A Ramble Through the Chemical Side

on July 09, 2018
We're lucky at Camera Electronic - we still have ties to the chemical side of photography. Unlike so many stores that have embraced digiatalisation, we find that it pays to remember the older analog processes. There are a steady stream of clients who also remember this and pursue their art in that way. Thank goodness they are also supported here in Perth by good professional laboratories like Fitzgerald Photo Imaging. The delights of a good film camera are not debarred from us. And sometimes we discover some interesting things on the shelves: A. The Ilford company...and the Fujifilm people as well...make quite a few convenience cameras for the film shooter. These are basic one-use devices loaded with colour or black and white film - about 27 shots on the average. Thy are sealed, ready to use, and contain batteries, a small flash, the film of your choice, and the shutter/lens/winder mechanism. The directions on the back are reminiscent of the old rolls of film with the added advantage of the electronic flash tube for dark occasions - they could not be simpler. And nothing simpler than the processing - you press the button and a lab does the rest. The prints you get from a good lab will likely far outlast the ones that reside on people's mobile phones. B. For the darkroom worker who wants to be safe, ADOX have produced their ADOX Neutol ECO. It is a paper developer that is likely to be related to the older Agfa Neutol but has been mixed to contain no Hydroquinone and this is safe for drains disposal. Also for people with sensitivities. C. For the experimentalist with some sort of a medium format film camera , the CineStillFilm company of Los Angeles has produced two adapted cinema films. These are 120 rolls, so I expect that they are trimmed 70mm stock. One is a tungsten formulation that exposes between 200-2000 ISO - nomimally at 800 ISO and can be developed in either a motion picture film developing machine or in standard C-41 chemistry. The company on its website makes mention of the film having been prepared for the C-41 of a standard lab's tanks by a process of " premoval ". Their word, but I think it means that some sort of coating has been taken off the film stock that would otherwise gum up C-41 machines. It is intended to be exposed under photoflood lamps at 3200º Kelvin but if you need to shoot under daylight you add an 85 filter to your lens ans drop the ISO to 500. Their second film goes the other way: This shoots in daylight at 50 ISO and then drops to 12 ISO if you want to go under those photoflood lamps and use an 80B filter. It's niche-market stuff and you'll be as much an explorer as if you were crawling through the Congo but that is the nature of so much film work these days. Nice to see some use being made of excess film stock. C. The Panansonic Evolta alkaline batteries are back in a larger packet. These give far more shots than the big-name batteries in the supermarket and are my choice for wedding and show shooting based on the capacity for quick recharging of the speedlights. This big packet of 8 would be perfect for most events. It is a far better shot-per-cent value than the one-use lithium ones as well. Latest score for four of these is 550+ shots in a Fujifilm EX-500 flash on manual 1/2 power.