I'm returning to using film after a long hiatus (I largely - boo! hiss! - use digital), mostly because the tonality of B&W film pleases me more than digital B&W.

Although I have been taking pictures for 40+ years, I have managed never to learn the craft of developing (or printing); but dissatisfaction with the scratchy spotty C41 (XP2S & BW400CN) I've been getting back from the minilab has led me to "proper" silver film and home development. Circumstances dictate that printing will have to wait a few months.

In order to get a feel for handling film and what I'm doing with a tank, plus the fact that at the moment I have quite a low throughput of film (perhaps a couple of 36s a month), I've opted to try out Caffenol to begin with, though I suspect a bottle of Rodinal does lie in my future. I am going to stick with one-shot liquids, for financial and practical reasons.

While this first roll happened to be FP4+, I have a supply of Foma 100 for regular use, at least to begin with.

While I realise posting scans of negatives for comment is fraught with difficulties (because different scanning "workflows" produce different outputs), I'm nevertheless going to do so and ask for feedback from more experienced hands. Any links to images I post here will be "flat" scans - made with a Plustek 7600i, SF8 & no "tweaks" to noise, sharpness or tone curve either in scanning or digital post-processing.

Yesterday evening, I ran my first roll of film through the tank, and while I'm reasonably satisfied with the results, I do want to be able to eventually wet-print from negatives rather than just scan, and thus I want to start to get a feel for what to look for in my negatives, particularly of course signs of over- or under-development as well as over- and under-exposure.

My first run was with Ilford FP4+ (expired Sept2011), Caffenol-C-M 20 mins @ 20C, plain water stop, Ilford Rapid fix 5 mins, Ilford wash regime, final rinse in deionised water+Ilfotol.
Shot with Bessa R2A in aperture priority, this image with a CV 28/1.9 Ultron.

As a digiteer I find the overexposed sunshine top left area looks a bit odd and I wondered whether that was because I'm just not used to seeing how film (rather than digital) looks when it "blows out", or whether we're looking at a development issue.

So ... here's a link, and this beginner will welcome any constructive feedback ...



pos by _loupe, on Flickr