I love photography! I love my digital Canon and my amazing lenses, but like most photographers I still dream of better equipment. The convenience of digital storage and image quality is amazing. My first camera was a Nikon FM2 35mm film camera, so I’ve witnessed some amazing technological advancements. Yet, I long for that organic feeling, and the pride of producing something very unique — something not everyone can produce with a simple shutter click followed by some mouse clicks.
A silver halide is one of the compounds formed between silver and one of the halogens — silver bromide (AgBr), chloride (AgCl), iodide (AgI), and three forms of silver fluorides. As a group, they are often referred to as the silver halides, and are often given the pseudo-chemical notation AgX.
Silver halides are used in photographic film and photographic paper, including graphic art film and paper, where silver halide crystals in gelatin are coated on to a film base, glass or paper substrate.
These days it seems anybody with a digital camera calls themselves a photographer. I love the end result of a beautiful photograph however, personally I want to experience the whole process — visualizing the image, composing it, metering it, clicking the shutter, and post-processing (dodging/burning/color correction). Something that is missing today is choosing the right paper to use in printing, and choosing the best way (mat and frame) to display the image. I truly enjoy the entire process.
Earlier this summer, a wonderful photographer shared some of her and her father’s black and white images. It was inspirational to me to see Photo By Holly sharing these amazing photographs which bridged a generation.
This inspired me to get back to my photographic roots, so I purchased an inexpensive Pentax ME Super with a basic 50mm lens. After shooting a few rolls through it, I have that “loving feeling” again. I paid about $100 for this Pentax gem, $7 for a roll of Kodak BW400CN Professional 35mm film (ISO 400), and $4 to get the film developed and a CD burned at the corner CVS pharmacy. Sure it isn’t cost-effective compared to my digital camera but boy it was fun!
I chose the BW400CN film because it is processed via C-41, which is widely available. I was a bit disappointed when I examined the digital images because they had a yellowish tone to them. I examined the negatives with a loupe and they were fine. I had to edit the digital images and desaturate them to make them true black and white images. I expected the “lab” to recognize that it was a black and white roll of film, and scan the image accordingly. I suppose that’s what you get when you pay only $4! Next time, I will send them to a professional lab.
This winter, I am seriously considering purchasing a used Hasselblad 5xx series medium-format (120mm) camera with an 80mm Zeiss lens. However, to be a bit more cost-effective I’d like to develop my film at home.
Here are some photographs I captured with this “old” camera last Saturday at a local beer festival with my sister, new brother-in-law, and some friends.