It can be a strange experience visiting an old stamping ground after a gap of many years as it was when I went back to Newcastle-upon-Tyne in the summer; the place is still Newcastle but some of my favourite pubs have long since disappeared, some remain and new ones have sprung up, a host of independent micro pubs supplied by a similar explosion of micro breweries with their unusual, exotic and flavoursome beers. After an afternoon’s stroll around the Geordie hostelries I have to say the old place has improved. And yes, the pubs and their beer are better. Much better.
A not too dissimilar experience then, to returning to film after a decade or so away. Many big-name brands are no longer around (hurrah for ILFORD) their films consigned to a long archived list on Wikipedia. So to Adox HR-50, one of the new batch. An existing film given a magical “speed boost” by Adox…a modern-day Kodak Technical Pan perhaps?
So me, my wife, my Nikon F100 and Sigma 35mm Art had a meander around the Tyne seeking out fine ale and photo opportunities to see what this new film could do.
I developed it in Paterson…sorry Adox FX39 one of the recommended developers and “flat scanned” it on an Epson Perfection V700. My first impressions are positive, virtually grainless with a resolving power seemingly besting the Sigma/Epson combination (“resolution: up to 280lp/mm” according to Adox) as sharp as you like with plenty of dynamic range and extremely malleable in Photoshop.
I’ve got a couple of rolls left awaiting a sunny day. So, Technical Pan? Well I’ve got some ancient rolls in suspended animation so I can see a taste test challenge in the offing. And Adox if you’re listening, hurry up with the 120 version – my Mamiya 7 really wants to try some 😉
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This series is produced in conjunction with Hamish Gill's excellent 35mmc.com. Head on over to read the other half of these stories there.
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