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Today I shot my 277th roll of 35mm film. This number might sound a little random, but in fact it means that I have now shot 10,000 frames of 35mm. As HCB said: “Your first 10,000 photographs are your worst”. I like to believe that I also took one or two good ones in the process though. Nevertheless, it’s only a beginning.

As for a few statistics: 142 rolls – more than half – were taken with my Leica. About 200 of the rolls were in black and white with 70 rolls of Kentmere 400 in the mix and 30 rolls of the very similar RPX400. Although I keep experimenting with different emulsions I always keep coming back to that look. On the developer front Rodinal stand-development used to be my favourite with 83 rolls developed in it and Caffenol-CL catching up very quickly now. These days I tend to develop box-speed film in Caffenol and develop only the pushed film in Rodinal. On the colour front I shot mostly cheap Fuji drugstore ISO 400 film, which now will have to be replaced by Kodak Gold 200 and Kodak Farbwelt 400, because the Fuji stuff has been discontinued. Shooting so much film means that I prefer cheap emulsions, but I don’t mind since those perform very nicely when handled appropriately.

At the moment I feel like I’m still very much at the beginning, because I haven’t yet finished testing emulsions. I believe that it needs at least 10 if not even 20 rolls to really start to get to know an emulsion and this of course takes time. So far I have tested K400, RPX400, Tri-X, Double-X and XP2. Right now I’m also shooting myself through a batch of  T-Max 400 and I will follow it up with a 100ft roll of HP5+. After that I will probably move on to Orwo N74+ and Foma 400. Each emulsion seems to have different quirks and I’m slowly getting to know them all. I don’t know yet what I’m going to do once I’m through with all the testing, but with all the varieties of developers out there I doubt I’ll ever manage to reach that point.

All pictures taken with: Leica M6 + Zeiss ZM C-Biogon 35mm f/2.8.
dm Paradies 400 developed in Fuji Hunt C41 Kit.

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

© Lilly Schwartz 2015

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