Sunday, December 16, 2018

The Best of the Bunch

Left to my own devices I would likely not have acquired my Nikon FE.  It was a generous gift from an on line photographer friend.  The design and construction of the camera are right up there with Leica in regard to quality.  That becomes immediately apparent when you pick up the camera and crank the winding lever; the movement is extraordinarily smooth.  And, there is a vast number of Nikon lenses available to the camera.  My resolve to work more with the FE was further bolstered recently when I figured out that I could use my nice old 105mm Nikkor-P Auto f2.5 lens on the FE by just flipping up a tab on the lens mount.  So, I put aside a couple other projects, loaded some TMAX 100 in the camera, and took a stroll through the neighborhood.

With half the roll of TMAX remaining the next day I mounted the Nikkor 1.8/50mm and took a walk beside the river.  That turned out to be a less than fair trial for the camera and lens as I had Margaret's very active dog, Roxie, tethered to one arm.  So, the equipment performed rather better than I did.  Still, I saw a lot of nice subjects that I'll get back to again soon.  The cottonwood forest is carpeted now with a dense layer of dry leaves.  The river this time of year is full of migrating bird life.  There were five Sandhill Cranes on a nearby sandbar when we stepped out of the trees.  Two raucous ravens across the river drew my attention to a Bald Eagle perched high in a cottonwood's bare branches.

I processed this roll of TMAX in HC-110, dilution H.  That formula uses half the dilution-B concentrate of developer and requires twice the time to develop.  The outcome is a bit less contrast than one gets from dilution-B.  It worked as expected, though better in some instances than others.  I'm thinking that for the next roll of TMAX I'll try going back to dilution-B with a developing time of six minutes at 20C rather than the seven I have been using lately.  The guides I always consult for this sort of thing are the HC-110 Developer Resource Page and the Massive Dev Chart.


JR Smith said...

Isn't the FE just a wonderful camera? And TMAX never disappoints.

Mike said...

There seems to have been no compromises in the FE design. All the controls are perfectly placed and work faultlessly.
I have mostly used TMAX for medium format work in the past, but I'm beginning to see it as more of a resource for 35mm use. I think I just need to refine my processing technique a bit to get the most from the film.