Brand new … Expired Agfa Vista 200 .. is it still ok?

Back in 2016 or 2017 when you could buy Agfa Vista 200 for £1 in Poundland here in the UK I bought 4 packs of 10×36 exposures and 6 packs of 10×24 exposures which have been stored in my film fridge since the day I bought them.

I also bought probably 15-20 single rolls while it was still available which I have gradually used up.

The other week I wanted to give my Nikon F80 a run out ready for our week away in Tenby thinking it would be easier with the 50mm f1.8 rather than using my trusty F100.

I was looking in my kitchen fridge for a roll of film to just test the camera but didn’t have any Vista in there so I opened a pack of my 36 exposure stash which had not been touched since storing away in the fridge 4 years plus ago.

I didn’t doubt that the film would be ok as it was brand new when I bought it but as it was cheap consumer film and it was on a shop shelf when I got it I wasn’t 100% what I was going to get.

It was an overcast day but the light was pretty good but I aired on the side of caution and set the camera meter to iso 100 and shot the roll pretty quickly.

The F80 is a really nice camera to shoot .. pretty light compared to the F100 with the 50mm f1.4.

I decided to get the film developed by Filmdev so I could rule out user error with the developing but didn’t manage to send it off before we went to Tenby so I ended up taking the F100 just incase the F80 had any problems and sent the roll off with my Holiday rolls.

I needn’t have worried as the F80 and the Vista worked great, the images were sharp and well exposed with the greens really popping.

I am so pleased that I have 100 rolls stored away that I can slowly shoot knowing they are fine.

So here is a selection

Click on an image to view larger…

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First time shooting Cinestill XX Double-X in 120 format … full roll

When Cinestill announced the release of XX Double-X I could not wait to get my hands on some to try.

I have shot Double-X film stock 5222 in 35mm that I picked up from Nik & Trick and really liked how it looked so when I realised that I could get to try it in 120 format I was pretty excited.

I bought some in both 35mm & 120 from the excellent Analogue Wonderland and waited for a suitable time an place to try it.

Last weekend we had a typical welsh August day with rain & wind and a pile of mist up on our wonderful Garw hills so I loaded up my Mamiya RB67/65mm lens and went out hoping to get some nice atmospheric misty images.

Sadly or happily depending on how you look at it by the time I got up the top of the valley the majority of the mist had dissipated but what that meant was I had more light to play with so rated the film at iso 200 and managed to stop down to f8/11 on most frames which once I had developed the roll really showed how sharp this film stock is.

After scanning and slight tweaks and dust spot removal in Lightroom the results were great .. lovely contrasty images with excellent detail and great tonal range ..

I developed it in ilford LC29 1+29 dilution for 8 mins and scanned on an Epson v500.

So here is the complete roll …

Comments most welcome .. click on an image to view larger

All images on my blog are available as prints just drop me an email

I have a film only blog over at  usingfilm.wordpress.com if you want a peek

I also have some zines over on my Etsy store if anyone wants a look .. or message me to buy direct ..

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Another roll of Ektar in the Mamiya 645 ….

My first blog post this year was a roll of Kodak Ektar using my Mamiya 645 and I pointed out that I rarely shoot Ektar but here you go I have shot another roll using the same camera.

Ektar is a pretty sharp film stock especially when you shoot it in 120 format and with good light which really shows on this roll which I was really pleased with.

I developed it with the Tetenal C41 kit and scanned using my Epson v500 which gives pretty good scans with 120.

So here is the roll .. I have only posted 12 frames as I duplicated some of the tree at the end of the roll which were all more or less identical.

All images on my blog are available as prints just drop me an email

I have a film only blog over at  usingfilm.wordpress.com if you want a peek

I also have some zines over on my Etsy store if anyone wants a look .. or message me to buy direct ..

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Fomapan 400 in 120 format is a revelation ….

I have shot Fomapan in both 100 and 400 iso in the past on 35mm and have tried different developers but have never been all that impressed with the results I have achieved.

I have seen lovely images shot using this film so I bought some Fomapan 100 and 400 in 120 format to give that a go.

I also bought some ilfotech LC29 developer at the same time so I loaded my Mamiya C330 with a roll of 400 and on a really cloudy overcast afternoon I went out and shot the roll at my local haunts where I have had nice results in this type of weather/lighting before.

