This little rangefinder travels with me everywhere I go, coupled with an old 35mm F1.4 Summilux (a.k.a: The greatest lens I have ever used). The ‘lux is an impossibly small lens with a propensity to flare & never really be that sharp wide open, but adds so much character & charm to the images it creates. For me it really sings with a yellow filter mounted, loaded in to the battered lens hood which screws apart to accept Series 7 filters.
Being serviced & repaired many times before I purchased it the focusing is quiet stiff, there where problems with the lens barrel & focusing helical so it was reassembled tightly otherwise it could slip out of alignment. I was told if I could acquire a donor lens barrel I could get it repaired, that was almost 10 years ago & it’s been fine apart from being stiffer than normal which I don’t mind as I can set the focus distance without fear of bumping it.
Tucked inside the camera on its worn base plate is a small sticker label, yellowed with age, that reads 18 Feb ’71.
I have no idea of the label’s meaning aside from guessing it’s a service date of some kind. The camera’s origin is a bit of a mystery, a previous owner said it had been a news press camera in Chicago (from memory), but the fact the label has been there for 47 years undisturbed has prevented me from removing it; a little piece of its past to great me every time I reload.
I recently closed down all of my social media accounts & stepped away from the internet a bit more, mostly due to a desire to cut out unnecessary noise from my day & to also reconnect on a more personal level with friends & family.
While going through all of my accounts I found some old blog posts from 2011 with some dev times & information for using Rodinal developer for both stand & semi-stand development. I still use Rodinal, it’s been my “go-to” for as long as I can remember now, though for the last few years I have been experimenting with colder development times.
I’ll be putting up some information here, mostly development notes. Regarding film stock; I’ve most recently been working my way through a brick of Fomapan Creative 200 that Chris from Blanco Negro passed my way, shooting it at ISO 200 (via hand meter) – samples & dev routine below:
So, I will be processing a roll of film for someone else shortly. It is a roll of TMax 400, shot at 1600. Sharpness and grain are required, so I decided to grab a roll and try it out in Rodinal 1:50.
Knowing that TMax 400 generally requires less time for any given developer, and ISO rating, when compared to Tri-X I shortened the developing time from 30 minutes to 23 minutes. After looking at the results, I think i will process for 26-27 minutes because they probably could have used a little more time in the developer. I actually may just go for approx. 30 minutes. Grain wise though, I’m pretty happy with the photos – nice tight grain. Good sharpness too, but TMax films always scan better than Tri-X in my experience anyway.
I met up with Bryn and Jeremy for a post-work catch up and we walked down through Darling Harbour to James Squires Brewhouse on King St Wharf, taking a few photos on the way. My approximation(s) look a little off, the photos are a bit underexposed – though it does make them more moody. I think that I was expecting the ‘brighter’ upper mid tones that I’ve become accustom too shooting Tri-X.
Just putting this up here as a note to myself for developing later. Will edit the post once images are developed and scanned… i’m predicting a LOT of contrast, no shadow detail and grain upon grain… mmmm…
Rodinal 1:50 for TX400 – push
ISO 800 – 20 minutes
ISO 1600 – 30 minutes
ISO 3200 – 40 minutes
Iso 6400 – 55 minutes
Agitation: 5 inversions every 5 minutes – gentle agitation. I’m determined to get a good Rodinal – Tri-X developing regime in place, and these are times that I’ve found mentioned on a few different forums and will be my initial tests. My last lot of stand developed negatives just looked a little ‘soft’ which I found odd – though that could be partially due to over-exposure.
So, occasionally before developing film i’ll do a ‘clip test’ to check that the dev and fix are still ok. I decided to do one today before developing to rolls of Tri-X I had ready and the results were poor, the dev had gone bad. I had been running a replenisher cycle with XTOL stock, and noticed on my last roll one or two images that looked like they had been developed rather poorly, where the rest of the roll was largely ok. perhaps a little uneven.
The issue: so I had no other developer bar a bottle of Rodinal and had two films loaded in the tank ready to go, but these were Tri-X pushed 3 stops (EI 3200). I hedged my bets and tried (again) stand developing at 1:100. 10 seconds initial agitation, then left to stand for 90 minutes with an inversion every 30 minutes. I had tried this before with mixed results, and this is what I think I have now too. Some of the negatives where pretty good, but scanning these appeared less sharp – but also more sharp (or higher edge accutance). I’m sure that, wet printed, these negs would be very sharp and ok. The tonality also looks a little ‘dirty’ in the live shots, i’m sure though that they would have looked like this under any developer and is a result of mixed lighting. I also think they may be 1 stop over-developed (and a touch more) – and 1/125th probably added to the ‘sharpness’ issue. Next time I shoot at this venue i’ll rock F2 at 1/125th and just see what happens.
The live photos are of Boston punk hardcore bank Death Before Dishonour.
I still have a half roll from this show to develop this week, I may try a 1:50 rodinal development and see what happens. I also have a roll of Rollei R3 I shot at EI 200/250 that I want to stand dev, so I may just stand dev this two rolls together for 60-75 minutes and try a 1:50 Tri-X (EI1600) in Rodinal short roll this week when I get time.