Visit my new blog

I´ve decided to split my blog in two. I will continue to post DIY projects and musings here, but (serious) pictures, taken on film of course, will be posted in my new blog "Silver Halides"

I now consider Caffenol to be a developer like any else. As such the new blog will focus more on the pictures, rather than the process.

Sunday 23 January 2011

Acros 100 unintentionally overexposed by not one, not two, but most likely 5 or more stops!

My Kowa leaf shuttered 85mm lens developed a shutter issue at the exact same time I started testing Acros 100. At first I thought my very dense negatives were due to my getting the development all wrong, and subsequently went out and shot another roll. The second roll showing the exact same symptoms, even after changing EI from 100 to 200 and shaving 4 minutes of the development time. This is when I started suspecting other things, like my new light meter, and went out and shot another roll with the old meter. Still dense negatives bordering on opaque. I should of course have just studied the film borders and the film base to see if the development was off, or if it indeed was an exposure issue. But I panicked!

I finally cottoned on to the party to blame, the lens´leaf shutter was sticking, on all speeds. It didn´t really matter which speed was set, the time it took for the shutter to close was at least a couple of seconds, and sometimes it didn´t close at all. I managed to get my flatbed scanner to interpret a few frames out of three rolls of negatives, barely. I suspect that a better scanner would have been able to salvage something from most of them, and that wet printing could get nice results. But alas, I´ve not a $1000 scanner, nor is my darkroom ready yet.

To wrap up the winging, I´d like to say that I´m impressed with what Acros can tolerate of overexposure. Because these negatives got their fair dose of it. Reinhold rates Acros to an EI of 200 in Caffenol-C-M. These negative probably got exposed in single digit EI´s. The results being big chunky grain in the lighter (most overexposed areas) and still quite nice and fine grain in the darker areas. There´s even some quite nice midtones evident on most of the negatives in question. I now know that not only does Acros push well, it pulls well too. Not that I´d want to pull 5 or more stops out of a fine grained film, at least I know there´s a lot of exposure latitude on hand with this film.

A couple of examples:

The two tallest buildings in Oslo. EI 1 to 5, Acros 100, Caffenol-C-M 12min @ 20C

Self portrait. In shadow, so EI probably 5-10 somewhere,Acros 100, Caffenol-C-M 12min @ 20C
In fact I rather like the first picture, the gritty look is becoming and suits the subject material. I´ll be printing this one once I´ve got a darkroom going.

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