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Monday, March 06, 2017

An Old Favorite

I noticed recently that about three years had slipped past me since I last put any film through my Ikonta A 520.  The camera was one of the finest available in the pre-war period with its Compur Rapid shutter and Tessar lens.  The compact design was built around the 6x4.5 format on 120 roll film, so the camera fits comfortably in a pocket and produces images of extraordinary resolution.  I loaded a roll of Tri-X and took a walk around the neighborhood.

I developed the roll in HC-110-B.  The negatives looked ok, but my initial scans from my old Epson 2450 running SilverFast seemed over-exposed and excessively contrasty.  I played around with different film profiles in the scanning software and eventually chose to use the Kodak Royal Gold profile which gave me some sepia-toned images which I liked better than what the scanning software produced with the Tri-X settings.  The roll of Tri-X I shot in the camera three years ago was processed in Rodinal and produced very nice b&w tonality, so I'm going to order a bottle of that classic developer for the next round with this camera and film combo.



6 comments:

JR Smith said...

I've been a D-76 man forever and a day...but I have a bottle of Rodinal on the shelf and I'm going to give it a try. It's the year of living dangerously. :-)

Andy Umbo said...

I always thought HC-110 (at any mixture) was a really aggressive developer, made a lot of my stuff look too, too contrasty. I think a lot of people use it because it's liquid, therefore easier to work with 'on-the-fly'. Back when I was processing for my bosses, and then for myself when I opened my own advertising studio, after running extensive tests, I just could not get away from the beauty of D-76! One thing tho, I never diluted it and tossed it, I used it full strength and with a replenisher. It always looked great. I just could NOT get away from mixing those two gallons of powder every month, no matter how many liquid developers I tried!

Fair warning with Rodinal... I tested it extensively, because of all the people I knew who were using it for "art" photography, and I could just never get it "down" to the consistency I needed! If your agitation is off 5%, in shows as a different result, if you mess up your dilution by 1%, it shows with a different result. One time I mixed it in the darkroom, got a phone call, walked away and took a 15 minute call, and came back processed, and it was different! Yikes! Too tweaky! But everyone's work I've seen who's mastered it is gorgeous!

Jim Grey said...

Isn't it interesting how the various settings in the scanner software yield such different results? I shop around for the look I want among the various films available in Silverfast, myself.

Mike said...

I used to always keep a bottle of Rodinal handy because it had such good shelf life. Also, it was my preferred choice for Acros when I could still afford that film. I got ok results from Rodinal with some other films too, but it always produced a bit more grain and there were other variables to sort as well.

Tri-X has been a favorite for a long time, but I'm not sure it is still the same film. Kodak made some changes in the formulation calling for shorter developing times, and there have also been some problems recently with the 120 backing paper. I've got six rolls of 120 now, so I guess I'll have to give it a go and hope for the best. I do have a packet of D-76, so maybe I'll try that next.

Mike said...

I'm using an old lite version of SilverFast that came free with my scanner about ten years ago. I looked at the possibility of paying for the latest version recently, but I liked the user interface a lot less than the old version. I don't have the installation disk any longer, so I'm stuck running the scanning software on an old clunker Dell XP machine with an anemic vga card and a dull monitor.

astrobeck said...

I like the sepia look to these. they are very fitting for the subject matter.