Tag: Nikon F5

Toronto Film Shooters Meetup – Spring 2018

Toronto Film Shooters Meetup – Spring 2018

It’s been just under a year since the gang visited the Riverdale/Leslieville areas of Toronto. And again I found myself as a participant in the walk rather than the organiser. For that, I left it up to Bill Smith who knows the area like the back of his hand, though this time around we took a much different route. There’s something about getting started early as we gathered at the Rooster Coffee House for our start, after an Atomic Rooster Brew and some discussion. And of course, snapping photos with our cups of coffee and our cameras we started off.

Bill and the FLeicamanUp in SmokeJohn

The day had promised to be a scorcher, thankfully the humidity was not as bad as predicted, which made life easier especially lugging around camera gear. We didn’t even blink at the Old Don Jail that had a massive lineup outside it already for a Doors Open Tour, we were more interested in moving rather than jockeying for shots inside the old jail. Across the Don Valley and into a rather odd feature of the city, Riverdale Farm. A strange little pocket of history that Toronto makes Toronto rather unique, from there it was into the beautiful areas of Cabbage Town with grand old homes that still carried some of their historic charms.

Riverdale TunnelGoats?The Grand HouseCatholic

The group remained fairly elastic often trailing across maybe half a kilometre each person seeing something different in the area to capture or just sticking to the social aspects of the meetup. I went a bit bigger on gear than I usually do, bringing the Nikon F5 along with the standard lens trio, 35, 50, and 105. Giving me a bit more range to capture wide to close. The day was bright, and I really should have just stuck to the slower films I had packed and left the FP4+ for another day.

Row Upon RowHam!Didn't See AnythingYing & Yang

Despite the late departure, we made a good time, being able to poke our head into an area of the city that I haven’t always visited before ended at the Stout Irish Pub (great food, great beer). And while some decided to head back to the Rooster I needed to get to Saulter Street in a far quicker manner before heading into the Downtown for chemistry at Downtown Camera and be home in time to make up dinner! If you want to join the Toronto Film Shooters, our next photo walk takes place on the 21st of July at 3 pm, meeting at the Exchange Brewery (7 Queen Street, Niagara-On-The-Lake, Ontario) more details can be found on the Facebook Event.

Kicking it back to the Old School

Kicking it back to the Old School

For anyone who has been a long time reader of this blog, you’ll know that Montreal, Quebec holds a special place in my photographic story. So with my first wedding anniversary, last month and a great deal on hotel and the train my wife and I celebrated our anniversary in the city.

Bonsecours MarketLight StandardsRound, And Round

Of course, this trip wasn’t solely for photography, I mean I had refreshingly packed light, sort of. You cannot really call the Nikon F5 light-weight, but I wanted to bring my best 35mm kit with me and have a level of automation. So with the F90 on loan, the F5 got to go on the trip. Oddly enough last time I was in the city it was the Nikon F4 that was my primary 35mm camera and some of the same lenses even came along, the 35mm f/2, 50mm f/1.4, and the 105mm f/2. Then there was the choice of film. I had some five rolls picked out early, hoping for sunlight and good weather. I also was holding out hope that my shipment of Silberra film would arrive before leaving (sadly it did not, so my review of those films I’m pushing to September at this point). So, of course, I went with five slower films, RPX25, Panatomic-X, Fomapan 100, Efke 100, and P30. Well, the weather failed to cooperate, so then I decided to just run with five rolls of Tri-X, knowing that I could push, pull, and shoot at box speed to my heart’s content no matter what the situation required. But as the departure date came closer it seemed the weather would break, so I went with a pair of Tri-X, a pair of Eastman Double-X (which you’re looking at in this post), and a single roll of the new TMax P3200. Yes, a total Kodak fest, but hey, I am a fan of our big yellow father.

A CafeAboveCome to Corith

As Sunday was our actual anniversary, and the nicest day temperature and conditions wise it was Sunday we decided to just wander outside, poking our heads into small shops all through my favourite part of the city, Old Montreal. Now having been to Europe and France I can see the parallels, no surprise between Old Montreal and a place like Arras or Gent. Though far newer (Montreal was founded as Ville-Marie in 1642 when much of Europe was already the same age Montreal is today if not older). So it only made sense to pop in the cinematic Eastman Double-X. I stuck to shooting just my F5, while my wonderful wife took command of the a6000, which she handles rather well I have to say. I stuck to two lenses, much of the first roll was shot on the 105mm f/2 lens while much of the second on the 35mm f/2. I find that I often stick too much to the normal/wide lenses but in Old Montreal, you get wonderful detail in many of the old buildings. While none date back to the 17th Century, there are plenty from the whole range of the 19th Century and into the 20th. A wonderful mix of old and new, comparatively speaking that is.

