The black Leica M6 is on the way and I have ordered new batteries for its meter. I bought strap eyelets today for it so I am ready to go. Now I wait.
In the meantime I have learned something about the film that is available today – specifically B&W. The first four rolls I bought were Premium Arista ISO 400. I shot the 36 exposures and went to Costco last week as they said they could process them quickly and cheaply. Unfortunately I ran into a problem. They, as well as many others, only process C41 B&W film. I have been away from film for many decades so I had to do some research on the internet to find out the difference.
C41 film is easier to process as it is processed the same way and with the same chemicals as color film This makes it easier for the processing facility and cuts down on the different chemicals they have to use. Costco is set up this way.
So, in light of this, I bought one roll of Ilford XP2 Super 400 B&W film today. It is developed using the C41 process. I will shoot it tomorrow and drop it by Costco after. I should have the pics tomorrow or Tuesday. I will be using my Yashica camera and be shooting some of the same scenes that I shot with the first roll of Arista 400. My main reason for doing this is to compare the difference between the two types of film. Will they have the same “look” or will one have less grain or contrast than the other? From what I have read on the internet the XP2 is top-notch with a finer grain. I will have more answers in the next couple of days.
The lesson here is that if you want your local drug store to process your film buy one that can be developed using the C41 process. If you shoot a traditional film you can send it to The Darkroom and have access to your pics online in a couple of days. I wrote about this in part 3 of this series.
Once I figure out which film I like best I will be buying quite a few rolls to store in my frig. By the way, the C41 is more expensive than the Arista. I bought the Arista online for $2.89. The best I can find the XP2 for is around $5. The processing for it is cheaper though. At Costco they will process the negatives and put them on a CD for about $5. I will have exact figures for both in a few days.
I only want the negatives as I will download them into my computer to Lightroom 5. I can further process them there by adjusting exposure and contrast etc.
I can’t wait to get the M6 and begin shooting. I have three more rolls of the Arista. After that, who knows what I will try? Stay tuned.