Mike Eckman of mikeeckman.com sent me a couple rolls of film a couple years ago, and one of them was this hand-spooled roll of Agfa Gevaert 5.61. This long-discontinued black-and-white film was used to make prints of movies. As such, it was a positive film. There’s precious little additional info about it on the Internet!
Mike told me it is an ISO 4 film with good latitude — as long as I shot it anywhere in the low single or double digits on my camera’s ISO dial, I’d get good exposures. He said that if I developed it in HC-110, Dilution B, for 6½ minutes, I’d get good negatives.
I shot this roll in my Nikon N90s with the 50mm f/1.8 AF-D Nikkor lens attached. I trust this camera to get it right when I’m shooting something unusual.
I got nice results from this film. Dark colors are really dark. Grain is imperceptible and sharpness is good. Contrast is managed and there’s a good range of tones.
I shot this ash tree in the shade, which led to a mighty dark image. I boosted shadows in Photoshop and got this good, crunchy texture in the tree’s bark.
On the other hand, chrome turns out very silvery on this film.
When light reflects heavily off a bright surface, this film tended to glow. I wonder if it doesn’t have an anti-halation layer.
Check out how the light reflects off the chrome bumper of that SUV. Also, unfortunately a lot of the frames on this roll suffered from a light leak. I sure hope that’s due to the hand-rolled nature of the film and not a fault of my N90s.
I shot these handheld – the sun was so bright that even at ISO 4 I got fast enough shutter speeds.
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