Our Lady of VictoryWhat's the Time?Hotel Nelson

Yet if you compare Old Montreal to Old Quebec City, you see two different sides of New France/Lower Canada/Canada East. Montreal carries a far more English flare in the old city, while still clearly French, the British influence, which I’m assuming happened through the 1830s and in the 1840s era is rather clear. Whereas Quebec City retains it’s ancien regime flare and styling. Oh, the churches remain clearly French with the grand sweeping Roman Catholic Cathedrals and Chapels. And while you can find them, you have to venture into the newer parts of the city to find Protestant places of Worship. But as I walked the streets again nearly a decade later everything seems both the same and different. I saw the buildings in a new light, probably because there was a lot more light than the last time I walked the narrow streets. And everything seems far more alive, vibrant, and active. While I shot the area extensively the last time I was there, everything looked new. Sure I saw plenty of familiar sites but there was a lot of new sights as well. The streets were full of people, not crowded, but enough to give a new life to the old city. Patios and cafes were murmuring with the crowd and my camera just kept shooting scene after scene. Look, Seek, Find. And yes, I still enjoy taking pictures of doors.

Technical Details:
Nikon F5 – AF Nikkor 35mm 1:2D/AF DC-Nikkor 105mm 1:2D – Eastman Double-X (5222)
Kodak D-76 (1+2) 11:00 @ 20C

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.

Toronto Film Shooters – Winter 2018

Toronto Film Shooters – Winter 2018

When it comes to the Winter meetups, the weather is always a crapshoot. But unlike last year, we were blessed with beautiful blue skies, bright sun, and temperatures above zero. I think that helped bring out a dozen shooters to invade the historic downtown of Unionville, Ontario.

The Train Don't Stop HereBeauty in SimplicityThe Planing MillThe General Store

I had first discovered Unionville thanks to one of my co-workers who mentioned that he and this girlfriend enjoyed the historic downtown. So last summer I hit it up on what turned into a hot summer’s day and I saw why. And the group that showed up completely agreed. The small size of the downtown, about a five-minute walk from end to end, allowed the group to spread out and me, as host, bounce from group to group. Of course, the best part is the gathering afterwards, the Unionville Arms proved to be an awesome spot for lunch. We even attracted the notice of the pub’s owner who thought we were a hockey team instead of a group of photographers.

A late morning StrollCatching the FiddlerRobCatching Water

If you’re interested in joining us on a future walk, the Toronto Film Shooters hosts four main walks a year, with a smattering of specialized walks. You can join us on our facebook group, or search for our events, they’re always public! And you don’t even have to be someone who shoots traditional film, just shoot me a line on FB or post on the event page and I’ll be more than happy to bring a spare camera for you and a roll of film.

Technical Details:
Group 1: Rolleiflex 2.8F – Carl Zeiss Planar 80mm 1:2.8 – JCH Streetpan 400 @ ASA-400
Kodak HC-110 Dil. F 12:30 @ 20C

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

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 04 – Kodak TMax 400

CCR:FRB – Review 04 – Kodak TMax 400

When it comes to T-Grained (modern films like TMax and Delta) I can be fairly picky, the 100-speed ones I tend to like while the faster 400-speed ones I can be overly critical about. That being said I’ve found that recently I’ve been warming up to these faster emulsions the more I experiment with them. As with Delta 400, I’ve warmed up a little to TMax 400. Oddly, TMax 400 was the first roll of film I processed on my own under the watchful eye of Julie Douglas back in 2010.

CCR:FRB - Review 04 - Kodak TMax 400

Film Specs
Type: Panchromatic B&W, T-Grain
Film Base: Acetate
Film Speed: ASA-400, Latitude: 50-3200
Formats Avaliable: 135, 120, 4×5, 8×10

Roll 01 – Kodak TMax Developer
It’s only fair that we start the film off right using the native TMax developer. And when it comes to TMax 400 whether you’re using the strong 1+4 dilution or the 1+9 dilution you’ll get excellent results from this film. You can get the upper side of the film’s latitude with the developer and show off the fine grain and sharpness of the film with this developer. And even in 1+9, there’s no real loss of contrast, you get smooth tones across the board without any loss of blacks or whites. Of course, in 1+4, you’ll find a greater level of contrast but it won’t affect grain or sharpness.

