As mentioned previously, I’ve embarked down the dangerous road* of home processing Black & White film and am checking out some of the (less expensive) Harmon films.

First up, the Kentmere 100.

And apologies for the delay! Eid al Adha came again, Alhamdulillah (and may Allah azza wa jall accept our fasts, sacrifices, and duas), and Hipstamatic 300 appeared, so this got delayed a bit.

The shot above was overexposed a bit: I shot in A mode and FG exposed for the trees, as it should, I guess, and means that I need to really get a handle manual operation if I want good results…** The tonality is there, I guess. There are many shades of grey, for sure. But the detail is sadly lacking.

As this is black & white, that could come down to the developer, and maybe the Kentmere doesn’t like “hot” (24℃) D76 much.

There’s nice enough detail in this shot of the window near my desk at work, and the view of sunrise over North Dallas/Addison. The blinds are visible and all, and there’s good detail, more or less.

Here’s a crop of the shot above. The detail is sorta gone at this zoom level, and the grain structure is visible (mixed with noise from the D7000). The grain looks good, really. It’s analog and irregular, if a bit clumpy.

But the highlights are still blown, beyond any hope of pulling back any detail.

The Kentmere did do a nice job with the Old Capitol building in Springfield, IL, that I shared a week or so ago.

But, and again, the highlights are totally blown.

Here’s another one from Springfield that may show the grain a bit better. Pardon the filthy window: in other contexts, it might’ve made for some nice bokeh.

And here’s a crop:

See what I said about the clumps? The detail is gone from the grain (and from shooting through a window) and this is an ISO 100 film.

Maybe the Kentmere really doesn’t like the hotter D76, or maybe the 1:1, or maybe I over agitated, or maybe all 3, and maybe more.

Good thing I have another roll to play with!

I think I’ll wait a month or more and see about getting the developer down to 68… It sits at 78 or 80 just resting in the cabinet now. And yes, I should move all my chemicals and film and everything to a cooler part of the house, but then it wouldn’t be right where I need it when I get ready to develop, or maybe I should move the developing operation somewhere cooler too… Maybe so, maybe so.

So what do I think of Kentmere 100? Well, I think 1) I don’t know enough about B/W film, processing, etc. to comment really; 2) I think the issues I have probably come down to my shooting and/or developing techniques; 3) if I get better results from the FP4 Plus (or any other film I end up playing with), I’ll pay the extra buck or so for it; and 4) I’m definitely glad I have another roll to play with.

*By ‘dangerous’ here, I mean “rabbit hole” of developers, times, temperatures, fixers, agitation methods, recipes, etc. etc. See, for example, the massive dev chart… The chemicals themselves are mostly not dangerous, and can all be shipped across state lines with no problem whatsoever. But the dizzying array of options and wildly divergent preferences make deciding what to use virtually impossible, and may lead to paralyzation due to too much choice.

May Allah azza wa all protect me.

**Another problem, or maybe the problem, and one that more or less ruined about half the shots I took in Chicago: the battery was failing and so the meter wasn’t quite working. At the times it was working, it may or may not have been particularly accurate; at the times it was off, I happily shot away f/1.8 at 1/60th, rain or shine…

Join the Conversation

1 Comment

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.