Category Archives: Kodak

Kodak 400TX (TRI-X)

The Kodak Tri-X is the first but not last roll of film that i personally developed for this project and it was a pleasure!

My early years of photography were spent in the darkroom learning to develop and print film and ‘retouch’ photographs using various techniques, unfortunately this practice was short lived as i quickly migrated to Digital because of its speed, ease and cost effectiveness.

I had always missed being in the darkroom though so decided for this project that i must start developing my own film again to fully appreciate shooting in 35mm and to please myself in the process.

I shot a roll of Tri-X and booked a brief induction to the darkroom as well as a refresher course on developing film, of course i hadn’t forgotten the process of developing however it had been almost 7 years since i developed my last roll of film so i had to make sure that i didn’t leave anything out.

I met a guy called Dave and there was 2 other people on the refresher evening, one of them i knew, Mike, who works at the Camera Club. Dave is insanely knowledgable and deeply enthusiastic about film photography, perfect! We got chatting and he guided us through the developing process, mixing solutions and the various techniques and tools available when developing film.

After this we each went into our own darkroom, shut the doors, mixed the chemicals, turned out the lights and started spooling! Fantastic! It’s like riding a bike.

Chemical process: Rodinal at 1/25 solution for 300ml 7 minute develop (12ml Rodinal topped up to 300ml water). Agitate for 30’s then tap, leave 30s, agitate twice, tap, repeat agitate every 30s.

Empty developer, rinse for about a minute then Fix with Ilford Hypam. Agitate 30s on, 30s off. All solutions at 20 degrees c. Empty and dilute with water for 15 min, didn’t use stop bath.  Note: Kodak state that you can stand tri-x with little agitation and high developer concentration, using this technique you can push the film to 3200 and beyond, this is something i will be doing in future.

I chose 7 minutes as this was the recommended time by Rodinal for Tri-X. I could also double the time for a slower develop however i wasn’t worried with that this time, in the future i will alter development times depending on the results i want from the grain. So faster develop will make the Silver Halide clump together to produce bigger grain, slower develop will have finer grain.

Film was clear after 3 mins so to permanently fix i leave for another 3 minutes. The reason for this is that film is opaque to stop light bouncing around inside the camera when you take a photo and causing the photo to expose incorrectly, fixing removes the opaque look as well as fixing the image to the film, once the film is clear during fixing make a note of that time then continue to fix again for that time duration (so 3 mins to clear, fix for another 3) this will mean that the film will stay constantly fixed and will last hundreds of years. Rather than going 20 years down the line and it becoming faded or coloured because it wasn’t fixed properly.

Once film was fixed i used some Photo Flow which helps alleviate drying marks then removed the film from the spool and hung to dry in the drying cupboard. 15 minutes later 1 perfectly developed film.

A great website for getting film development times is www.digitaltruth.com

Scanning results where fantastic, there was minimal dust and scratches on the film and the overall quality seems much better than when i have used lab’s to develop. I am tentative to speculate as to why there were minimal dust and scratches, i could of just been very lucky and the film emulsion was perfect however the past Lab results  scratches are too frequent, a part of me thinks that they’re not as careful as i would expect them to be. Suffice to say i will be developing all of my film myself from now on.

Shot on Canon EOS 620 with 24-70mm 2.8 USM L Mk II lens. I am very happy with the results of this process, the highlights have details in them and the shadows are strong, the grain desirable and consistent.

Kodak Portra 800 Pushed to 1600

This is the final roll of a series of four types of film shot over London Pride 2013, please take a moment to look back at the other type’s previously posted: Kodak BW400CN, AgfaPhoto APX 100 & Kodak Ektar 100

By the time i had loaded the Portra into my camera it was getting well into the evening and as the sun was going down the alcohol content in my body was going up so its no surprise that even though i remember shooting this film there are a couple of shots that i looked at when scanning and thought “I don’t remember shooting that” and felt excited to see them appear on the screen.

I decided to push the Portra at the very last second and i’m glad i did! Albeit only a 1 stop push from the original 800iso i didn’t want to go too crazy as i hadn’t seen Portra pushed before so felt it best to take it 1 stop at a time. I’m glad i did.

