6 Frames - Ektar York - Miniature Wonderland

  • Where: New York
  • Camera: Nikon F3/T
  • Lens: Leica Summicron-R 90mm f/2
  • Film: Kodak Ektar 100
  • Scan: Nikon Super Coolscan 9000

The next New York series features rolls of Kodak Ektar 100 shot with a Nikon F3/T. The lens that I used was an F-mount-adapted Leica Summicron-R 90mm f/2. Only after returning from New York did I realize that the lens allowed focusing beyond infinity due to the adaption to a different mount. Many images that were shot when focusing at infinity according to the scale on the lens turned out blurry because of that issue. This is part one of a four-part series.

10 Frames - Cine York - Citylife

  • Where: New York
  • Camera: Nikon 35 TI
  • Film: Cinestill 400D
  • Scan: Nikon Super Coolscan 9000

Part two of my figuratively recent New York shots on Cinestill 400D. This time I labeled the topic “Citylife”, which refers to random shots throughout the day around the city.

6 Frames - Cine York - Scrape The Sky

  • Where: New York
  • Camera: Nikon 35 TI
  • Film: Cinestill 400D
  • Scan: Nikon Super Coolscan 9000

A while ago I had another opportunity to visit New York. The developed rolls are already tucked away in their archival sleeves and the scans burn a hole into the disk space on my computer. When I saw the results for the first time, I had mixed feelings: Some of the rolls had suffered from the X-ray scans that they had to endure. Many images showed bright areas from what I think is the result of harsh light and no lens hood available for the Nikon 35 TI. Some rolls looked like there were accidents during development, even though all chemicals seemed to work fine for other rolls before and after. I have spent some time culling those rolls that I deemed unusable and ended up with enough images that it seemed to be sensible to group them into film stock and lose topics. This post is the first of two parts that present images from four rolls of Cinestill 400D. Topic: Skyscrapers.

5 Frames - Six Point Two

  • Where: Masinger Schlucht
  • Camera: Mamiya 6 Automat
  • Lens: Olympus D.Zuiko  F.C. 75mm f/3.5
  • Film: Kodak Portra 160, Agfa Optima 100
  • Scan: Nikon Super Coolscan 9000

The second and third rolls that I shot with the Mamiya 6 Automat. They were shot one day after the images from the ”5 Frames - Six” post. The weather this time was starting out bad, but when I got to the “Maisinger Schlucht”, the sun came out with a vengeance. The first four frames were shot on Kodak Portra 160 while the last frame is from a roll of expired Agfa Optima 100 shot at ISO 25.

5 Frames - Wintertime

  • Where: A lake somewhere in Bavaria.
  • Camera: Pentax 67
  • Lens: Schneider Kreuznach Cinelux Ultra 140mm f/2.1
  • Film: Kodak Ektar 100, Kodak Portra 160
  • Scan: Nikon Super Coolscan 9000

It is winter. It snowed heavily. The sun is shining and I am going for a walk with my Pentax 67 hanging from my shoulder. Everything. Is. Just. Perfect. Oh joy!

Until I drag the negatives from the development tank. Shock! The shutter curtain of the camera is misbehaving. Some of the frames are only partially exposed. Disaster? Well, somewhat salvageable. The camera went off to the doctor (and has since arrived back in my home). The useable frames (from two rolls of film) you can find in this post.

5 Frames - Fuji Eterna RDI

  • Where: Maisingert Schlucht
  • Camera: Nikon F4
  • Lens: Nikkor 17-35mm f/2.8D
  • Film: Fuji Eterna RDI
  • Scan: Nikon Super Coolscan 9000

A long time ago, in 2021 according to this blog, I finally got around to experimenting with Fuji Eterna RDI. I got many 2000ft rolls through the bay for 5 dollars (pun shamelessly taken from @grainydaysss) an even longer time ago. Back in 2021 in my first blog post, I tried to figure out reasonable exposure times and how to develop the ECN2 film stock with C41 chemicals. RDI is designed as a “digital intermediate” that is supposed to be “written” with a laser. There were no exposure times to be found anywhere on the internet, so I did my own exposure tests (see old blog post ”Experiments With Fuji Eterna RDI”). I followed instructions for developing ECN2 film in C41 chemicals that I found in the Emulsive article ”Developing motion picture film in your own darkroom”.

