Well it is the end of the year afterall! 2012 for me was a year of experimentation, trying new things and learning. Not all has been successful, but hopefully I can use this new found knowledge to good effect in 2013. The biggest change in 2012 was a move to home developed film. This meant a massive overhaul in gear, losing all my digital gear in favour of an Olympus OM film system. That turned out to be a bit of a mistake, and I’m now back with a DSLR as well, though film is still one of my main passions in photography.
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!
As much as I love a pristine classic camera in showroom condition, someimes you just need to do something a littel bit different. I’ve already done a Carbon Fibre wrapped Pentax ME and now it’s time to jazz up my Olys…
Perhaps a little cliched, but it sure beats ‘Police line do not cross’ (Plus until today it’s been wearing a Pentax strap!)
A Big thankyou to HighKey in Oregon!