All posts filed under: Journal

Review: TMax 400

The 400 ASA films that I’ve tried enough to have an opinion about include: Kodak’s Tri-X and TMax 400 and Ilford’s HP5 and XP2 Super. At this point, TMax has become a pretty clear favorite. It is without a doubt my most used B&W film in 35mm and in 120, though I explore more films more often in 120, it is the film I go to for consistent performance. While I do try to explore more and more films all the time, it is difficult to replace the flexibility and acutance of TMax 400 when it comes to shooting 35mm B&W. Tone If I’m being completely honest, this is where I feel TMax 400 disappoints me the most. It’s hard to explain why, though. Over every other film I’ve tried like it, I love the sharpness of this film and lack of pronounced grain. What’s different about this stock that I don’t love is the amount of middle grey and overall lack of contrast that photos have when taken in strong, daylight scenarios. In dimly …

Innsbruck, AT: New City, New Film – Acros II & Ortho Plus

If you’re wondering why I decide to take my annual trip to the mountains between March and April, the answer is simple. It’s generally still very cold so the summer tourists haven’t shown up yet but the height of skiing and snowboarding is past. As a result, the area is bit less packed out and the trails have started reopening (if they were ever closed). Not to mention that at the times the airfare is a good deal less expensive as are the hotels. Anyhow – on this particular trip, we left for a couple week trip in Germany and western Austria just as the novel corona virus was troubling northern Italy but before it started being so widespread. On the day we were flying back, we learned there were several documented cases of COVID-19 in Innsbruck and luckily for us we were able to be screened a couple days after being back. With the self quarantine that we are still currently in, I’ve been able to get all the B&W and C-41 developed and …

Superstition Mountains: New City, New Film – Ilford FP4 & Fujichrome Velvia 100

This past trip to Arizona was my third time visiting and every time I go, I grow more and more in love with the environment. Last year when we went, we visited Flagstaff but this year we split our time between Sedona and the Superstitions. Prior to heading out, I picked up several rolls of Ilford FP4 and at a camera shop in Phoenix, I picked up some Velvia 100. In Sedona I was shooting through a lot of Ektar and Provia and didn’t manage to load up the FP4 or Velvia until we rolled into the Superstitions. Admittedly, I didn’t particularly love either of these film stocks. Since the trip to AZ, I’ve shot through some 4×5 sheets of FP4 and didn’t much care for them either. That said, I’ve started developing my own B&W at home and have found that for some reason I’ve getting a lot more grain than I’m used to getting from the Darkroom so it may well be my own fault for not liking it. In general, I expect …

Experiment 2: Kodak Portra 160 vs. Portra 400 vs. Portra 800

This article is going to compare Kodak films Portra 160, Portra 400, and Portra 800. For exposure testing data on Portra 400, Portra 400 shot and developed at 800, Portra 800, and 8 other film stocks, please refer to this article. For an additional reference of Portra 400 shot and developed at 800, please refer to this article. To ensure consistency throughout the experiment, all of the shots were taken using the exact same camera/lens combo. To accomplish this, 3 different film backs were used, each loaded with a different Kodak Portra film. The control conditions were as follows: Camera: Mamiya 645 Pro TL Lenses: 80mm f/2.8 N, 150mm f/3.5 N, 300mm f/5.6 N-ULD Lighting (Portrait Only): 2 Profoto B1X with diffusers Light Meter: LUMU Light Meter iPhone app All films were developed at a local lab here in Columbus, OH and scanned at home using an Epson v600. All provided images were the converted negatives straight from the scanner software included with the v600. Results As perhaps could have been expected, I didn’t prefer …

Montréal: New City, New Film – Cinestill BWXX

Soon after our trip to Banff, AB (color and B&W), we went to Montréal, QC for my birthday. I shot through roll Ektar when I arrived and picked up a roll of Cinestill BWXX for myself for my birthday. Unfortunately the weather was not so favorable and you can tell. So much so that a long hike from the city center to the top of Mount Royal resulted in a beautiful view of grey fog. I shot through most of the roll in the poor weather only to see it clear up as I went through my last few shots. Nevertheless, the moody weather felt right for a cinematic film. Acros and T-Max 400 As mentioned before, I shot through some other film and I honestly liked the results from them a bit more than the Cinestill. Still though… It’s good to try out some new stuff.

Banff (In Monochrome): New City, New Film – Acros & T-Max 100/400

This article shows off some of the black and white negative film I tried out on my vacation to Banff, CA in April2019. To see some of the color negative work, please follow this link. Several of this films in this article have exposure tested and compared to other B&W negative films – this article is located here.   The Canadian Rockies were calling and we answered. In a moment of spontaneity and luck finding round-trip tickets for only 18k points, we got our tickets and booked a hotel within a couple hours and I immediately started thinking about what film I was going to take. For ease (and out of pure laziness) I needed to make sure everything was ASA 400 or slower so I didn’t have to have the film hand-checked. For black and white negative film, I ended up taking a pro pack of T-Max 400 120 and 1 roll of 35mm. A few rolls of T-Max 100 120 and a couple rolls of Acros 120. Acros Of all the films I …

Banff (In Color): New City, New Film – Ektar & Portra 160

This article shows off some of the color negative film I tried out on my vacation to Banff, CA in April2019. To see some of the black and white negative work, please follow this link.  Several of this films in this article have exposure tested and compared to other color negative films – this article is located here.   The Canadian Rockies were calling and we answered. In a moment of spontaneity and luck finding round-trip tickets for only 18k points, we got our tickets and booked a hotel within a couple hours and I immediately started thinking about what film I was going to take. For ease (and out of pure laziness) I needed to make sure everything was ASA 400 or slower so I didn’t have to have the film hand-checked. For color negative film, I ended up taking a pro pack of Portra 400 (per usual), Ektar, and Portra 160. I also ended up taking a few rolls of Fuji Provia and Ektachrome. Portra 160 I gave this film a shot after …