Friday, December 20, 2013

Film Test - Kodak Plus-X in Acufine

It's time for everyone's favorite, a film test!

So despite having shot film for years now, I've never actually bulk-loaded 35mm. I picked up a bulk loader for like $1 on eBay after finally deciding that I would try it out - spurned on by the discontinuation of the Arista Premium 400 film (re-branded Kodak Tri-X 400), leaving me without a very cheap 35mm film other than Foma products, which I do not like.

Anyway, I've been combing eBay for cheap 100' rolls of film, and came upon a only slightly expired roll of Plus-X film. I've heard a lot of great things about this film, along with sadness about its discontinuation. Hoping for a medium-speed film, I decided to soup a test roll in Acufine, and rate it at 200.

Turns out it might not be quite that fast, even in Acufine. The negatives were definitely thin, and at the same time were fogged slightly due to my first bulk roll popping open as I took it out of the camera. Oops! So far not a real big fan of this bulk loading thing, but after ironing out the kinks in the process I think I won't have that issue anymore.

I of course love burning film on the VSU campus, so please excuse the typical college scenes. I used my Bessa R2S and Skopar 25mm f/4, with an orange filter, and tried to find geometric shapes and a variety of light and dark tones. I think I'm going to rate the Plus-X at 125 next time and go with Acufine again. The negatives are definitely a bit on the grainy side, which is an interesting look. Not a landscape combination, but for architecture, texture studies, and the like, I think it'll be nice. Or maybe I should use XTOL? Well anyway, for reference, I souped it in Acufine for 4:30 at 70F:

And with that, I'll be signing off for the rest of the year. I'll be taking my annual trip to the Mississippi Gulf Coast, with a variety of film cameras in hand, and I'll even be visiting New Orleans this year, so there will be many photos to develop and scan in January...

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Christmas Lights in Downtown Valdosta

Not much going on lately due to my schedule but I took this shot downtown a few days ago. It's nice that they put the lights in the trees - it makes downtown a bit less drab - but I sure wish they'd do a few more things to liven up downtown.

Taken with my Linhof Master Technika and 75mm Biogon on Fuji T64 II:

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Winter shots on the Withlacoochee

It's finally starting to get cold down here (though tomorrow it's supposed to be right back in the 80's), and with that we finally have some leaves on the ground. I took a little walk last week before Thanksgiving out at Langdale Park.

First I tried a new lens - an odd 250mm f/4.7 Fujinar. Very little info is available on this lens from any source. I have mixed reports of it being a standard fast Tessar as well as reports of otherwise. Who knows? That said - it's a crackerjack of a lens. Very sharp even at wider apertures and beautiful out-of-focus rendering, especially due to the special Copal 3S shutter with 10 aperture blades. Here's a few shots from it:


I also took a couple more with my Nikkor 90mm f/8:

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Cedar Key, Florida Vacation - Nov. 2013

Meagan and I stayed at a vacation house with my parents a couple weekends ago in Cedar Key, FL. It's a quaint little town with a lot of interesting sites in and around the area. Here was the cabin:

It was on its own private island, kind of. It was more of a big peninsula. Anyway, we were able to see beautiful sunsets and sunrises everyday - here's a few of them:

The water to the south of the house dramatically rose and fell during the tides, exposing the ground and then covering it in about 6 inches of water. It was pretty neat:

More photos after the break!

Sunday, November 17, 2013

8x10 X-Ray Film + Acufine Test

I've been really liking Acufine lately. I've been developing all of my b&w film with it, either straight or at a 1:5 dilution and semi-stand.

I finally got around to testing some 8x10 x-ray film with it. I shot Fuji HR-T at ISO 80 and developed it with straight Acufine in a tray for 2 minutes. I did not strip the rear emulsion with bleach as I usually do, as tray development helped prevent scratching like I would get developing in BTZS tubes.

The negatives look pretty good. Shadow detail is good, sharpness and tonality are stunning. More testing will need to be done, but for now, here are the 4 portraits I took in the studio, with slight crops:

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Providence Canyon Camping Trip 2013 - Part 2

So this post actually won't have any pictures from Providence. These shots were from the ride home. We stopped at a few different locations on the way back from camping - first at in Lumpkin where we saw this colorful building:

Next we went to Richland and found an abandoned carousel out in the sun:

 Richland was also home to a rum distillery. The nice owners invited us in to take photos if we wanted:


Dominick and I walked around town and found various interesting places and some abandoned buildings:



 Finally, we stopped in Albany and shot some photos around some old buildings:

 Finally we shot some at the new "Art Park" in the last hour of light:


Well, that's it for that trip! I shot all of these on my Nikon F2 and 2.1cm, 3.5cm, 5cm, and 10.5cm lenses, all from the earliest production runs of Nikon F-mount lenses. Films included Velvia, Portra, and Tri-X.