Before & After

(Or: Analogue Noise Reduction!!)

This is -by far- the whackiest thing I have done in years.

To begin with, I would like to thank my good friend Jordan for bringing this to my attention.

There are a lot of things going on here, so let’s hop right in:

To begin with, The Producer was at a conference, so I had to style the hair and make the bun myself.¬† That is really the main miracle here. ūüėā

Second, this is Portra 400 shot at ISO 1200 (Yes, a 1.5 stop push)

Finally (and probably most importantly…) this film was processed in both B&W and Colour Chemistry!!

That’s right folks:¬† This roll was first soaked in Rodinal (1:100) for ten minutes at room temperature (without agitation) and then rinsed, and immediately processed in standard C-41 chemistry.

LOOK AT THOSE SKIN TONES PEOPLE!!!!

And the blacks are BLACK, with no hint of grainy green and purple chroma noise that often results from pushing Portra 120 even one stop.

From what I can gather, the Rodinal seems to develop the “avid” areas first (the “bright noise” if you will…) leaving a very faint B&W image, which is subsequently bleached away (due to lack of fixation) by the C-41 chemistry.¬† It is -literally-¬†“Analogue Noise Reduction!!” ¬†The negatives are of a lower density overall, but the shadows contain more detail, and the tones are much more homogeneous.

Definitely an area that warrants further exploration.

(Next stop: 35mm Portra 400 at 1600 and put through the Pakon…)

The Pakon F-135 Plus, Revisted

As you are all probably now aware, there are talented¬†people out there who could be perceived as “fussy” about their gear, and/or film scans…

They look down their “Bourgeois noses” at emulation software, Windows XP, and capable old scanners re-purposed from drug store kiosks.

The truth of the matter is, I wouldn’t be shooting film today (in any volume whatsoever) if not for the trusty ‘ole Pakon F-135.

While there certainly are occasions where B&W scans may display posterization artifacts in certain regions, on the whole, the scans are extremely impressive for their speed and ease of acquisition.  This is even to say nothing of the fantastic colour profiling and correction which colour scanning affords.

Therefore, in an effort to prove how good (or lacking) the Pakon was, I put the following strips through the Pakon, and the “latest and greatest” Plustek Opticfilm 120. ¬†While the F-135 Plus *only* scans at 3000×2000 (~2100 dpi) I simply could not tell the difference for web-based sizes.

In actual fact, while the whole 24 Exposure roll took under three minutes to acquire on the Pakon, the negatives on the Opticfilm took a ton of effort (cutting, positioning, dusting, pre-scanning, selecting, scanning, saving, and adjusting).  The Opticfilm files were scanned using VueScan Professional at 2600 DPI, with sharpening off.  They were processed to taste in Lightroom 6.5 to create files with dynamic range similar to the auto-generated Pakon files.

In other words (no, I did not blow them up large…) I just don’t think¬†I could make them look better! ¬†It simply wasn’t worth the extra time and effort I had to spend with the other scanner and software.

These are Ilford HP5+ pushed two stops to ISO 1600 on the Nikon F100, and developed in D-76. ¬†¬†I have not labelled them at present…see which versions you prefer.

SET ONE:

SET TWO:

SET THREE:

SET FOUR:

SET FIVE:

SET SIX:

For the last two sets, I thought to myself “Self, there just HAS to be a difference…it is a newer, higher resolution scanner, and I am scanning at a higher DPI”. ¬†So for the third image, I turned off all image-related alterations in VueScan Pro, and rescanned. ¬†Finally, the fourth image is scanned¬†at 5300 DPI (the supposed optical maximum of the Opticfilm 120) using ¬†SilverFast Professional instead.

SET SEVEN:

SET EIGHT:

So there you have it.

Draw your own conclusions–I’m not going to tell you how to live your life.

(…You won’t listen anyway).

ūüôā

Colouring – In B&W

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I forgot to formally post these earlier.

This is the Hasselblad 8mm Extension tube.

In my view, it addresses one of the major shortcomings of the Hasselblad 500 series: The close focus distance.¬† Had I had one of these earlier, I probably would not have bought and sold so many different Hasselblad (and MF…) cameras.

(Okay fine…and bought and sold and bought and sold and…you get it).

I previously tried the 16mm tube, but it brought the focal range down to basic macro, and was not terribly useful.¬† The 8mm extension brings the 80mm lens down to useful “household” distance.¬† DOF is exceedingly thin, so focus is a little bit more deliberate; also moving targets are a tad challenging.¬† Portraits at close-focus show some very minor perspective distortion…but kids don’t really care about that.¬† ūüėČ

These are all on HP5+ pushed to 1600 ISO.

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The Pointless Endeavour

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This completely pointless endeavour (proudly brought to you by Iftimestoodstill Industries‚ĄĘ) is another fine example of what happens when I have too much time on my hands.

ūüôā

It was actually conducted as a test of:

  • The new 6×7 camera that followed me home;
  • Pushing Ilford HP5+ to at least ISO 3200 (3 stops…plus 1.5 more in post!) No development times were available, so I kind of had to guess…
  • My new Foldio macro light box (super cool!)

Now I ask you: Is there anything more beautiful than a B&W film photo of the best digital camera ever made??

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(…Why yes!¬† Yes there is!)

How about a B&W film photo of the most beautiful film camera ever made?¬† (Except, of course, the MP3, M3-J, and MP Titanium…which don’t count because I will unfortunately NEVER own any of them…)

ūüôā

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