Lambertville again. Same roll as the last two. Getting really excited for the TMX100 (possibly developed by the end of the weekend).
Agfa APX 400, CVS scan.
From the same location as another recent shot. After toying with anything and everything decent from the one- and two-stop push rolls, I have given up. With any luck, next Monday will be the results of my lowest grain for best scanning experiment: TMX 100 in 1+19 F76+. If that doesn’t yield a consistently scannable and smooth negative, I don’t know what will (my own scanner?). For now, enjoy the Agfapan.
APX 400 rated at 400. Remarkably acceptable scan for CVS (sometimes all of us get lucky. I’ve still got my eye on you).
As I continue to wallow through the mess of bad and incomplete scans, a few pop up that catch my eye. By “a few” I mean that this is the second. (Not) coincidentally, they are all from the non-pushed roll (go figure), and they also have all required heavy spot fixes. At least they stopped trying to tell me it’s dust on my negatives. The conversation went something like this:
“What kind of camera are these from?”
“A 35mm camera. What do you mean?”
“Well who developed them?”
“I did. In my sink.”
“Do they say. . . Are they C-41?”
“No. They’re black and white.”
“But was the process C-41?”
“No. It’s black and white. I did it in my sink.”
“Oh. I don’t think our scanner will recognize those.”
“Why not? They’re exposed correctly.”
“Well, it only ‘sees’ C-41 negatives. But I’ll try it.”
The really absurd part is that he was right. For whatever reason, commercial get-it-good-enough-for-Average-Joe’s-vacation-pictures scanners get freaked out true black and white negatives, and respond by dropping all varieties of dust- and hair-like spots onto the image files. Which get painstakingly fixed by me.
Agfa APX 400 rated at 400 (noticing a pattern for the ones that work?), drug store “barrel o’monkeys” scan technology. Much spot fixing.
Well, I guess today it makes sense to continue along my progression to the final step: True black and white film photography. Yesterday’s rant should provide ample explanation if what is and is not to love about the C-41 stuff, and after a few rolls of that I felt the need to try the real thing. A lot of Googling brought me to a basic understanding of how to develop one’s own film, and so I took the plunge and ordered chemicals, accessories, and 20 rolls of real live black and white film for a total of about $79, or about the cost of shooting and developing eight rolls of C-41 black and white.
Secure in the knowledge that I would soon possess the necessary skills to develop it, I bought and began shooting real live black and white film (living in the middle of nowhere for work meant that I had to make many phone calls and drive twenty miles to find any, and all that was available was T-Max. I’d like to take this opportunity to give a big shout-out to The Film Center of Altoona, PA not only for explaining to me that no one uses film anymore and everything is digital now, but also for failing to realize the irony of calling their operation “The Film Center.” If you know film isn’t dead, why don’t you give them a call at 814-946-3648 and ask if they have any Tri-X?). I shot one roll of T-Max 400 and one roll of Tri-X 400 on the summer program’s trip to Washington D.C. (I probably should have been paying more attention to my students and less to my light meter and circular polarizer, but so be it).
The package arrived at my house the day after I returned home from the summer program. I loaded up a roll of film (re-branded Agfa APX 400, but that’s another story), shot through it as fast as I could, gathered my supplies together and worked some chemical magic in my sink. Sure enough, once I fixed and rinsed, I had a three-foot strip of little tiny reversed pictures! I was thrilled that it had worked, so I loaded up a roll in my manual camera and went back to work.
I think this shot is from my second roll. It’s Agfa APX 400 shot at 400 and developed in Clayton F76+, an excellent low-toxicity hypoallergenic liquid developer (I also have more to say about low-tox chemicals- stay tuned). The image you see here was scanned from the negative at Target (more about that later too) and lightly corrected, and it will be printed as a 5 x 7 for a birthday present. Chasing a skittish animal around with a manual-exposure manual-focus camera is a bizarre and difficult experience, but I’m pleased with the results.