Sunday, October 31, 2021
New Darkroom Paper
I recently tried a new product from Ilford, new to me at least. It's their MGFB Multigrade FB double weight paper. No doubt it's been around but new to me since I've not used it before.
At any rate, it gave me brilliant whites and distinctive blacks. The negatives I created were on Ilford HP5 (ISO 400) which I dropped down to ISO 100. Perhaps more than what was needed but the negs are very strong. No need for a contrast filter in my enlarger and, at f8, all negs printed around 10 seconds for a 4x5 print. The MGFB was easy to work with and very consistent. The images created were from a custom car show in Flemington, NJ. The negatives and the paper worked together very well. The results were sharp with enough contrast to highlight the details of each car.
Needless to say, the only draw back to FB paper is the drying process and the resultant curl of the final dried photo. Surely there's a better procedure than my hanging the prints to dry but before investing in any more equipment, I'll revert to RC paper which I've used all along. Just wanted to try a "new paper".
If you're a B&W film photographer and do your own printing, please let me know about this film/paper combination or whatever it is that you like.
Thanks - Hank
Wednesday, October 27, 2021
A New Gadget
After many years of shooting, I found something that is making things a lot easier. Often I'd capture an image using a particular filter for a special effect. My favorite infrared film used to be Kodak's HIE which, as you know, is no longer available. To get the best infrared effect required your using a 25 red screw in filter. No big deal until you dropped it when you were finished with it. I had this happen more than once.
Now there is a resolution to this situation, at least for me anyway. I recently purchased a "Rapid Filter System" (manufactured by UURig) from B&H in New York City. Maybe it's been around for awhile but I just noticed it. It's quite clever and vey easy to use. It resembles a circular clam shell. One half screws into your lens while the other half holds your filter screwed in place. When you want the filter effect you simply "close" the clam shell and expose accordingly. When you wish a non-filtered exposure just "open" the clam shell take your next shot.
Ilford SFX 200 has been my film of choice since I can get a standard B&W image (no filter-clam open) and then proceed to create the infrared ones (R72 filter-clam closed). My shooting sequence is first negative at whatever my meter suggests rating SFX at ISO 100 and then (clam closed) for f8 @ 1 second and another @ 2 seconds. This way I have a standard copy of the image and 2 trial infrared copies, knowing what the image originally looked like. That's personal choice helpful to me.
I'd like to hear your comments if your using any kind of filter or SFX film.
Thanks - Hank