Yesterday I posted about hacking a film cartridge to tell the camera it’s a different speed film. Specifically, I’m trying to fool my Yashica T4 (actually a T4D with a disabled date function) into shooting Tri-X at higher speeds, so I can push process the exposed film. In the last couple of days I’ve shot four rolls of Tri-X (actually Arista Premium 400 – same thing) at 400, 800, 1600, and 3200. Last night I developed and scanned the 3200.
I normally wouldn’t shoot 3200 in daylight—what’s the point?— but there’s something to be said for stopping down completely to get in-focus shots with a long depth of field. Basically, I’m telling the camera that this film is so light sensitive that the camera is going to have to use a tiny aperture (which, to an extent, brings more of the field in focus) and a fast shutter speed (which freezes the action) in order to only allow a tiny amount of light in.
Regardless, the results weren’t bad at all. I’m only scanning these. I would much rather have a contact sheet to look at and see what was really going on. The rebate of the film was gray, and I did get some splotchy edges. I don’t know if there’s a bit of a light leak in the Yashica (possible—there’s definitely some play in the case) or if I overdeveloped it (also possible—I did a 33 minute stand development). Either way, the negatives look very usable.
Unfortunately, I see I also have something scratching the film (a faint horizontal line across the frame about 1/8 of the way down). We’ll see when I develop the next roll if that was the camera or the film cartridge.
Shooting in the dark at 3200, where it makes the most sense, didn’t get me very far. I can continue to experiment with this, using more interesting subjects than a garage door.
For all the shots on the roll, I shot in “night mode” which on this model of camera turns the flash off. No use frightening people on the subway. For the daylight photos, I should have considered “infinity” aka landscape mode. This sets the focus to infinity. Stopped down, this might have helped me get sharper images.
According to the T4 Super manual, this lens (and I assume it’s the same lens) has an aperture range from 3.5 to 15.5. The shutter speed goes from 1 second to 1/700 second. So the shots looking into the sun are certainly overexposed by two stops at least, and the night shots are likely underexposed.
I must say, the overexposed shots developed just fine. These aren’t fine art, but getting usable negatives at 3200 from the Yashica T4 is possible.
I still have to develop the 1600, 800, and 400 (no DX hacking on the last one). I assume that the quality will increase, with finer grain and better results in the brighter images (less overexposure). Underexposure will be more and more of an issue as we get into places where f3.5 and 1 second minimum shutter speed don’t cut it.
The recipe is taken straight from the Massive Dev Chart. They specify minimal agitation for this recipe, so I did 30 seconds agitation right away, then left the tank alone through the end of the 33 minutes. It calls for 20C/68F, and I would guess that my developer warmed up over time. That might also be a source for overdevelopment (the gray film rebate).
Recipe for Tri-X @ 3200 in Rodinal 1+50:
Tri-X 135 or Arista Premium 400, DX code hacked to 3200
Rodinal 1:50 (10ml + 500ml)
30 seconds initial agitation
33 minutes total development
Stop, fix, hypo, rinse