Useless Film Developing Trivia

I would occasionally, back in the day, require extremely fast film. I encountered a recommendation for processing TRI-X exposed at EI 4000, tried it, and found that it produced very useful results. (Contrast was high, shadow-detail was low, but grain was startling small, and if properly exposed it lead to a very satisfying rendition of the scene for late-night convention parties and music sessions. The film had a strong curl, and a high level of base fog.)

I just ran across a pointer to the details of the process, which I hadn’t quite remembered, and a citation to where it originally from. I don’t expect to ever use it again (though the materials are still available!), but I’ve been unhappy not remembering the details, so I’m documenting them here, as well as where a re-discovered them.

Michael G. Slack (in Darkroom Photography, July/August 1979, p. 13) reports pushing Kodak Tri-X Pan to EI 4000 (with extreme contrast increase) by developing for 5 minutes at 75 F in HC-110 replenisher diluted 1:15 (like Dilution A, but starting with replenisher rather than syrup).

Michael Covington,

Single-use Camera Project

Not sure where, if anywhere, I’m going past here. But Felicia gave me an old single-use camera at the Minn-StF fallcon, and I shot it when I went out with Ctein after fall foliage the next week.

Photo by Felicia Herman

And I got the negatives back (from Citizens Photo in Portland) last week.


Not entirely sure yet what I’ll do with the photos. It’s an interesting project, and it’s startling how bad some of the photos are technically (shot outdoors on a nice sunny day!).





You Don’t Know How Lucky You Are!

Well, okay, most of you probably really do. Anyway, I’m talking about just one little corner.

Anybody in love with film, all excited to be discovering this fascinating retro medium, or still working happily with your old favorites, might not want to read further. However, I do want to say explicitly that I wish you well, and hope you achieve what you want with your chosen medium.

So, now, here it is:



Any questions?

The film image is from March of 1994, and was shot on Kodak “Gold 200-2 5096” according to the edge marks. Looks like they were processed at Proex.  Given the date, I probably shot them with an Olympus OM-4T (I decided to switch to AF and got the Nikon N90 that fall). They were scanned on a Nikon Coolscan 5000 ED at full resolution, with no grain reduction, and then the curves were adjusted to make the picture look decent.

So, here’s the full film image (click through for somewhat bigger version):

The above crops are both “100%”, i.e. 1:1 pixels from my digital file (the full-size versions you get when you click through above are).

Not horrible, certainly; zooming in to “100%” is what gives pixel-peeping a bad name, and is rarely good for anything except making relative comparisons.

Here’s digital example, taken earlier this month with my D700.  It was taken at ISO 200, just like the film.  I made minor curves adjustments to make it look a bit better.  The full-size version, sized down (click through for 900-pixel version):


And that is why I personally am not a fan of film, at least in comparison to digital.

You really don’t want to see the comparison at ISO 1600.  I scanned some Ektapress 1600 Professional (PPC) last night.  Scary boulder grain! Amazing electric blue sparklies through all the shadows!

International Shoot A Roll of Film Day

Kyle Cassidy declared yesterday to be International Shoot A Roll of Film Day.

After some consideration, I don’t think I have any cameras that take roll film left (I’ve got the 4×5 still). There may be something buried somewhere, but nothing I remember, and I don’t think anything I ever used much; maybe an old 616 Brownie box camera or something.

And I haven’t stumbled across any rolls of film, either.  If I had, I would have had great difficulty restraining myself from doing a self-portrait while gleefully ripping a roll of film out of its cartridge. Luckily we have all been spared that.

Which left my original idea—to shoot the rolls of film Geri Sullivan gave me many years ago.

International Shoot A Roll of Film day 2010

Disposing of My Last “Miniature” Film

ETA: Thanks to everybody who expressed interest.  Both batches of film have found new homes.

There’s somewhat more of it than I thought, in fact.  Since I don’t have any 35mm or 120 film bodies any more (haven’t for some years now), it only makes sense to move this out too.

I guess I’ll split it by format—120 and 35mm.  Each batch to the first person to ask, you pay shipping (or pick up in person; I’m in Minneapolis).

This film has been stored in the freezer since new.  I imagine it’s mostly outdated—yep, the first rolls I glanced at were 1995 expirations, the next 2001.  But they’ve been in the freezer mostly, they should be fine.  At this price, though, no guarantee!

I would strongly suggest that domestic shipping be via second-day air or faster; this is not the season to be rolling around in a truck in the sun, not for film.

Kodachrome processing will be available for a while, they say through the end of next year, from Dwayne’s Photo in Kansas.  The rest of the film is still easy to get processed, even if you don’t do your own.

I ask that whoever gets this use it to take pictures, or pass it on to others for that purpose; not just to use as elements in a sculpture, or for decor, or whatever.

Email me to try to claim a batch.
The 120:

2 Kodak Tmax 100 120
2 Kodak Pro 1000 (PMZ) 220
3 Fuji Velvia RVP 120

The 35mm:

A few of these (all Ektachrome) are probably my own hand-loads, and those are 30 exposures.

3 Fuji Superia Reala 100 35mm 36
5 Kodachrome 25 (KM) 35mm 36
1 Kodachrome 200 (PKL) 35mm 36
3 Ektachrome Lumiere 100 (LPP) 35mm 36
2 Fujichrome Super HG 1600 (CU) 35mm 36
1 Ektachrome 1600 (PJC) 35mm 36
4 Ektachrome 64T (EPY) 35mm 36
6 Kodak Portra 160NC 35mm 36
2 Kodak Portra 160VC 35mm 36
1 Kodak Portra 400NC 35mm 36
1 Kodak Ektar 25 (RZ) 35mm 36
1 Agfacolor Ultra 50 35mm 36
2 Kodak Tmax-100 35mm 36
1 Kodak Royal Gold 400 35mm 36
2 Fuji Superia X-tra 800 35mm 36
3 unknown (unlabeled sealed cans, they haven’t warmed up enough to open safely yet)
2 Ilford Delta 3200 35mm 36
5 Ilford XP2 400 35mm 36
4 Kodak Tmax 3200 (TMZ) 35mm 36
5 Kodak Tmax 400 (TMY) 35mm 36
2 Fuji NPH 400 35mm 36
2 Scotch 640T!!! 35mm 36
This is among the oldest, and a roll or two always rode in my camera bag, so the freshness of this is the most questionable of any of the films.
11 Ektachrome 400 35mm 36 or 30
3 Kodak Ektachrome 320T (EPJ) 35mm 36