Film Testing Kodak 400TX and Diafine Developer

Amazing couple of days running dozens of different developer tests all with 400TX… love the look of the grain and depth of this film! In the end I came back to an old friend but with a new twist. Diafine is back in my life in a big way! Diluted 1:1 and used as a one shot developer it is spot on in my JOBO with very nice grain, great tonality, no processing issues and best of all a usable EI from about 100-1250 (the chart shows 200-1600… I think 1600 is a bit on the edge for my works but is totally usable in a pinch. So again, in a JOBO speed is 4, temp does not really matter but I ran at 75F, Dilute part A and B 1:1… I did 3.5 minutes in each followed by a 2 min wash with water then fix (box time), clear (box time) and hang to dry…. easy as pie!

BarnTest200-1600

Of course an advantage of Diafine that I have written about here before is that many different films can be souped at the same time which is a huge time saver. Diafine negs are a bit flat and do requiere an “S” curve in PS to make me happy but I am now quite happy indeed. I will post links to Diafine articles I have written and a great one from a friend Sandy King from View Camera.

RiverTEST_800_Web

My suggest EI…. 800.

Viva la Revolution– Stephen

All images shot with a Leica MP with a 35MM Summicron ASPH… on Film!

LINKS:

Sandy King Article Diafine…. a must read!

as for articles here… there are a lot!!!! Just type in Diafine in the search box and enjoy!

Also please note these were just quick scans (first set) as I am leaving tomorrow for a week of shooting but the final scan (last image) is quite nice and shows the real potential for this amazing combo.

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!

George Eastman and Kodak for Kids

I, like many parents, have a hidden hope that one of my children will someday follow in my footsteps and one day become a photographer… a successful photographer, mind you. My oldest daughter was first introduced to photography when I gave her a Polaroid camera slr 680 (SX-70) at the age of four and then later a lighter new plastic Polaroid Spectra System. She’s now eight and for Christmas received a digital camera from her Uncle Chris and most recently I gave her a 1924 No.2 Kodak Brownie Cartridge Hawk-Eye, Model B from my collection (shoots 120mm, 6×9 cm).

With each new camera comes more questions on photography, art and the general “how do you do that“? Meanwhile, my wife Eve has just returned from a trip to Rochester, NY which included a visit to the George Eastman House – an amazing must pilgrimage for all photographers, whether you like Kodak or not- and purchased a comic book (gotta have a souveneir for the kids!) about George Eastman and the early history of Kodak. I, of course, had to read it (okay, twice) and despite its simplistic narrative it does answer many questions my 8 year old has regarding photography and this “new” Brownie camera she’s received… and it is presented in a manner that is accessable and fun to read. Yes, I know any discussion about Kodak nowadays is fraught with controversy and conflicting opinion but for my daughter it is perfect… and waaay more age appropriate than A World History of Photography by Naomi Rosenblum.

I, for one, would like to let her have her moment of blissful discovery for all things photographic- anger regarding Kodak (not to mention Ilford, Fuji and Agfa (RIP) et al) can come later. You know, like in art school!

Amazon LinK: George Eastman and the Kodak Camera (Inventions and Discovery series)

Scanning, Color Mangement and Photoshop…The Diafine and TX Sage…Part 2

As promised here is the next installment in the ongoing exploration of Diafine Developer and TX. In these videos hybrid artist and master printer Stephen Schaub (The Leader) discusses scanning techniques, color management considerations and Photoshop techniques to maximize your Diafine processed TX negatives!! (Please note that due to a time limitation on Youtube the video has been broken into two parts so be sure to watch BOTH videos!!)

Video ONE

Video TWO

Stay tuned for part 3 of the Diafine and TX saga early next week on the Figital Revolution!

Resource Links

Noise Ninja

Pixel Genius (Photo Kit Sharpening Software)

Kami Scanning Supplies

Ergosoft High Fidelity Inkjet RIP Software

Eizo Monitors

Viva la Revolution!!

The New Kodak TMAX 400 Film – GET EXCITED KODAK IS BACK!!

New Tmax 400 Box

Kodak IMHO hit a home run with the new TMAX 400. I’ve been testing the 35mm version- (the box says world’s sharpest 400… and it is!) and having now shot around 30 rolls of this film in Puerto Rico and tested a few more here in Vermont here are some initial thoughts (note- please be sure to click on the images to get a larger view):

1. I tried 3 different developers (D-76, XTOL and PMK… XTOL Straight wins hands down.)

2. True 400 speed in XTOL.

3. Extremely fine grain with a very, very nice tonality…MY NEW FAVORITE FILM!!!

4. I feel that the times posted by Kodak for this new film are pretty darn good- at least the Xtol processing time/ temp produces negs that scan perfectly.

Eve Full Frame

I have posted an example snapshot I took of my wife Eve Ogden Schaub of LIFE=ART while at lunch in Puerto Rico (my Pina Colada is just out of the frame). The image was shot on a Leica M7 with a Summilux 50mm F1.4 at F/2.8 (060 filter on lens). Be sure to check out the detail images as well as they really illustrate why I feel this film is a real winner (remember…this is 35mm 400 speed film!)

Eve EyesEve Right Eye Close UpOOF

The scan was done on our Imacon at 6300dpi, 16 Bit, Wet Mount. Printed at 16″ x 24″ on our d’Vinci Fine Art Printer it blows me away that this is 35mm. Go get this film NOW! This is a film we as photographers should support as it is fantastic (and how often can you say that these days?)

Please note that there is quite a bit of old stock TMAX 400 out there (I don’t like the old film at all)…the new version has only been out since Oct/ Nov 2007 and can be a bit hard to find. The box should have a red rectangle that says “World’s Sharpest !” The Catalog Number is: 894 7947…I purchased mine from a Calumet Store.

SanJuanCopyrightStephenMSchaub2008Here is a sample preview of my new artworks from Puerto Rico (These are from my Fragment Series). The image is 36″ x36″!

Viva La Revolution!!

Please note all images Copyright Stephen M. Schaub 2008

Film is Not Dead…No Kidding!

By Stephen M. Schaub

Film is not dead…yeah we know. Today I received a catalog from KEH proclaiming that Film Is Not Dead on the cover. Additionally, I also got a copy of an interesting study recently done by Kodak- to summarize:

9,000 professional photographers in the US were surveyed and over 75% said that they will continue to use film even as they embrace digital technology.

68% preferred the results from film to digital
48% find that medium and large format films capture superior quality
48% like the traditional photographic look
45% find film has better highlights and shadows
42% like film’s wide exposure latitude compared with digital
38% like film’s archival storage

The article goes on to state that Black and White in film is a big reason most photographers are still keeping film around (90%).

So what does all this mean?

In a nut shell…do both. Shoot film! Shoot digital! Do what you want and let the advertising hype just pass you by. I also received a copy of PDN today (current issue)…not surprising that almost every ad and new product review is about digital…how is that for reflecting what photographers are interested in (see above survey as a reminder).

We maintain that a good film scan is near impossible to beat in terms of quality and cost. Digital capture does have a place but… for now the Photographers have spoken.