Sunday, 12 July 2020

116 Day June 2020

Zeiss Ikon Cocarette with Kodak Verichrome Pan
Last month, as well as shooting 126 film on the twelfth for 126 Day, I also shot several rolls of 116 format film the day before for a '116 Day'. I used a Zeiss Ikon Cocarette camera: in my post on the camera I wrote about how I had made some minor (and reversible) modifications to enable the camera to take 120 medium format rollfilm. On 116 Day in June, I undid these modifications in order to shoot 116 film, rather than 120. 116 film hasn't been made for over thirty years, and all the rolls of film I shot were much older than that. My expectations for the results were that I'd get something, but even if the film's emulsions had suffered from significant deterioration, I would at least have more 116 format backing paper for rolling with 120 film.

Ilford Selochrome Fast Ortho Film, September 1952
The first roll of film that I shot on the day was Ilford Selochrome 'Fast Ortho Film', was the oldest, with a date on the box of September 1952. Rating it at an exposure index of around 10, I also bracketed the shots, which I did with most of the shots on the day. I also used a tripod for most of the shots in this post, allowing for smaller apertures as a result of using longer exposure times than I would be comfortable hand-holding, although the weather was bright on 11th June in the UK when I took the photographs. As this Selochrome film was orthochromatic (there were also panchromatic versions of Selochrome), I tray developed it by inspection (using the 'see-saw' method) in Ilford Multigrade paper developer diluted 1+30. The negatives did need more exposure despite the bracketing; while developing the film, I could see that more development was just fogging the film however. After development, to get as much as I could from the film, I used a bath of selenium toner at a dilution of 1+9 to intensify the negatives.

Zeiss Ikon Cocarette with Ilford Selochrome Fast Ortho Film
The emulsion had reacted with the backing paper, unsurprising perhaps with a 68-year old roll of film. The number markings show up in a regular pattern of dots, visible at bottom right in the image above, and across the top. Incidentally, the roll of Selochrome had a full range of 116 format numbers on the backing paper, something I've not encountered before - the usual numbers for 8 exposures at 6.5x11cm, but also 12 exposures for 6.5x6.5cm square, and 16 exposures for 5.5x6.5cm 'half-frame format'. This did of course mean that there was more printing for the emulsion to react to than other 116 backing papers (this - the film reacting to the printing on backing paper - is an issue which still plagues the odd batch of new 120 film from time to time).

616 format Kodak Plus-X, develop before October 1955
The next roll of film that I shot on the day was 616 format, not 116: 616 is to 116 what 620 was to 120. Kodak used the same film size and backing paper arrangement but on a slimmer spool, with narrower flanges at the ends. Although the winding key for the film is also smaller, the central hole in the spool itself is the same size as with 116, which means that a roll of 616 film should fit into the supply-side chamber of a 116 camera without any problems. The 616 film I shot was a roll of Kodak Plus-X with a develop before date of October 1955. However, although the box was in good condition, this film had obviously been exposed to damp: the roll was wrapped in foil, and on unwrapping, one end of the metal spool had some visible corrosion. Advancing it through the camera, the film was very stiff, and needed a fair amount of force to get this onto the second frame; it also made a worrying noise when I advanced it. When it came to developing the film, I found that, for most of its length, it had stuck to the backing paper - although fortunately to the reverse of the film, not the emulsion side. Tearing it from the backing paper in a changing bag, once the tank was loaded, I found that the inside layer of the backing paper had mostly adhered to the film: a thin layer of backing paper remained surprisingly intact - the whole length of the roll, with the frame numberings (this film had two frame sizes on its backing paper - 8 exposures for 6.5x11cm, and 16 exposures for 5.5x6.5cm).

Although the second roll shot, this was the last that I developed, and seeing the results from the two rolls of Verichrome Pan,  I stand developed the Plus-X for three hours in Ilfotec LC29 diluted 1+100, agitating at the beginning and at the half-way mark. After development, and after thorough washing, but before fixing, I took the film of the developing reel and was able to remove the backing paper with some gentle rubbing.

