Well, I got the finger out on Friday and managed a brief spell in the darkroom, just feeling my way back. For some strange reason, I decided it would be a good idea to try out the new Leitz 1C with some 10x8 Kodak Bromesko, the British-made version of Kodabromide if I'm not mistaken.
I wasn't really expecting too much from the Bromesko as I think it stopped being made in 1982. This was a half-full box I got from a guy at a camera club a few months back. My bundle is glossy, grade 2, single weight and has a slight warmth to it.
As if dodgy paper wasn't enough, I thought it was about time I used up a half-full bottle of Fotospeed warm tone print dev as well. So stale paper and oxidised developer it was. As these things sometimes go, the results were pretty good. I can't actually see many signs of fogging in the paper, which was a major surprise, although the maximum black is just a little weak and the developer didn't last very long in the tray at all.
You've probably seen these pics (I scanned the prints in colour to see how the image tone would look on the monitor) before as I've shown negative scans in the past. They are both Adox CHS 100 II negs developed in Spur HRX. I've used that combination quite a bit but hadn't printed from it and I wanted to see how it was.
The tree print is a bit heavy-handed for my liking. I'd have liked to have had the buildings in the background a lighter colour and should have dodged them a little or used a harder grade of paper - which I didn't have available.
There's a wee idea going round in my head that I should start printing 35mm negatives as 6x9 inch images on 10x8 paper and mounting them in 12x15 inch card mounts for a nice, even, three-inch border and I was curious to see what sort of quality the Adox film would give me.
It's quite nice as it turns out. Grain isn't really noticeable in prints of this size and the results were sharp and quite punchy. Although the Adox CHS/Spur HRX combination scans very well I'm not sure it's anything special when printed, just a good sold performer with no vices. It's early days, though, and my opinion might change over the next couple of weeks with more experience of these materials.
Despite the contraction in the film and darkroom supplies market, there are still plenty of options available when it comes to film and developer and it's tempting to keep trying different combinations in search of the ultimate. But, as much fun - and blog post fodder - as that might be, I want to get down to one film and developer and, as my film stash is almost gone, I'll need to make my mind up soon.