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Shooting Svema Foto 100

This week I tried using a new film stock with my camera and thought I’d share my thoughts on it and some resources for shooting/developing.

Shooting photos is a hobby of mine that I enjoy while also justifying as the photos that come out of it serve as a nice library of reference images for artwork. The process of waiting until a roll is finished then developing and scanning them in myself is also quite a nice ritual.When I was younger I saw people in darkrooms in various forms of media like TV shows or Movies and thinking to myself that it seemed like such an intimidating hobby to have. It felt like watching a mad scientist pouring chemicals in beakers doing unholy science to pull images from another realm into existence.  After a year 10 class in highschool I realised that even though the science of it all didn't make much sense to me, if you followed the instructions, it was on par with the difficulty of baking a cake.

For film, I’ve been shooting a lot of hp5 (using a bulk roll of it to wind onto smaller rolls), but recently got my hands on a couple rolls of the Ukrainian brand Svema.This week I tried shooting their Foto 100. 

At one point the battery for my camera’s lightmeter died and I had to improvise and go off an app on my phone. I already had the on my phone for figuring out exposure times for night shots, so luckily I didn’t have to go looking on the spot for one. It’s free and I’ve found it pretty decent whenever I’ve used it.

There was a bit of grain in a few of them but it doesn't bother me. They  were developed in Rodinal at 1:50 using times found on the Massive Dev Chart. Rodinal is great because it lasts for ages, Here someone used 68 year old rodinal with success. The other upside is that the chemical gets diluted with water so much that one bottle will last much longer than other chemicals that have a more equal ratio. Its also worth mentioning that The Massive Dev chart is an amazing resource for developing film. You throw in what film and what developer chem you have and it’ll tell you all you need to know. They have a huge database of film stocks and developers.

After developing was done, the photos were scanned and I was pretty happy with the results.

From memory the Ukrainian film was sold at the local store for around $7 a roll and was their cheapest filmstock.

I want to get my hands on some Black and white motion capture film to shoot. Hopefully I’ll be able to get my hands on a bulk roll of that one day.


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