Wrote a This Old Lens post back in 2020 about the Contax G Planar 45mm f/2. In that post I wrote:
Writing this post is a horrible idea for me.
Horrible may be strong wording, but I was fairly certain if I kept looking at photos taken with this lens I would end up purchasing it again. I told myself that the 28mm and 90mm were fine. I was good… Yeah, right. Took longer than I expected, but here we are.
Am I happy? Queue the music!
…that would be a definite yes.
Why? Expected great results based on past experience. So I decided to run a test roll with a favorite film/lens combination that produced this.
I mean… What else could you want from a lens and film? Not convinced? Here are a few more.
So I brought the band back together.
Did not go completely to plan.
I had thought I may have made a hash of mixing the powder df96. I mixed the two packets of powder Cinestill df96 as instructed (or so I thought), topped off the bottle, and then realized about 30 minutes later that crystals in the second packet had not been dissolved completely and settled to the bottom. I went ahead and stirred them until they dissolved fully, but wondered if this would impact the actual development.
Sidebar: I may have grown overconfident in df96’s ability to accommodate my “whoops” episodes. Once forgot to rinse the negatives and did not realize it until I had already hung the negatives and they started to dry. Solution? Ran it through the df96 again, then rinsed it, and that did the trick. Got distracted while attempting to multi-task and mangled the directions some other way another time. Simultaneous brownie making may have been involved. Do not remember what I did but df96 was flexible enough to where these negatives turned out just fine also. Very forgiving in general. This time I may have pushed df96 beyond its threshold. Live and learn.
First thought this may be the case when my last roll of film through a different camera with a different film did not go as well as I expected. Not all bad,…
…but not as clear and consistent as I expected either. Thought it may be because:
- I shot the roll of HP5 at the 400 box speed instead of 200 like usual (As recommended by Dennis.). Perhaps the added light is what brought more consistent results in the past?
- I was using a camera I have not had all that long. Perhaps I had lucked up with the first roll of HP5 shot through a different lens.
Jury was still out. Decided to run another roll. But in the interest of full disclosure, I did not realize that Cinestill df96 did not have Acros 100 listed in their instructions until after I finished the roll which added further unnecessary user introduced complications. Evidently, I had prior rolls of Acros 100 (photos shown above) developed at my local camera shop. But I decided to chance it and go forward using the instructions for RPX 100.
The results were not as good as I expected. Due to my lack of developing experience, I can only describe the resulting negatives as less than optimal with a purple-ish hue. WIll also admit I shot much of the roll in less than optimal lighting which likely did me no favors also. The images look alright when eyeballing the negatives, but scanning leads to less impressive results than I expected. Again, I put this down to user error. A symphony of hubris and missteps on my part. Between my questionable mixing and going rogue by developing film not listed I can in no way hold CInestill responsible.
That being said framing 36 exposures to end up with a poor keeper rate later on is still quite the buzzkill.
What next? Welp…
- Stuck a roll of Agfa APX 400 for a second test run which I have successfully developed with df96 in the past even though it is not listed in the instructions either. I used the instructions for RPX 400.
- Poured out the solution in question.
- Makes no sense to keep running film I prize through questionable developer (that I likely ruined) that cost me all of $16. Or the price of two rolls of film.
- Ordered up more df96 powder from B&H.
- After a bit of indecision I decided to get over myself and post some of the photos that I kind of liked, even if I found them a bit disappointing. I also kept in mind that this was a test roll so at least I was not losing any sentimental shots.
My next rolls of Acros 100? Taking those to my local camera shop like I did before. That film is too good for me to do this again.
I will say this. If my goal was to use one of the best film cameras (my favorite), with a very sharp Zeiss lens, and one of the cleanest films I have ever used to get results resembling what you would expect from grainy film shot with an Argus C3 I was wildly successful. Here are the shots.