Typically it’s not a good idea to change two variables at one time when experimenting, but there’s a reason I developed a new film in a new developer. Actually multiple reasons. First, I didn’t expect to like the Foma, and I got it for pennies in a lot, so i figured “why not?” I already have Tri-X, Eastman 5222, and Ilford HP5+ that I really enjoy for black & white photography.
Second, I bought the HC-110 to develop some old rolls of film. So I wanted to try it out before unleashing it on some 40-year old rolls. Unfortunately, those two canisters were empty. Apparently the metal was thicker and heavier, so I couldn’t tell be feel they were empty. No worries, as I still have an old roll of 120 to finish shooting and develop, but 120 has been a bit of a nemesis as far as spooling on developing tank reels.
Plus, the shots were just fooling around while in Wheeling, and it was a long holiday weekend so I had plenty of time to mix the working solution and just relax when developing, so again – why not?
Overall, the results are OK. The most impressive thing is the grain and the detail in the photos. The contrast isn’t quite as high as I was getting with D-76, but it seems to have a more subtle tonality. How much of that is film vs developer, I can’t be sure; hence it not being a good idea to change multiple variables.
Take a look at the detail in this picture; I can read the street sign above the traffic lights when I zoom in, and not just “Main Street” but the street numbers “1300” and “1400” in the white band above as well as the “No turn on Red” sign:
Then there’s a depth of the lacquer on this boat, which i think the Foma 200 captures very well:
This shot should have been a difficult shot, where I was trying to capture the ghost of lettering that had long been removed. The sun was shining off polished aluminum with a black background to reveal the image, but the Maxxum 7 and the Foma handled it pretty well:
Then there’s these two images which for me would only work on black and white film. Maybe I’m just odd, but the old doors and windows picture is part of why i shoot film. It’s one of the few shots from the weekend that turned out mostly like I wanted. The Pump Store sign works for me as well, showing the age and worn feeling I get when I’m in Wheeling.
The grain is pretty fine, and combined with the wide tonal range, I’m interested in shooting another roll of Foma (which I have), and also to start working with Eastman 5222, Ti-X, and Ilford HP5+ in HC-110. I feel like I have several years wort of concentrate, and I have a gallon of D-76, so there’s not shortage of chemicals. If anything, I’m low on b&w film, since I spent the summer stocking up on color films. Here’s some other shots from the roll, which overall had some pleasing images.
One thing to note is the suspension bridge. It is the oldest suspension bridge in use for automobile traffic. Standing on the bridge was sort of odd, because it does bounce a good bit as cars cross, and when I looked at the railing, I noticed it was wooden! It was built in 1849, and the suspension cables are either original or date back to 1860. Talk about history. Again, it seemed fitting to shoot historic boats and buildings on film.