After a period of 15 years without shooting film, I have rediscovered this wonderful world of the analog black and white photography. In the age of the digital, I feel analog makes me take the time to shoot, to plan the image. In other words, forces my mind’s eye to action, planning the image capture and its processing till it finally hist the screen or paper.
My favorite current platform is the Mamiya RB 67 Pro, which is a medium format (120 mm film). It makes 6” x 4,5” or 6” x 7” captures with commutable backs, no photometer (yes you read it right, no automatism whatsoever), reversed view screen and crystal clear optics. The only real downside of this platform is its bulkiness and weight of almost 3 Kg!
In a more practical approach. I use a Nikon FM2 (35 mm). With a smaller format it is easier to carry and certainly attracts far less attention. The 35 mm provides 36 to 39 exposures per canister and still a “full frame” sized frame. With a simple photometer and normal view finder it is a nice platform for a relaxed shooting approach.
And then what? So I shoot the films and then what do I do with them?
Well, I’ve set up a small lab with a wet zone from a converted toilet room and a separate dry zone.
The film is processed with rotating tanks. This allows a simpler process, where only the film loading has to be done i the dark. All the remaining process is executed with the light on.
The selected enlarger is Meopta 7, which takes a 6”x6” film size (in the image is the 6 model, but it is quite similar to the 7).
Finally the wet zone, with a custom mix of ik*a furniture, DIY print washing and draining system.
I’ll add images of the set soon.