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.

IMG_20140821_0034

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

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7 thoughts on “How a Kentmere whim, Abenomics, dismay and fear ultimately led to bulk film goodness

  1. Jim Grey

    I’m shooting my second roll of Kentmere 100 right now in my Zeiss Ikon Contessa LK. I shot my first roll in my Nikon F2 last year and didn’t like the look of what I got. But I don’t process my own – I send my film out. I’ve heard that this film is finicky in processing.

    You are getting great results from this film. Especially the shot of the tunnel. I really like that one.

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    1. jordi Post author

      Hi Jim, thanks for your comment. I think the developing is as important as the exposure for the quality of the negative, and errors just as irreversible:-) It seems to like caffenol, and my feeling it would do very well with Rodinol too (I would test that if I could get some over here). I was able to order some HC-110 along with a 100ft roll so I will have a good chance to play around with it some more.

      I look forward to seeing the shots with the Contessa. I have a Contessa 35 I have been meaning to take for walk for awhile..

      RE the developing- maybe you could expose two rolls in the same camera and send them to two different labs and compare the results?

      Best,
      Jordi

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    1. jordi Post author

      Hi Derek, thanks for your comment. I found your great review and photos with Kentmere on your site and noticed you bulk load. I have some bulk rolls on the way. I hope I don’t mess them up too bad, but I figure if I can load film on a developing reel I should be able to put it on a film cassette:-) Well the (hopefully good) results of that adventure will eventually be up here. Best, Jordi

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      1. dehk

        The bulk load kentmere I have was actually sent to be by the late http://rralexander.wordpress.com/ , he was a good friend on mine. Even though I am equipped to reload myself I haven’t done that quite yet. But like you said if you can load a reel you should be able to put it in a cassette no problem. I’m following you now so I’ll be watching ya.

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  2. kevinallan

    I’ve used a few rolls of Rollei RPX-100, which is often stated to be the same film as Kentmere 100, and I’ve been quite happy with it. But in the 120 format I prefer, it’s only a few pence cheaper than TMax 100 in Europe, so there is less of an incentive to use it.

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    1. jordi Post author

      Hi Kevin, that’s interesting, I didn’t know that it was the same film. Here in Japan we don’t have either (Kentmere or Rollei) available in 120 format that I know of. I will get some on my next order from Freestyle. In 120 I most often use Acros because here it is the best least expensive option I think. Best, Jordi

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