Zeiss Ikon Cocarette with Kodak Plus-X
Having had very low expectations of this film, there were images on it. In just a few areas, the emulsion had lifted, possibly from sticking to the backing paper (as above), and this did also have frame markings imprinted on the negatives, more clearly on some frames than others. In addition, there are what looks like some kind of water marks - I'm not sure what caused these - possibly, this might be due to developing the film while stuck to the backing paper, and the chemicals being unevenly absorbed - or, despite a thorough washing, the backing paper still had film developer absorbed into it when I removed it to clean off the paper (I did this in order that the fix wouldn't end up full of black paper fibres as a result).

Zeiss Ikon Cocarette with Kodak Plus-X
The second frame also had creases across it - this was the point beyond which the backing paper had stuck to the film, and in forcing the film to advance, I had somehow gotten a fold running across the film - this is the frame above. One crease is clearly visible on the left of the frame: there is another just right of the centre, which is less visible. With all its problems, the 616 film also did not wind very tightly when advanced, resulting in some light leaks at the end of the film.

116 format Kodak Verichrome Pan, develop before August/September 1965
The last two rolls of 116 film that I shot on the day were both Kodak Verichrome Pan: one had a develop before date of August 1965, the other September 1965. These I'd bought as a single lot online, so possibly these two rolls of film had been bought at the same time in the early sixties, and had not been separated since. I have had some good results with Verichrome Pan of different ages, although not consistently so, and as these were a decade more recent than the other films, I had hopes that the emulsion might not have deteriorated as much. Incidentally, these have just one set of frame numberings on the backing paper, as I've found with other 116 film I've used - perhaps manufacturers abandoned printing numbers for the the less common formats as time when on. When I shot the films, I didn't note which was which, and the results were different - one roll had lots of tiny pinholes in the emulsion (showing as black specks); the other much less, but this one appears to have lots of small fibres (showing as irregular white flecks) stuck to the surface of the emulsion, although this patterning may be a reaction to the backing paper again. The first roll I stand developed for one hour in Ilfotec LC29 at a dilution of 1+100; the second I increased the time to 2 hours and 30 minutes. As the first roll had rather thin negatives, I again used selenium toner to intensify the negatives - the first image below is from this roll, as well as the image at the top of this post.

Zeiss Ikon Cocarette with Kodak Verichrome Pan, showing pinholing
Zeiss Ikon Cocarette with Kodak Verichrome Pan, showing white flecks
For landscape work, I find the proportions of the 6.5x11cm frame attractive: this might be the primary reason for continuing to use 116 format cameras. Short of investing in some 70mm-wide film to respool with the backing paper, using 120 film does work well enough, as I have done previously, although this crops some of the image from the top and bottom of the frame. When the 116 format was introduced at the very end of the 19th century, negatives would usually have been contact-printed, as with the other rollfilm formats of the time, driving the demand for the relatively large negative size; I frequently use 'expired' film, and, taking into account all the inherent problems of doing so, the results of the films shot on 116 Day go some way to demonstrating the possibilities of the large 6.5x11cm frame.

Zeiss Ikon Cocarette with Ilford Selochrome Fast Ortho Film
Zeiss Ikon Cocarette with Ilford Selochrome Fast Ortho Film
Zeiss Ikon Cocarette with Kodak Plus-X
Zeiss Ikon Cocarette with Kodak Plus-X
Zeiss Ikon Cocarette with Kodak Verichrome Pan
Zeiss Ikon Cocarette with Kodak Verichrome Pan
Zeiss Ikon Cocarette with Kodak Verichrome Pan

Sunday, 14 June 2020

126 Day June 2020

Kodak Instamatic 277X with Kodak Verichrome Pan
Two days ago, on the 12th, I shot some film with a Kodak Instamatic 277X to mark June's '126 Day'. Unlike 127 Day, or some of the other calendrical photography days, I'm not aware that anyone really observes a 126 Day. Reasons for this doubtless include the fact that no new 126 format film has been produced for years, although rumours of its resurrection do occasionally surface. I would not have predicted that the 110 format would reappear after the major manufacturers stopped production, so 126 film's re-emergence is not an impossibility; new 127 format rollfilm did disappear for a time, but is now more available, and the demand must in part be due to the fact that there were a number of well-designed cameras produced for the format, particularly during the popularity of the 4x4 twin lens reflex in 1950s. There were a small handful of relatively higher-specification 126 cameras, but most were simple point-and-shoot models, plastic equivalents of the box cameras of a generation before. I shot with the Instamatic 277X on 126 Day, as, although basic, it does have a relatively wide range of aperture settings and it is also better at handling perforated 35mm film loaded into original 126 cartridges than other 126 cameras I've used. I shot a couple of cartridges loaded with Ilford FP4 on the day, and wasn't quite as careful as I might have been in advancing the film, with the result of several overlapping exposures.