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Technical Details:
Rolleiflex 2.8F – Carl Zeiss Planar 80mm 1:2.8 – Kodak TMax 400 @ ASA-400
Kodak TMax Developer (1+9) 22:00 @ 20C

Roll 02 – Kodak HC-110
You would think that a high contrast developer would be able to pull out some level of contrast in a film, well here in lies my main issue with TMax 400, in certain developers you just can’t get contrast. Sure I could do this in post-processing but that would be cheating in my mind. That being said, HC-110 and TMax 400 is not a bad combination, you still get the sharpness and fine grain nature of the film, and even with Dilution B, you can still push to film to the top of its latitude with amazing results.

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

Technical Details:
Hasselblad 500c – Carl Zeiss Planar 80mm 1:2.8 – Kodak TMax 400 @ ASA-400
Kodak HC-110 Dil. B 5:30 @ 20C

Roll 03 – Pyrocat-HD
When it comes to developers, if you have talked to me, Pyro developers are a magic bullet. I tend to use it when I what sharpness but desire some grain control so it makes perfect sense for me to use it with TMax 400. Sadly this roll got developed in the dregs of a bottle and was a little underdeveloped. But thankfully due to the power of TMax 400, I could still pull decent images out of the negatives. I found that it produced a very classic look, bright and crispy, and sure enough I actually enjoyed the results while it’s a good option I feel it would be better suited to larger formats (medium and large).

CCR:FRB - Review 04 - Kodak TMax 400 - Roll 03 (Pyrocat-HD)CCR:FRB - Review 04 - Kodak TMax 400 - Roll 03 (Pyrocat-HD)CCR:FRB - Review 04 - Kodak TMax 400 - Roll 03 (Pyrocat-HD)CCR:FRB - Review 04 - Kodak TMax 400 - Roll 03 (Pyrocat-HD)

Techincal Details:
Nikon F5 – AF Nikkor 35mm 1:2D (Yellow-15) – Kodak TMax 400 @ ASA-200
Pyrocat-HD (1+1+100) 11:00 @ 20C

Roll 04 – Kodak D-76
Is there nothing D-76 cannot do? Well, I’m sure there is, but when it comes to TMax films this developer is king because you can push and pull the film to your heart’s content and just dilute to 1+1 and go. My first experience with TMax 400 was souping it in D-76 and I can say you get everything you want out of the film with this developer. I would even hazard saying the film responds better in D-76 than TMax Developer.

CCR - Season 4 - Recording Session 1CCR - Season 4 - Recording Session 1CCR - Season 4 - Recording Session 1CCR - Season 4 - Recording Session 1

Technical Details:
Nikon F90 – AF Nikkor 50mm 1:1.4D – Kodak TMax 400 @ ASA-400
Kodak D-76 (Stock) 7:30 @ 20C

Final Thoughts
While TMax 400 does not remain a favourite film of mine, I really don’t mind it as much as I think I do. I know that sounds weird, but in the end, it just comes down to personal preference. And my preference is for classic/traditional grained films like Tri-X and HP5+ but it’s not a bad film. It’s still sharp, and the grain is super fine even for sharp developers. It works the best for the native TMax developer and does well with the basic as well D-76. While I haven’t developed the film in Pyrocat-HD or D-23 two more present chemicals in my toolkit, I’m sure it would do just fine. But if you want a film you can push to the limit like Tri-X but you want a more modern feel, then TMax 400 is your film.

CCR:FRB – Review 01 – Kosmo Foto Mono 100

CCR:FRB – Review 01 – Kosmo Foto Mono 100

At your first glance, you see this Soviet Styled space-age packaging, and you know you’re in for a treat. Mono 100 is the new player on the block, a Panchromatic ASA-100 speed B&W Film. When I first learned that Kosmo Foto was working towards releasing a brand new film I jumped. While the Soviet-styled look will draw you in, the contents of the film itself will make you want to shoot more and more of the film stock.

