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Retropan 320 Review: British Columbia Images

Retropan 320 film has been around for a few years now. Made by Foma it is a ASA 320 black and white film called retro as it is supposed to look like older film. (It is panchromatic so not that old.) There are some enthusiastic reviews online (as well as some detractors). I got swept up in the enthusiasm and decided to buy a few rolls to try out. I can say now I regret it.

My goto film for black and white is Ilford Fp4+ (ASA 125) as a slow high resolution film it is very consistent and pretty cost effective. I have shot some Kodak and Fuji which I like but here in the UK Ilford is a quality product and good value. Normally for high speed film I have shot Ilford HP5+. However having been caught up in the Retropan reviews I decided to see if it would work as my high speed film.

I was recently in British Columbia to visit my son so I took a couple of rolls along to try it out. I brought my Rolleiflex f2.8 as it is an easy to carry camera and simple to use. I brought my Sekonic light mete…
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Laser Cut Masks for my Durst 54 Enlarger (The Beast)

Two years ago I picked up 'The Beast' a Durst Laborator 54 Universal Camera 4x5 enlarger at the very satisfying price of free. I have installed it up in the top floor and have gotten some good use out of it but not often. I don't shoot a lot of 4x5 and print it less frequently. Recently however I have printed my 4x5 Gladiolas negative on it.



I have also had my Fuji GSW 690 camera whose 6x9 negative does not fit my original Meopta enlarger as it can only handle up to 6x6 negatives and an old MPP 6x9 rollfilm holder for my Intrepid 4x5 MkIII. This experience has reminded me that I am missing some key components from the enlarger. Namely I need a 4x5 and a 6x9 mask. I have a 6x8, 35mm masks that came with it. Previously I found I could suspend a 4x5 negative in the negative holder but it is rather tenuous and difficult to place it in the right position. I also learned in my last round of printing that light leaks around the negative and can produce noticeable glare on the pri…

Experiments in Block Printing

I have become intrigued by old film and photography logos. They represent for me often a more interesting graphic design than what is on offer today with the emphasis on stripped-back modern design. Don't get me wrong I really like the modern design look as exhibit by my sister blog MORSE BROS STUDIOS look. But this older aesthetic holds visual appeal and some nostalgia for me.

For instance there is the Gevaert company. A Flemish maker of film paper and cameras eventually acquired my the German maker Agfa. I like their old logo for instance...

This has lead me to think about several projects; however the one I want focus on is a mashup of this interest and my discovery of RazorLab in London. RazorLab makes laser cut sheet materials. The great thing is you can submit your own designs and have them made for you from a variety of materials all online. The design is submitted in vector form and created on one of their supported drawing package, in my case Inkscape a free open source p…

Yorkshire Dales Photographs

A couple of weeks ago he wife and I went back to the Yorkshire Dales for a spur-of-the-moment weekend visit. Personally this one of my favorite parks in the UK. We stayed at Low Gingerfield B&B and I can recommend it as a comfortable and friendly place to stay.

I took along my Fuji 690 GSW and Fuji G617 cameras. The Fuji 690 is a 6x9cm negative behind a 65mm lens, the Fuji G617 is a 6x17cm negative behind a 105mm lens.

They both give wonderful expressions of this landscape but speak with distinctive voices. The 617 gives voice to a wide view through the extreme width of the negative. The lens itself is almost a short telephoto given an 80mm is a ‘normal’ lens on a 6x6 negative. The 690 however has a reasonably wide negative but a substantially wide angle lens.

The 617 gathers in the wide open countryside but also hungers for the foreground. The first photo below I feel really conveys the mood and scene as I remember it for all the of the distant parts. It is somewhat let down by t…