Color Negative film for B&W Hybrid Workflow

400 Film Tests
Portra 400 as B&W

Click on the audio play button to hear my thoughts.

Viva la Revolution- Stephen

The Fearless Leader Schaub 2014
The Fearless Leader
Schaub 2014

Testing Leica Monochrome and Film


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….


The End Of Film? Or… The End Of Digital?

Click on the audio play button to listen to this 14 minute discussion on the future of photography by Stephen Schaub.


How Much Longer Can Photographic Film Hold On?

Traditional Camera Film Makes A Come Back

Kodak BW400CN and Fuji Acros Compared in Caffenol C

Here is an interesting side by side… shot within a few minutes of each other. The BW400CN is an EI of 200 (this film in my Caffenol C process has a very usable EI range from 50-800). The Fuji Acros is an EI of 100 (box speed… depending on processing time the Acros has a usable EI from 50-800). Both can go further in either direction but this range is the real sweet spot. The crops represent a 4″ x 4″ from a 20″ x 20″ image size… yes the BW400CN has more grain but it is much sharper and I am not sure the grain would even print at the 20″ x 20″ size. Both films have fantastic reciprocity characteristics with no adjustment required until 120 sec.

When you hover over the image it will give the description of the thumbnail.

Viva la Revolution-


Kodak BW400CN Processed in Caffenol C

The testing continues… BW400CN (C-41) by Kodak processed in my tweaked Caffenol C… the testing for this film is almost done… usable EI is around EI 50 – 400 / 800 all with the same processing time! Grain has a nice defined presence but not overpowering. A big advantage to this material beyond the flexability of the EI as mentioned above is the fact that is has fantastic reciprocity characteristics (no compensation required till 120 seconds) and it is very easy to scan on almost any scanner.

Below is a sample image shot with my Leica MP with a 28mm lens – the EI for this shot is 200. The dark barn board above the doors was placed at Zone 3… the light snow outside which has full detail is Zone 16!! This is a straight scan with minor adjustments in PS for contrast / levels… more soon.

Here is an example just for comparision of the same test shot on Kodak Tmax 400 processed in PMK using the technique outline here… instant coffee is looking pretty dam good!

Note: both shots were done using only natural light.

Stand Development – Part 1

RO9This is part one in a multi-part article on stand development and semi-stand development (BW) for the purposes of scanning. I have been spending much time looking at different dilutions, different agitation techniques, different recipies and I have come up with a good working solution for my tested films that produces perfect results every time.

AudioBlog LogoTo listen to the audioblog portion of this post … just click on the Audio Logo.

Many of you know I really like Diafine Developer (I have written several articles here on its fantastic qualities for scanning)… the techniques I am about to outline have many of the advantages of Diafine but with finer grain and better highlight separation.

Before we get started, here is a shopping list if you want to try this technique for yourself:

Film: Fuji Acros or Kodak TMY-2 (New TMAX 400)
R09 “One Shot” Developer (Rodinal Replacement)
Kodak Xtol Developer
Ascorbic  Acid
Or you can use 20 Mule Team Borax found at most Supermarkets.
Distilled Water (a few gallons)
Plus you will need, of course, your standard darkroom chems: stop bath, fixer, and hypo.

Stay tuned for Part 2 in two days!

Viva la Revolution- Stephen

Ethical Note: I do not endorse any vendor of photographic material over another. The links provided above are just an easy source to find the materials needed but by no means are the best or only source.

Kodak BW400CN, Fantastic Misunderestimated Film

Many of the chromogenic (C41) process black and white films get mixed reactions on the web from working photographers, but my recent and continuing exploration of Kodak BW400CN has changed everything in my mind and in a very good way. To listen to the audio portion just click on the audioblog logo.

AudioBlog LogoTest Image: Kodak BW400CN exposed at box speed (400) and scanned on an Imacon Scanner. Minor contrast and density adjustment were applied in Photoshop CS3. Negative was made using a Leica M7 with a 28MM Elmarit F2.8 ASPH lens. Please note the file is larger than most here on FR so you can really see the stunning tonal range and detail. One additional note on the weather here in Vemont… it has been raining a lot and as such this image was made on an overcast day, thus the gray sky.