So I am heading back to Paris tomorrow provided I can make it to Boston to get my flight!
On my last trip to Paris 5 weeks ago I shot with the Leica Monochrome exclusively…. on this trip it will be my Leica M4 film cameras exclusively! Hint… my next big article here on FR.
I have also been testing a lot of film and developer combinations the last 5 weeks… a lot! I really like the Bergger BRF 400+ in Caffenol CL and Caffenol CH with EI in CL out to 3200+. Rodinal provides a very crisp negative and Xtol is another good choice at 1:1. Another film I have been testing a lot is Delta 3200 processed in PMK double strength… nice range of tones and usable out to 6400 and perhaps 12,800 with proper shadow metering. Today I am running a test looking at the Delta 3200 in PMK with 1.5 strength as at double the highlights get a bit hot at lower EI’s… I want it all- 400-6400!!!!!! Stay tuned!
Oh and the Bergger BRF400+ in PMK is around 200-400 with a beautiful tonal quality. I have heard many people compare the Bergger to Tri-X… Yes, but only if you are talking Tri-X from the 1970’s and even then it is more like XX than TX. It is very low contrast film which is a good thing for scanning and has a softer rendering then most modern films… perfect for a classic look. In Diafine it is nice but the grain needs a bit of a kick in PS with some structure and a “S” curve to add depth- in Diafine a usable EI of 1600 is not a problem.
I shoot both with the Leica Monochrome and my Leica MP. I find that for lens work the Monochrome is pretty hard to beat especially if you understand the proper Monochrome workflow: most work I see online made with the Monochrome is not done to maximize what the camera is capable of doing. I will post a more in-depth review on the MM in a couple of weeks. Right now, however, my testing is looking at the MM compared to my MP using three different films (Bergger BRF400+, Ilford Delta 3200 and Kodak BW400CN) and my pinhole systems and long exposures at high-speed EI. I have been testing a variety of different developers from Rodinal to Xtol and of course Caffenol. There is just something I like about the Caffenol negatives.
I’ll be posting an in-depth article in a couple of days looking at these films and developers all for the purposes of high-speed use and scanning. Of course this info will be valuable to any low light shooter as well….stay tuned!
Viva la Revolution- Stephen
PS- I did test in Diafine BUT as I am looking for speeds of a solid 1600+ it was not a good choice….
Lately I am seeing far too many images praised, not for their quality, but simply because they are film based. Much as I love film, that pisses me off. I want to see great work get attention- film or digital- whatever!
Favoring film-based images simply because they’re from film strikes me as similar to the mistake that some shooters make when they assume a certain camera brand (did someone say Leica?) magically makes their images superior. Bottom Line… use the tools that help you make your work. Process is important but it’s not all-important especially to a collector or client… in the end people buy what they like.
So in case you missed the hysteria: Kodak is no longer going to make acetate which is a base material for most roll films… HOWEVER!! this does not mean the end of film for Kodak. Kodak reportedly has several years worth of material on hand, their sheet films are on ESTAR base material- which they still produce- and they are looking for additional vendors to fill their acetate needs when their supply runs does out… again not for several years. This is really not as big a deal as some would suggest. Other sources of acetate exist- there will be a lot more news like this in the coming years from all current film makers, so we as film shooters need to take it in stride and not freak out – yet! For now just go shoot some freaking film!
As I said others options do exist and many with a better build quality and additional options, however, anything to keep film and LF alive is cool by me! Ive been shooting a lot of LF in the last few months… but more on that and a review of some LF films and processing options in a few weeks.
After quite a while working with my Cuboid camera I asked Matt Abelson of Abelson Scopeworks if a turret with 6 scopes would be possible to retrofit to my Cuboid while maintaining the ultra wide 25mm focal length… all I have to say is that it is spot on for my artworks and damn does it look nice!!
With the custom SELECTASCOPE option I have the choice of F196 – F32 with a Zone Plate at F45! The varying degree of sharpness and the option of overlaying different levels of sharpness on the same negative through multiple exposure is a creative A-Bomb…. ART Bomb that is!