Svema Foto 400 + HC-110 = Thumbs Up

And I’m back with the shots! As I said in the previous post, I took the risk and went for the development times for Rollei Retro 400S to process my Svema Foto 400 rolls in HC-110.

It was a bold move for me, as I’m not a seasoned film expert and all the guestimates are quite hard for me. The suggested time was 6:30 at 20 degrees and the results are right in front of you.

I must say I was pretty sure this wouldn’t ruin the film, the time is not critically long or short, so I expected to get something. The question was if it would be acceptable. Turned out really great in my opinion.

The film, as stated by Leslie Lazenby of FPP, dries flat and feels quite thin, but scanning was smooth without any issues in contrast to Rollei Retro 80S. Some of the photos were underexposed, but I blame the camera for this, as it’s done this already before with Kodak Tri-X. As for the contrast in the most of the pictures, I guess the dev time could be a little shorter, but it’s not over the top and I like the result. Another forum advice for this film-developer combo was to process it for 6 minutes, so maybe it wouldn’t be that contrasty, but anyway.

While searching for the receipt last week, I found an old forum thread where a person had exactly the same situation as mine. That was the thread I found the suggestions in but the funny thing was the direction the discussion took almost immediately. Instead of using the power of the collective mind and experience to help, people started arguing if this Svema film was the genuine stock from the original factory. Pretty soon they were talking about some Russian guys who sell the stock and whether you should buy it and stuff, someone posted pictures of the destroyed factory as proof that this Svema wasn’t the original and so on.

The stock has no indication whatsoever on the film itself, not even a frame number, so it is really a mystery what kind of film it is. And the FPP guys don’t really disclose their sources as far as I know.

But it doesn’t matter! I had fun shooting the film, and I’m pretty happy with the results and this is the most important part.

Next is Svema Color, so stay tuned.

A photo of two people sitting next to a shop window with mannequins

What about those mannequins anyway?

The juxtaposition of people and mannequins is quite a popular trope. After all, there's a lot of symbolism as well as parallelism when you put a real person next to a plastic human-shape object. We've seen it many times in many places, not only photography of course, and mannequins were even used to scare us in one of the episodes of Doctor Who, as I remember now. But anyway, it's not my point.

The point, however, is that I'm guilty of using that trope too, and in case of this photo life just threw this chance at me to take. Funny, though, that I've posted another photo of people and these same mannequins some time ago. In both pictures, the people are kinda strange looking in some either work or just dirty clothes, while the mannequins are all slick, clean and finely dressed. It's like as if they look at us reproachfully and say: "Hey, get yourself some clean dress already!"

It’s over, Kodak.

On Judgement Day (Yom Kippur). Olympus 35DC

 

Well, this is it. My 100 ft roll of Kodak Tri-X is over.

As it was my first time rolling film myself I wanted to write down some points for the future based on the experience.

  • always remember to put the cassette case on the spool before starting rolling
  • use good tape when fixing film on the spool or it would break loose inside the camera on the last frame
  • always remember to mark your finished rolls somehow so you can’t accidentally shoot it twice
  • if fail to do that (marking), you risk developing a clean roll of film
  • Kodak Tri-X curls as hell

Those are true lessons learned hard way but on the other hand, it was really fun to use Tri-X as you have probably seen here or here. With that said, I’m not rushing to buy another 100 ft roll of any film. Why?

While I was shooting my hand-rolled stock I saw lots of cool films people shoot with and wanted to try them as well. Being kind of bound by the film stock I had I didn’t feel right to buy more, considering the shipment prices and all.

Now when it’s over I want to take a break and try some other stuff and the first batch has already arrived from FilmPhotographyPodcast store (yay!). Hope to share the results from their films soon.

Cheers!

Now we’re talking, Kodak Tri-X

As I’ve mentioned already here or on social media, I’ve got myself a 100 ft roll of Kodak Tri-X 400 and now all of my 35mm cameras – which is not many – are loaded with it. Before the latest batch, the results were so-so to my taste. A puzzling mixture of failed expectations and “I’m open to whatever develops from this”. On one hand, I was a little bit upset about the outcome in terms of tonality, overall quality and where the hack that famous grain is anyway! On the other hand, I’ve never shot Tri-X before and adding a new developer to the workflow I was curious to see how it compares to what I had.

That was before I developed another roll of Tri-X this weekend. Shot on my Nikon F3 with the 50mm f/1.8 lens, the photos came out so great I wanted to print some of them while looking at the scanner previews. I don’t post pictures of my family often, but this time I’ve included one of my son drawing just because I like the tones, shadows and grain so much.

Now I see why this film is so acclaimed and praised. I have also learned once again how important it is for the final result to use film appropriately. By this, I mean how film works in different light situations. With the box speed of ISO 400, I’m a bit struggling to get great results outside in the sun. The pictures have blown highlights, so ND filter maybe?

If you have any advice on that, I’ll be glad to hear. Meanwhile, I hope you enjoy the photos.

Cheers!

Enjoying the sunset

Living by the sea was never my dream or goal, it just happened that we live on the coast. That’s why, I guess, we don’t go there very often. But once in a while, it is so relaxing and calming to come and enjoy the sound of waves and the view of the mountains lit by the setting sun. It’s loud and cheerful over there near hotels but it is quite here near the pier. Sit by the water and think whatever comes to your mind. Or nothing at all.