Monthly Archives: May 2015

How a Kentmere whim, Abenomics, dismay and fear ultimately led to bulk film goodness

I like this film.

The first time I tried it I had bought it on a whim. It was a bit cheaper than Delta or FP4 so thought why not? I made a few snaps here and there, developed it in d-76 and really liked the look of it. Nice tonality I thought.  Then a few months later I tried it again and developed it in Caffenol and I thought it came out even better.  Bonus! Could be the placebo effect I suppose….Whatever the reason I’ll still take it.

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Old school mechanic- Blue Groove Kamakura . Leica lllf / Summitar 5cm f2.0 / Kentmere 100 / D-76 IMG_20150207_0008 Edge of bamboo thicket (竹林), Chiba-ken. Leica lllf / Elmar 9cm f3.5 / Kentmere / Caffenol C-CL 70m20c IMG_20150207_0028 Tunnel, near Honmoku. Leica lllf / Summitar 5cm f2.0 / Kentmere / Caffenol C-CL 70m20c IMG_20150207_0030 Volkswagen with “character”, Yamate. Leica lllf / Summitar 5cm f2.0 / Kentmere / Caffenol C-CL 70m20c IMG_20150207_0025 Abandoned house, Yamate. Leica lllf / Summitar 5cm f2.0 / Kentmere / Caffenol C-CL 70m20c The negs were a slightly thicker than I like so I think I could reduce development time to 60min. Well, I was a bit dismayed when last week I went into Yodobashi Camera to stock up on film again only to discover everything except Fuji had doubled in price. What used to cost ¥520/roll is now over ¥1,000! A large part I imagine due to the devalued yen vs USD and GBP.  Thank you Abenomics.  I then resigned myself to months of using Acros, and Acros is a fine film which I like very well, but it would be a bit like eating spaghetti, or perhaps more aptly Ramen, everyday for months or years until the yen comes back. That thought spurred me onto the net where I purchased some bulk rolls of Kentmere, Arista Edu Ultra, and HP5+ from the US.  Slightly more effort but I estimate it will cut costs by 70%. Back in the game! Jordi

Caffenol Happiness

These two photos of my daughters for me represent all that I could have hoped for since starting to experiment with Caffenol 6 months or so ago.  I have been very impressed in general with Caffenol and have many nice examples since starting out.  I hope to share more photos taken here and there in Japan and overseas as well as thoughts about the cameras, film and development as I go along. Welcome, and thanks for looking!

Camera: Rolleicord lll (circa 1950-1953)

Film: Fomapan 100 (ei80)

Development: Caffenol stand (70m20d)

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These photos were taken in the late afternoon last winter with a bit of sun reflecting off the buildings across the street.  I might have been a hair off the focus on the second one but I still think it is a pleasing photo (needed a bit more depth of field- and perhaps a tripod).  The Rolleicord lll is probably my favorite TLR so far out of my limited selection simply because of its ergonomics; the focus and film advance on the same side mean you do not have to keep changing hands.  It is a simple machine but it works beautifully. This was my first experience with Fomapan 100 in 120 format and I really like its look.  Man is it curly though.  Downright difficult to get it into the film scanner sometimes. Don’t know what they put into it- maybe spring steel or carbon fiberglass or something..

Jordi