Oct. 28, 6 Frames of Reno Alleys with Kentmere 400:

Every day I realize more and more that I don’t really know anything about anything. Up until today, I thought that I had a strong preference for high contrast films and only a tolerance for low contrast films.

I bought a few rolls of Kentmere 400 (as I understand it’s a sort of budget version of Ilford HP-5) to try and push them a bit as I’ve seen some beautiful results with Kentmere pushed to 1600 but I’ve never had all that great of luck pushing any films and I didn’t with Kentmere either.

Having just gotten my Leica Ic back from servicing and being a bit short on 35mm films I decided to try the Kentmere as I wandered around the alleys of Reno. I didn’t expect much as I’ve never had great luck with HP-5 either. To my surprise, most of the photos were quite nice! Most were not super high contrast as expected, but many had a certain charm to them (at least to my eyes). Maybe lower contrast films can work for me after all?

These were all developed in Cinestill Df96 monobath for 7 minutes at 70° F. I always forget that it never hurts to filter Cinestill before use as it often leaves a bit of schmutz on the film as it did in several of these shots.

324 E. Taylor
324 E. Taylor
Cinder Block
Gate
Shack Flare
Vacancy
Wide Alley

7 responses to “Oct. 28, 6 Frames of Reno Alleys with Kentmere 400:”

  1. Nice tones in these. I’m assuming you used a deep yellow or orange filter to get the dark skies? Also, it’s not clear from the post; did you push this roll or shoot it at box speed?

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    1. Thanks P! My bad, yes I did use an orange No. 21 filter for most of those shots. It was indeed shot at box speed.

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      1. Excellent. Thanks for the added clarity. I’m a fan of Kentmere 100, but I haven’t used as much of the 400 variety. I’ve got a few rolls, though, so I’m trying to get a handle on how best to use it. It’s nice to see it responds well to an orange filter. Some films don’t.

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      2. My pleasure, I should have included that information in the original post. I’m in the opposite camp, I’ve never tried Kentmere 100 but now I’m looking forward to trying it soon. I’m still looking for the perfect film to shoot in my Ica. I agree that all films don’t respond equally well to filters. With 400 speed films I’m more prone to trying different filters than I am to slower films.

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      3. Yeah, color/contrast filters for B&W have more uses than the obvious. As you alluded to, they’re also great to effectively lower the speed of higher speed films by a stop-ish (yellow), or two-ish (orange), or three-ish (red). Assuming the contrast changes are to your liking, such is very helpful if you’re planning to shoot part of a roll in bright conditions and the rest in darker conditions, and you don’t want to carry around ND filters or shoot two different emulsions. I used to shoot all B&W film with a yellow or orange filter by default. I think I need to get back to that. I’m not entirely sure why I stopped. I probably took the filters off my lenses to shoot some C-41 or E-6 and was too lazy to ever put the filters back on. Ha! Either that or it’s because I was shooting a fair amount of T-MAX 100, and I don’t much care for the way it renders tones when filtered.

        Good luck with the Kentmere 100 when you get around to trying it.

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