Recommended reading

💻 Brett and Kate McKay claim that many of life’s problems can be solved if we’d only go to sleep. Read Just Go to Sleep

Upper east bedroom
Canon PowerShot S95, 2019

📷 Alex Luyckx reviews Adox Scala 50, a black-and-white slide film. He developed it at home with the Scala processing kit! The results look very silvery with moderate contrast. Read Film Review Blog No. 87 – Adox Scala 50

📷 I’m willing to do a little repair work on my old cameras, but never anything serious or heavy. Peggy Marsh is fearless. She recently disassembled a Zorki-I, a Soviet 35mm SLR, and even used black fabric paint to try to repair a shutter curtain with pinholes! Read Return to the Zorki-I

My new book, Square Photographs, is available now!

The Standard Edition is $15.99 at Get yours here.

The Deluxe Edition, on premium paper and ink, is $24.99 at Get yours here.


13 thoughts on “Recommended reading

  1. No matter the trouble, sleep is nearly always the answer. Yet, I tend to fight sleep – even when I’m tired – because there’s always one more thing I want to do. So I have to be careful to set boundaries and bedtimes to make sure I get the rest I need.

  2. Andy Umbo says:

    Back in the 90’s, when I ran a big retail ad photo department, we took scanning in-house and wondered if it would be easier and faster to try scanning 120 Black & White reversal rather than make prints, or have the art directors fumble though looking at black & white negs to try and pick one for scanning. We bought up some Agfa Scala 120, and shot it along side our regular black & white negative work. We had to send it to and Agfa lab in NYC, because Scala was a different process than E-6, but it came back pretty beautiful. It had a very long “scale” but still had very good “snap”, didn’t look flat at all. Couldn’t believe when we shot bridal dresses, the film reproduced everything between details in the dark shadows, to a difinative difference in the white lace over the white dress material!

    We never went with it because it was far more expensive than regular black & white, even more added cost to send it to NYC as well (Agfa really missed the boat not designing a reversal black & white that could just be developed in E-6). Not to mention, no one could wait for the mailing process to return the film, many times we were shooting 2-3 days out from when it was needed in the paper or magazine.

    Fair warning, the reversal kit is made by Dr.5. Dr.5 tried setting up reversal black and white labs back in the early 2000’s, when I was in Washington D.C., to process conventional black and white films as reversal (much like the T Max kits today, and the Panatomic X kits of yore). They even had a way their lab could process so you’d end up with a brown or sepia transparency. I tried mailing film back and forth between their lab and D.C., and got some occasions of pretty fabulous results, but also never achieved any consistency. I’d shoot 4 or 5 rolls of 120 exactly the same way, same subject, lighting, etc., and I’d send a roll in to check processing, get an OK result, and send the rest in, and they would come back 2 stops under processed(or some other variation)! You lnow, professionally, just not acceptable.

    I hope the Dr.5 kits are all figured out, because I have to say, there is nothing more fantastic than seeing a black & white, silver based, tranparency on the light box!

      • Andy Umbo says:

        Gotta say Jim, if you get the chance to get a 16 ounce kit and do a few rolls of 35mm, it’d be worth the experiment! If the stuff looks anything like the Scala we tested, you’ll be wowed!

  3. Andy Umbo says:

    BTW,Peggy Marsh’s prints on this article are really exceptional. Not only was the “flowered” Zorki a “hoot”, but the “range” and contrast of her scanned prints in this story were quite, quite, wonderful and really had the flavor of looking at “real” black and white prints from a pro!

  4. tbm3fan says:

    I have always shot for 8 hours of sleep every night since I was 12. In college 12-8 so I could watch some of Johnny Carson. Once finished with under grad and grad school it became 11:30-7:30 since 1981. Of course after done with school there were about five years where I would be out quite late just because and the same on vacation. I don’t function well at all with 6 hours sleep and find it hard to concentrate since my occupation involves mental thought. Consequently I think it is insane that still new docs, in a residency, are sometimes expected to be on the floor for 36 hours.

    • 7 works great for me, 8 is slightly better. I can do 6 for a couple three days but after that I must get a solid night’s sleep. Less than 6 is not good.

  5. There is another way to make 35mm b&w slides that involves no reversal processing. Simply make a contact print of a normal b&w negative onto a clear base ortho copy film and develop the copy film as if it was a normal negative film. Leitz made the ELDIA Strip Printer to do just this. Exposing the copy film is done in a dark room (not a darkroom) with a red safe light.

    An automated version of this same process is the way all prints of b&w theatrical movies were made back in the days of analog.

    • How cool. Of course that would work. I don’t have a darkroom and so I can’t do it, but when you have a darkroom it is doable with equipment on hand.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.