Tag Archives: hasselblad

Update on Kodak TriX developed in Tetenal Ultrafin T-Plus

This is just a quick update on the previous post to show some more images done with the Ultrafin T-Plus. The TriX was rated at ISO200 for all images.

Kodak TriX used in a high contrast situation

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Kodak TriX in extreme low light

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Kodak TriX in normal light

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First look: Tetenal Ultrafin T-Plus

Going on a trip always means seeing new things, meeting different people, eating less known food but also taking lots of new films with you and trying to figure out how to develop them to achieve the wanted look. Of course there is a risk to it: it might not come out the way you imaged it or it could be totally messed up. People tend to do these kind of experiments with shots somewhere around home and easily accessible. But isn’t that kind of boring looking at motives you’ve seen and taken pictures of for so many times? And what’s the worst case scenario messing up completely? You got to go back. Is that really that bad?

On my last trip, I took three films to develop it in the new Tetenal Ultrafin T-Plus which is marketed a a fine grain developer for t-grain and conventional films with slow and average speed. Here are the films:

  1. Kodak TriX which I usually don’t like for it’s high contrast which needs to be tamed.
  2. Fomapan 400 which I like especially developed in Caffenol, Kodak HC110 and Spuersinn HCDnew.
  3. Fomapan 100 which is a bit flat and not really sharp.

The Ultrafin T-Plus (datasheet here) comes in 500ml bottles and costs 15€ here in Germany. According to the datasheet, thirty 135 or 120 films can be developed with one bottle which makes the developer quite economical with 0.50€ per film. The opened bottle can be stored for about six month and the working solution is good for about 2 month. Ultrafin T-Plus is not a one shot developer.

The list of films and the corresponding development times published by Tetenal is rather short and I didn’t find any recipes on FilmDev.org or the Massive Dev Chart.

Kodak TriX rated at ISO 200, developed for 5:30min

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The working solution. First I prepared the working solution by using one part developer and four parts water. 200ml developer and 800ml are needed for 1l solution which can be used to develop 12 rolls of film. The temperature should be around 20°C.

Watering the film. I know there is some people having arguments that pre-soaking the film isn’t really necessary. However, I usually do it anyway since it doesn’t seem to hurt.

Developing the film. Sometimes it needs to be a little bit of calculation to get the correct developing time. I like to push or pull films to get the best out of the situation.

  1. Kodak TriX rated at ISO 200: 8:15min – 20% for pulling 1 stop – 1min for developer 22°C = 5:30min
  2. Fomapan 400 rated at ISO 200: 7:30min – 15% for pulling 1 stop – 30sec for developer at 21°C = 6min
  3. Fompan 100 rated at ISO 100: 4:30min

The tank needs to be agitated for the first 30sec and afterwards 2x every 30sec.

Fomapan 400 rated at ISO 200, developed for 6min

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Stop bath and fixing. I usually just stop with water. Sometimes, when the developing time is short, I also use stop bath. I don’t think it really matters. The fixer I use is standard and I usually give it 5min with 30sec agitation right at the beginning and 10x after 2:30min.

Watering. I agitated 10x, 20x and finally 30x in fresh water. Afterwards I used a washing aid diluted 1+500 for 5min and hang the film up for drying afterwards.

Fomapan 100 developed for 4:30min.

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The result. I think all three films deliver good results. The TriX and the Fomapan 400 are excellent. They show good contrast, sharpness and a nice grain. The TriX was used in difficult light right into the lens and film/developer did a great job. The Fomapan 400 is super sharp and the grain is perfect for a 400 speed film. Both films are pretty good to be pulled and I’m going to use the combination of films and developer again. The Fomapan 100 shows a lot of little white spots in the brighter areas of the film. Contrast and sharpness are extremely good for a 100 ISO film. However, the white spots are annoying.

The next steps. I will post the results of a Fomapan 100 I used with a red filter and I shot an Ilford HP5+ rated at ISO 200 which I plan to develop in Ultrafin T-Plus as well.

 

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A bit of history

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There is one single material in the periodic table of elements that is incredibly important to today’s cyber lifestyle. This element is silicon. It basically exists in huge volume like sand on the beach because it is in the sand on the beach. It has its own native oxide and therefor it can be easily structured into different devices which built the final circuitry. We found ways to shrink the devices and design more and more functions onto the same area of silicon. At the same time we increased the diameter of the silicon wafer getting more and more dies out of one wafer and therefor make the product cheap and attractive for mass production.

