Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Day 22 - In living color!

Nothing new to report on Jake.  I entered into this project expecting to have daily reports of all of the ups and downs of Jake's heartworm treatment.  As it turned out he felt pretty bad and was very low key the first 10 or so days and since then it's been a steady return to a happy healthy dog, one who wants to go out for walks and play and is upset at me because I won't take him.  I am happy that the treatment has gone so well and feel very lucky.

So since I have nothing to say about Jake let me talk a bit about the new Impossible films.  First the Impossible films have come a long way from their first releases.  The films have more contrast and are not as light and temperature sensitive as they were.  The PX600 V06 (batches 6/10 and later) are fairly predictable films with a lovely yellow brown tone (almost Sepia).  Under the right temperatures (below 70 deg F) and protected from light for the first few minutes of development the films are just stunning.  It is a bit of a pain that you have to protect the film from light as it is ejected from the camera, but taping a darkslide on the front and using a cold clip for developing make this pretty easy.  I have been shooting this past moth mainly indoors under temperature controlled conditions, and it is early Sprng so pretty much the perfect temperatures for this film.  The new cold clips from Impossible come with temperature sensitive stickers that tell you the temperature range.  There are 2 stickers and they become visible when the clip reaches certain temps.

Darkslide taped over ejection point

Impossible cold clip

The first sticker has a snowman image the becomes visible between 59-63 deg F
The second sticker has a heart image that becomes visible between 74-77 deg F
The third has a sun symbol that becomes visible between 86-90 deg F

For the PX600 and PX600 UV+ films I have actually found that having only the snowman visible is the best temperature range.  I should note that each sticker remains visible once it's lowest temp has been exceeded.  So if the it is hot enough for the sun symbol you will see all 3 symbols.  That means with only the snowman visible you could actually be as warm as about 73 deg F.  I have tried having the clip colder than 59 deg F and found that there was a blueish tint to the final image and it didn't develop as much as I expected.  For the PX 600 films I started seeing an orange tint when the heart symbol was visible (74 deg F or above).  The PX 600 UV+ was as close to B&W white as it could be when developed with the snowman visible and started moving quickly to orange tones above 74 deg F.

The big issue with the Impossible films has always been the very narrow temp range that is needed to obtain acceptable results.  Using a cold clip with the handy temperature sensitive stickers should make working with these films during the Fall, Spring and Winter months easier.  During the colder days one can easily heat up the clips with your body heat.  The problem will still be the Summer months (at least for me) we typically get temps above 85 deg F with high humidity so we shall see.  I guess I'd have to carry a cooler or have some way to cool the film as it develops.  This sounds like a pain to me and will likely restrict my shooting with this film to the indoors.

While I really love the tones in both the PX600 and PX600 UV+, I have to note that the UV+ films have more flaws than I would like.  They often have water mark like patterns as well as little pock marks where no developer seemed to get to.  And my least favorite tendency is to have a third of the image clearly darker than the rest.  There are 3 chemical packs on the film and the dark line looks like it always comes from one of the chem. packs like there was a slight variation in the chemicals and how they respond to the exposure.  You can see it in yesterdays post. That needs to be fixed before I will be able to say that I love this film.  The B&W tones are lovely though with the creamy whites and dark blacks.  It could use a bit more richness to the blacks, but I wouldn't change the creamy white personally I just love it.  I also love the yellow/brown tones of the PX600 films and hope that it stays as an option as Impossible improves their films.  It would be awesome to have a Sepia film, B&W and color film.

Since I have spent so much time talking about the PX600 films I am going to wait until tomorrow to talk about my first pack of the color film PX70 PUSH, but here is my first image from that pack. I shot this with the light/dark wheel at max light.  Developed it in the cold clip with the sunny symbol visible using body heat the keep it warm.

"Duck and Goose"
SX-70 Sonar, Impossible PX70 PUSH

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