The Unkillable Clerics @ The Hop – Oct 2015

Well, here we go!

Before I get stuck into the holiday snaps, I’m just going to post a few shots from a gig that my other half’s band played a few months back at The Hop, an Ossett Brewery pub in Sheffield city centre. Known as The Unkillable Clerics, they play a rather technical brand of ‘post-rock’ based upon metal, folk and classical influences.

I had well stashed a roll of Ilford’s high-speed Delta 3200, just waiting for a special occasion. A few gigs down the line (i.e. too well-stashed!) and I re-discovered this hidden gem in the fridge, so naturally I decided to put it to good use.

Loaded into the Pentacon Six  affixed to the 80 mm f 2.8 Zeiss Biometar, I metered the film at half box speed, ISO 1600, using the Gossen Mastersix and a grey card, (Ilford recommend somewhere between this and ISO 6400). Having never used this film before, I figured I’d start at the bottom, perhaps being somewhat over-wary of the ‘low light’ conditions in the venue.

Given my relative ignorance of this specialist film, its expense and the fact that I was sending my holiday films off at the same time, I decided to get these developed professionally; so processing, printing and scanning was performed by Ag-Photographic’s Photolab service. Turnaround on a total of 12 films was just two days after receipt at their lab, as usual a fantastic service!

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Kodak Tri-X 400, Pentacon Six TL

Well, I finally managed to get back in the darkroom and try out our new-old Hewes steel developing tank & reels. After the auto-loading Paterson reel we had decided to start giving up the ghost, I figured it might be a good idea to try something that might end up being a bit more reliable, though there are caveats, as always!

Loading the steel reels is straightforward, but requires practice; there are videos on youtube that are very helpful, I found this one and this one to be helpful. One of the two rolls I developed this time was misaligned and therefore ‘bunched up’, somewhere in the inner spirals, causing the chemicals to pool there during the process. This resulted in lines and blobs on the negatives at around this point on the roll. Like I said, practice will hopefully alleviate this.

I also recently managed to get hold of a Gossen Profispot for around half the price they normally go for – this is the spot meter attachment for my Profisix light meter. For the purpose of testing, instead of using a grey card, I used this to meter on the Edale to Hope walk, and after looking at the ‘scanned’ negatives, it became apparent that a steep learning process is going to transpire, when at last the time arises of course!

Anyhow, I shot a couple of rolls of Tri-X on two separate trips out to the Peak District from the past month or so; one a walk out through Endcliffe Park towards the Norfolk Arms shot using the MIR 45mm f3.5, the other a very wet and windy hike out from Edale towards Hope, via the Roman Road – shot on the Zeiss Flektogon 50mm f4.

The rolls were shot at ISO 320 and developed accordingly in 1:3 Perceptol, for times derived from the Massive Dev Chart. I also performed some cropping, contrast boosting and white balancing in PS, and the negatives were scanned using a Canon 500D, fitted with a Sigma 18-250mm f3.5.

One of the Riley Graves, Eyam. MIR 45mm f3.5.
One of the Riley Graves, Eyam. MIR 45mm f3.5.

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Fujichrome 64T II (expired) – Sheffield – Evening Photowalking

Good evening! It seems to have been ages since I last posted anything but I finally managed to get some colour films sent off for development, and I still have a few b&w rolls in the fridge, which hopefully I can get around to developing sometime soon!

A few weeks ago, loaded with some expired Fujichrome 64T II, I took the Rolleiflex, Profisix and tripod out for an evening photowalk; heading out around the immediate outskirts of Sheffield city centre, ultimately towards the city’s old industrial heartland, Kelham Island.

This was my first experience using a tungsten-balanced film, and given that the film was expired, to help with determining the correct exposure I decided to try out an app I came across via a post from Francois on the Filmwasters forum. This app allows you to plug in the details for your film, and it gives you a read-out of upper and lower suggested ISO settings. For a 07/2002 expiry date, and the ISO 64 film rating, the app suggested ISO 25.

To complicate things, 64T II is a colour reversal, slide film, and according to internet wisdom this means that you can achieve better colour results if you underexpose the film, (the opposite is an often used technique when using colour negative film). However, with the film being expired, results will vary based upon several factors, not least how it has been stored, as such it may be wise to test for yourself. In the end, I decided to use the app’s recommendation, but also shot a second exposure at ISO 40 with the aim of underexposing.

I further post-processed the scans from Ag Photographic’s Photolab service, boosting the exposure and changing the white balance.

The first shot is of the reverse of the Cemetery Road entrance to the derelict cemetery, located just off Ecclesall Road; the Sheffield General Cemetery.

Entrance to the Sheffield General Cemetary. ISO 25, +1 exposure in PS.
Entrance to the Sheffield General Cemetery. f16, 15s, ISO 25, with +1 exposure and white balancing in PS.

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Kodak Ektar 100 – Pentacon Six TL Test

Just a few test shots, taken through the Russian MIR 45mm f3.5 and using the Pentacon Six TL; the post-war, East German, medium format SLR whose reputation is somewhat chequered, if you believe the ‘hype’ of course.

Despite these aspersions, this particular specimen appears in mint condition cosmetically and functions really well, at all shutter speeds and came as an absolute bargain, a steal in fact. It’s safe to say that I’m pretty pleased and look forward to shooting many more rolls through it.

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Reminiscent of Cajal’s drawings; neuronal documents, like memories.

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