Category Archives: Kentmere

Kentmere 400 pushed to 1600

The Winter Solstice

Every year on the 22nd of December Druids and Pagans gather at Stonehenge to celebrate the passing of the shortest day of the year. Under normal circumstances the stones are not allowed to be touched or have visitors in close proximity but the Winter Solstice is one of four gatherings (Spring Equinox, Summer Solstice, Autumn Equinox, Winter Solstice) where visitors are able to touch and sit with the stones for symbolic purposes.

At the Summer Solstice there can be up to 10,000 people visiting and because of the warmer temperatures it attracts visitors who celebrate the solstice but also who want to party. This is not the case at the Winter Solstice which attracts far less visitors and is seen as a more meaningful event with deep ancestral routes.

People wear traditional clothing to pay homage to their ancestors and percussion instruments are played at the early hours as the sun is rising with chanting and singing in groups or as individuals too. In ancient times midwinter feasts were part of the solstice as archeological digs have unearthed large amounts of cattle bones. The passing of winter was recognised and celebrated more than the passing of summer due to the hardships that were faced in the winter with short, colder days and less food to eat with crops unable to grow.

The photograph below is one from 2 rolls of 24 exposure film. Continue reading to see more.

Man standing in the fields surrounding the stones. Kentmere 1600.

Plan your journey

It was 0ºc, frosty and a clear sky with amazing moonlight coverage when my partner and I left our Travel Lodge at 06:20. We walked to a small nearby town then along Stonehenge Road to the main bypass. Note: There is no walking allowed (signposted) from the main roundabout and police monitor it … however there is walking allowed from Stonehenge Road to the Bypass, once you’re on the bypass there is a path and eventually a road crossing (lots of traffic so be careful!) to a gate. The gate will take you straight up the field to the Stones. Every road nearby is coned off and there are police in trucks continuously driving around – this is to stop people parking cars.

Route from Travel Lodge to the Stones. Image Source: Google Maps
Path from the bypass to the stones. Photograph Credit: James Wakelin

When we arrived at the stones the mist was starting to lift the sky was a deep red, violet and oranges.

Photograph Credit: James Wakelin

Moonlight filled the centre of the stones where everyone gathered to listen to the Druids

Photograph Credit: James Wakelin

The sunrise was rich and colourful, when the sun burst over the horizon there was an eruption of cheering and drums banging.

Photograph Credit: James Wakelin

Set up

Canon EOS 1 and Sigma 50mm f1.4 Prime Lens with 2 rolls of Kentmere 400. Due to the low light I pushed the ISO to 1600 for both rolls of film. I shot mostly between f1.4 to f5.6

Develop

  1. The developer I used was R09 Spezial at 1+30 for 25 minutes (test strip of spare Kentmere film done first at 1600 to see if the soup mix was correct as I usually use Fomadon to develop. Test come out perfectly). Agitate the soup every 30s and tap the base to release any bubbles.
  2. Fomacitro 1+19 stop bath for 1 minute with constant agitation
  3. Fomafix 1+5 with agitation every 30s to fix the film for 10 minutes (you can not over fix and I tend to go over the recommended box numbers to be on the safe side).
  4. Finally I rinsed with cold water for 10 minutes. I haven’t got any wetting agent or deionised (or distilled) water at the moment so where any mineral marks remain on the film after drying were wiped away using a very fine microfibre cleaning cloth and a cleaning agent called Fotospeed FC50.

The Photographs

Two men watching the sunrise.

I’m really happy with the results of this film push. The tone is very even and the grain not too intrusive. In a previous post I pushed Kentmere 100 to 1600 and the images looked far too flat and lifeless. I think this was due to the slower development (120mins still develop with 1+100).

This film was very clean without many dust/scratches. Its handled very well with the push processing and I don’t see why this couldn’t be pushed to 3200 or even 6400.

The photograph below is of a scene I found particularly interesting because the man laying on the floor is completely motionless and along with everyone else is facing in the same direction towards the stones. The young girl is the only person looking in the opposite direction. I watched her after I took this photograph and she ran towards a Hula-Hoop and started to play with it.

A child looks left, everyone else looks right, a man laying down.

I love the fur that the woman below is wearing. The texture of her hat and clothing is soft and warm compared with the rugged and moss covered cold stone that she is leaning on. When I approached the woman for a photograph she agreed and kept her focus completely locked on the light that was being cast on her from the sun.

A woman stands against the stones wearing furs.