Kodak Instamatic 277X with Ilford FP4 Plus
Kodak Instamatic 277X with Ilford FP4 Plus
In developing the film, conversely, I was too cautious. Using Ilfotec LC29 which had been mixed from stock at a dilution of 1+9 three months earlier, I extended developing time by another minute on top of the extra time, factored for pushing it one stop, as I wasn't sure how well the developer was going to work, as the developer was looking quite discoloured. The resulting negatives were quite dense as a result, and should clearly have been developed as if rated at box speed for the correct time. As a result the midtones to highlights were compressed, and meant careful scanning was needed to recover as much range as possible, as well as some digital dodging and burning to help separate tones.

Kodak Instamatic 277X with Ilford FP4 Plus
Kodak Instamatic 277X with Ilford FP4 Plus
Kodak Instamatic 277X with Ilford FP4 Plus
Kodak Instamatic 277X with Ilford FP4 Plus
In addition to the cartridges loaded with 35mm FP4 Plus, I also shot a cartridge of Kodak Verichrome Pan. I (nominally) rated this at box speed, originally 125 ISO: with the Kodak Instamatic 277X, this meant simply following the pictograms for the lighting conditions. The cartridge had a develop before date of 06/1986; often with film this old, I would increase exposure to compensate for the loss of sensitivity due to age, but my previous experiences with Verichrome Pan suggested that I could risk not doing this with thirty-odd year old film. It might have been wise to bracket the exposures, but with only 12 frames in the cartridge, I didn't do this. I also shot the film with a yellow filter (as I had done with the FP4 Plus), which I might not have adequately accounted for in exposure; however, I stand developed the Verichrome Pan, which is generally very forgiving in terms of variations in exposure, and, although the resulting negatives had a moderate level of base fog due to age, the results were pretty good for a 34-year-old black and white film.

Kodak Instamatic 277X with Kodak Verichrome Pan
Kodak Instamatic 277X with Kodak Verichrome Pan
Kodak Instamatic 277X with Kodak Verichrome Pan
Kodak Instamatic 277X with Kodak Verichrome Pan
Kodak Instamatic 277X with Kodak Verichrome Pan

Sunday, 31 May 2020

Isolation Projects

'Quarantine', 9x12cm paper negatives, first 28 days
In my post two months ago for 'Expired Film Day 2020', I referenced the current coronavirus pandemic, the full restrictions of which had come into force between taking the photographs, and then developing, scanning, and posting two weeks later. UK-wide restrictions were much less stringent than in other countries: even at the height of the pandemic, I could have left the house every day to take photographs, on my daily exercise or on essential shopping trips; in my post on Worldwide Pinhole Photography Day, I did reference that I couldn't go out to take photographs. The inference in this statement was that with a large format camera and long exposures, going out specifically to take photographs, with stopping for long periods with a camera on a tripod, would appear to be against the spirit of the rules then, if not the letter.

Unfixed paper negative, digitally inverted, Kodak Recomar 33
Instead, as with a number of photographers, I have been taking photographs at home for the duration. One participatory project initiated online by the artist William Arnold Goldstrom, 'Lockdown Living Spaces' uses the tag #covidobscura on Instagram. He invited artists to make long-exposures on photographic paper of their domestic spaces during lockdown - essentially, lumen prints, as the image below - which would then be scanned unfixed, digitally inverted into positives.

