5 Frames… With Adox HR-50 (EI 50 / 35mm format / Nikon F100) – by Adam Cotterill

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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 😉

~ Adam

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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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Reformed professional brewer and Real Ale fan, now Deputy Chief Executive of a UK Students' Union, I'm a keen amateur photographer both digital and film from 35mm to 5x4 which I home develop and scan. I coach rugby union and cricket, am a 'no job too big' DIYer and have a passion for storm chasing in Tornado Alley in the USA.

2 thoughts on “5 Frames… With Adox HR-50 (EI 50 / 35mm format / Nikon F100) – by Adam Cotterill”

  1. I like the look of that! Like Technical Pan with less contrast. I still have a few rolls of Tech Pan, it still works well, and the contrast is not too harsh as long as I keep the development time reasonably short. Now I am happy to see there is a good current replacement for when the Tech Pan runs out.

    • Hi Ray, Yes it did remind me of TP which I also used to develop in FX39, (1+19), but it’s more forgiving. I’ve subsequently “scanned” these with a Nikon Z7/60 micro which is substantially better than the V700 in terms of resolution and dynamic range. I must shoot some of my remaining TP stock at some point. Cheers Adam


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