Saturday, November 28, 2020

Kentmere 400 in XTOL 1:0

 My results with Kentmere 400 in undiluted Xtol were similar to what I got with HP5.  Both films liked morning light, particularly when there was some sky in the frame.  Bright mid-day sun and haze tended to flatten the mid-tones and emphasize grain in the skies.

So, I think the outcomes with these two fast films in xtol are pretty respectable, though it seems to me that they are not quite up the what I have gotten from PMK Pyro processing.  On the other hand, there are a lot of variables that complicate my assessment including my choices of camera, lens, exposure, time of day, photoshop adjustments, and scanner settings.  I'm also uncertain at this point about how well xtol ages compared to some of my other developers.  

Thursday, November 19, 2020


 I'm mostly happy with my first results from processing Ilford HP5+ in Kodak XTOL 1:1 developer.

One thing I don't like is the way middle gray skies are rendered.  Those areas in the images have a bit more grittiness than I want.

The tonal values of this film and developer combination are nice, and in pictures that do not include large areas of sky I think that the results are quite acceptable.

It is possible that using yellow, red or green filters would help to attenuate the grain issue.  I might also try processing with 1:0 undiluted developer.  So, I still have some things to learn about this film and XTOL.  I am also looking forward to comparing results using XTOL with some other films including TMAX and Kentmere.

Monday, November 16, 2020

Fall Skies

My last roll of Fuji 200.  Lots of processing issues.  I have some Kodak ColorPlus 200 on the way.  I may try some CineStill developer again.

Tuesday, November 10, 2020


Thanks to my generous friend, Kodachromeguy, I was able to shoot a roll of Kodak Panatomic-X with an expiration date of 09/1991.  At his suggestion, I shot the film at 25 ASA.  Having just mixed up my first batch of Kodak XTOL I decided to use that developer to process the Panatomic-X.  I took the suggestion from the FilmDev site to develop in XTOL 1:1 for 7.5 minutes at 20°C.  Also helpful for a general introduction to XTOL  was the Covington Innovations site.

The results seemed pretty extraordinary for a film nearly three decades past its expiration date.  XTOL may not be the optimum developer for Panatomic-X, but I was pretty pleased with the outcome.  I'm not sure when I'll get another chance to shoot a roll of Panatomic-X, but I am looking forward to trying XTOL with several of the modern b&w films I often shoot, including HP5 and Kentmere.

Saturday, November 07, 2020

Monday, November 02, 2020

C-41 Roundup

 I'm proceeding with C-41 experimentation with mixed but encouraging results.  This roll of Fuji 200 with my mju was processed for six minutes at 95F.  The shadows lost a little detail, so I may need to add a minute for the next roll.  The good part was that I had to spend very little time stamping out little white spots in the skies.  The lower processing temp does seem to help quite a bit in keeping the emulsion intact.

Albuquerque got some snow last week, but we're now back to 70 deg. temps like much of the Mountain West.

I've spent a lot of time over the years we've lived in Albuquerque at the National Hispanic Cultural Center.  They have frequently hosted very good photo exhibits, and we have enjoyed a lot of films and live performances on the indoor and outdoor stages.  I have also benefitted from the Spanish language course offerings at the Cervantes Institute.

I have not been inspired to take many pictures of the Cultural Center.  The architecture of the main buildings clearly incorporates features from both Native American and Hispanic sources, but it seems to me the architects chose  to focus on aspects of those two cultures which prioritized size and power assertions over functional quality.  

I was pleased to see recently that the Center had inaugurated a new outdoor gallery with the first exhibit being about the architecture of the site.  I thought that perhaps I would gain a new appreciation of the visual appearance of the place that has so far escaped me.  I was disappointed to find that the information presented on metal panels hung on the site's west side fence were more about the history of the site's development than about the architectural features.  Even more distressing is the fact that viewers of the exhibit are slow-moving targets on a very busy bike path.  That is something that can be easily corrected by just flipping the panels so they would be viewable from the safety of the site on the other side of the fence.  Hopefully, that will happen before someone is run down.

I have not got back inside the Albuquerque Art Museum since it reopened recently, but I have made a couple more shots of the museum shop window in an effort to capture some of the interesting colors and reflections.