Monday, July 13, 2009

Digital analogue photography

Zenza Bronica ETRSi (image by Kurt)

It's the fault of my father.
He endowed me a complete Zenza Bronica ETRSi Set...

So i started to remember the good old times - more than 20 years ago - when i shot B&W photos, developed them and enlarged them in the darkroom. I also started to remember the way of shooting: Every push of the button was well thought (mostly), no instant feedback and the magic of an image evolving from a lifeless piece of cellophane...
Hmm, i think i'm getting old...

Anyway - last weekend i started to reactivate the easier parts of this flashback, bought some rolls of Ilford HP5 and Delta 100 film, a Jobo tank and a Canon 8800F scanner to spare the pain of setting up a complete darkroom. (*1)

The Canon 8800F acts as a bridge between "old style" film photography and the digital world:
  • The scanner is the most cost efficient way to scan 120 film. It can process one strip at a time with 4 pcs. of 6x4.5 cm negatives.
  • The data sheet says, that it can scan up to 4800x9600 dpi - but even 2400dpi seem to stress the max. optical resolution of the scanner. Don't be tempted to compare it with a Nikon Coolscan with ~3800 dpi of true optical resolution ;-)
    Still, it is good enough for 645 as you'll get ~5 MPix at 1200 dpi and ~20 MPix at 2400 dpi
  • The good thing about this scanner is the quite high dynamic range it can capture. In most cases, you don't need multi-pass scanning to get a usable image from the negative.
  • Among other software, there is also a copy of Silverfast included in the package. Although the software is a little clumsy to use, it is worth the extra effort as it will deliver high quality images without having to immerse yourself deeply in the art of film scanning.

    Wolfgang - The Finez
    Ilford HP5+, Ilfosol 3 14+1, Canon 8800F@1200 dpi

(*1) If you also want to (re-)start with medium format film, here's my shopping list for developing roll film negatives:
  1. Jobo tank system 1500:
    • Tank - Item #1520 (tank complete with one reel)
    • Film washer "Cascade" Item #3350
    • Film wiper Item #3530
    • Film clips Item #3312
    • Bottles for chemicals, eg. Item #3380 or 2-3 bottles Item #3395
    • Graduate Item #3306
    • Thermometer, eg. Item #3322
    Price should not exceed 200 EUR for all items.

  2. Changing bag - e.g. Kaiser Wechselsack, ~32 EUR

  3. B&W film and chemicals:
    • Ilford HP5 or Delta 100, ~4 EUR/Roll
    • Developer: Ilford Ilfosol 3 (for Ilford HP5), ~10 EUR/500ml
    • Fixer: Ilford Rapid Fixer, ~8 EUR/500 ml
    • Misc: Stop bath and wetting agent, ~8 EUR/500 ml each (i personally prefer to rinse the tank instead of using a stop bath)
    Don't forget that the chemicals are hazardous waste. While the developer has chemical similarities to a washing agent, the fixer will cause mass mortality in your local sewage plant if you simply pour it in the kitchen sink...