These five photographs were shot with 35mm Rollei Retro 80s film using a Canon FTb and Canon 50mm f/1.4 lens. Retro 80s is an unusual film in a couple of ways.

Firstly, it has an extended red range into the near infra-red. This changes the results in subtle and sometimes unexpected ways. If you use it with a red filter then you can get the effects that we usually associate with infra-red photography – weird shades of foliage, that sort of thing. If you use it just as you would any other film however, it’s a great slow speed film with something different about it. The last photograph in the mosaic below (Blocks) below highlights that otherness nicely I think.

Secondly, Retro 80s has an amazing tonal range and lovely contrast. As you can see from my examples below, it took ranges of 6 or 7 stops in its stride! Maintaining detail in shadows when there are a couple of really bright spots in-frame is quite possible, admittedly through some pretty serious spot metering and thinking; that’s all part of the fun though!

These shots were all taken in and around York Minster. I am incredibly lucky to live just 10 minutes’ drive from the centre of York and am currently (slowly) working on a collection of black and white photos of and in the Minster to compile into a book or Zine.

Thanks for reading!
~ Rob Davie

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Rob is a photographer and writer who has contributed a number of pieces on his own work and others for emulsive.org and has his own photo and writing blog 'Monochromology.com'. He has a few long term projects...

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