The idea in that article is to emulate the pre-bath of the ECN2 process that is used for softening the remjet layer on motion picture stock by mixing an alkaline solution based on baking and washing soda. A few months ago I learned from messing up some holiday rolls of ReflxLab 250D and 500T that the pre-bath may have a significant effect on the outcome of the development. I am using a rotary processor to develop film which ensures even coverage for the chemicals on the negatives. That processor is fully automatic and does not include a program for C41 development with a pre-bath step. Thus, I have to do the pre-bath with the development drum standing in the kitchen sink. I managed to mix up too little of the alkaline pre-bath, and after development there was a clear difference between the top and the bottom of the frames right where the waterline sat at the top-most roll in the drum.

After reading a bit more about developing motion picture stock in C41, nowadays a more widespread process thanks to a lot of Kodak Vision 3 being re-spooled by companies like ReflxLab, it turns out that given that the developer is an alkaline solution too, one can stop development right after fixing and remove the remjet layer mechanically. (Please note: Removing the remjet layer after fixing means that the chemicals will be contaminated with some of the black gunk of that layer. Reusing the chemicals may leave some black residue on the negatives, which is hard to clean off the emulsion side.) That approach worked like a charm for the next rolls of ReflxLab 250D and 500T that I shot and developed. The remjet layer could easily be removed with a sponge under running tap water. Any residue of the remjet layer that did not get removed with the sponge could be removed with vinegar (only on the non-emulsion side) after drying the negatives.

Now that I have figured out the process that gives me the most reasonable results, I decided to take a roll of Fuji Eterna RDI for another walk so that I can see what results I get when it is developed “the right way”. Exposure was at ISO 6 +2 stops, so effective ISO 1.5. After scanning, I imported the images into Adobe Lightroom and converted them with Negative Lab Pro. Without additional white balancing, the images turned out to have a strong blue cast (see Exhibit B). Looking at the negatives, which are very yellow, that looks about right. After using “Auto Neutral” for the white balance setting in Negative Lab Pro, we get an image with colors that look off (see Exhibit A).

The strong blue cast in the positive images makes me wonder if a warming filter (e.g. an 85B) could work as a countermeasure. I am currently waiting for one to arrive in the mail to be able to do more experiments. If that does not help, I think Fuji Eterna RDI is still a fun film stock to shoot once in a while.

5 Frames - Six

  • Where: In and around a church garden.
  • Camera: Mamiya 6 Automat
  • Lens: Olympus D.Zuiko  F.C. 75mm f/3.5
  • Film: Kodak Ektar 100
  • Scan: Nikon Super Coolscan 9000

The first roll that I shot with the Mamiya 6 Automat which had arrived just a few days before from Japan. I had hopes for decent image quality from this 6x6 medium format folder but felt a bit cautious because my Zeiss Ikon Super Ikonta (a 6x9 medium format folder) did not deliver so far. Luckily, my worries were unfounded. The weather that day was overcast, but friendly.

5 Frames - Moody

  • Where: Near a Lake in Bavaria
  • Camera: Nikon 35TI
  • Lens: Nikkor 35mm f/2.8
  • Film: Kodak Portra 160 NC (expired)
  • Scan: Nikon Super Coolscan 9000

All frames were shot with the Nikon 35 TI on a moody day a few weeks after I came back from a trip to New York. There were a lot of issues with pictures that I had taken in New York and I was unsure what to attribute those issues to. Thus, I took the Nikon 35 TI for a walk to ensure the issue was not with the camera itself.

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