“Your package has been delivered” proclaimed the USPS tracking site. I had signed up for a project where a select few photographers were given a couple of rolls of KODAK Panchromatic Separation Film 2238 film to use and submit their best two images for future publication. Unearthing the two rolls from the innocent-looking manila envelope, I begin pondering what I’d photograph using this film.
I’ve shot low ISO copy/print films designed for cinema production before, but at the time had never even known KODAK Panchromatic Separation Film 2238 existed. Often, these films are orthochromatic (blue-sensitive), but this film is panchromatic on top of being on a clear base. According to the gentleman I received these rolls from, Michael Bartosek; this film is designed for color separation archiving. Knowing that, it being a low ISO panchromatic film made a lot more sense.
After some further research, I grabbed my Nikon F2 Photomic, Nikkor-HC Auto 50mm f/2 Non-AI lens and a large café mocha and ventured out into downtown Eau Claire, WI USA. While this film has a box speed of 25 ISO, I opted to split that and shoot at EI 12, knowing it would allow for more shadow detail and tend to present a much more pleasing image to my eyes. It would also cover my ass in the case of under-exposure or changing light conditions.
My chosen developer was Rodinal at 1:50 for 12 minutes (68F/20C) based on the results I found online. It also happened to be one of the only developers I had on hand too, so that was a factor as well.
The negatives looked pretty high contrast so I was unsure if I had got my development time and dilution right, but once they hit the scanner the creamy tones came through. Later this year I plan on trying to make a few darkroom prints from some of these and perhaps purchase more of this film later on.
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It’s starting to become one of my favorite low ISO films with its fine grain, clear base, and dynamic range.
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