I was walking along the outskirts of the stones and turned to the right to see a father and his two sons. I love how they positioned themselves on different levels.

Father and his sons positioned on the rocks

The photograph below is one of my favourites. I took it just as the sun was bursting over the horizon and everyone was facing the same direction, I turned around and saw people mesmerised by the red sky and trying to take photos. The older boy was trying to tackle the younger boy to the floor. He looked straight at the camera and I took the photograph.

To see the full gallery please click on the photos below

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Kentmere 100 pushed 1600

I decided to go crazy and push a roll of Kentmere 100 to 1600iso.

It took a while to decide which development time I should go for. Kodak, Ilford, Adox and various forums all suggest different timings. I was reading from one commenter to double the timings plus 20%. The Massive DevChart has a rough guide on how to work out timings when pushing however did not extend to four stops. I decided on Rodinol 1+100 at 120 minutes, 20ºc. The first 5 minutes I agitated the soup every 30s for 15s. After 30 minutes I agitated for 15s.

Full development stats:

  • Rodinol 1+100, 20ºc. 120 minutes. Agitate every 30s for 15s for 5 minutes. Stand for 30m, agitate 15s, stand.
  • Ilford Stop Bath 1+9 for 1 minute constant agitation
  • Ilford Fixer 1+4 for 12 minutes
  • Wash for 10 minutes
  • Tetanol Wetting agent 1+400 in deionised water for 1m. Gentle agitation.

I must admit when I pulled the negative out of the soup I was expecting a series of black frames from either the contrast going crazy or from over developing. I peeled back the first few frames to check the fix and to my surprise saw some well developed shots!

Kentmere 100 is rated best between 50-200 ISO….. so I was expecting a lot of grain….once I dried and scanned the negative I was blown away how detailed the shots are. The grain is fairly small and overall contrast not as intense as I expected. The night time/darker photos are when I was drunk on a night out and was underexposing instead of overexposing. The daytime photographs on the street I overexposed by at least a stop.

There is change in the contrast levels of each photo, some pictures (such as the swimming pool shot) have a lot of grey tone without much highlight and shadow whereas other pictures are more contrasty.

I will push this film beyond four stops in the future to see how far it will go and still give me useable shots.

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Kentmere 400

  • Rodinol 1+50 for 20 minutes at 20ºc. Agitate for 30s then every 30s for 15s.
  • Ilford Stop Bath 1+19, 20ºc, constant agitation for 1 minute
  • Ilford Fixer 1+4, 20ºc for 9 minutes
  • Wash for 10 minutes
  • Tetanol Wetting Agent 1+400 deionised water. Leave to soak for 30s rinse off any bubbles using deionised water
  • Hang dry for 2 hours
  • Scan using Plustek 8200i (negafix profile Ilford Delta 400 as no Kentmere available)
  • Crop 6×4
  • Curves
  • Clean
  • Upload

Some great contrast, grain and tones from the Kentmere 400. I scan my film at 300DPI and for this particular roll I used the delta negafix profile as it provided good results from the highlights and shaddow. I used the Canon AE-1 for this roll of film with a 50mm prime lens. The camera handled well, for its age there was no light bleed on the roll of film. I noticed when scanning/in post that the negatives are a little darker, the camera meter may be suggesting an exposure that is under by a stop or so. I will test this further in upcoming shoots.

I found the manual focus on the old FD lens exceptionally smooth and quick to use. The manual film wind coupled with the retro look and feel of the AE-1 gave a very enjoyable shooting experience. I would highly recommend this camera!

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Kentmere 100 Pushed 400

How else can i start this blog than with … wow! What a film!

I’ve never used Kentmere before and this was actually the third time i had loaded it in my camera. “Third time?” you cry … well, i loaded it in and went from shooting outdoors to indoors in very low light so wound the film up and replaced it for some Kodak TMAX P3200. The second time i replaced it for Rollei and now, finally we have Kentmere.

The quality of the images are fantastic, this film loves to be pushed! Outside, the film is acceptable. Shadows and lights are fairly even. The squirrel was a friendly guy! Letting me get about 1 foot from him. However inside is where this film (for me) excelled. I visited Westminster Cathedral during the last few frames and managed to capture some great scenes with the light spilling in. The added contrast and grain from the push in my opinion enhances the haze and feel of the Cathedral.

The only concern is the marks that have been left on the film. It looks like light has spilt into the roll somehow. Changing the roll a few times before actually shooting the entire roll is probably the cause. However i have left the images in as i find the effect an interesting addition to this post.

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