I have joined the meterless club for 35mm, having decided that I shoot MF and LF quite happily without a meter in the camera, so why not simplify things for 35mm? (I also have to dispose of lots of gear so that it won't be a problem for my wife when the leukemia comes back.) So I have done a deal with my enabler, the wonderful Jean at Camtec in Montreal, to reduce all my Leica gear to a 1963 M2 and silver 35 Lux, 50 Lux and 90 Summarit. The M2 arrived today, so I put a roll of Tri-X through it:
Stump by chrism229, on Flickr
136 by chrism229, on Flickr
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Well that was interesting - I wanted to experiment with room temperature C-41 development. So, Fuji Superia 400 at box speed, colour developer freshly made and diluted 1+9, 20ºC, 45 minutes semistand, blix at 20ºC for 6.5 minutes, stabiliser for 1 minute also at 20ºC. The negatives are fairly green, and when scanned look like the Lomo purple film. I cannot scan them with the X1 and get decent colours, but if I go through the whole scan the film base and lock it in Vuescan using the Nikon 9000, then scan as raw and use the ColorPerfect plug-in in PS I get useable pictures! The first few frames off the spiral (on the outside of the spiral) have sprocket hole surge marks, but the inner frames do not.
C-41 semistand #8 by chrism229, on Flickr
C-41 semistand #6 by chrism229, on Flickr
C-41 semistand #5 by chrism229, on Flickr
And to show the surge marks:
C-41 semistand #2 by chrism229, on Flickr
So next time I need a bit more agitation, and I think I need more development to reduce to colour cast. I could try for an hour instead of 45 minutes, and if that doesn't do it, I guess I will start altering the developer dilution to 1+8, 1+7 etc.
The directions on the Lomo site says 45 mins with "full strength" developer, not diluted, and also bleach at 45 mins. Not really my cup of tea though.
I was following what i'd read at this Flickr group discussion:
I'll go and look for the Lomo info though, thanks.
I tried again today with 20ºC C-41 development. This time I used 1+5 dilution of the colour developer (50ml of CD and 250ml water in a Paterson 35mm tank) for 50 minutes. I solved the surge marks from the sprocket holes that I got yesterday by using the swizzle stick for rotary agitation - 30 seconds every ten minutes. Followed with 6.5 minutes of blix at 20ºC and stabiliser. The negatives look a bit more like a normally developed film, but on scanning they still have a strong purple tint rather than the usual blue. Raw scans and inversion in ColorPerfect gets the colours just about spot on. Only very slight tweaks to colour temperature and tint were needed.
C-41 Semistand #13 by chrism229, on Flickr
C-41 Semistand #12 by chrism229, on Flickr
C-41 Semistand #11 by chrism229, on Flickr
C-41 Semistand #10 by chrism229, on Flickr
I make no claims for the subjects; I simply needed to expose the film to play with the developing! And it's -10ºC outside, so I didn't care to go out more than I had to.
So it seems like a workable method, but with pouring, diluting, 50 minutes of development and agitating every ten minutes, it tied me to the kitchen sink for about an hour and a half. Now this isn't quicker than heating the solutions in a water bath followed by the standard quick development, and at least I can go and do something else while the solutions warm up. Standard development also means I can scan with the X1 (which is quick) and get good colours. These need the magic of ColorPerfect, which means slow raw scans on the Nikon. I'll probably go back to 39ºC development, but it was fun to experiment.
PS these aren't taken with an M, but it makes sense for those interested to have them with yesterday's efforts.
I went down to the nearest wharf to see if the boats were in the water for the upcoming lobster season, but only the traps are set out for loading. I rather wished I had a colour film as all the floats are painted in various colours to show who owns them, and all those lines are various bright colours too. Never mind, I chose XP2 as it was dull and overcast with rain and flurries in the air.
M2, 35FLE, XP2, HC-110, X1 scans:
Traps waiting for the season by chrism229, on Flickr
Floats by chrism229, on Flickr
Barnacles by chrism229, on Flickr
I read of somebody's 'Dark 2 rule' - ISO400 film, aperture at 1.4 or 2.0 and shutter speed the reciprocal of focal length. So I wandered round the house last night with the M2, Neopan 400, Lux 50 @1.4, 1/60 sec. HC-110 and X1 scans:
In the dark 1 by chrism229, on Flickr
In the dark 2 by chrism229, on Flickr
What is the "Dark 2 rule"? I'm spending time on this thread because I've been feeling a very strong urge to buy a film M and shoot a little film. It has been ten years since I sold or traded my last film camera. Nothing will replace the digitals for my work, but... These photographs make that M6 I'm considering look a lot more appealing. Thank you.
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It's just a silly rule to maximise exposure without inducing camera shake. So you set your aperture to the largest you have - f2.0 or f1.4, then set your shutter speed to the reciprocal of the the focal length of your lens. Then you hope for the best. No metering involved, merely a pragmatic way of attempting to make the best of a dark situation. With the ISO400 film above, two negatives were usable, and one of those was so underexposed it was very grainy. The other was worth the expenditure of the rest of the film. Such is life.