I like Portra, i think its a great film to shoot with, it has some great neutral tones to work with and the slightly desaturated results seem to work well in evening light adding to the authenticity of being shot in the evening. The push in my opinion has improved this film considerably.

The results from this push are a high grain that is very appealing to the eye, especially of the young woman outside Wok to Walk with a folk in her mouth. The push has given a similar look to some old 70’s colour film which had a tendency to look more grainy (depending on film type). I had to remove quite a bit of green colour cast from the photos during cleaning – i have mixed opinions as to why this happened. It could be an error in processing where they’re using too much of a colour which will leave more green in the photo or it could be an error in scanning and the CCR (colour correction removal) process.

Also dust and scratches was a little extreme with this roll of film. Typically i have noticed that colour films require a lot more work than black and white, especially Kodak compared to Agfa or Ilford.

Due to the high grain and desaturated images the landscapes that i shot of the wind turbines and power lines aren’t really suited to this film type.

Kodak BW400CN

This is the third post in a series of four rolls of film shot over London Pride 2013. Please take the time to look back through the previous post’s to fully appreciate the event and various film types used throughout the course of the evening.

The previous posts are Kodak Ektar 100 and AgfaPhoto APX 100

By this point in the evening i was getting quite drunk, i had great friends around me and the streets were alive with thousands of people celebrating Pride. The city had an energy surging through it. It was exciting to scan and see the results of the 400CN as i couldn’t remember some of the shots i had taken (oh dear).

This film delivers excellent deep contrasts and tones with a very desirable fine grain considering the ISO. Skin has come out clear and the highlights are giving a gorgeous glow.

I will shoot the next roll pushed as i am eager to see the results first hand as i feel it will not be able to handle a massive push due to it already being quite a contrasty look, however i could be wrong as processing will play an important factor.

Leading me on to some important news! I have signed up for Kennington Camera Club, which is only a stone’s throw away from me. I can now use the studio for larger shoots and i will also be using their darkroom to develop my own film.

Kodak Ektar 100

Every year in London on the 29th June the streets are filled with a giant party atmosphere celebrating gay right movements and various sexualities coming together to express themselves in one of the city’s more colourful events. Pride.

This is the first time i have been to pride since 2011 as i had got bored of it, for years London pride had been neglected and was usually pouring with rain for at least a few hours, however this year it seems to have been given a complete overhaul, whether people dug deeper in their pockets or maybe it was just organised better but this years pride was, fantastic! One of the best ones i have been to in years.

It was great to see the streets filled with people enjoying themselves, the weather was perfect, not a cloud in the sky. Music was playing on every street corner from Trafalgar Square to Oxford Circus. The city was alive.

I was already a few frames in to the Ektar 100 loaded in my camera, the previous day’s weather had been terrible and i only managed to get a few frames off around Covent Garden. I was determined to get some shots over pride, i wanted to use this colour film to my full advantage. I brought 3 spare rolls of film with me and went on my merry way into central to meet some friends at one of my favourite bar’s in Soho, Ku Bar.

For this event i wanted my equipment to be as light as possible, i opted for my Sigma 50mm f/1.4 prime for the shallow aperture and it being much lighter than my 24-70. I stuck around f/2 – f/5.6 rarely going any higher.

Annoyingly retouching has taken longer with this film, there were considerable dust and scratches and also water stains on the film which i am not impressed about, the film processing seems to have not been very thorough this time and has left me with a few frames that required more work on them which could of been avoided.

The colours of this film are so saturated and fairly contrasty, Ektar was once likened by my tutor at University for sharing similar properties to Kodachrome however i feel Kodachrome had a warmer more contrasty feel to the final photographs which Ektar misses.

The grain is very desirable and fine not impeding on the quality of the photograph, i would like to see the results of Ektar pulled to 64 and then adding some contrast in photoshop how much it may resemble Kodachrome. Although as i previously stated it is not going to be identical. Dare i say it but i prefer the result of Ektar 100 over Portra 800, even though Portra is a gorgeous film type it lacks the punchiness and saturation of Ektar.

London’s Future Exposure

Hello and apologies for not posting as frequently the past month, I have been busy sorting out my new flat in London and working all the hours i can. Now that i’ve moved I’m 5 minutes from work and University, such a better way of living than being out in the country!

