Film Photography

Shooting Kodak ProImage 100

I’ve been meaning to try Kodak ProImage 100 for some time now, so when I needed to order something else from Freestyle Photographic I threw in a couple rolls of it.

I shot the first roll in my Olympus XA2. I kept it in my bike’s saddlebag and shot things I saw as I rode around. I love doing that! When I got the roll back from the developer, I instantly disliked the muted, sickly greens I saw. Unfortunately, on this roll most of what I shot was green. Welcome to late spring in rural Indiana!

Barn and tree
Cornfield
Yellow barn

The film captured yellows, blues, and reds pleasingly, and with good fidelity to real life.

Bike by the barn
On the farm
Silos

Despite unsatisfying greens, I like how this photo turned out compositionally. There’s a saying in Indiana: knee high by the fourth of July. That refers to corn, and how tall it should be by Independence Day. I photographed this corn in the second week of June — it’s ahead of schedule.

Cornfield

My favorite photo from the roll is this one, which I made when I drove Downtown to meet my brother for a drink. This bar has arguably the most extensive whiskey selection in Indiana. I had a delicious whiskey from Oregon that reminded me of a peaty scotch, and an unremarkable whiskey from Nebraska. The ProImage 100 delivered true-to-life reds and excellent blacks.

Liberty Street

I put a second roll of this film into my Pentax Spotmatic F and screwed in my 35mm f/3.5 SMC Takumar lens. The camera came with me to work, so most of the roll features images from Downtown Indianapolis. I got far better results this time. It’s probably valuable to note that I used a different lab to process and scan these, which might also play in these results. But bottom line, the sickly green caste was gone.

The Slippery Noodle
The Lacy Building
Bank of Indianapolis
Harry & Izzy's

The meter on my Spottie was fussy through the roll, and it quit registering altogether toward the end. I brought the camera home and blew through the last of the roll using the Sunny 16 rule. The greens were not so sickly this time.

To the left
Old farmhouse
Escape
Chicory

I’ve not been thrilled with my Olympus XA2’s performance at all this year, with any film. So perhaps it was a poor choice to test Kodak ProImage 100. When I shot the film in my Spotmatic, I got fine results. This is a good all-purpose film. Its color palette is slightly muted compared to Kodak Gold 200 and Kodak Max 400, which is nice. But I don’t see myself buying it much when I can buy Gold and Max for far less. Both films look wonderful with a stop of overexposure, bringing them in line or close to ProImage’s speed — and both films cost a lot less than ProImage.

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Film Photography

Shooting Lomography Lomochrome Purple XR 100-400

Blue becomes green, green becomes purple, yellow becomes magenta, and red and white stay true to color. That’s Lomography Lomochrome Purple XR 100-400 film in a nutshell. It gives an otherworldly look to your images, if you’re into that sort of thing. I’m not, but it was interesting to try this film anyway just to see what turned out.

Lomography has improved this film at least once; the latest is “the 2019 emulsion,” but because I didn’t hang onto the box I don’t know which version this is. I shot it in my Olympus XA2, which I slipped into the pannier on my bike. All of these photos are from various bike rides this summer.

Someone gave me this film several years ago. It was a little bit expired by the time I got around to shooting it, and I’d stored it at room temperature the whole time, so it’s possible that these images don’t look the same as they would have when the film was fresh.

Here’s my favorite photo from the roll, of a lovely old home on a country road in Boone County, Indiana.

Old house

This photo of a boutique’s entrance in Zionsville looks almost like it was shot on normal film.

Southern Fancy Boutique

Here’s my blue bike on a pedestrian bridge in Zionsville.

My bike on a bridge

This photo isn’t terribly interesting, but it does show that this film renders white as white.

Barn

I don’t like how Lomochrome Purple renders a deep blue sky as a sickly blue-green.

Barn

I got a lot of that blue-green sky in my images as I shot largely on clear days. I like how red things look normal against the otherwise alien landscape.

Barn

I made the photo below on a hazy but bright day, which turned the sickly skies to white.

Boone County gravel road

The XA2 flared when aimed even partly toward the sun. This is new behavior; it never used to do this.

Tree row

I didn’t love Lomochrome Purple. But I liked it a lot better than the company’s Redscale film, a roll of which I shot last year. That film just tinted everything red. At least it was interesting to see how this film rendered various colors.

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Stamps

The Stamp Shop
Olympus XA2
Kodak ProImage 100
2021

A quarter century ago, Massachusetts Avenue in Downtown Indianapolis was a hodgepodge of random small businesses. In the years since, this street has become hip. Rising rents forced most of the original tenants out. Somehow, The Stamp Shop hangs on.

I bought some Kodak ProImage 100 to try it. I didn’t fall in love with it on this first roll. I shot most of that roll while riding my bike through rural Boone County, and the sickly greens this film gave me didn’t remotely match reality. I had better luck when I finished the roll on a short walk along Mass Ave.

I hadn’t used my Olympus XA2 in more than a year, which is why I chose it. I like how this camera is essentially a fixed-focus point-and-shoot — its default settings when you open the camera are good for the majority of what I shoot.

I’ve owned two XA2s and both of them have vignetted slightly. I’m not crazy about that. But the camera is so pleasant to use otherwise that I overlook it.

When I shoot my next roll of this film I’ll put it through one of my known-good SLRs, which I think will give me a better idea of this film’s capabilities.

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Film Photography

single frame: The Stamp Shop

A shot up a sidewalk on Indy’s Mass Ave.

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Film Photography

Arista EDU 200 at EI 125

Before I started developing film at home, I really liked Fomapan 200, which I usually buy from Freestyle Photo rebranded as Arista EDU 200. I shot it at box speed and the labs I used always returned scans with good contrast and dramatic dark tones. And the images always looked so smooth, with almost imperceptible grain.

But I wasn’t so thrilled with the film when I developed and scanned it myself. It just lacked the punch I was used to, with muddy middle grays and blocked up shadows. In Rodinal, sharpness was pretty good, but not in HC-110.

A couple of you mentioned in the comments that this film does better when shot at EI 125 or 160 and developed normally. So I loaded my last roll of this film into my Olympus XA2, set it to EI 125, and shot it around the neighborhood.

It would have been a better test if I had developed it in Rodinal, but I used Adox HR-DEV instead, diluted 1+35 and developed for 9:29 at 22.9┬░ C. And so I don’t know whether it was the extra exposure or the developer that gave these results. But these are the results I was used to getting from this film when I shot it at box speed and sent it out for developing and scanning!

Retention pond
Over the retention pond
Vinyl village homes
Lots of cars
Vinyl village homes
Vinyl village homes

I used the HR-DEV because I have no idea of this developer’s shelf life and I have a lot of it left. I found a recipe for this film and developer on the Massive Dev Chart, so I went ahead and used it. I’m sure I’ll buy more of this film one day, and when I do I’ll shoot it at EI 125 and develop it in Rodinal to see if I keep getting results like these.

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Courthouse and Regions Tower

United States Court House and Post Office
Olympus XA2
Ultrafine Xtreme 100
2019

I sometimes wonder if anyone notices me photographing this building. I’ve done it a lot lately. It is, after all, a federal courthouse — the threat of terrorism has all federal buildings on alert. I’m sure security officers are always watching.

But I’m a middle-aged man in business casual dress carrying an old film camera. I hope that signals I’m a threat to nobody.

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Film Photography

single frame: United States Court House and Post Office

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