It was supposed to be foggy everywhere yesterday, and it certainly was at home, so I headed for Dinorwig as I had a plan. It was of course not so foggy up there, even near the top! Didn’t expect too much, but thought I’d see how well my new Fuji S5 compares with my old S3 for colour under such conditions and plodded on. Turns out it was a good idea, though I wasn’t there long a handful of opportunities presented themselves and the S5 managed fine, even as the last embers of light faded away.
Adox CMS20 is an ultra fine grained document film, which boasts not only invisible grain but also an ultra high resolution of around 400lp/mm, that’s pretty damned imoressive! Why isn’t it popular then? Because it’s slow. Glacier slow.
However Caffenol can change that! Caffenol can up the useable speed to 160, Provided you like the look if gives which I have decided is T-max on steroids! You get the same dark and deep shadows with cris detailed highlights that you get with Kodak’s own wonder film, but you get none of the grain and a lot more detail!
To try it out I took t to Dinorwig on a forum meet up, and it didn’t disappoint. These are all straight from the scanner without any dust removal. (The dosnside of a film like this is the dust is bitingly obvious when there’s no grain to mask it!)
It works incredibly well in flat light, bringing out tons of detail that would otherwise be murky. The climbers were shot handheld at 1/125 on a 135mm lens at f2.8necessary I’m afraid, otherwise there would be a whole lot more detail available in the rock. The slate fence and the compressed air pipe both show amazing texture detail!
The film has a fantastic dynamic range, well beyond my scanner’s capability which is a shame, and means grads will be a necessity for landscape work.
The recipe for 300ml:
Coffee 5g; Decahydrate Soda Crystals 10g; Ascorbic Acid 0.7g.
Development time 21 minutes, constant agitation for 1 minute then every 5 minutes.
This stuff fixes nearly instantly – if you use rapid fixer at 1:4 strength then it probably would be instant i na fresh mix. I’m using a seasoned 1:6 mix and it still fixes in around 10 seconds flat! The fixer is turned bright pink, which goes after a while back in the bottle.
So there you go, a new film to play with, capable of remarkable enlargements when done optically, (not so if scanned, film scanners suck) and offering remarkable detail in a 35mm negative!
A while back I discovered some unused Bonusprint and Truprint films in a cupboard. Now this household last usd this sort of company at least 10 years ago, and these films have most likely been in the cupboard for longer than this. This is I should add, a cupboard in the Welsh dresser that sits next to the oil fired stove in my parents’ house. It’s warm. Curious to see just how a film can survive under challenging storage confitions, I loaded it in my OM2 and headed off up Dinorwig over 2 trips, with Fuji 160S and Ektar in the OM4 for comparison.
I may have been giggling to myself somewhat every time I threw the advance lever, but I need not have been so rash. The results came back today and you know what? I actually uite like it!
Why? Because it’s fun! It makes everything look like a still from an 80s movie, it has very strong shades of straw and subtle blues but very muted reds. I like it for some things, and I hope I can find some more For example I’d been watching the film ‘Patagonia’ and was very impressed by the colours used. (Fuji Daylight balanced moton picture stock in 16mm if you need to know). I’d wanted to create something big and open looking – and by chance one of my FG200 shots fits the bill!
Here are some comparisons:
FG200 vs 160S
FG200 vs Ektar:
For some things, I can certianly see the benefit in using the tobacco pallette of the FG200.