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Street Candy ATM 400

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With so many funky Black & White films on the market today it’s almost too tempting to grab a roll and see what the fuss is all about.

With only a few factories actually making film today you sometimes wonder if the films you are buying are a repackaged film that already exits in an otherwise boring jacket or one of the funky surveillance films, X-Ray films or CCTV films that were used before everything went digital that are being snapped up by the 1000ft roll and spooled into 35mm cassettes for us to play with.

Street Candy ATM 400 is exactly that. And Street Candy make no hype about it not being so. They state on their website that their ATM 400 Film IS a film that was used back in the day at ATM Cash Machines.

And they sent me a couple of rolls to play with! As well as some of their cool branded stickers and badges. And also a couple of rolls of their MTN 100 Film.

I must admit I don’t shoot these kind of films often and usually stick to the usual suspects Ilford, Kodak etc. But when they do land on my lap I am always eager to try them out.

So, I had two rolls. And the first roll I went out with a Leica MP and a 50mm Lens on a bright (intermittently) sunny day.

Here are some of the photographs I took which I developed in 510 PYRO for 8 minutes with regular inversions. I shot the film with metering at 400.

Roll One

Pumpkins. This was taken when the light was low and overcast. As you can see the film has nice contrast in this type of lighting.

Lady on Bench. This was taken when the sun was out and bright. It appears the film needed more exposure.

Lady Walking. Again, bright sunlight and the cameras meter has taken into account the white posts and knocked the exposure down resulting in a high contrast looking photo.

Scooter. This photo was taken later in the day when it cast over. Much more detail in the photograph similar to the pumpkins. I actually printed this photograph and it printed well with a grade 5 filter.

And another when it was light overcast.

And another in bright sunlight looking at this old building.

The Negatives

And after developing the film in 510 PYRO they appeared to be thin! Maybe a bit longer than the 8 minutes I developed for would have helped but in saying that, my bright highlights would have been super bright with longer development.

Grain & Contrast

If you like contrast and grain this film will certainly guarantee that on a bright day. It reminds me of JCH Street Pan 400 Film which is also a surveillance film.

So with these photographs looking very punchy I decided to shoot the next roll of ATM 400. This time I metered for 200 and developed in Kodak D23 developer. And I used a different camera, A Chinon CE-5 with a 28mm lens.

I was much more pleased with the results from this combo.

Roll 2

This day was a light overcast day, which I feel suits this film for better tonality and still leaving a rich contrast.

My Thoughts

So did I like this film?

Yes I did, but I would need to shoot many rolls to settle down with a developer and situation (project) combo. I liked the Kodak D23 results metered at 200 far more than the 510 PYRO and 400 metering.

And the film certainly does have a unique look with its harsh but not ugly grain and its undeniable contrast and bright highlights (in bright sunlight). But it is a CCTV film and I would imagine they didn’t make these films as high quality as general photographic films. They probably contain less silver on the emulsion than conventional films but as long as it could show a face at an ATM machine or a number plate on a speed camera then that was its job done.

Would I buy and shoot this film?...

I have to say I would, however, not for my every day photography. It would have to be on a project where I wanted this type of look for my prints with contrast and grain expectations. I can definitely see it belongs on the street, or even for certain strong portraiture work.

Above all Street Candy is a family run business in France. And I have always said that these fun and funky films make the film community a bit more exciting for newcomers. As long as the price isn’t off the scale, especially the rebrands. And ATM at £10 a roll at the time of writing this post isn’t bad at all!

So well done to Street Candy for continuing to find these emulsions and putting them into film cassettes for us to enjoy.

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