock, Pancro 400. While, Pancro 400 is the only offering from the company, and while you might still find their older BRF400+ film stock, Pancro 400 is a beautiful classic film emulsion. When I heard about the film through the Film Photography Project when they were just releasing the stock, I made a point to pick it up. I found a surprisingly beautiful film, despite the increased amount of grain. I would wager to say, Pancro 400 has the look of the early HP and Tri-X emulsions from Ilford and Kodak respectively.

CCR:FRB - Review 07 - Bergger Pancro 400

Film Specs
Type: Panchromatic B&W
Film Base: Acetate
Film Speed: ASA-400, Latitude: 200-1600
Formats Avaliable: 35mm, 120, Sheets

Roll 01 – Kodak D-76
What better way to develop a classic film than with a classic developer and D-76 does the film justice. You can see the full range of tones and the beautiful grain. While you can see a definite increase the grain for a 400-speed film in medium format, but it’s not as bad as it could be. While I did notice the film is a little more contrasty than it can be, you could probably tame that by cutting to dilution 1+1 or using the slower working D-23.

CCR Review 78 - Mamiya m645CCR Review 78 - Mamiya m645CCR Review 78 - Mamiya m645CCR Review 78 - Mamiya m645

Technical Details:
Mamiya m645 – Mamiya-Sekor C 45mm 1:2.8 N – Bergger Pancro 400 @ ASA-400
Kodak D-76 (Stock) 9:00 @ 20C

Roll 02 – Kodak HC-110
You can see the increased amount of grain that Pancro 400 has when souped in HC-110, but don’t let that scare you because it’s a beautiful grain pattern again. Oddly enough, you don’t see any increase, in contrast, using HC-110, but you do see an increase in the film’s sharpness. I also noticed that you see a darkening in the skies as if I had a yellow filter on the lens, which is a nice touch.

Spike in Blue SkyA Peaceful SceneThe Ultimate BankThe Falls!

Technical Details:
Hasselblad 500c – Carl Zeiss Planar 80mm 1:2.8 – Bergger Pancro 400 @ ASA-400
Kodak HC-110 Dil. B 9:00 @ 20C

Roll 03 – Kodak TMax Developer
I’m going to come right out and say it, TMax Developer and Pancro 400 is not the best combination. While shooting it in 35mm didn’t help, but the grain is fairly out of control, and the contrast is way too strong, and that’s with using a 1+9 dilution which should tame the contrast in the film. And while I’ve seen TMax do good jobs with classic grained films, it certainly does not do that job with Pancro 400.

CCR:FRB - Review 07 - Bergger Pancro 400 - Roll 03 (TMax Developer)CCR:FRB - Review 07 - Bergger Pancro 400 - Roll 03 (TMax Developer)CCR:FRB - Review 07 - Bergger Pancro 400 - Roll 03 (TMax Developer)CCR:FRB - Review 07 - Bergger Pancro 400 - Roll 03 (TMax Developer)

Techincal Details:
Nikon F5 – AF-S Nikkor 14-24mm 1:2.8G – Bergger Pancro 400 @ ASA-400
Kodak TMax Developer (1+9) 9:00 @ 20C

Roll 04 – Rodinal
You’d think I was crazy for putting a one-stop push and developing in Rodinal, but hey, when you’re reviewing a film, you have to take the good and the bad. But you know, Pancro 400 is a surprising film, even when shot indoors under less-than-ideal lighting conditions. Is the film grainy, yes, but not as much as I would have expected! The tones are rich, the contrast is deep, but the shots are amazing! And they actually look better than the TMax developer and that was shot at box speed.

CCR:FRB - Review 07 - Bergger Pancro 400 - Roll 04 (Rodinal)CCR:FRB - Review 07 - Bergger Pancro 400 - Roll 04 (Rodinal)CCR:FRB - Review 07 - Bergger Pancro 400 - Roll 04 (Rodinal)CCR:FRB - Review 07 - Bergger Pancro 400 - Roll 04 (Rodinal)

Technical Details:
Nikon F90 – AF Nikkor 35mm 1:2D – Bergger Pancro 400 @ ASA-800
Blazinal (1+25) 13:00 @ 20C

Final Thoughts
If you’re looking for a solid option for a classic film that looks like the high-speed films of the mid-twentieth century. Rich tones, contrast and grain, but all in a good way. You get a look at your images like those from the photography of the Second World War. While grainier than most modern films such as HP5+ and Tri-X, it still is a solid option for most photography out there. But I would avoid using TMax developer, especially in the 35mm format and stick with more classic developers like D-76, HC-110, Pyrocat-HD and Rodinal even with a push.