Also it means that i can go full blast with my 35mm project because being in London means more things to photograph. I have 4 films that i have got to develop and scan into my computer so there will be loads more coming soon.

I also acquired Alien Skin Exposure which i will be using more during this project. The idea is to compare the results between Alien Skin and the matching film type to see if Exposure is the digital answer for film photography. As app’s such as Instagram and Hipstamatic are gaining more and more popularity i believe it is only time before the retro effect lands itself in Professional Photography.

I’ve just loaded some Kodak 400TX Black & White film into my camera, the photograph of the film was put through Exposure using the Kodak 400TX filter.

Kodak T-Max 400

On May 1st London’s street’s fill with thousands of people that take part in the May Day March. London has been celebrating May Day since the 1880’s and this year I wanted to come along and take part too….by documenting it at least anyway!

I had finished University submitting my work early so that i could get to Trafalgar Square where the march finishes at 1pm (i figured this would be the busiest spot as they give speeches afterwards).

I was able to finish a roll of Fuji Superia 400 (will publish at a later date) by the time that the march arrived.

I haven’t used Kodak T-Max before but i love the results from this shoot, the negatives (other than the DP3200) are crystal clear when scanning.  The photographs are super sharp along with contrasts and tonal range being pretty good.  I’m a bit let down by the exposure of some of the photographs however thats a technical error on my part when metering as i gave the camera aperture priority (so i controlled aperture, camera controlled shutter) this was essentially a speed thing. I used my Sigma 50mm f/1.4 during this shoot, i would of preferred my 24-70 f/2.8L MkII lens for this type of photography however i didn’t have it on me at the time.

There were times where i was sitting on the max shutter speed. What i should of done is raise the aperture to compensate however i wanted some bokeh.

Currently im favouring the T-Max as my ‘go to’ film, its sharpness and fine grain at a speedy iso with great contrasts has won me over….for now! We’ll see how long this feeling lasts once i have finished the Delta 400.

Eumig C3-M CineCamera & KodaChrome

For quite some time my grandad has been telling me about his old cinefilm camera which he acquired in the 60’s. I say 60’s because he has some footage of my mom on some old 8mm film and she was born in 1964 (sorry mom).

Today i went to see my grandparents and he pulled out this beautiful and in mint condition Eumig C3-M CineCamera.  Absolutely stunning! A small winding gear turns to wind the film on, setting the FPS and releasing the shutter gives a glorious clatter as the gears then wind the film and respectively expose it.  There are 3 lenses to choose from attached to the camera,  the viewfinder is terribly small and the coverage is something to be desired however just listening to it wind on made me go gooey inside!

Eumig

What really made my heart flutter though is when he pulled out some vintage KodaChrome.

KodaChrome

The colours and reproduction of this film is so attractive to me and i would love to have included some KodaChrome in this project.  The moment i fell in love with KodaChrome was once i saw the world famous National Geographic 1984 front cover photograph ‘Afghan Girl‘ by Steve McCurry. Shot with Nikon at F/2.5 the colours are saturated and contrasty. This combination gives an exceptionally strong image.

McCurry was the official photographer to shoot the last roll of KodaChrome, begging Kodak to give him the final roll off the production line.  You can see McCurrys last roll of KodaChrome HERE

To view the Nat Geo documentary on the last film put into production and how McCurry carefully shot each frame visit Nat Geo: The Last Roll of KodaChrome

I was gutted when KodakChrome was discontinued,  until 2010 there had been only 1 lab in the entire world that would process KodaChrome due to the different processing it required.

If my Grandad is okay with using his CineCamera I’m considering using it for my project in the future, ill do some research first on development labs and film around at the moment. Exciting!

Kodak Portra 800

On the 17th April my friends from University and I decided to have a ‘meeting’ at the local pub after viewing the Cafe Gallery in Southwark which is where our exhibition is being held in May (10th, 11th if you’re interested).

It was a perfect sunny day to sit on the balcony overlooking The Thames and London with a few pints.

I love the Portra 800, i think its a fantastic film with excellent grain quality and tonal range, the colours are always beautiful and strong.  I used my Canon EOS 620 SLR with Sigma 50mm f/1.4.

I’ve included a photo of me in this blog for your pleasure which was shot at uni by my friend Amy.

Thank you to my friends involved in the creation of this film.