Unfixed paper negative lumen print, Kodak Recomar 33
I took part with a variety of cameras and formats - large format, quarterplate, 116 - with exposures ranging from one to three weeks, and for the two months from the 24th March, had at least one camera exposing at any one time. I also used three different types of photographic paper - Ilford Multigrade IV, Adox MCP 310, and grade 2 Ilfospeed paper from the 1970s. Photographing domestic spaces, for most of the cameras I used wide angle lenses or supplementary lenses: the image above, shot on Ilfospeed paper with a Kodak Recomar 33, used a Proxar supplementary lens; the image below, on Adox MCP paper, used a 75mm Dehel Manar lens on my MPP Micro-Technical Mk VIII.

Unfixed paper negative, digitally inverted, MPP Micro-Technical Mk VIII
Being fortunate enough to be able to work from home, documenting this time through long exposures of the domestic space as a work environment show traces of activity and the passing of time, while the human figure moves too quickly to register (although there is a faint indication of a blur in front of the monitor in the first image above). I found with slower lenses, as with the Kodak No.2A Brownie and the Cameo, two or three weeks were needed to give an image good enough for scanning; I also found that the scanning process darkened all of the paper considerably, as well as time outside the camera of course. I did fix some of the paper after scanning, but the images became much lighter after fixing. The best results were those using the Adox MCP paper; those using Ilford Multigrade produced a wider range of colours (on black and white paper) - not having much experience with lumen prints, this was a little surprising to me at least: the first two images below are on Multigrade; the Kodak Recomar shot is on Ilfospeed grade 2, while the other photographs use Adox MCP paper.

Unfixed paper negative, digitally inverted, Kodak No.2A Brownie
Unfixed paper negative, digitally inverted, Butcher's Cameo
Unfixed paper negative, digitally inverted, Butcher's Cameo
Unfixed paper negative, digitally inverted, MPP Micro-Technical Mk VI
The day after setting up a couple of cameras for the #covidobscura project, I embarked on another series of photographs under the provisional title of 'Quaratine'. Looking for a subject in that fourth week of March, I noticed that the tree outside my window was just coming into leaf: I have been photographing it every day since as spring gives way to summer, the clocks went forward, the evenings get lighter, the full leaves on the tree being followed by blossom, which has now come and gone.

'Quarantine', 9x12cm paper negatives, weeks 5-8
These photographs were shot on photographic paper, with the intention of developing the paper, unlike the #covidobscura images. I used a Rietzschel Heli-Clack 9x12cm large format folding plate camera for these photographs. Prior to the lockdown, I had shot some paper negatives with this camera using the same Ilfospeed paper stock that I'd used for the #covidobscura lumen images. One reason for using this paper was simply that it was 3 1/2 x 5 inches, 8.9x12.7cm, which meant I only needed to cut 7mm from one side of the paper to fit the 9x12cm plateholders (although in the event cutting the paper to 11.9cm fits the film sheathes better).

'Quarantine', 9x12cm paper negative on Ilfospeed grade 2 RC paper
Being grade 2, I shot the Ilfospeed paper rated 6, which gave fairly consistent results without flashing or filtering. The box dates back to the late 1970s, but the only sign of age with the paper appears to be a slight yellowing to the base, which is not unattractive. I decided to take two shots each day, to guard against any mistakes, and providing the opportunity to choose the best of the two; I quickly used up the remaining sheets in the Ilfospeed box. The next photographs were shot on Adox MCP 310 paper. As a variable contrast paper, the results were generally higher in contrast than the grade 2 paper, but the Adox MCP paper does seem to be good at retaining highlight detail, and I shot this at an exposure index of either 10 or 12.

'Quarantine', 9x12cm paper negative on Adox MCP 310 RC paper
However, the Adox paper was cut down from much larger sheets; this paper has been discontinued from the start of this year and there seemed to be little available online when looking for a replacement as this started to run low. I switched to using Ilford Multigrade IV paper, having bought a box of 8.9x14cm specifically for the project, which, again, needs just one cut to fit the film sheathes. Unlike both the Ilfospeed and Adox papers, I found Multigrade IV to be too high in contrast to use 'straight' in the camera. I made a couple of tests before using this paper for the project, having researched online the different approaches taken to shooting paper negatives. In the lower of the two tests below, the difference a green filter makes is quite marked; the green filter was used as a 'minus-magenta' filter. It would have been possible to use Multigrade filters with the paper to control contrast, but as the high contrast layers in the paper are sensitive to magenta light, using a light green filter worked perfectly well.

