My Blog

Birch

Last weekend I tried out my latest camera purchase - a rather lovely Mamiya RZ67 Pro II medium format studio camera. A total indulgence it is about as practical/portable as my current 5x4 camera and certainly as heavy - if not heavier - but it is a joy to use. The view finder is simply lovely. I headed straight down to my local go to location Skipwith and decided to work a set around some sombre looking birch trees.

'Birch #1'
'Birch #1'


I was rather pleased with the set - all developed using my normal developer at about n-2 followed by a second alkali bath (borax solution - 2 heaped teaspoons of borax in 1 litre of distilled water) for 4 minutes with no agitation to reinforce the shadows. (see Adam's 'The Negative' for details). My conclusion is that this is the right approach for rollfilm - although it means a little more post scanning processing effort for lower contrast images, it keeps things very simple. If you understand the principles of the zone system, all the exotic two bath developers are a waste of time. A standard developer and an alkali bath works just as well. For sheet film I now individually develop - selecting either N, N-1 or two bath development depending on the image.

Here are the remainder of the images:

'Birch #2'
'Birch #2'


'Birch #3'
'Birch #3'


'Birch #4'
'Birch #4'


'Birch #5'
'Birch #5'


All the above images were made on one lens - a 90mm standard lens. 67 negs are a dream to process - almost but not quite as nice as 5x4 to scan and work with. Although you have the jist of my conclusions above, I will report my findings from nearly 6 months working on black and white developing techniques more fully over the holiday period...