Olaf? Agfa Clack Ilford FP4 Plus LegacyPro L110, Dilution B 2021
I seldom have nice things to say about living in this vinyl village. Here’s one nice thing: plenty of families here do fun things together, like build snowmen.
I suppose families are the whole point of neighborhoods like this. For far less than anywhere else in this surprisingly wealthy town, you can get your kids into good schools. This neighborhood overflows with children. In nice weather, lots of them play in their yards and sometimes in the streets. One family down the street wheels a portable basketball goal to the curb, and the kids shoot hoops for hours. Another family on my block rents a bounce house at least once a summer, which brings in kids from far and wide.
It reminds me a little of the neighborhood I grew up in. There were so many kids, the parents took to calling it Rabbit Hill. Families on Rabbit Hill weren’t nearly as well off as families in this neighborhood, so we didn’t have bounce houses or portable basketball goals. But we still made plenty of fun together. Those houses were cheaply built, as are these. It didn’t matter to us. It was grand to have so many kids to play with. I’m sure the kids here feel the same.
I still have a lot of Adox HR-DEV to use up after buying a small bottle to develop a roll of its companion film, Adox HR-50. I’m developing other films in it to see how it performs. I liked Arista EDU 200 (aka Fomapan 200) in it not long ago, so this time I tried Kodak T-Max 400.
I also took this opportunity to test a second Olympus OM-2n body given to me by the same benefactor who gave me the first one, as well as the Olympus OM-4T I recently shot. This very generous fellow also gave me a whole bunch of lenses and other OM gear. He hadn’t shot his OMs in a long time and he was ready for them not to take up space in his home anymore.
I mounted a large, heavy 35-70mm f/4 S Zuiko Auto-Zoom lens. It’s probably this hefty because of its fixed f/4 aperture — if I recall correctly, variable-aperture zooms can be made much smaller and lighter. Despite the weight, I slung the OM-2n over my shoulder and took it on a long bike ride.
HR-DEV is supposed to enhance sensitivity, better differentiating light from shadow. I don’t know if I see that; this looks like normal T-Max 400 to me.
But I very much appreciated how sharp these scans were off my flatbed. They still needed a little unsharp masking in Photoshop, but far less aggressively than normal after developing this film in any of my usual developers.
I finished the roll on a few walks through the neighborhood. What I especially appreciated about these negatives was how little Photoshopping they required to look good. About half of them needed only that touch of unsharp masking.
I made these neighborhood shots on full-sun days, and I think I detect the light areas being lighter than I’m used to with this film under these conditions. Or I could be seeing things.
Just a side note: it’s crazy to me how much of the sides and backs of houses you can see on any walk through this neighborhood, and how often windows are placed haphazardly on them.
If you look at these images at full scan size, which you can do by clicking any of them to see them on Flickr, there’s detectable grain here. But at blog sizes they look smooth enough.
Bottom line, this combination works. Don’t be afraid to try it if you, like me, have some HR-DEV to use up.
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!
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.
Power lines towering overhead Zeiss Ikon Contessa LK Arista Premium 100 LegacyPro L110, Dilution H (1+63) 2020
I’m still working on my project to document my vinyl-village neighborhood, with an eye toward publishing a book with the photos.
I think this photo will make a perfect cover for the book! It says a great deal about this neighborhood.
High-voltage power lines cut through the neighborhood. I’ve made a lot of photos involving those lines and their towers lately, trying to show how in some parts of this neighborhood they dominate the view.
In other parts of the neighborhood, such as the part I live in, what dominates is the constant drone of vehicles on nearby I-65.
This neighborhood is a middle-class enclave in what is otherwise a wealthy town. These homes sell for well below Zionsville’s median home price. I suppose detractors such as these power lines and the Interstate is part of the reason why.
As I continue to practice developing black and white film, I’m shooting up my film stock. I tend to hang onto special films waiting for the perfect reason to use them. Perfect never comes and then the film expires. Nuts to that!
I’m also cycling through my cameras to make sure they all get a little use now and then. That’s how I came to put my last roll of Ferrania P30 Alpha into my Olympus Trip 35. I’ve never shot black and white in the Trip before!
Because I developed my last roll of P30 in Rodinal, this time I used LegacyPro L110, an HC-110 clone, in Dilution H (1+63). Let’s just tweak all of the variables!
I’m not blown away by these results. They’re all soft, even after sharpening as much as I dared in Photoshop. Shadows tended to black. And for whatever reason I was incapable of holding the camera level, although that’s easily fixed in Photoshop.
Here are some of the photos, the ones I think turned out best. The subjects aren’t anything special, just stuff I shot around the neighborhood. I was especially fixated on the high-power lines that run through here.
I just finished a roll of Arista Premium 100, said to be rebranded Kodak Plus-X, in my Zeiss Ikon Contessa LK. Photos to come!
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.