Last March, my Lovely Joanne gave me a whole bunch of wonderful and unique films for my birthday. Needless to say, I was very excited, because we both love shooting film!
These are some very unique films, some of them rare and difficult to find. These films all have distinct and unique characteristics, some of them are entirely in a league of their own.
Several of these films can be home developed, which is great, because that is something Joanne and I love doing as well. We develop all of our black and white film at home, and we even have the capability of developing our colour C41 film as well, with the Arista C-41 Developing Kit, another great birthday present from Joanne! I know, I'm lucky!
We have a dark bag (or changing bag) for loading our negatives onto the reels and into the canisters for processing, because we don't currently have a darkroom, but the system works great. We hand develop our film in light-tight developing canisters in Joanne's kitchen sink, (and drink some wine) and after all of the chemical processes are complete, we rinse the negatives and hang them to dry in the bathroom.
We get our negatives scanned at Rocket Repro, in Gastown Vancouver. They are incredibly good at film, and we get amazing results from them, every time.
I'd like to start with the experience I've had recently with shooting and developing Film Washi D ISO 500 Panchromatic Black and White Surveillance Film "Sputnik" (Spy Film). First of all, I should mention how excited I was to receive this film, because it's not easy to get, and it's not cheap. But it's SO worth every penny. Before Joanne gave me this film, I had never heard of it before. The company that makes this film is very small and they work very hard researching a developing wonderful, unique films. Have a look at their website.
I’ve got to say, this film is in a category all of its own! It’s incredible with rich and unique characteristics that I’ve never seen before in film. High contrast with very rich details, even in the darkest darks. That sounds impossible, right? High contrast with high detail? That's what I thought too, until I saw it myself. So much detail, that this 35mm film looks like medium format.
This film was really quite tricky to load onto the developing reel in the dark bag, because it's a very soft film. It doesn't quite have the rigidity that most film has, and so it doesn't readily catch in the bearings on my reel. It took several attempts, and then it finally slipped on. There are a few workarounds for this though, that are worth mentioning here. From their website:
"Being a very thin film, "D" can be delicate to load in processing tanks: you can tape a piece of thicker leader film onto it to make it easier to introduce in the reel. Tested with JOBO and PATERSON reels."
For the developing, we chose to develop the film with Blazinal (Rodinal) 1+25 developer, which worked very nicely with this film.
Look at those rich, dark tones and details!
We have some more of this film, and Joanne has just loaded some into her Canon EOS 1N RS SLR camera. I'm very much looking forward to the results!