Even though it was not the brightest of days I still managed to shoot most of the frames at between f5.6 and f11 hoping to test how sharp Fomapan 400 is.

After development the negatives looked pretty contrasty so I was excited to scan and see what I had.

The initial scans using my Epson v500 and Epson scan were promising and once in Lightroom/Photoshop the images blew me away … really nice contrast, not too punchy and sharpness in spades.

The C330 always gives me contrasty sharp images on most film stocks and didn’t fail here either.

Fomapan in 120 is like chalk and cheese compared to 35mm, I never got anything like this even from Fomapan 100 yet alone 400.

Suffice to say I immediately bought more Fomapan 400 and will be shooting it much more in future.

Here is the whole roll .. comments most welcome

Click on an image to view larger

All images on my blog are available as prints just drop me an email

I have a film only blog over at  usingfilm.wordpress.com if you want a peek

I also have some zines over on my Etsy store if anyone wants a look .. or message me to buy direct ..

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Lomography Babylon 13 Kino film .. Overcast day and no tripod .. let’s go for it ….

Everytime there is a new film released onto the market I always try to get a roll or two to try.

So when Lomography announced the Babylon 13 and Fantome 8 kino films I immediately purchased some.

As they are 8 & 13 iso respectively and as I have a slight aversion to using tripods I have been waiting for the brighter weather to return here in Wales.

Last weekend the weather was looking pretty nice for a change so I dug out a camera that I have not used in ages .. my Ricoh X-RX and the Pentax 50mm f1.7 & 35mm f3.5 and proceeded out to my usual haunts here in the Garw valley.

By the time I was ready to leave it began clouding over but I had loaded the film so I went up the mountain anyway hoping that I would have enough light to be able to had hold at reasonable apertures.

As it turned out I only got to f5.6 once with most of the shots either wide open or f4 at best.

On my return I checked the massive dev app to see what I could develop it with and decided on ilfotecHC 1+31 dilution for 9 minutes.

The negatives looked fine out of the tank if slightly underexposed at first glance.

When dry and I cut them into strips for scanning it was apparent that this is a very curly film stock so I was imagining problems with my Epson v500 but apart from a few frames that I had to manually locate rather than the thumbnail scan method it went well.

Once into Lightroom the film was a revelation .. I was expecting soft, dark images due to not being able to stop down and hand holding at 1/30 sec but no .. the images had bags of detail and plenty of tone in both highlight and shadow areas.

The grain was pretty much non existent which is expected from such a low iso film but still it was nice to see.

Would I recommend this film stock? … definitely I would but with the caveat that you need good light or a tripod to get the best results even though I seemed to get lucky on this occasion I think as the Pentax 28mm f3.5 is a really sharp lens even wide open and the metering on the Ricoh did an excellent job too.

Well here is almost the whole roll as I bracketed a few frames so had multiples of certain images.

Click on an image to view larger

All images on my blog are available as prints just drop me an email

I have a film only blog over at  usingfilm.wordpress.com if you want a peek

I also have some zines over on my Etsy store if anyone wants a look .. or message me to buy direct ..

https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/timdobbsphoto?ref=seller-platform-mcnav

A walk to Ocean Colliery in the mist with Rollei Retro 400S ….. the whole roll

I have shot a few rolls of Rollei Retro 400 and love how you get really deep blacks while holding shadow detail and especially in 120 format how much detail it produces.

A few weeks back it was pretty gloomy with quite a bit of mist here in the valley which screams Black and White to me so I loaded up my Fuji GW690iii and went for a walk up to the site of the last colliery to close here in the Garw valley.

The landscape has long been transformed since the mines went and on the site are 2 lovely lakes.

As the Fuji only takes 8 frames and I didn’t bring any more film with me I had to be selective with my shots trying not to waste any.

So these 8 frames are my walk from the commemorative plaque at the entrance to the site, then the bottom lake & Sculpture followed by the lovely top lake surrounded by mist.

This type of image works well with Rollei Retro in my opinion and I was pleased to have got 8 keepers from the roll.

So here are the images … comments most welcome

Click to view larger ….

All images on my blog are available as prints just drop me an email

I also have a film only blog over at  usingfilm.wordpress.com if you want a peek

New QWD ECN2 developer kit for Motion picture film .. Mini review .. My first 3 rolls …

I have shot motion picture stock quite a bit but have always developed it in C41 chemistry which is essentially cross processing as it is meant to be processed in ECN2.