The only problem: silicon doesn’t exist in its metallurgic state but as silicon dioxide in sand. And once you obtained silicon by a carbothermic reduction of silicon dioxide, it’s not clean and monocrystalline.

Semiconductor research began with selenium. First simple diodes were built and the rectifying junction was done with a metal plated contact on the selenium. I can still remember the look of selenium rectifiers in old vacuum tube TVs or radios.

A selenium rectifier here.

The Bell labs in the US developed the first germanium transistor in 1947. For the first time a semiconductor device was shown that had a larger output signal compared to its input. The semiconductor amplifier was born.

The first transistor here.

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Back to the silicon: Selenium had a rather high resistance when switched on, a relatively low voltage capability when being off and a bad reliability over lifetime. Germanium basically turns into a metal when heated above 70°C. So, a group of German scientists around Walter Schottky and Eberhard Spenke, which had left Berlin during the last month of WWII, settled down in a small village with the name of Markt Pretzfeld in Franconia, north of Nuremberg and Erlangen,  and started to look into silicon as the base material for the making of semiconductor devices. While manufacturing selenium rectifiers in the former kitchen of a castle, they invented a method, known as the “Siemens Verfahren”, to obtain extremely clean and polycrystalline metallurgic silicon in the stalls of the former manor house. In the next step they were able to get monocrystalline silicon tubes to be used for manufacturing. In the mid-fifties the first silicon rectifiers manufactured there demonstrated the wide ranging benefit of silicon. At the time Siemens held all major patents for the manufacturing of semiconductor grade silicon and they were all born in Pretzfeld’s castle.

Today, the majority of silicon is still produced with the Siemens Verfahren and many new developments have taken place, like MOS transistor (metal on semiconductor) and the DRAM memory cell (dynamic random access memory) to name two of the biggest inventions. However, what happened in the barns, the kitchen and the bedrooms of the castle in Pretzfeld is unique and undoubly the beginning of our digital world.

In the nineties, I spent some time as an intern in Pretzfeld when Siemens was still producing diodes and thyristors for high voltage applications there and I took a little bit of that spirit of the silicon pioneers with me. I’m glad that I still had the opportunity to meet the second generation of researchers after Schottky and Spenke. In 2002 manufacturing now under Eupec (a 100% subsidiary of Infineon, formerly Siemens Semiconductor) finally ceased and the manor house returned to civil use.

Not much reminds the visitor of the castle of the research past now. There are apartments where the workshop and the device testing was done and the people living there just heard about what happened here before. A street named after Walter Schottky is the only sign of the history that was written here.

Some more links:

in German by Martin Schottky.

in English by Peter Voss, who I worked with in the past.

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Images are taken with a Hasselblad 500C/M on Ilford PanF+ and developed in Spuersinn HCDnew.

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The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi

The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi is a place of superlatives. Coming from Dubai driving towards Abu Dhabi, I could spot the large structure easily. It’s the largest mosque in the United Arab Emirates and the eighth largest in the world. The construction of the mosque which tries to unite the cultural diversity of Islam took 11 years using artisans and materials from many countries including Italy, Germany, Morocco, Pakistan, India, Turkey, Malaysia, Iran, China, United Kingdom, New Zealand, Greece and United Arab Emirates.

This wikipedia article and the official home page of the mosque will give you more inside and detailed information.

Visiting the mosque is perfectly organized which is a blessing considering the masses of visitors. However, it’s also a pain in the neck since security and restrictions are present at any moment of your visit. I would certainly suggest an official tour of the mosque. You get to know so much more about the place, its construction and the meaning of many details. Also, you get into the part of the mosque that’s closed to the general visitor. Bring some time and a camera for your visit here. It’s a great place for architectural photography as well as amazing indoor and detail shots.

The photos here are from two different cameras (Hasselbad 500CM and the Lomo Belair, a 6×12 panoramic camera) taken on three different films (Ilford’s Pan F+ and Delta 400 as well as Rollei Retro 80s). The Pan F+ and the Retro 80s were developed in Kodak HC110 while I always use Spuersinn HCDnew for a Delta 400. I know I’m missing some color images here. It’s a good plan for next time to shoot color only.

