While I had the roll of Adox HR-50 in my Olympus OM-1, I made a series of photos of my bicycle. Some years ago I bought a 1986 Schwinn Collegiate from a Craigslist seller, had it overhauled, and have been riding it ever since. I like its springy seat and upright riding position. The bike has a few dents and the paint is chipped here and there, but it rides well.
The 50mm f/1.8 F.Zuiko lens and the Adox HR-50 came together to render my bike in ways that pleased me deeply. These photos show a rich range of tones, and the selective focus adds dimension and depth. They could be a little sharper, but I’m not sure I’ve fully dialed in my scanning and sharpening settings yet.
I suppose idle curiosity made me choose Adox HR-50 when the good folks at Analogue Wonderland offered me yet another roll of film to try. HR-50 is a specialty film aimed at landscape and streetscape photography, which is right up my alley. It’s also a relatively new film, as ADOX introduced it in 2018.
Analogue Wonderland sent me this film in exchange for this mention. Buy Adox HR-50 from them here. Or choose from one of the 200 other films they keep in stock every day!
Fortunately, I was learning how to develop my own film. I figured that after I started getting repeatable results, I’d give this film a go. I bought the smallest bottle of HR-DEV to go with it. All of my preconditions met, I loaded the roll into my Olympus OM-1, mounted a 50mm f/1.8 F.Zuiko lens, and took it on photo walks over the next several weeks.
Given the film’s slow speed I looked for bright days to shoot it. Even on lightly colored subjects like this sandstone church, HR-50 returned rich, even tones.
I brought the HR-50 out on lunchtime walks through my neighborhood, as well. It kept doing a great job of capturing a good range of tones. I am especially pleased with its rich blacks.
HR-50 even does a good job rendering the sky without using a filter.
I made a few photos where the sun was not behind or to the side of the camera. In those cases, the photos came out a little dark and lacking a little shadow detail. I don’t know whether that’s the OM-1’s metering or some characteristic of the HR-50.
Even when the sun reflected off a surface, the HR-50 refused to blow out.
Despite this film’s stated use for streetscapes and landscapes, I moved in close for a few photos. HR-50 kept giving me the same solid range of tones and imperceptible grain.
I developed this film in HR-DEV diluted 1+49 per Adox’s time and temperature instructions. I scanned them using VueScan and my Canon CanoScan 9000F Mark II. These might just be the best results I’ve ever gotten from my home development and scanning. Nothing like using a film’s recommended developer to remove risk.
Interestingly, Adox does not recommend using Rodinal, my favorite developer, with this film. It also does not recommend D-76, which makes sending this film out to a lab for processing a challenge as so many of them use D-76 or one of its clones.
I like this film. I’ll use it again. Especially since I have so much HR-DEV developer left!
Like what you see? Buy some Adox HR-50 for yourself at Analogue Wonderland here.
Swings at Lugar Plaza Olympus OM-1, 50mm f/1.8 F.Zuiko Kodak ColorPlus 2019
Now that we’re into November I’m thinking about this blog’s traditional end-of-year posts, one of which is the ten images I like best that I made all year. I may have made more images in 2019 than in any other year, but I’m a little disappointed that I’ve made few that satisfy me deeply.
As I upload my work to Flickr, I add the few I like best to an album I call Portfolio, which you can see here. My ten 2019 favorites will come from these. This image, of a newly installed public swing in front of the City-County Buidling in Downtown Indianapolis, is in that album but won’t make the ten-favorite cut. I like the almost 3-D effect of the swing canopy jutting forth from the plane of the City-County Building exterior, though.
Sometimes I shoot the same things more than once with different cameras and films because I know the composition works. Recently I shot a scene with my Argus Argoflex Forty on Kodak Ektar 100, a few days after I shot it with my Olympus OM-1 and 50mm f/1.8 F.Zuiko lens on Kodak ColorPlus. Here are the two photos.
It’s remarkable to me how different these two photographs look even though they’re of the same thing.
First I see how the Argoflex Forty’s 75mm lens (for 620 film) is longer than the 50mm lens (for 35mm film) on the OM-1, which creates the effect of the copper-roofed Columbia Club building appearing to be different distances away.
The 1×1 and 3×2 aspect ratios also give different impressions of the scene.
The day I went out with the Argoflex Forty the sun was fully out, while the sun was behind a cloud at the moment I made the photo with the OM-1. This certainly influenced the way these lenses and films rendered the scene’s colors.
But those lenses and films have their own characteristics regardless of the light. I find ColorPlus to yield far warmer earth tones than Ektar under any circumstances.
I have no conclusions to draw. I just find this interesting.
Park Olympus OM-1, 50mm f/1.8 Olympus F.Zuiko Kodak ColorPlus 2019
When I was a kid in the 1970s, downtown in my hometown was full of neon signs. Many of them, like this one, did mundane jobs like point people to parking. As a kid the neon helped me feel that downtown was alive and vital and important. The backlit plastic signs that slowly replaced them seemed so banal.
This old-style neon sign keeps doing its job on a parking garage in Downtown Indianapolis. I’ve parked in this garage before, many years ago. I had frequent business in the building next door, and they validated my parking. Unlike most Downtown garages, you don’t park your car yourself. You hand your keys to an attendant who gives you a receipt and parks your car for you.
Analogue Wonderland provided me this roll of Kodak ColorPlus in exchange for this mention. Buy yours from them here.
I had so much great luck shooting around Downtown Indianapolis with Kodak ColorPlus in my Olympus OM-1 with my 50mm f/1.8 F.Zuiko lens that I get to share a whole second post of images with you.
The generous folks at Analogue Wonderland sent me this roll of film to try, in exchange for this mention. If you like what you see here, you can buy Kodak ColorPlus from them here.
This will be a random tour of places within walking distance of my Downtown office. I’ve been keeping a loaded camera in my desk for times when I can break away for 30 minutes to get some air and make some photos.
I met my brother for drinks and dinner one day after work along Massachusetts Avenue, or Mass Ave as we like to call it. This street runs at a 45-degree angle from the city grid, heading northeast. Over the last 20 years it’s transformed from being mostly run down into a hot destination lined with bars, restaurants, and shops.
The Sears building on Mass Ave hasn’t been Sears in decades. The first floor has been one grocery store or another for as long as I can remember. The upper floors are offices.
The space in front of the City-County Building, the seat of Indianapolis and Marion County government, used to be a boring plaza. That was torn out recently and a public park of sorts has gone in. These covered swings just opened a few weeks ago.
Over on Monument Circle, I walked up the long stairs to the monument itself and shot the Columbia Club building, which this statue overlooks. The ColorPlus really saturates the earth tones.
These funky flowers are growing in pots all around the Circle.
Here’s a street scene in front of Circle Tower on the Circle’s west side. Circle Tower is architecturally my favorite building on the Circle. It has lots of Art Deco touches.
On a cloudy day I walked down Washington Street to get the big, blue JW Marriott hotel. It’s an unusually bold architectural statement for an otherwise staid town.
This Five Guys is a half block from my office. It’s in what was once a Roselyn Bakery. Since Roselyn’s went out of business, it’s been a Dunkin’ Donuts and a Pie Five Pizza Co. Here’s hoping Five Guys works out here.
I photograph chalkboard easel signs wherever I see them, especially when they have a humorous message. This one’s a straight-up ad for the coffee inside.
Finally, an old Publix movie house on Washington Street has been used as a community theater for as long as I’ve lived here. It’s a lovely old theater. Here’s its box office.
I really enjoy my photowalks around Downtown. I’m sure at some point I’ll feel like I’ve exhausted all the possibilities, but that day has not yet come.