I have sent 1 roll to a lab to be processed correctly and really loved the colours so when Analogue Wonderland announced that they were going to sell ECN2 chemistry I jumped at the chance to give it a try.

The kit was by a new company to me called QWD .. Quiet We’re Dreaming who I believe are an American company that are distributing the kits via Analogue Wonderland here in the UK.

The kit is all powder based (sorry no images as I mixed the chemistry and disposed of the bags before writing this blog post).

The supplied instructions are extremely easy to follow even if you are new to developing your own film.

Before you start the things that you need is 5 bottles that hold 1 litre of fluid for the chemistry and preferably a Sous Vide heater with which to keep the temperature stable.

For the Stop Bath part that is in the instructions I just used standard ilford Stop that I use for B&W developing and not the White Vinegar mix.

The best thing about this kit is that the only critical process is the actual developer which has to be at 41 degrees C while all the other processes can be done with a larger tolerance (see the card number 5) which makes the whole process so much easier.

I filled my container with hot water from the tap which ended up about 43 degrees C and I switched on the heater and put all the chemicals in jugs and placed into the water to heat up while I went and loaded the film into the Dev tank.

The temp then cools down to 41 Degrees and the Sous Vide maintains it for me.

By this time all the chems are about 25 degrees so I boil the kettle and pour it into another container and place the developer jug in it to get up to 41 degrees C.

By the time the developer has reached 41 degrees the other chems are about 34 degrees in the big container which is well within the tolerances so I take them out of the water and proceed to follow the instruction with the Pre Bath first then all the steps in the sequence on card 5.

While developing after each inversion cycle I put the tank back into the 41 degree C water to keep it at the same temperature for the 3 minutes.

I don’t bother with the other baths as the temperature is within the tolerance.

My rinsing is done with filtered water that I store in 1 litre bottles and are warmed up a bit in another plastic container.

I have hard water here so I don’t like rinsing with straight tap water so I use a standard Brita water filter jug to fill a few bottles ready for when I develop.

Once done which is pretty quick all things considered I take the film out of the dev tank and put it in the container with the Sous Vide (now switched off) and a few drops of Photo Flo and gently wipe all over the film with my fingers to remove all the traces of any Remjet that may still remain.

On my 1st roll there was a little bit of Remjet on a few frames which I missed so on the 2nd and 3rd rolls I spent a bit of time on this final step before hanging up to dry.

As I said earlier this whole process is very easy and the results that I got were very pleasing.

According to everything I have read you can get at least 16 rolls out of this and unlike C41 you don’t have to extend the times the more film that you develop either.

I shot Fuji Reala 500D, Kodak Vision 3 50D and Kodak Vision 3 250D and here is a few similar images that you can compare colourwise.

250D
Reala 500D
50D
250D
Reala 500D
50D

As you can see the Fuji Reala is a bit cooler than both the Kodak stocks.

The 3 rolls were all shot on different days but the lighting was very similar being very overcast an a bit wet.

Obviously this is not a scientific test just me shooting the 3 daylight motion picture stocks that I have just as a test for myself so don’t take these images as a final definitive look as it depends on the lighting.

I have done other blog posts where I shot in good light and developed in C41 if you are interested to compare.

https://timdobbsphoto.com/2019/09/12/kodak-vision-3-50d-in-the-sunshine/

https://timdobbsphoto.com/2018/07/02/really-enjoying-shooting-motion-picture-stock/

https://timdobbsphoto.com/2018/05/10/1st-time-shooting-kodak-5219-vision-3-500t-thats-a-bit-of-a-mouthful/

Anyway here is a gallery of all three stocks just to see how this excellent chemistry performs …

Click on an image to see larger .. the file name will show which film stock it is

So if you would like to give Motion picture film a try and develop it at home the get over to Analogue Wonderland and get the kit.

You can also find QWD on their website at https://quietweredreaming.com/ and on instagram at http://@quietweredreaming

If you want to contact me about any of this then message me on twitter or drop me an email and I will be happy to help if I can.

t. @timdobbsphoto e. timd.photography@gmail.com

All images on my blog are available as prints just drop me an email

I also have a film only blog over at  usingfilm.wordpress.com if you want a peek

Rollei Retro 400s … almost the whole roll

Over the last few months I have shot a few rolls of Rollei’s RPX range which I really liked the look of.

