Sunday, October 9, 2016

Apples and Oranges... and a Sunflower

I have wanted to write a little comparison article about these two films I have for a while, but you know... life... I finally got around to developing some sheets I had exposed months ago and I was happy to see that I had taken the same photo with each of these films. So, let's get to it.
First, let's get the variables out of the way. Both are 4x5 sheets taken within minutes of each other with my trusty Graflex Speed Graphic with the nice Graflex Optar 135/4.7 lens mounted. This was in early summer in the full mid-day sun. Film #1 is Kodak Vericolor II expired in 1997. This film is tungsten balanced, so shooting it in sunlight gives a blue cast. This can be corrected either by putting an 85 color correction (warming) filter on the lens or applying it in post. I do the latter. The problem with this particular box of film is that I don't think it was stored well and the base is fogged. Also, the edges drop off suddenly. I think the original box speed was around 80, but I shoot it at iso 25 to try compensating for the base fog. However, with all of these flaws, it can make some interesting and dramatic photos. Please excuse the dust on this, I hadn't really planned to share this, so I didn't dust spot.
Graflex_Vericolor2_1
You can obviously see the blue shadows and the high contrast. I could let the shadows drop out, but then I would just have some orange flower petals floating in space. I would rather let the film's character shine through and appreciate the uniqueness.
Next is Kodak Internegative Film. This was intended to make a positive duplicate from a negative which would then be used to make more negatives. Alternately, it could be used to make negatives from slides which would then be used to make prints. So it wasn't really intended to be a 'pictorial' film used in the camera. It was meant to be used in a commercial enlarger. With that in mind, I am shocked at the quality of this film. I don't think there was a set iso. The technician would have to test and adjust exposure depending on the original and any filtration they were using in the enlarger. I shot this at iso 5.
Graflex_Internegative_3
The colors are beautiful and the grain is nice and smooth. As I discovered when I scanned these and as I said in the title, these two films are not 'comparable'. So in that respect this little experiment failed. But that is not to say I didn't learn something. I found that the internegative film will produce nice smooth, accurate photos at iso 5. With a moderate scan resolution, this makes a 90 megapixel image that can be enlarged to any size you like. On the other hand, the Vericolor II makes a more unconventional/challenging image that brings a layer of abstraction to the subject. This definitely has its place in most film photographers' repertoire.
Here is another example of each film just for good measure. Enjoy.