Ferrania P30 in the Trip 35

Shot at ASA50, developed in Sprint at 70F for ~7min (M).  I can’t even remember how far back I shot this roll, maybe late 2017?  It sat in my freezer because I wanted to be able to give it a little more attention with hand-developing.  I still have 2 rolls left over from the Ferrania alpha run a few years ago now (maybe I should have ordered more when they were available but I missed that window).

With more film I’d want to try some of the D-96 Monobath as I have a feeling the film wouldn’t be as contrasty.  That said, there’s an incredible amount of detail there if the film is exposed properly.  There are several images in here where I burned in the sky quite heavily to get more cloud definition: not that I’m a master at dodging/burning but I have to say that they look relatively believable.

I shot this roll with the Olympus Trip 35, with the incredibly sharp 40mm f/2.8 lens.  Go ahead and find some grain in these shots.  In fact this was the last roll I shot in the Trip 35, the shutter seems to have seized up and I’m bummed about that.  The 1/40 second shutter speed caused some blurry shots on the ASA50 film, I suppose that was to be expected.  So does the Pakon have problems focusing for this film?  I think it does indeed have a thicker base and the grain is so small.  But I calibrated my Pakon when I took it out of storage (as I write this I just put it back in storage while I move) and I think there’s decent sharpness there, my own focusing errors notwithstanding.

In fact for a film that dates back to the late ’50s I couldn’t believe how little grain there is!  According to Ferrania they’re all caught up on repairs and making P30 again so I think I’ll buy another 5 rolls of this film when they start selling it.  It certainly isn’t going to replace Tri-X in being my everyday use film, but at ASA80 I wasn’t expecting it to, especially with the feeling-out that has been going on with developing.  Until then, I have 2 rolls left and I want to shoot those in the Spotmatic with the 50mm f/4 SMC Macro-Takumar.  If I ever needed to blow up a 35mm image to 20×24 or larger that’s the combination I’d use.

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Eastman House

I honestly didn’t shoot that much, I was so busy just looking around.  This was one of the places I’d been wanting to check out since I found out the next Blackburn Reunion would be near Rochester.  Just standing in the same rooms that the Great Man stood, walking where he walked, it was special.

Compared to the McMansions that are made today and some of the places I’ve seen Eastman’s house seems modest, even austere in a way.  But one thing that I was aware of is that everything is of top quality.  There were some very nice grounds with flowers and at least one pond, but I enjoyed the grape vines more, at least they’re something useful.  I tasted one too, they’re way too sour.  Besides that the only souvenir I took was an acorn that fell from one of the oak trees in his front yard.  Everything else has a bit of significance too: a long exposure in the camera obscura, a mirror selfie in Eastman’s study, the nitrate archive, and Eastman’s love of music (wouldn’t let me get close enough to the pipe organ).  Probably these pictures aren’t very interesting to anyone but me, that’s ok.  If you’re in Rochester and you love shooting on film, go make your own pictures there.  Just don’t buy a roll of film in their gift shop, it’s outrageously expensive.

Canandaigua Lake

Putting the Weathermatic through its paces once again.  So far all our college reunion trips have included water, so it’s in my camera bag on the majority of my trips.  Actually the first three shots were Cinestill 800T from the SPII but I thought they kept closely enough to the nautical theme.

When I visited the Eastman House, I bought a roll of T-Max 400 at the gift shop just I could shoot it in New York.  It cost me $12 (for a 24 exposure roll), and I won’t be doing that again.

Blackburn Reunion 2018, Pt.II

Part II: with the Minolta Weathermatic Dual 35, which I had along ostensibly to use on the water, but which also came handy for other snapshots when occasioned.  Starting with a roll of Kodak Gold 200, then a roll of T-Max 400.

That roll of T-Max cost me $12.00 or so at the Eastman House gift shop (for a 24exp roll).  I’ll never let myself get ripped of like that again, but I felt I wanted to at least buy one roll from there while I was in Upstate New York.  One day we were visiting different wineries around the Finger Lakes

Blackburn Reunion 2018, Pt.I

Every couple of years my college buddies get together around Labor Day Weekend to hang out.  This year we stayed at the house of one of our uncles, on Canandaigua Lake in Upstate New York.  I miss this area quite a lot, we spent some time here when I was a boy and it was great to make it back to such a beautiful spot.  There was some hanging around as you can see, board games, lots of meals, generally stuff that we did together when we all lived in Columbus.  Flying into Rochester, NY and staying around the Finger Lakes I of course left all my Fujifilm stocks at home.

