A resolution for the new year: write about film once in a while.
January 1, we hit the sidewalk just before 8AM to bring our puppy to the park. I had loaded my neglected Bessa L with Protopan + 400 and mounted the Cosina-Voigtlander 25mm Snapshot-Skopar. It’s a scale-focus lens, not rangefinder coupled (the current version is in M-mount and is rangefinder-coupled).
A while back, I tracked down a used Bessa L in excellent condition, specifically to shoot the fine CV screwmount wide lenses (15, 21, and 25). I usually just grab the M4 and 35mm Summicron IV when I head out, but what’s the fun of leaving everything else on the shelf all the time?
I found a data sheet online for Protopan here which specified shooting at 800 and souping in Diafine for 4+4 at 20C. I don’t know if they’re playing my trick of “it’s too cold so I’ll soup it longer” or if they have a reason more grounded in science, but I shot at 400 and did 5+5 because it’s really cold here and it’s difficult to keep my chemicals consistently above 68 degrees Fahrenheit/20C. Anyway, Diafine’s bottom temperature limit is supposed to be 70F (21C) so what’s that all about?
I’ve profiled this film before, and I will again. I’ve not found it’s sweet spot, yet. The contrast was very low. I really bludgeoned the shot above with the contrast slider in Lightroom, post-scan. I’ve since learned to scan with Vuescan a little better so the ends of the spectrum aren’t clipped and I can get the full range of tones. It took me at least a couple of dozen rolls to figure it out. I finally ditched NikonScan late last year because I couldn’t justify maintaining an entire environment (Mac OS X 10.6.8) just to keep it alive. I miss it, and VueScan has a definite learning curve, but it’s not as dense as SilverFast, which I also auditioned.
Ideally I’d have darkroom and do contact sheets on a regular basis, but I’m not counting on that happening in the near future. This hybrid processing-in-the-sink-then-scanning process has done me well for over ten years now.
See you next roll.