Ilford Multigrade IV RC paper test rated 12/6/3 right to left
Ilford Multigrade IV paper test with light green filter rated 12/6/3 (adjusted for filter) right to left
I developed the paper negatives in Ilford Multigrade paper developer, with dilutions from 1+9 to around 1+30 or even 1+50; I had thought that high dilutions of the developer might also have an affect on the contrast, but this mainly seems to affect developing time. What this does mean is that it was easier to pull paper negatives from the developer early if these appeared to be developing too dark due to overexposure. However, as a general rule, this often showed as uneven development, and in most cases, I achieved more consistent results from allowing development to complete, and attempt to get the best exposure, within practical terms, when shooting the paper.

'Quarantine', 9x12cm paper negative on Ilford Multigrade IV RC (green filter)
Initially, I hadn't made any conscious decisions about how these photographs were to be displayed when I began taking them, but after developing the first batch, the quality of the negatives themselves seemed promising: I liked the distance as photograph it provides, and it also meant that I could use a direct product of the camera, due to the relatively large negative size and the fact that it was shot on paper. If exhibited, these paper negatives would be presented as grids of images, their number marking the days of confinement and the passing of time evidenced in the changes of the natural world.

'Quarantine', 9x12cm paper negative on Ilford Multigrade IV RC (green filter)
Having decided to show the Quarantine photographs as paper negatives, rather than either make positives by contact printing these, or digital positives, this also affected the way I continued to shoot the paper. Having experimented with 'flashing' some of the paper, I preferred the look of this - although the image above would no doubt work well as a negative to obtain a positive, aesthetically, I find the shadow areas rather 'bright', and so used flashing to bring up the shadow areas, which also helps reduce contrast. I had been keeping a log of all the exposure details of this set of paper negatives, but, frustrating, the text file I had been adding to every day got corrupted 8 weeks in and I was only able to recover some of the information. It's easy to see the difference between the three papers I used, less easy to see which were flashed, in camera, in the darkroom, or before or after exposure. The image below is, I think, one of the flashed paper negatives: the shadow areas have just a little more density than in the negative above.

'Quarantine', 9x12cm paper negative on Ilford Multigrade IV RC (flashed?)
Having spent some time trying to get the best results from the Multigrade paper, I found a couple of boxes of Ilfospeed grade 2 paper online. of a similar vintage to the first box, with which to continue the project for several more weeks. As it was impractical to keep the camera set up on a tripod to take the same shot day after day, week after week, this has forced me to attempt different ways of photographing the subject each day, or, conversely, repeating compositions and framing specifically to show the passing of time. As previously mentioned, the restrictions of movement due to the pandemic have been much less strict in the UK than other countries, although the measures announced on March 23rd did provide a clear start to the 'lockdown'; what's less clear is what might mark the end, and so the end of this particular project. Tomorrow, June 1st, is the beginning of another round of restrictions being eased, but by no means the end of them and so I am inclined to continue with the daily ritual of photographing from my window for the time being.

'Quarantine', 9x12cm paper negatives

Sunday, 10 May 2020

Eastman Double-X - Part Two

In the three years since my post on Eastman Double-X film, observing interest online, the popularity of this motion picture film stock amongst still photographers has steadily increased. As a motion picture stock Eastman Kodak produce Double-X in 35mm and 16mm in bulk lengths, the minimum length being 100ft/33m in 16mm; since my previous post about Double-X, a number of companies now provide 35mm canisters ready loaded with the films for still photographers (I previously bought a 100ft roll of 35mm to load my own canisters); the film is marketed as CineStill BwXX, Film Photography Project's X2, as Double-X from Camera Film Photo, and Nik & Trick among others. My motivation for revisiting Double-X in this post came about through using the film with a different developer from those I'd used previously - D96. D96 is Kodak's recommended developer for black and white negative motion picture stock - which now comprises of just Double-X; comments on my original blog post recommended that I use D96 after my somewhat ambivalent conclusion to the film from using it in 35mm for the best part of a year. It didn't seem particularly fine-grained for its speed, and the speed itself didn't seem fast enough to make it a good all-round film in comparison with 400 ISO films on one side, or finer grained 100 speed films on the other.

