So here are my latest results experimenting with CineStill film in Caffenol (instant coffee)… I am very happy with this combination! I have found the usable EI for this film-developer combination to range from 100-3200, all with one processing time, but the very best is around EI 640. This test image was made with my 1956 Leica M3 with a 1960 Leica 135mm Leitz Wetzlar Elmar at F5.6.
I’ve been continuously tweaking my Caffenol developer and developing technique over the past few years… I find it to be a very solid go-to developer for virtually any black and white film.
That’s right! I am happy to announce that I am being featured in an upcoming documentary of photographers who work with motion picture film for still photography. The amazing Brendan Leahy of Studio Skylight has visited my studio for location filming at the Wilson Castle in Vermont, MassMoca and The Artist Book Foundation (more on that in just a bit) and on Cape Cod. We are planning additional shooting in Mexico and NYC in the very near future. The full length documentary- featuring ten artists from across the United States, but most importantly ME- will be out in early summer and will be featured at an exhibition I am curating on the topic of motion picture film photographers at the Wilson Museum at the Southern Vermont Art Center in Manchester, Vermont.
For now please enjoy these two teaser clips… sound on for best experience…
And follow me on instagram @stephenschaub where I am posting a lot of new content and daily studio updates.
There’s lots to celebrate in this new year: for one thing, film sales are very strong. 2018 saw some intriguing new films introduced and some old favorites brought back. Things are really getting interesting, aren’t they?
On a personal level, I have many cool projects in the works, including a new Widelux F7 that is getting serviced by my friend Bob Watkins at Precision Camera Works. This camera was in good shape when I purchased it, but it has not seen a service since say, 1990, so I decided to to play it safe. To quote Bob: “More than almost any other camera, there’s a lot of nuance involved in a Widelux repair. No two are exactly the same.”
Here is the picture he sent me of the camera, mid-CLA, today:
Note to self: NEVER open this camera without Bob!
Stay tuned for several posts on new events, ramblings on Caffenol shows I have coming up, and a few follow up articles from 2018.
This is my favorite camera bag EVER for my Leica M system. I have been looking for a bag like this for over a decade…. watch the video for a detailed review and look at the images below for some detail shots.
My final thought on the matter: We spend a tremendous amount of time, energy, and money building the optimal camera kit. Doesn’t it make sense to invest in a bag that will last as long as your Leica does?
Announced this morning, Kodak will begin shipping E100 in 35mm now and next month 8mm and early next year 16mm.
I remember being at a cafe here in Vermont and getting a call from Kodak to let me know that E-6 (Ektachrome) was being discontinued by Kodak due to weak sales. Me and a few other photographers got a few days notice in order to help soften the blow in online media. This time I got no call, no film to test and finding an actual press release was strangely difficult (Why is it not on the homepage Kodak??!!) BUT, I am nevertheless happy to see Ektachome’s return… it is a good sign of strength- and returning faith- in our medium.
A picture is worth a thousand words… so this is going to be a very short review!
Bergger Pancro 400 reminds me a lot of XX by Kodak– it has a very classic long greyscale with just the right amount of grain and amazing highlight control. The quality control is very high, and I love that it’s available in all formats, 35mm through 8×10 sheet film. After extensive testing I have decided to make it my go-to 120 film… yeah it’s that good! In 4×5 the grain is very, very smooth and round. In 120 the grain is there, but very fine and beautiful which I think adds a wonderful depth to the scanned film. As for 35mm? There will be grain, but again it is a classic looking grain, which I love.
So, if you want lifeless, flat, smooth boring film? Bergger Pancro 400 is not for you! This film is classic… and combined with Df96 developer it hits all the right marks.
Rate Bergger Pancro 400 at between 100-325…. I find 200/250 to be the sweet spot if you want full shadow detail. This holds true for all the developers I tested this film with.
CineStill Df96 MonoBath developer produces the very BEST negatives I have seen with this film; it is a perfect combination.
Try pulling the film with Df96… shoot it at 200 and pull 1/2 to 1 stop in development. Note: I did not do that in the sample image above but I could have… it’s a nice way to control high contrast scenes.