5 Frames - Alpsee On CineStill B&W XX

The Alpsee is right next to the valley between castle Hohenschwangau and castle Neuschwanstein. Coming from Schwangau, if you drive through the touristy bits, avoid running over all the tourists, and reach the parking lot at the end of the street, you are right at the lake.

Most tourists are interested in visiting castle Neuschwanstein, which according to legend inspired the castle depicted on the company logo with the mouse head. Or the other castle. Hohenschwangau. I had a Sunday that I wanted to dedicate to running around with a camera hanging from the strap around my neck. It wasn’t my first time in the area, so I decided to start walking towards the lake.

I went further and further, catching the beautiful light on film, enjoying the gentle weather. From time to time there was a bit of rain. Nothing too serious at the beginning. At some point, I started wondering if there is a path around the Alpsee. I kept going, curious to see how far around I could go.

I went all the way and ended up at the parking lot where I started. For the last quarter, the rain had started to get heavier. I went from “slightly moist” to “wet” in about 15 minutes. When I reached the car, I had to dry myself with a towel. A bit of foresight goes a long way, but in hindsight I should have brought a raincoat.

I dragged my trusty Nikon F5 around, with a modern 50mm f/1.8 autofocus lens bolted to it. I had found a roll of CineStill B&W XX in the freezer at home. That was a roll of film that I had nearly forgotten. As far as I can tell, it is Kodak Eastman Double X that has been re-rolled into a 135 film cartridge by the folks at CineStill Film. I was curious to see how it fares, and I am not sure if I like or dislike the look of the results. The images show a distinct, fine grain, that I do not remember from other black and white film stock. Other products like those from Fomapan, Ilford and Rollei do show grain, too. But I do not recall any of them to have such noticeable grain.

It’s not bad. It’s not good. I am on the fence about it.

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