Back to Paris… Again

So I am heading back to Paris tomorrow provided I can make it to Boston to get my flight!

Paris Bound

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.

Viva la Revolution- Stephen

Film Doesn’t Matter

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.

Viva la Revolution- Stephen

Film Testing

So I very recently got a Leica MP Black Paint a la carte with a matching black paint Leica 35mm F2 ASPH Summicron… Nice! But what film? I’ve been shooting a lot of 4×5 film recently, mainly Kodak 160 Portra and there is NO way a 35mm negative was going to give me the tonality or depth of color that I had grown acustomed to. So what to do?!

Here are the results of my first tests…. Kodak 400TX processed 1:100 at 68F for 20 minutes with gentle agitation every 3 minutes. The negatives when scanned on my Imacon scanner at 6300 dpi were fantastic- I love grain! I made a test print at 28″ x 40″ on Canson Aquarelle 310 on my Epson 9900 using the BW mode and it was spot on. But…. was it perfect? No.  Since this first test I have run many others and now feel that a bit more agitation is needed, perhaps one gentle inversion per minute. I also have ran a test with D76 1:1 using my JOBO and the results were quite nice but the grain was not as crisp as the Rodinal.

Ilsa2013FR_B

Ilsa2013FR_A

So today I am running one last test as I am leaving tomorrow for a week of shooting from FL to VT (will mainly be shooting 4×5 color but want the Leica for my reportage work.

My test today will use PMK developer which I used a lot back in 2006-2007 and I remember how amazing the never ending highlights were…. more as that test concludes.

Viva la Revolution- Stephen

New Kodak Professional Portra 160 Film Review

When Kodak released the Portra 400 a few months ago many of us speculated that a new Portra 160 would be just around the corner… and guess what? Kodak has announced today that Kodak Professional Portra 160 will be released starting in March 2011 in: 35mm, 120/ 220, 4×5 and 8×10… fantastic!!! Click on the audio-play button to listen to a 13 minute in-depth review of this new film (I tested 120) and be sure to look at the sample images provided below while listening to the audio… What a nice way to start the week!!!

Viva la Revolution- Stephen

Please click on the images below to see larger versions of each.

Indian Hill Imageworks Interior Kodak Portra 160
Eve- Kodak Professional Portra 160- 50" x 71.65" Print!
16" x 20" Crop from a 50" x 71.65" File. WOW!!!
5" x 7" crop from a 50" x 71.65" file... amazing tonality and detail!

Goodnight Kodachrome: 1935-2010

Click on the audio play button to listen to this bed time story read by Eve  Schaub… but first be sure to get a glass of warm milk. Today is the last day to get Kodachrome processed.

Goodnight Kodachrome


In the big yellow room

There was a camera

and a classic film

and a picture of Paul Simon jumping over the moon.


Goodnight Kodachrome

Goodnight moon

Goodnight slide show in the living room


Goodnight 25

Goodnight 64

Goodnight dynamic range eight stops more


Goodnight Dwayne’s

Goodnight flare

Goodnight little Afghan girl’s haunting stare


Goodnight mail order

Goodnight rush

And goodnight to Steve McCurry whispering “hush”


Goodnight plastic carousel

Goodnight transparencies rare

Goodnight glorious old color film… everywhere.


–“Goodnight Moon,” original text by Margaret Wise Brown

–”GoodNight Kodachrome,” text by Eve O. Schaub and Stephen Schaub, Copyright 2010

Kodak New Portra 400 Review Part 3a: 3200!

The last vote… each of these 400 speed films at 3200! The only light in the room is the 40 watt compact florescent in the lamp behind Eve… talk about crappy light!

All negatives were scanned on an Imacon Scanner as a 3F linear file with no sharpening… essentially a RAW scan.

All images were processed exactly the same in Photoshop. All images were captured with my Nikon FM3a and a 50mm f1.2 AI lens… in this case at F 1.2… bit slow on the shutter speed… hand held. Both files were made so the film edge would read black.

Tell every photographer you know to vote on this as the results will be very informative for our Figital community and will be covered in my fourth and final post on this review on Novemember 23, 2010… vote now!!

Vote Now!!!!