What on earth is this film?
I was sent this roll of 35mm film to play with by Keith Sharples, who is an SFLaB follower on Instagram.
Keith had already sent me some sample images that he got with this film and with so many variables to shooting and developing film I thought I would give it a go.
What is that guy doing on the box? Drinking coffee? Sniffing a sample of some substance? He looks a bit shifty!
It is produced by a company in Barcelona called, wait for it… dubblefilm. If you look at their website they produce a variety of weird and whacky films in Black & White and Colour too. Who knows where they get the film stocks from, but no doubt they are finding them from somewhere in large quantities and rolling them up for us to have fun with. And the price isn’t bad either with this film I am playing with around £7 a roll of 36 exposures.
So, what did I do? I shot the s**t out of this roll rating the film at 200 ASA with my Leica MP, a 50mm Voigtlander APO lens and then I developed the film in 510 Pyro at 1:100 at 22° using my Rotary machine because I can be a lazy git sometimes. I developed for 13 minutes in the Pyro.
Why did I rate it at 200 and not shoot box at 400? Well, I had a feeling it was some sort of surveillance film and in my experience that are contrasty!
There was no times for the 510 Pyro so I winged it and used Fomapan 400 times which recommended 17 minutes but I took some time away for rotary processing. Looking at the leader of the film after developing I think I could have taken another minute or so away but all in all the negs came out looking nice.
So, here are some of the photographs I took.
This was a Cricket Stadium on a dull day. Even in the Pyro the grain is very noticeable and we have some nice tones going on, although this scene doesn’t stretch the dynamic range.
A different day, with an Orange Filter on the lens. Showing some sky the grain is now very noticeable. And I don’t like that sort of grain on my Skys. Contrasty too, probably because of the filter.
If we zoom in to that container photograph we can see the grain more.
These bikes were in the shade. Another contrasty looking photo.
And finally Ferns. This actually looks really nice! The blacks are awesome and the highlights are well controlled, probably due to the 510 Pyro doing its thing but still. It complimented the film well.
To be honest I am not one for getting all excited over these kind of films. I have my go to favourites but when they arrive on my desk for some fun it is interesting to see the results and I must say I actually like it! Whatever it is?
We know that dubblefilm don’t have a plant for making emulsions and I very much doubt their films are rebrands from Fomapan/Kentmere. Initially I did wonder if it was Fomapan 400 but it is totally different. It more reminds me of JCH Street Pan 400 Film which we all know is a Surveillance Film. So maybe this double daily 400 is a Traffic Camera stock/Surveillance Film Stock.
The grain structure reminds me of Kodak Tri-X 400 which is a beautiful film for street photography and quirky looking edgy portraits. Having developed this in 510 Pyro, which usually makes good of grains films, makes you wonder what a developer such as Rodinal or D76 would have done to the grain. Probably exploded it into the abyss!
Anyway, thanks to Keith for sending me the film and also let’s applaud dubblefilm for punching out these films for us to dabble with and keeping film alive. Horahh!