CCR:FRB - Review 01 - Kosmo Foto Mono 100

The Lowdown
Type: B&W Panchromatic
Film Base: Acetate
Film Speed: ASA-100, Latitude: ASA-50 to ASA-400
Formats Avaliable: 135 (35mm)

Roll 1 – Rodinal
Before I start, I’ll have to confess I went completely off spec for this first roll of film. The trouble, at least for me was, it’s been drummed into my head that you get poor results for developing times less than five minutes (well I did soup Tri-X in HC-110 Dil. B for 4.5 minutes for many years before switching). So when the chart for Mono 100 noted the Rodinal time was 3.5 minutes for 1+25 dilution my brain screamed at me. I then sat down, did a bit of math, looked at another ASA-100 film and decided to use a 1+50 dilution, double the time and add thirty seconds. I honestly did not expect it to work, but it did. As for the results, well they speak for themselves. Mono 100 has rich tones across the spectrum, incredibly fine grain, something I wasn’t expecting.

CCR:FRB - Review 01 - Kosmo Foto Mono 100 - Roll 01 (Rodinal)CCR:FRB - Review 01 - Kosmo Foto Mono 100 - Roll 01 (Rodinal)CCR:FRB - Review 01 - Kosmo Foto Mono 100 - Roll 01 (Rodinal)CCR:FRB - Review 01 - Kosmo Foto Mono 100 - Roll 01 (Rodinal)CCR:FRB - Review 01 - Kosmo Foto Mono 100 - Roll 01 (Rodinal)

Technical Details:
Nikon F5 – AF Nikkor 50mm 1:1.4D – Kosmo Foto Mono 100 @ ASA-100
Blazinal (1+50) 7:30 @ 20C

Roll 2 – Kodak D-76
I never thought I would say this, but Mono 100 sings in D-76, I was again surprised at the short time for a diluted D-76, but in this case, the time is spot on. Not to mention D-76 shows off exactly what Mono 100 can do, smooth beautiful tones, and makes the world look right, the perfect monochromatic image. Especially with a deep yellow filter in front of the lens. There is some noticeable grain, but nothing that isn’t too bad.

CCR:FRB - Review 01 - Kosmo Foto Mono 100 - Roll 02 (Kodak D-76)CCR:FRB - Review 01 - Kosmo Foto Mono 100 - Roll 02 (Kodak D-76)CCR:FRB - Review 01 - Kosmo Foto Mono 100 - Roll 02 (Kodak D-76)CCR:FRB - Review 01 - Kosmo Foto Mono 100 - Roll 02 (Kodak D-76)

Technical Details:
Nikon F90 – AF Nikkor 35mm 1:2D (Yellow-15) – Kosmo Foto Mono 100 @ ASA-100
Kodak D-76 (1+1) 9:00 @ 20C

Roll 3 – Kodak TMax Developer
And the hits just keep on coming, Mono 100 responded perfectly to TMax Developer. As a developer, TMax and I have a hit-and-miss relationship. When I like it, I like it, when I don’t, I sort of use up the rest of the bottle reluctantly and then let it be for months. But in light of doing all these film reviews, it seemed only fair to give it a go. While I noticed a drop in contrast and a bit more of an uptick in grain it really is not a bad pairing.

CCR:FRB - Review 01 - Kosmo Foto Mono 100 - Roll 03 (TMax Developer)CCR:FRB - Review 01 - Kosmo Foto Mono 100 - Roll 03 (TMax Developer)CCR:FRB - Review 01 - Kosmo Foto Mono 100 - Roll 03 (TMax Developer)CCR:FRB - Review 01 - Kosmo Foto Mono 100 - Roll 03 (TMax Developer)

Techincal Details:
Contax G2 – Carl Zeiss Planar 2/45 T* – Kosmo Foto Mono 100 @ ASA-100
Kodak TMax Developer (1+4) 5:30 @ 20C

Final Thoughts
When it comes to new films these days I am a bit wary. When I first learned about Mono 100 I figured we’d get a polyester base grain fest. Of course, that is not the case, I’m not knocking polyester based films they just can be a bit hard to handle. The film reminds me of how Svema Foto 200 handles, with smooth realistic tones, excellent response to contrast filters and just makes the world look right. While I’m still not sold on a 3.5 minute time in Rodinal 1+25, I’m sure it turns out fine, just be ready with that stop bath! But for me the one thing I see as a problem is the lack of HC-110 times, in fact, you are dissuaded from using HC-110 with the film. Of course, if I had a couple more rolls I’d be souping it in Dilution B just to see what happens. But if I were to give two solid developers for Mono 100 I would say Rodinal and D-76 are the clear winners. Currently, the only way to get Mono 100 is to directly order it from Kosmo Foto, kosmofoto.com/product/kosmo-foto-mono-film/ current they’re out of stock but we hope to see some fresh product soon!