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….
As I am putting my notes together to produce “The Photographers Coffee Break”, I decided to do a quick calculation on the actual cost for Caffenol C Developer as sourced from my local grocery store… $1.00 per roll if you use distilled water… .75¢ per roll if you use tap water… not bad at all!
I am leaving for New Orleans later today so for the next few days posts here on FR will come from my ipod Touch.
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.
The Official Caffenol and Caffenol C Page here on Figital Revolution is now live! Over the next few months this page will provide updates on the status of The Photographer’s Coffee Break, the book, as well as provide links to interesting articles and images using the Caffenol process elsewhere on the web.
I just finished tweaking the Acros in Caffenol C and yes an EI of 1600 is very possible, as the sample image below shows… 3200 is just a tad past my liking but for some shots it would be usable. Click on both images to see a larger view.
The dark barn boards above the windows were placed at Zone 3… they were EV 0. The detail outside the window fell on Zone 14. The detail image below is a 3″ x 3″ crop from a 20″ x 20″ print… pretty impressive.
My metering technique for these images is a stripped-down Zone approach that will be outlined in some detail in my next book The Photographers Coffee Break … I feel it fits the Caffenol C process quite well.
This is really amazing… with my final tweak the Caffenol C process is giving me Fuji Acros with a usable EI from 25-800… I suspect that 1200 would also be fine… this is all with the same processing time / technique. The scan was a s straight scan with no sharpening and each image was just set for proper contrast in PS… wow!
Wait till you see the TMAX 100… I’ll post it tomorrow, it is equally amazing.