I’m intimately familiar with 100 and 400. My favorite black & white film, at present, is the incredible Polypan F 50. I’ve pushed Kentmere and HP5+ to 1600 and pulled some Digibase 2 stops to 50. But ISO 6? Insanity…Or maybe not…
I set the FE to it’s lowest ISO (12) and set the Exposure Compensation dial to +1, and tried to find ways to keep the camera steady, and bingo. No issues, really. The grain is interesting, and totally unlike the example shots on the FPP site, or the shots Quirky Guy got with his Kodak Bantam, or the ones from the Random Camera Blog. They all used HC110 or Xtol. There is one example of Mr. Brown developed in D76: I don’t see the blotchiness, but Michael Raso’s shot (the first one) is a bit dark. Maybe my D76 was too hot?
I’m not too sure where the blotchy stuff came from, it could be some sort of processing error, but if it is, it’s not one I’ve come across before. If you have an idea, please let me know! EDIT: Actually, I have an idea… I shot this roll in the week before Thanksgiving. I was off the Thursday and Friday before, and the entire week of, and so I finished this roll on a Wednesday, and left it in the refrigerator Thursday-Monday, when I returned home and developed it. I expect the rest in the fridge and/or the jump from ~38 to 70 degrees had something to do with the blotchiness, and in the future, I’ll endeavor to develop somewhat more quickly. God willing, that will help.
So, “Mr. Brown” is a Svema-produced film, but other than that, the good people at the FPP don’t know much about it. You can hear all about it in episode 152, starting at about 6:18. In brief: they ordered some blue sensitive film with a yellow (or maybe lavender) base, but instead received miles and miles of Mr. Brown. Leslie Lazenby did a bunch of testing and decided it was ~ISO 6 (others claim 12, but I might try 3 under some circumstances…), they printed up some labels and did some hand-rolling, and *poof*: Mr. Brown Low ISO film.
Not that I got it right, but that grass is as detailed as it can be, with great tonality and range, and when you get the subjects right, it works:
I like it, and I’m glad I have 3 more rolls to shoot, and to develop promptly.
The price has gone up a bit, but Mr. Brown is still available at the FPP store, and they could use your support to help bringing quality, quirky films and fun, quirky podcasts to us at reasonable prices.
The Grain looks to be smooth and pleasant, and Mr. Brown has some great tonality and handles darks, lights, and everything in between with great character. The base is incredibly thin, which made it a bit of a pain to get onto the reels, but it developed super fast (6 minutes D76 at 1+1) and dried superflat, so it’s a joy to use, and get’s a nice 4.3 stars…
Go buy some!