Film Photography

Kosmo Foto Mono in Rodinal

Reeds

I’m shooting through all the film I’ve stockpiled, and a roll of Kosmo Foto Mono was next in the queue. I spooled it into my Nikon N2000 as I hadn’t shot it in a long while. My 35-105mm f/3.5-4.5 Zoom Nikkor lens is still new to me, so I mounted it to give it another spin. I developed this Kosmo Foto Mono in Rodinal 1+50 and I was overall happy with the results.

But first, let’s look at some photos I wasn’t too happy with. Several shots were lighter on the edges than in the middle like the one below.

Lowe's reflected

Shadow detail wasn’t great in a few photos as well, as in the photo below. Can you see the runner on the path? He was much more obvious in real life as I made the photograph.

Suburban living at its best

There’s so much that goes into what a photograph looks like when you see it here. I almost always let the camera meter the scene; did my N2000 favor the highlights here? Is its meter still accurate? It was great the last time I used it. But that was more than a year ago and old cameras — this one is from about 1985 — do fail sometimes.

I used my CanoScan 9000F Mark II and its bundled ScanGear software to scan these negatives. Better scanner software or a better scanner might have resolved these images better.

I’m still new to developing my own film, but I’ve built enough skill at it to get consistent results. That doesn’t mean consistently perfect results; perhaps something about this developing session wasn’t ideal. The temperature of my developer was higher than ideal: 22.8° C rather than 20° C, thanks to ambient temperature. That led me to reduce development time from 9 minutes to 7 minutes 10 seconds, as calculated using the converter at the Massive Dev Chart Web site. Maybe that played a role.

Who knows. The rest of the roll looked really good to me.

Fence and shadow

At the time I made these photos Indiana was on stay-at-home orders thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic. So I shot the whole roll around the house and on walks I made around my neighborhood. This is what I like to call la-de-da photography — images of anything that strikes my fancy. None of this will ever hang in a museum. But I had fun shooting the roll, and that’s what matters.

Film

I like Kosmo Foto Mono. But when I’ve sent this film out to my usual labs for developing and scanning I sometimes thought the results were a touch too contrasty. My usual labs use D76 or one of its clones. Rodinal managed the contrast better. There’s a slight muddiness in some images, but a good range of tones overall.

Pine needles

It was strange to walk around the deserted streets of my subdivision, so I walked over to the nearby strip mall and it was similarly deserted. We walk over to this Mexican restaurant a lot, or at least we did before they closed thanks to the pandemic.

El Rodeo

Ah, vinyl village life. Our neighbor owns this funky Jeep with its white fenders. This shows Kosmo Foto Mono’s signature deep blacks.

Jeeeeeeep

That 35-105mm zoom lens has a macro mode. I love macro work! On a rainy day I put some small things on the kitchen windowsill and photographed them with the lens wide open (f/3.5).

Rocks

I was with Margaret when we bought this little bird sculpture, but I can’t remember where that was. The focus is a little soft.

Birb

There you have it: Kosmo Foto Mono in Rodinal 1+50. It’s a fine combination.

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Last updated on 6 April 2020 by Jim Grey

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6 thoughts on “Kosmo Foto Mono in Rodinal

    • It’s getting better and better. There was that muddiness on some images but I trust that with time I’ll get consistent good results

  1. I’m liking that first one as well.
    Rodinal and slow film is nice for a classic b&w look, but it suits some scenarios better than others. One also has to consider the developer/film combination in relation to automatic metering. I’ve had the same experience as you did with the powerline shot due to my X-700’s meter strategy in a situation that includes a lot of sky. A one or two stop compensation might have produced better balance. Stand development also helps to tame Rodinal’s tendency toward excessive contrast.

    • I lean hard into automatic metering. I might experiment with exposure compensation on the camera, but I’m more likely first to try stand development.

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