The search for some really grainy shots continues, and the latest batch of shots seems to be heading in the right direction.
This mini project was inspired after being reminded of Scotch 3M 1000 slide film in an old photography book. I used to like fast Scotch film a lot – sadly it’s now been discontinued for many years. It didn’t try to hide its grainyness – instead the grain was an integral and deliberate part of the image. It was a little like trying to recreate a 19th century painting technique called pointillism using film. Modern 400 ASA films have proved reluctant to ‘grain up’ to the challenge so more extreme measures are called for.
It turns out this ‘closest yet’ effort was really very simple – expose Ilford Delta 3200 at it’s ‘box speed’ 3200 which just involves a little work on the OM2N. The OM2N goes to a maximum 1600 ISO and is at it’s limit, so no there’s no -1 exposure compensation in aperture priority mode. It’s just a case of setting the exposure manually and then taking a stop off. So simple really as long as you remember!
These were developed in D76 – it’s Rodinal for the next try to really harden the grain up. After that it’s 6400 ASA – with an ND filter I think.
These were taken on a cold, overcast day in Lymington near the New Forest in Hampshire UK. Lymington seems to be dependent on the yachting/tourist fraternity – in January it’s quite quiet and empty.
Now for a close up of the grain structure :-
Finally a rural church – always a good choice for a book cover.
Well, almost there, but this has been more difficult than first imagined. Thirty years ago grain was a major problem using 35mm film, but the past few experiments have shown that it’s really quite difficult to get really grainy results with modern emulsions. Ilford 3200 seems to produce some promising results, but pushing Kodak Tri-X to 3200 ASA might work well – more experiments!
This is the best reason to use film – the combinations of film, developer and exposure provide some fascinating possibilities and learning opportunities. The 5d Mk2 and the 60D are enjoying a break for a while until this particular project is over – this is the best photographic fun I’ve had in ages.
Oh – and Ilford 3200 in D76 is quite good too!
Thanks for looking – hope you find this useful.
p.s. There a reviews of lots of other films on the film, camera and lens review index tab.
Another very intersting and useful post Rob. Thank you for taking the time to post your results!
Thanks Chillbrook – how’s the film experiment coming along?
I’m enjoying film a lot Rob. I’m sticking with Ilford Pan F plus 50 for now while I find my feet. I like the results I’m getting.
I submitted some images to Arcangel by the way and they have taken me on. I’ve been avoiding agnecies like Shutterstock and Alamy but liked what you had to say about Arcangel
That’s really good news Chillbrook.
The mass volume agencies are hard work for small returns – Arcangel is pretty good, I hope you do well. Just keep submitting images and you’ll get some financial returns eventually.
The Quest of the Holy Grain
Nice ideas Arthur err Rob, and some great shots.
I wish I’d used that as a title for the series! The quest continues with my trusty companions Sir Rodinal, Sir Delta and Trix the dog.
Go ahead, I’d appreciate it!
Maybe start a comprehensive blog entry for all your b+w comparisons?
“…Trix the dog”, great fun. Thanks