On a frigid Sunday in Manhattan, I wanted to try out TMY, Kodak T-MAX 400. The film choice was based upon my constant use of black and white filters, which lower the film speed. With an ISO 400 film, 1-stop brings me to 200, and 2-stops (an orange filter) lowers it to 100. At 100 one is barely able to shoot street scenes handheld. In addition, these Tmax films will NOT put a lot of grain on an open sky. The problem, by contrast, with Tri-X, is that a sky becomes unbearably grainy. For my purposes, I wanted the filtered sky, the reflections off the glass buildings and the deep shadows to be free of grain. TMY filled those requirements.
The camera is a version of the Kiev 60, a heavy, butt-ugly and entirely reliable camera. Especially in cold weather. And the lens is the Arsat wide-angle, Mir 26B, f/3.5 45mm. On this particular day, everything worked. I love shooting in Winter as the Winter Sun gives tiny globules of light, instead of a broad swath as in Summer.
I metered with a Gossens Digisix, taking readings from the shadows. Turning around with my back to the Sun and looking for the darkest shadow I could find. Then I reduced the EV by 1 ½ stops to get the proper exposure for a Yellow/Green filter. All photos were shot at f/11 to give the sharpest image across all edges of the frame.
You can drive yourself crazy reading about lens tests with these Pentacon Six Mount cameras, the Carl Zeiss Jena, the Arsat, and how the Mamiya or Pentax are superior. At f/11 they are all fine.
Processed in Xtol 1:1 following the crazy Kodak instructions to agitate vigorously every 30 seconds.
~ B Kowal
Want to submit your own 5 Frames...?
Go right ahead, submissions are open! Get your 5 frames featured on by submitting your 350+ word article by either using this Google form or by sending an email via the contact link at the top of the page.
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.
Share your knowledge, story or project
At the heart of EMULSIVE is the concept of helping promote the transfer of knowledge across the film photography community. You can support this goal by contributing your thoughts, work, experiences and ideas to inspire the hundreds of thousands of people who read these pages each month. Check out the submission guide here.
If you like what you're reading you can also help this personal passion project by heading on over to the EMULSIVE Patreon page and giving as little as a dollar a month. There's also print and apparel over at Society 6, currently showcasing over two dozen t-shirt designs and over a dozen unique photographs available for purchase.