Hasselblad 500CM  taken on Ilford Pan F (some with red filter):

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Lomo Belair 6×12 taken on Ilford Delta 400:

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Hasselblad 500CM taken on Rollei Retro 80s (some with red filter):

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At the grave yard

I cycled by this grave yard in the woods the other day. I found it by accident and something made me go back with the camera the same afternoon. It’s a quiet place. It’s not a fancy place.

It’s a real quiet place and I realized, this is the first day of my life

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All images were taken with a Hasselblad 500C/M on Rollei Retro 80s and developed in Kodak HC100.

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The old market in Hsinchu

Hsinchu is a town in northern Taiwan, about one hour south of Taipei. It’s home to the Hsinchu Science Park where once Taiwan’s semiconductor industry launched its way to the top. Hsinchu isn’t a fancy or touristy place. Mostly engineers and their families live, eat and work there. And I was one of them more than ten years ago.

I lived in a two bedroom apartment on Bei Da Road in the middle of the city and close to shopping, eating and drinking since this is most there is in Hsinchu.

The old market was located quite close to my home but I didn’t go there very often. The lanes were dark and crowded. Meat and fish would just kick around all day without refrigeration. Many stores sold dry foods which I couldn’t even identify.

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The two storey market is part of an old apartment building which must be a pretty large complex. However looking up and seeing the fenced apartment windows is a bit scary. The place is clean just old. I mean just very old. I never dared to eat from the little food stalls since I knew where the chicken spent the last couple of hours. But than again, it’s cooked …

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Two or three times each year I go back to Hsinchu on business. My schedule is usually so busy that I hardly go and stroll around. The first days I’m usually hit by jet lag and than I usually can’t wait to go home again. During the previous visit I went down to the city center on a Sunday afternoon and took some pictures with the Hasselblad. The market was just closing down, most stores were already closed and others were going to shortly.

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I quite enjoyed the almost empty lanes and the sparse action of the last people closing store or leaving. It wasn’t just the quiet Sunday afternoon but the the feeling that places like this are slowly dying out and with them some history. So, feeling sentimental I wanted to get the black cat in the empty lane but she was smarter than me and ran.

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A day at Sun Moon Lake 日月潭

Sun Moon Lake is Taiwan’s largest body of water located in the middle of the country. The lake is surrounded by lush green mountains. According to the tales, a white deer led the hunters of the Thao tribe to the shores of this beautiful  and rich in fish place.

Lalu Island in the middle of the lake is holy ground for the Thao tribe, It was renamed several times in history but received its aboriginal name back after more recognition was given to the tribal roots. Large parts of the island sank into the lake after the big earthquake in 1999.

I visited the lake for the first time during a day trip from Hsinchu where I lived in 2002. Nearly at the same time I got my first digital SLR a Fujifilm S2 with one of the best sensors at the time and the advantage of being compatible with my Nikon lenses. The two color images were taken at the Wen Wu temple which was still under construction after being totally flattened during the 1999 earthquake. I still have the original raw files but these are edits I did a long time ago.

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I went back to the lake in May 2003. Taiwan was taken over by the SARS crisis and public life stood still for a couple of weeks. I decided to go on a little Taiwan round trip including Sun Moon Lake. Hotels were of an occupancy below 20% and discounts were steep. At Sun Moon Lake I stayed at The Lalu which was at the time one of the best hotels in Taiwan. I took a number of pictures of the hotel and the lake. I need to find some time to look through the images again and edit them.

A couple of weeks ago I went back to the lake. I rented a car drove down to Taichong on a Friday after work to get an early start on Saturday morning. I was surprised to find a new highway full of buses and cars going East, going into the mountains and going to Sun Moon Lake. The traffic never became better and a long cue of cars moved slowly forward. I didn’t recognize much after arriving at the lake. I saw quite a number of new hotels, a large marina and an new urban strip with stores and restaurants including Starbucks along the north shore. So I went straight to Wen Wu temple to walk around and take some shots. I was equipped with a Hasselblad 500CM and lots of film.

So I climbed up the temple to the place were I took the photos before. It was a warm sunny day but the light was already very bright and not so good for taking images.

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The temple entrance is most impressive. Looking from the temple one can see the gate, the lake and the mountains beyond. These views make the place so special and of course attractive for people to visit. Then years ago the view was still unspoiled by boats and other signs of civilization. Today people claim the place for their way of recreation. Let me come back in a while and look at the place again.

