Thursday, January 12, 2012

Is the Developer the Difference?

You be the judge:


Both shots were taken the same day under nearly identical conditions (you can see the sun hitting Two Fifth Avenue on the left in the first shot while the second was completely overcast). Do you see a difference between the two?

Now both of these rolls were of the same batch. They were both that "No. 2 Brownie" marked film that was also marked 120. Remember when I said I'd see if I could find out anything more about that? Well, today I happened to happen upon this:

Now the film I got was unboxed, but the spools were all metal; not with the wooden core as featured in the 1930 model above. I don't know the date when they switched over from wooden cores to all metal reels. I'll get right on that.

I also know that to do true justice to this test, I have to shoot one roll and cut it in half (King Solomon style) and develop each half in different developers and see what happens. Though part of the fun of working with such old film is the unpredictability of it all. Or maybe I'm just trying to control the uncontrollable. But isn't that what life is all about? There's the people trying to control it all and the others who accept that they're really not in control? What the hell am I talking about? I need a ginger ale and a cookie.


  1. I wonder if it isn't the developer but the age of the paper. When I developed that roll from the 60's the first half of the roll was 'fine' and the rest was shite. The last half got stuck to the backing paper and was a terrible mess.

    Also, what developer did you use?

  2. I was hoping you'd ask! The clearer was with Ilfosol 3 at about 7.5 minutes, and the other was with Diafine 5+5, though my Diafine is getting pretty ratty looking, though I've heard that really doesn't matter. With the Diafine it picks up the lines that were on the backing paper. Then again, I really need to do the true test with one roll cut in half and each in a separate developer.

    The current shots I'm putting up I used Diafine and there are some issue shots I'll be posting eventually.