So a few weeks back I was trying to decide what film to shoot that day and came across a roll of Retro 400S which I have shot once before and was not really that happy with how the roll came out developed in Rodinal.

I checked the Massive dev chart app and saw that I could also develop it in ilfotecHC so I thought I would give it a go and compare it to the RPX 400 and the previous roll.

I have been trying to post complete rolls of film recently and this was my plan for this one but whilst out on my walk my Pentax Super A sort of developed a problem.

Nearly every time that I half pressed the shutter to activate the meter nothing happened so I was trying to press the shutter button at different angles with my finger until it worked.

The problem was that on a few occasions I fired the damn shutter giving either totally blurred/black or over exposed frames so this roll only had 31 keeper which you can see here.

I have since used the Super A again and have found that I need to rest my finger towards the front of the shutter button for a second or two and the meter activates every time now.

By using ilfotecHC rather than Rodinal the images were far more like what I have seen on the interwebs … Great Blacks, contrasty and sharp with highlights that didn’t blow out and a really nice grain.

My 1st roll seemed muddy and excessively grainy so if I buy anymore of this stock it will be getting souped in ilfotecHC for sure.

So here are the images … comments most welcome

 

 

All images on my blog are available as prints just drop me an email

I also have a film only blog over at  usingfilm.wordpress.com if you want a peek 🙂

1st time shooting Lomochrome Metropolis 35mm … the whole roll

I love trying new films whether they are new emulsions or just a film that I have never shot before.

Lomochrome Metropolis is an actual new emulsion developed by Lomography that according to the write up on their site can be exposed between 100 and 400 iso without any change in development.

Link … Lomo Metropolis

As it was £13 per roll and I only bought one to try I decided on the middle ground and went with 200 iso.

As some of the shots involved the sky I did use some exposure compensation .. the camera of choice was the Minolta X700 with the 50mm F1.7.

The roll was developed and scanned by FilmDev just to get accurate colours so that I can judge if I like the desaturated look that I have seen.

I shot the roll over a week so the beginning of the roll was a bit of street and the rest was a mountain walk here in the South Wales valleys.

At first sight I loved how this film looks, yes it did have a desaturated look which worked well on the street images but when you went out into the countryside it still had that look but the greens seemed to pop probably because the rest of the colours were subtle.

The film was pretty sharp and contrasty, the grain was there to be seen but at 200 iso it was very pleasant maybe at 400 it would be a bit more pronounced.

I am a bit gutted that this film is so expensive as I would be shooting it quite a bit if it were £10 or less a roll that being said I will be buying more but using it now and again depending on what I am shooting.

Well here is the complete roll … click to see an image larger

Comments most welcome

All images on my blog are available as prints just drop me an email

I also have a film only blog over at  usingfilm.wordpress.com if you want a peek 🙂

Shot my 1st roll of Kodak Ektar in ages … Here is the whole roll

For the first time in a while we had a lovely sunny Saturday the other week so I wanted to shoot colour on one of my mountain hikes.

I considered shooting some slide as I have quite a few rolls of expired film in my fridge as well as a couple of rolls of new Kodak Ektachrome but as I was going through my film stash I came across a roll of Ektar that expired back in 2015.

I am pretty sure that I bought it new and it has been lost in my fridge since then.

I don’t really shoot Ektar that often, in fact I probably have only shot 5 or 6 rolls in the past so I decided to use that for a change.

I do like how Ektar looks when I have used it and also there are loads of gorgeous images on the internet so instead of developing it myself I sent it to the awesome filmdev to get the scans right rather than me having to mess around trying to get the “Ektar Look”.

I shot the roll with my Nikon FE2 and the Nikkor 50mm f1.8 pancake lens that looks and works great with the FE2.

So here is the whole roll including the 1st test shot while loading the film (not very good but as it’s the whole roll I left it in) also the last 2 frames were shot indoors just to finish the roll.

I tried to look for subjects that would lend themselves to the Ektar look namely punchy Reds & Greens.

At the time of writing this blog Analogue Wonderland are running a competition to shoot Ektar along with a super discount on purchasing 120 and 35mm Ektar if anyone wants to take a look  (I am not affiliated to them I just love the service they supply) just click the link to visit the website for details.

Comments most welcome, click on an image to view larger

All images on my blog are available as prints just drop me an email

I also have a film only blog over at  usingfilm.wordpress.com if you want a peek 🙂