Monday, March 28, 2016

Film Mini Review - K-Mart Focal Slide Film

I belong to a pretty vibrant and active community of film photographers online. No, not APUG, not, not Rangefinderforum. Those are all great places, but I have found a home over at It is a very relaxed place to share photos and information about film photography in general. I enjoy running a film trading thread over there and have gotten a number of interesting films from other members. This film in particular wasn't part of that thread, but just came along in a box of film that one of the other members there sent to me. Yeah, people are still generous like that.

I had never heard of the film. Of course growing up and living in the US, I have always known about the K-Mart stores, but I wasn't aware that they made film. Actually, it was pretty common for drug stores and other corporate entities to rebrand films from the major manufacturers and this is one of those cases. The film is actually Scotch Chrome 640T probably from the Ferrania factory in Italy. To note, this was different than the 3M Scotch Chrome and also different than the new films being produced (hopefully soon) by the revived Film Ferrania.

So this film was produced for iso 640, and I generally follow the guideline to add a stop for every decade past expiration, but there was no expiration marked on this film. I didn't get the original boxes, just the 35mm cartridges, so now what? Well, I had a roll of 36 exposures and another of 20 (?) exposures, so I figured I would start with the short roll and see if I could gain any information about it. I figured it was at least 20 years past expiration, so that would mean 2 stops slower. That puts it at around iso 160. I threw it into my trusty Nikkormat FTn with a new-to-me Nikkor-S 50mm f/1.4 lens and set my handheld meter to 160. The lens I bought came with a 27.5mm extension tube, so I went a little crazy with the macro shots. I should have looked up the required exposure compensation for that tube, but I didn't and subsequently, a lot of the macro shots were under-exposed.

I developed the film in Unicolor C-41 chems at room temperature for 20 minutes with a 10 minute blix. Agitation was 1 minute initial and 4 inversions each minute thereafter. I did the RT development because I was developing some old 126 print film at the same time and wanted to be gentle with that. Unfortunately, there were no visible images on that film. So here are a few of the photos from this old film. The grain on the under-exposed shots is formidable, but on the brighter ones, not so bad. I have the 36 exposure roll left, so I will probably expose that with an EI of 80 and try to stay out in the sun without any extension tubes connected.