Formulas for making D96 from its raw ingredients are readily available online, and it has also been available as a powder, but recently Bellini have produced a liquid version of D96. Evidently there are many advantages to the convenience of liquid developer, especially as a stock solution; my habitual developers are Rodinal/R09 and Ilfotec LC29, which I have used for a number of years: it makes sense, especially when starting out with developing black and white film, not to change too many variables at any point, one of these obviously being film developer. However, I recently shot two rolls of 2x8mm Double-X (reperforated for the format and repackaged by the Film Photography Project) in a Bolex ciné camera, and, wanting to develop the films myself, it seemed wise to try the manufacturer's recommended developer with the film, especially given the small size of the 8mm frame. The short film below was shot on 2x8mm Double-X and developed in D96; for reasons too complicated to detail here, I pushed the film three stops in development, which does account for the contrast, while the appearance of the grain is mostly down to the degree of enlargement necessary from the tiny 8mm frame.

Having used the D96 for a couple of rolls of 2x8mm Double-X, having a litre of D96, I wanted to test the film in 35mm with the developer and it seemed timely to revisit Double-X for a new blog post. For a first test with 35mm, I shot a roll with in a Canon A-1 SLR for a latitude test, rating the film at successive exposure indexes of 64, 125, 250, 500, 1000, 2000 for two sets of six exposures, as seen in the first and second rows below, and developed the film for 6 minutes in stock D96 at 21ºC.

Eastman Double-X latitude test, developed in D96
Eastman Double-X latitude test, developed in Ilfotec LC29
Comparison with the same film developed in Ilfotec LC29 (above) from my previous tests appears to show greater latitude when developed in D96, although the conditions with the Ilfotec LC29 were higher in contrast; the same film when developed in Ilfotec LC29 looks as though the shadow detail drops away faster. It's also possible that the test film developed in D96 is slightly underdeveloped: Kodak's published time for Double-X is 7 minutes at 21ºC (rather than the more usual 20ºC); my notes indicate I developed the film for just 6 minutes at 21ºC.

Double-X at EI 64 (two stops overexposed)
Double-X at EI 2000 (three stops underexposed)
I was a little surprised at the latitude range which this test demonstrated as evidenced in the two shots from either end of the scale above: scanning the film, I was able to pull out as much detail as possible from the negatives when underexposed. This was easier than the equivalent exposures with Ilfotec LC29. Overexposure did compress the tonal range from mid-tones to highlights, giving the images more of a flat look than the lighting alone. The latitude in this test is no doubt due in part to the diffused, low contrast lighting when I shot the the film to try D96, as well as the developer itself.

When I'd previously used the film, I did try pushing it one, two and three stops, with very uneven results at two and three stops. Published times for Double-X in D96 are very limited, but the Massive Dev Chart and Bellini's own data sheet give a time of 25 minutes at 20ºC when rated at 1600. I shot a roll at 1600 in (mostly) challenging lighting conditions. This test was possibly overdeveloped, using 21ºC for 25 minutes, rather than 20ºC.

Double-X at EI 1600
Most of these shots were taken under artificial light, in a low-lit museum setting, with spot-lit displays creating inherently high contrast subjects, the above image being a good example; the Double-X rated 1600 did give relatively good results in these difficult circumstances. There were only a couple of shots that I took under daylight conditions, and these on a fairly dark day in February, not enough to draw any meaningful conclusions, but the results look good enough, as below; generally, daylight would of course give enough light to rate the film at 250. Although the times for push-processing Double-X in D96 are limited, it would be possible to make reasonable guesses for one and two stops, perhaps around 12 minutes to rate the film at 400 and 18 minutes for 800, although I haven't tested for these times.

Double-X at EI 1600
As well as trying 35mm Double-X with D96, I also wanted to see how it would perform in 16mm for various subminiature cameras, notably the Rollei 16 camera (this has reputedly one of the sharpest lenses on any subminiature camera). The results on this post are scanned from the negatives; printing in the darkroom, it might be possibly to resolve more detail from the 12x17mm negative. The best of the shots from the Rollei 16, such as that below, showed D96 to give fairly fine-grained development: with the negative very nearly a quarter of the size of a standard 35mm frame, at a modest enlargement, the quality does hold up (albeit perhaps suggesting the grain of a faster film, but I think the general point holds true).