CCR:FRB – Review 06 – Rollei Retro 400s

CCR:FRB – Review 06 – Rollei Retro 400s

I first came across Retro 400s at Downtown Camera, I had just been on a Toronto Film Shooters meetup and had some time to kill before meeting up with a friend to catch a show at the Dakota Tavern and had the hankering for some street photography. So I picked up a roll and went out and I found a wonderfully sharp, contrasty film that just sings in the low hazy light. Retro 400s is a film that is designed for the hybrid era, with a polyester base that lays flat on a scanner, strong contrast and fine grain it will sign viewed on a screen.

CCR:FRB - Review 06 - Rollei Retro 400s

Film Specs
Type: Panchromatic B&W, up to 750nm.
Film Base: Polyester
Film Speed: ASA-400, Latitude: 25-800
Formats Avaliable: 135 & 120

Roll 01 – Kodak D-76
I’m not too sure if it’s the filter or the developer, but Retro 400s is insane in D-76, I mean the images speak for themselves. You get the full effect of the extended red sensitivity of the film stock right here, and that’s only with a pale yellow filter. So another test will have to be done to see if it’s the developer or the filter. Either way, the negs are insanely sharp, and the contrast even without a filter I’m sure would be right on the money. I do think however you might want to pull the film between 320-200 and develop normally.

CCR:FRB - Review 06 - Rollei Retro 400s - Roll 01 (D-76)CCR:FRB - Review 06 - Rollei Retro 400s - Roll 01 (D-76)CCR:FRB - Review 06 - Rollei Retro 400s - Roll 01 (D-76)CCR:FRB - Review 06 - Rollei Retro 400s - Roll 01 (D-76)

Technical Details:
Nikon F5 – AF Nikkor 35mm 1:2D (Yellow-12) – Rollei Retro 400s @ ASA-400
Kodak D-76 (Stock) 10:30 @ 20C

Roll 02 – Rodinal
Probably the one thing that really helped here was the semi-stand developing. Stand-Developing is a technique that is relatively new in my tool-kit and I am usually a little hesitant to developing anything faster than ASA-200 in a sharp developer like Rodinal. But in this case, wow, you can really show off the sharpness and resolution of Retro 400s without a real uptick in the gain. While I would like to try stronger dilutions now, the semi-stand method I think works best, in this case, smoothing out both grain and contrast.

CCR:FRB - Review 06 - Rollei Retro 400s - Roll 02 (Rodinal)CCR:FRB - Review 06 - Rollei Retro 400s - Roll 02 (Rodinal)CCR:FRB - Review 06 - Rollei Retro 400s - Roll 02 (Rodinal)CCR:FRB - Review 06 - Rollei Retro 400s - Roll 02 (Rodinal)

Technical Details:
Hasselblad 500c – Carl Zeiss Planar 80mm 1:2.8 – Rollei Retro 400s @ ASA-400
Blazinal (1+100) 60:00 @ 20C

Roll 03 – Kodak TMax Developer
Probably not the best choice of developers for this film, my choice made only because I had a little left in the bottle, just enough for one more roll. And while it doesn’t show off the true nature of the film it still remains an okay choice, but certainly not my first. But you still get the sharpness and fine grain of this modern emulsion, there is a certain knock back in contrast but you get clean tones across the board.

TFSM Winter '16 - Real People are More InterestingTFSM Winter '16 - Real People are More InterestingTFSM Winter '16 - Real People are More InterestingTFSM Winter '16 - Real People are More Interesting

Technical Details:
Nikon F5 – AF DC-Nikkor 105mm 1:2D – Rollei Retro 400s @ ASA-400
Kodak TMax Developer (1+4) 9:30 @ 20C

Roll 04 – Kodak HC-110
Usually, when it comes to HC-110 I tend to enjoy how a film reacts to the developer. And while it’s not a bad developer for Retro 400s, I feel that the contrast is just a bit off, not bad, just off. Yes, there’s still a good contrast to the negs and they scan beautifully and looking at the negs there’s enough density that a print is possible and would look amazing! But I also find that there’s a general uptick in grain. It’ll certainly be worth trying a future roll in Dilution F to see if I can’t get a better result as I have with Streetpan.

CCR:FRB - Review 06 - Rollei Retro 400s - Roll 04 (HC-110)CCR:FRB - Review 06 - Rollei Retro 400s - Roll 04 (HC-110)CCR:FRB - Review 06 - Rollei Retro 400s - Roll 04 (HC-110)CCR:FRB - Review 06 - Rollei Retro 400s - Roll 04 (HC-110)

Techincal Details:
Hasselblad 500c – Carl Zeiss Planar 80mm 1:2.8 – Rollei Retro 400s @ ASA-400
Kodak HC-110 Dil. B 6:30 @ 20C

Final Thoughts
Retro 400s while not a normal part of my film choices is certainly one that I keep on my radar, it works great for street photography and even landscape and with the close to infrared qualities in the film you don’t have to go out and spend the money on true IR films or even the filters to get close to that look on this film. While I feel D-76 does the best job with the film, the other three are all tied for runner-up. If you’re looking for a film that is a little different from your average 400-speed emulsion, Retro 400s is certainly worth a look. Plus Retro 400s is available through most stores online and brick-and-mortar.