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Opposite the Wen Wu temple are some stalls selling food, refreshments and souvenir. There are also 365 stairs leading down to the lake representing each day of the year. One can hang a little golden bell on the fence which contain prayers and wishes.

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After visiting the temple I took off to go a bit into the mountains planing to be back later in the day for better light. However, I miscalculated the time a bit and came back late to find a extremely crowded shore and a beautiful sunset that just wouldn’t work on a b&w film. Good that I got my phone with me. Here is the sunset shot.

Here is the last one from Wen Wu temple, a stone carving of women playing an instrument which reminds me somehow of the classic chinese novel “Dream of the red chamber”.

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The b&w images were taken on Ilford Delta 400 and developed in Spuersinn Sam Classic.

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Taking pictures at home

My home has all one needs to take pictures: Tables, a sofa, even curious cats.So, I took my Hasselblad 500C/M, an Ilford Delta 400 film and set the meter to ISO 1600 with the plan to develop the film in Spuersinn’s HCDnew. I metered the darkest and and set the camera two stops below the reading. I noted down the brightest spot as well but decided to develop with the nominal time since that seemed average for all shots.

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I’m lucky that the cats didn’t run into this one. They are always around when I take pictures and observe. I’m not sure whether or not they come to conclusions but they are always checking things out. However, they also make good subjects since my cats are relaxed and patient fellows.

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Moving on to the darker hallway, I tried a shot setting the aperture to 2.8. Maybe the shadows aren’t exposed perfectly but there wasn’t much information in there anyway. The painting behind the candle shows a man standing in the middle of the Yellow river. I got it in Beijing in 2004. I met the painter some years later by coincidence discussing a very similar painting on rice paper and oil.

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Ok, living room is next. First Victim: the bookshelf since it can’t move without me moving it. I got the shelf back in Singapore. It served as a divider of living area and kitchen/eating zone in my studio apartment right behind Orchard Road. Now it’s standing against the wall overflowing with books. I store some framed pictures and paintings in the gap between the shelf an the wine fridge. Not sure if I’m going to hang them up one day. It’s kind of the place they belong to now. Sometimes I flip through the frames and get lost in memories. Unfortunately, it’s also a place where all the cat hair collects in big fluffy balls …

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Meet Maxi, the big hairy tomcat of the house. I put him in a bad spot here interrogating the dog. He just walked in the scene I set up and he didn’t do anything. Hahaha. But he really doesn’t like dogs.

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The bedroom has a  bed and a big ass closet which is a mess in spite of the fact that it’s half empty. The bed room door is closed during the day and open at night. When the door is closed, Maya will scratch until the door is open. She doesn’t reason at all. Maxi makes it a sport to get i the bedroom during the day. He sneaks when I go in and out to get some clothes or my kindle. Before I can catch him and kick him out, he hides under the bed and awaits further action.

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It’s Octoberfest again

It’s Octoberfest again and so far I could avoid coming even close to Theresian Wiese. Next Saturday I’ll go in with a couple of friends, shoot some rolls of film and have a beer. Yes, only one.

Last year I went twice, took two cameras and all kind of film with me. The monochrome images were all taken with a Hassleblad 500C/M on Ilford HP5+ and Delta 400. All the color images were taken with a Pentax 645 starting with a Fuji NPH 400 followed by cross-processed Fuji Provia 400 and finally a roll cross-processed Kodak VS100.

Fuji NPH 400:

FUJI Provia 400:

Kodak VS100:

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Fog and cows

The plan was to go to Spitzingsee, near Schliersee to hike up a little mountain, have some beer on top and make it back down. Saturday was supposed to be a sunny autumn day with temperature up to 20C. All I found were fog and rain. I shot a couple of frames with the cows as my models. One of the smaller cows licked my hand and I touched its smooth fury nose.

I walked a little bit around the lake. The rain stopped for a little while and came back again. I shot a couple of more frames catching the lake, the mountains with the fog hanging heavily in them. Back in Schliersee the sky cleared up a bit and I walked a bit more. around the lake here finishing the trip with a cup of coffee.

I developed the film, an Ilford HP5+, the next day by letting it sit in Caffenol C-L for 90min. As it turns out, HP5+ isn’t as boring as its reputation.The film base took on a brownish coffee stain but the contrast and sharpness are just fine. Maybe 80min developing time is also fine.

Here is the recipe for 1l water: washing soda 16g, Vitamin C 10g, Salt 1-2g, Instant coffee 40g

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