Rollei 16 with Eastman Double-X
As a motion-picture negative developer, fine grain is paramount. Grain is inherent to the film's emulsion, but obviously, the appearance of the grain is affected by a number of factors. D96 contains sodium sulfite, which acts as a solvent (as well as a preservative), softening the look of the grain; equally, some of the fineness of the grain in my results may be in part due to the developer's low contrast, particularly on a micro level, smoothing out the look of the grain. This also makes it a good choice of developer for using Double-X in half-frame cameras, as well as subminiature cameras. I did shoot some Double-X in a couple of half-frame cameras for this post, but, again, under fairly poor lighting conditions, which perhaps didn't provide the best conditions for testing the film.

Olympus Pen EE3 (half-frame) with Eastman Double-X
Belomo Agat 18K (half-frame) with Eastman Double-X
I had been fairly ambivalent about Eastman Double-X prior to using it with D96: it almost felt like a different film, testing it again with a more sympathetic developer. The grain appears finer, the film does seem to have better latitude, and, on my limited tests, it pushes better, with more consistent results. However, a few further reflections on using D96 might be apposite here. The developers I have mostly used for black and white films - Rodinal and Ilfotec LC29 - I have treated as 'one-shot' developers, Rodinal, which I've generally used as Compard's R09 One Shot clearly being so, but also Ilfotec LC29, which Ilford recommend using as a one-shot developer when diluted 1+29, or indeed for best results. At lower dilutions, 1+9 or 1+19, I've tended to use it for just one session, but have developed a number of rolls of film, one after the other. Using a stock solution such as D96 does provide some consideration, namely around temperature and exhaustion. With a highly concentrated one-shot solution, I get the water to dilute the film developer up to temperature simply by adding hot and cold together until these reach 20ºC, then add the concentrated developer. Even if this is cold, adding one 30th part at 15ºC for example, 12ml to 300ml, will not significantly alter the temperature. With D96, I found warming the bottle of stock solution took more care, especially when using this early in the year, when the stock solution might be at less than 10ºC off the shelf. Plunging this into a jug of water somewhat warmer than 20 or 21ºC to bring it up to a working temperature more quickly often meant it would get too warm, and then would need to cool before use. The other consideration, exhaustion, was more difficult to calculate. I bought my bottle of Bellini D96 from Nik & Trick; on their website, the suggestion is that a litre of D96 will process "about 100ft". Presumably this is 35mm film. I developed two lengths of 25ft 2x8mm film, 16mm wide, which probably equates to 25ft of 35mm; I also shot four rolls of 27-exposure 35mm film, and some 16mm film with both the Rollei 16 and Mamiya 16 subminiature cameras. In addition, I used the D96 for some Plus-X too, and the FP4 Plus that I'd shot in the Bolex. With the FP4 film, I developed half the film and the negatives were very thin. This might be partly due to user error of course - most of the roll of Double-X I shot with the Agat 18K produced thin negatives, but this was one of the first rolls of film I developed in D96. Returning to comments earlier in this post about not changing too many variables, obviously, using several different cameras, with different metering systems or none, and also developing different emulsions with the same stock solution of D96 made it more difficult to see when the developer was beginning to exhaust: the last films I was developing with the D96, I found myself having to double their published times in order to get good results - clearly, accurate record keeping would have helped here. Comments about developer exhaustion notwithstanding, using Eastman Double-X film with D96 has lead me to reappraise this film stock - and understand the enthusiasm that still photographers do have for it.

Rollei 16 (16mm subminiature) with Eastman Kodak Double-X rated 200
Belomo Agat 18K (half-frame) with Eastman Kodak Double-X rated 250
Olympus Pen EE3 (half-frame) with Eastman Kodak Double-X rated 250
Kodak Retina IIa with Eastman Kodak Double-X, rated 250
Canon A-1 with Eastman Kodak Double-X rated 250
Canon A-1 with Eastman Kodak Double-X rated 1600