By now most everyone dabbling in analog photography has seen articles on the use of “Caffenol”, “Beerinol”, “Redwineol” where people have developed film in mixtures of coffee, beer, red wine. While these can be fun experiments with show-able results they are somewhat pricey developers. Aside from the coffee-beer-wine you also need fairly consumptive amounts of sodium carbonate (wash soda) and ascorbic acid (vitamin C) to make it work. We are going to pare that down a bit.
A lot of us analog film photographers love to shoot film but new film stocks can be pricey. A 100ft roll (30meters) of fresh Tmax is about $80 US these days. Deals can be had on “vintage” (expired) film but many purists will disregard this as results are inconsistent and sometimes just awful. I teach on the side and I am always looking to save student monies but give them a positive experience so there is no discouragement.
Craft beers can have really interesting ingredients and flavors, and even get a little quirky. Delaware craft brewer Dogfish Head has launched a unique beer that will quench your thirst and let you develop film. It’s named SuperEIGHT and yes, just as the name suggests, it can be used to process Super8 motion picture film.
One of the biggest issues in the darkroom is keeping track of time. Whether it’s for developing your rolls of film or exposing negatives onto paper in the enlarger, there’s just very little out there these days to assist with that, and using a phone can be tricky, especially if you’ve got wet chemicals on your hands.
But it seems there’s a new, modern solution to this particular problem; Maya. Billing itself as “The only darkroom timer you’ll ever need”, it has countdown timers, f-stop adjustments, a test strip mode, room light control (what?!?), and it’s modular so you can add more features to it in the future.
If you’re new to film, pushing and pulling it when developing is a bit like ramping the exposure slider up or down in Adobe Camera Raw or Lightroom. Except, here you’re doing it with a purpose when you shoot. Sometimes it’s for technical reasons. At other times, it’s purely an artistic choice. In this video, Jay P Morgan at The Slanted Lens tells us all about the how, when and why to pushing and pulling film.
I’ve been wanting to try this experience for a long time now and finally got the opportunity to shoot a roll of expired Agfa Precisa CT 100 then got it crossed-processed in C-41 chemistry by my lab Nation Photo.
Precisa is probably one of the least known slide films that exists (at least it was to me) and I honestly had no idea how it would perform, knowing that it expired somewhere in 2005. After investigating a little, it appears that Precisa is actually a repacked Fuji Provia 100F but it costs half the price!
Despite all the new, high-end digital cameras, film photography has been regaining popularity in recent years. So, perhaps you’d also like to grab an old film camera and shoot a roll of black and white film. If this is the case, Ilford Photo has a great crash course for you. In this video, they’ll teach you how to develop your very first black and white film at home.
Washi Film V is probably the most special film announced in 2017 and I’ve had the privilege to be present when Lomig, the founder of Washi Film, introduced it at the Salon de la Photo in Paris last year. Since then I have always wanted to try it and see what it’s like to shoot with this very special film so that’s what we will be doing today.
Today I’m developing a roll of Kodak Tri-X 400 shot at 6400 ISO.
I’ve been wanting to try this little experience for a while now. Some films are known for handling push processing very well and Kodak TX400 is one of them. Lots of photographers I know are even shooting by default at 1600 ISO but I wanted to push its limits 2 stops further.