The roll of Cinestill 800T was downright ancient, I think I’d had it in my fridge for almost four years and it looks rather grainy.  It’s also the first roll I’d shot in a while and I did shoot it outside now and again, with my orange filter.  That worked better than the first time I tried.  Strangely, I had to work with the indoor shots much more to find an acceptable color temperature (not my strong suit).  I was anticipating some late nights in near-darkness and the T-Max 3200 definitely came through for me there, this is the second roll of the stuff that I’ve shot.  One of my goals was to take a good portrait of each of my friends, though there was some resistance to that.  I got a pretty good shot of most everybody (and they even turned the camera on me once or twice too).  I also tried a cigar for the first time ever and puked my guts out about half an hour later (then it became a true college party); ironic that one of my buddies had mentioned earlier that he never took whisky and cigars together for just that reason, and I had to learn the hard way too…power of suggestion?

The T-Max 3200 was bought last year (in an order from Cinestill).  I think I’m acquiring a bit of a taste for this film: the grain is certainly pronounced (in fact compare it to the last time I pushed Tri-X to 1600), but I love the moodiness that it gives the pictures.  In fact next time we get together I might just keep it all black & white because I’m a bigger fan of that roll of 3200 than anything else I shot.  Then I could roll out the f/1.4 Yellow 50; this time I knew I wanted to shoot some Cinestill 800T so I brought out the 1.8/55 SMC Takumar.

So is the 3200 really any better than pushing Tri-X to 3200?  I honestly don’t know, I’ve only pushed Tri-X to 1600.  I have heard that the results can be a bit unpredictable to go beyond 1600, but then perhaps I should put that to the test myself.  Or maybe look at T-Max 3200 shot at 1600, to compare the grain.  It does look very grainy, more than I would have thought.  Where does the T-grain have its limitations?  The outside night shots here were T-Max 400 shot at 3200; it might not be the most scientific comparison, but I don’t see much difference.

What Fuji reworking Acros 100 means

Old news now, but I’ll start off with the link if you haven’t seen it already: https://emulsive.org/articles/news/brand-new-film-from-fujifilm-neopan-100-acros-ii-announced-begins-shipping-autumn-2019?fbclid=IwAR1AHH93iDb-r_nGjKXmUnBZzfNoZqA6ezcfFvBf_moKLVE-JXQOSp5LtQY

This is the kind of news I would have thought to read on April Fools’ Day but I’m incredibly happy that this is happening for real!  The best thing to take away from this announcement besides the new Acros is the intimation that Fuji has been restructuring their manufacturing, scaling down to meet current demand.

I’ve read the rumors that Fuji made one last gigantic batch of film and has been selling it off piecemeal for the last few years, and it sounds like a plausible one to me.  If true, perhaps it wasn’t because they had decided to stop production and scrap their machinery, as much as it was to streamline production, and rework their emulsions to use more easily-sourced ingredients.  I’ve been one to spread the message of doom and gloom in the past, I hope I was wrong there and so have an alternative.  If Ektachrome can be bought for $13 after Kodak had to spend a lot of time and effort with reworking the emulsion, I see no reason why Velvia and Provia should be selling for nearly $20.  The constant price hikes in the past few years could be explained as a way to manage demand while they were working on restructuring, which would mean that they should be going down.

Now that Fuji has reworked Acros, I expect to see announcements for Velvia and Provia to come soon, and probably the color negative stocks as well.  Here are a few other things to hope for:

-reworked emulsions for Neopan 400 and 1600, Reala 100, Provia 400X, more?

-better prices, around $7-10 per roll

-better communication with customers.  It’s obvious that they’ve been reading what we’ve been writing.  Kodak needs to work on this more as well, but at least they’re trying.  Fuji has been a black hole of information and it’s annoying.

Dinosaur bones

The Dinosaur Resource Center in Woodland Park, CO is one of the top 3 paleontology research centers in the country, and I’m glad to have it so close to me.  It actually took my cousin’s family coming to visit for me to check it out myself.  Being on the Front Range where there was so much uplift, it’s been a good place to find so many fossils.  As far as they’re telling us, there used to be many sites in Colorado that paleontologists were digging them up, but at the moment it’s only in Colorado Springs.

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