CCR:FRB – Review 05 – Ilford FP4+

CCR:FRB – Review 05 – Ilford FP4+

When I first discovered Kodak Plus-X I was hooked, instantly. But sadly Plus-X went away and while I still scramble to find old stock whenever I can, I can always go to Ilford FP4. Now that’s not to say FP4+ plays second fiddle to Plus-X in my book. In FP4+ I found probably the most versatile film that maintains a level of consistency across the board and formats within in the mid-speed range. Fine grain, sharp, and a contrast to die for. Not to mention a legacy that goes back to when Ilford first started producing flexible films.

CCR:FRB - Review 05 - Ilford FP4+

Film Specs
Type: Panchromatic B&W
Film Base: Acetate
Film Speed: ASA-125, Latitude: 50-400
Formats Available: 135, 120, Sheets

Roll 01 – Kodak D-76
It’s not often that I find FP4+ boring, but in the case of D-76, it is. It’s not a bad combination, there’s just so much more you can do with FP4+ than let it soup in a standard developer. But it still produces a decent negative and everything you like about FP4+ can be found in the negatives I just find the contrast off my just a hair. I actually prefer to soup my FP4+ in the older slower cousin, D-23 with a slight pull to ASA-100 to really show off what the film can do!

HandpaintedA TowerA simple doorA Touch of Modern

Technical Details:
Hasselblad 500c – Carl Zeiss Planar 80mm 1:2.8 – Ilford FP4+ @ ASA-125
Kodak D-76 (Stock) 8:30 @ 20C

Roll 02 – Kodak HC-110
Probably one of my favourite ways to develop FP4+ despite not using the combination often. HC-110 really ramps up the contrast to a pleasing level without anything over the top. You still get the fine grain and sharpness. And the developer does really play to the film’s strengths. While there are some out there who don’t enjoy HC-110 with FP4+ it certainly does work when you don’t have anything else laying around.

Project:1812 - Path To VictoryProject:1812 - Brock's Monument(s)Project:1812 - Fort MississaugaProject:1812 - Brock's Dead House

Technical Details:
Bronica SQ-Ai – Zenzanon-PS 65mm 1:4 – Ilford FP4+ @ ASA-125
HC-110 Dil. B 7:00 @ 20C

Roll 03 – Rodinal
What do you pair a classic film with? A classic developer of course! One of my favourite combos for FP4+ is Rodinal, it brings out everything you like about the film and more. Not only does it make for extremely printable negatives but they scan like a dream with little needing to be done when you’re post-processing the scans. Negatives are sharp, the tone and contrast are dead on the money and while you may find an uptick in the grain in 35mm it’s hardly noticeable in 120 and large format. The film also responds well to stand developing with the tones becoming more like butter and the grain near non-exsistant.

A Limehouse SaturdayA Limehouse SaturdayA Limehouse SaturdayA Limehouse Saturday

Techincal Details:
Hasselblad 500c – Carl Zeiss Planar 80mm 1:2.8 – Ilford FP4+ @ ASA-125
Blazinal (1+25) 9:00 @ 20C

Roll 04 – Kodak Tmax Developer
While I knew of the pushing capabilities of Ilford FP4+, I never thought that TMax developer would be a good choice. But I was kind of forced into it, yet as I pulled the film out I was seriously impressed with the results. Of course, when I mentioned this to fellow podcast host Mike, he laughed and told me that TMax developer is a compensating developer so of course, it would work great for pushing. Well push or no push, TMax does a fantastic job on the film stock.

CCR:FRB - Review 05 - Ilford FP4+ - Roll 04 (TMax Developer)CCR:FRB - Review 05 - Ilford FP4+ - Roll 04 (TMax Developer)CCR:FRB - Review 05 - Ilford FP4+ - Roll 04 (TMax Developer)CCR:FRB - Review 05 - Ilford FP4+ - Roll 04 (TMax Developer)

Technical Details:
Nikon FE – AI-S Nikkor 105mm 1:2.5 – Ilford FP4+ @ ASA-200
Kodak TMax Developer (1+4) 9:00 @ 20C

Final Thoughts
When it comes to film that can take anything you can throw at it and turn around and give you exactly the results you want, then FP4+ certainly ranks among those films. A bullet proof stock that likes every developer you throw at it. While D-76, HC-110, Rodinal, and TMax developer are all solid options. I’ve also souped the stuff in Pyrocat-HD, D-23, SPUR HRX and a wide range of Ilford developers (Microphen, Perceptol, DD-X, Ilfosol 3) and it loves everyone and provides the same consistent results no matter what developer and format you get it in. No questions, no troubles, just amazing photos, that’s FP4+.