Roll 40 – Hi-Matic E, Acros 100, and Caffenol

In my previous post, I mentioned that I shot three rolls this past Sunday. This is the second of those three rolls.

1971 Minolta Hi-Matic E_1024

For this, I chose to use the camera that spurred my return to film photography a couple of years ago. This little HiMatic may be fully auto exposure, but with a great finder, butter soft shutter, and wickedly sharp 40mm lens, it’s a deceptively effective photographic tool. I’m so glad I was able to resurrect this little gem, thanks in most part to resources found on the internet, as well help from some knowledgable folks on Flickr and


Hard Hat Area_1024

After loading a fresh roll of Acros 100, purchased from the Film Photography Project store, I set the ASA to 100 and checked the battery strength. Yep, this camera is absolutely useless without one.



As this is a fully auto exposure camera, one sets the focus using the spectacular parallax corrected rangefinder, then press the shutter button. You can achieve somewhat of a exposure lock by holding the button half down, but I find it easier to occasionally change the ASA setting, thus fooling the meter, which is surprisingly accurate, into giving the exposure I want. Apart from a low light, low shutter speed indicator lamp, there is no other info available in the finder.


Watch for Cars_1024

Once again, the Acros 100 film gave great results, developed in Caffenol CM-RS for 12 minutes @ room temp. I must be doing something right, because I got great shadow and highlight detail, moderate grain, good sharpness, and absolutely zero spots or streaks on the negatives. Scanning was a breeze, as was editing in Photoshop Elements 9 with the Nic Software plug-in Silver Efex Pro 2 for Mac.

Coney Island_1024

Ark Wrecking_1024

Not much to say about the shoot really, although, I recall using this combo most during the middle of my trek, when the sun was a bit behind the clouds, which cut down a bit on the harshness, especially in some of the back alleys and doorways.

Meet Downtown_1024

Mid-Continent Tower_1024

More photos from the camera and film can be seen here on Ipernity as I get them edited and uploaded.


10 thoughts on “Roll 40 – Hi-Matic E, Acros 100, and Caffenol

    • Thanks. Not sure how good these negs would be for traditional darkroom printing, but they scan great. My workflow is scan as Tiff @ 2400dpi, auto exposure off, adjust highlight and shadow points, then drag scan into PSE. Then, crop to 8×12″, convert to Adobe RBG, then open in plug-in, Silver Efex Pro 2. In SE, I adjust highlights, mid tones, and shadows, add structure, then apply slight sepia toning before returning to PSE. Apply slight unsharp mask, boost blacks slightly, then save as Jpeg for upload to web.


    • I have a really nice HiMatic Fp, the black one, but it has issues. I wish it didn’t, because ti’s a really nifty little camera.


    • Caffenol CM-RS (reduced soda) Great for 100ASA Film

      Use a gram scale and add ingredients in order shown.

      400ml Distilled Water @ room temp
      20g Soda Ash (Arm & Hammer Super Washing Powder) stir until fully dissolved.
      8g Powdered Vitamin C (use pure, don’t use tablets or any type with buffering) stir until fully dissolved.
      20g Cheap Instant Coffee crystals, stir until fully dissolved.
      Top off mixture to 500ml with more distilled water.

      Let mixture set for several minutes, stirring occasionally. Mixture will warm slightly due to chemical reactions, so try not to use until it reaches room temp. 68 – 70 degrees F is best.

      Pre-soak film in room temp tap water for 4 minutes, making sure to tap tank to release bubbles.

      Pour out pre-soak water and pour in developer mixture. Cap tank and give 10 initial inversions, tapping in sink to remove bubbles, then 3 inversions every minute thereafter. After 12 minutes have passed, dump developer and add plain room temp tap water to tank for stop-bath. Dump, agitate, and refill several times until water comes out clear.

      Add B&W Rapid Fixer of your choice, (I use Ilford mixed 4.1) @ room temp, giving 3 initial inversions, then 3 per minute, for at least 5 minutes. Fixer can be reused many times, although web searches dispute the number of times and longevity of mixture.

      Film can now be subjected to light, so remove light cap and rinse with room temp running water, turning container occasionally, for 10-15 minutes.

      For final soak, I like to use distilled water with a few drops of Kodak Photo-Flo to prevent streaking and spots. 1-2 minutes should suffice. Squeegee with fingers or tool of choice and hang to dry to a dust free area. I use my shower stall.

      Enjoy your gorgeous negatives!


  1. Thanks. That camera would be just about perfect if you could manually adjust exposure, but using the ASA/ISO ring isn’t too difficult. It also helps to use no faster film than one actually needs.


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