Boone County Courthouse

Boone County Courthouse
Kodak VR35 K12
Ultrafine Extreme 400
Ilford ID-11 Stock

I don’t like Ultrafine Extreme 400. I’ll be glad when I shoot through my stash. No matter what developer I try it in, I get muddy images with unattractive grain that obscures fine details.

The Kodak VR35 K12 I used for this photo was a recent impulse purchase. It’s not a bad camera for what it is, a mid-80s 35mm point-and-shoot. A review is forthcoming.

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Film Photography

single frame: Boone County Courthouse

The courthouse in Lebanon, Indiana, on b/w film.


10 thoughts on “single frame: Boone County Courthouse

  1. P says:

    I don’t think Ultrafine Xtreme 400 is a bad film. It just has a very old school, chunky, traditional grain structure (similar to the old TRI-X, Fomapan 400, etcetera). That said, I definitely like the 100 speed variety better. It looks a lot like FP4 PLUS. Back to the 400 variety, though; if you’re used to the modern TRI-X or T-MAX 400 as your go-to 400 speed stocks, the Ultrafine definitely looks dated in comparison. That doesn’t bother me, but I can see how it would others. As I’ve said before, I really don’t much care for the modern TRI-X, but I do like T-MAX 400 (TMY-2) a lot. Believe it or not, I’ve actually found FP4 PLUS has larger grain in many developers than the modern TRI-X does. I’m sure that’s not true in all developers, but it’s been my experience with what I’ve used. It’s beginning to look like the Ultrafine Xtreme line might be gone for good, which is really sad. They now have their Finesse line up, but there’s limited information about it thus far. I have a sneaking suspicion it’s just another re-brand of Fomapan, but I hope not. I hope it’s something new. Time will tell, I guess.

    • I looked up the Ultrafine Finesse and it’s only in 100 foot rolls so far, so I’ll wait until they start selling it in cartridges before I try it!

      I don’t shoot Tri-X anymore because it curls terribly and is therefore hard to scan. T-Max 400 is one of my go-to b/w stocks, with T-Max 100, Ilford HP5+, and Ilford FP4+.

  2. P says:

    Yeah, they’ve had the hundred foot rolls listed for quite some time now, so I would’ve thought by now they also would have started selling 24/36-exposure cassettes. It makes one wonder if they ever plan to, or if these are going to be for the bulk-loader only. If I ever pick up a bulk roll to shoot, I’ll let you know my thoughts on it.

    I like your list of go-to stocks. At least until my supply of acquired-pre-absurd-prices runs out, all of those are on my go-to list as well, right alongside the Fomapans and Double-X. Well, except for HP5 PLUS. While I do like it and shoot it occasionally when I am able to find a roll on sale, it doesn’t really do a whole lot for me that other stocks don’t do better in my opinion (for less money, too). In my view, it’s best used for pushing to 1600 indoors. That’s what I like to do with it. At 400-800, I’d much rather use T-MAX 400. At anything 320 or less, there are a ton of things I’d use before ever reaching for HP5, despite knowing that a lot of people think it’s amazing at 200-250 (or at least they used to before nearly everyone became obsessed with pushing film). For me, though, it just isn’t anything super special. That said, I still like it better than modern TRI-X.

      • P says:

        Yep, I think that’s where it does best. I’ve even pushed it to 3200 indoors at night with good results using compensating developers. However, for such situations I’d prefer Delta 3200 or P3200. Those two have gotten so expensive, though, that I may never shoot another roll of either once I run out of my limited (mostly expired) supply. It’s a shame, too, because they’re both amazing films.

        • I have four rolls of P3200 in the freezer. I like to shoot it in big cities at night to capture the lights. After I finish that stash I will try HP5 at 1600 for that application and see if it works.

  3. I agree with your take on Ultrafine 400. I’m glad I settled on it as a testing stock, so even though I have plenty left, they are all 12 exposure rolls. But I do have to admit, that my results in terms of graininess improved after changing my developing style. I was over-agitating it, and that made the grain really harsh. Now, the issue is the lack of separation in mid-tones, maybe? Not sure how to describe what it is I find off-putting.

    • It’s nice to rip through a quick short roll to check an iffy camera. I just wish the film looked better. I have no idea how to describe what I see in it.

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