#2.3 [Pollux]: What took you so long?

Logfile: I’m going to adhere to the week numbers according to the official calendar of week numbers, which tells me that week #3 started today. On week #2 I was shooting several rolls, so I’m staying with the chronological order and hope to catch up with showing the results soon.

Technically, this report shows the results of two rolls, one in 120 format and one in 135 (both TriX in Xtol 1+1). But since there is still one left (Fuji 400H, which is estimated to be delivered on Friday from the lab), I don’t care too much about combining them here.

I also renamed some of the headlines and chose the numbering order #1 #1.1 #1.2 etc. and although the author’s archive can be checked with a click on the name, I also added the previously published reports.

First love with Black and White film is a long time ago – I was twenty years old in 1987 and there are few pictures left, mostly portraits, but they tell the story. The last one is in color, but the handling of shadows and light obviously was influenced by practicing with Black and White photography.


The creative development stopped abruptly when I gave up photography for decades, but three years ago the first results with Black and White showed a promising approach. I came across many combinations which I liked, but TMax in TMax developer or HC110, TriX with Xtol 1:1 and Neopan 400 are my favorites.

Some time ago, I decided to look out for the skin tones which Helmut Newton used to produce in his work. So I concentrated more on TriX (in his time, TriX Pan 320 was the thing) and his lab technician might have worked with Rodinal. But Newton was also fond of filters and they say he also liked a little overexposure with TriX because of the skin tones.


TriX @320, Xtol 1+1, Orange Filter, Zeiss Planar 80mm

Looking at the results, I wondered what stopped me from combining TriX and Xtol 1+1, but now I remember it was the sudden death of the developer without any warnings. Now I  improved the workflow and bought a 5 liter canister with distilled water (a little more than a gallon) and resolved the powder in it.

I also bought ten bottles with 0,5 liter for the developer, so that it doesn’t get in contact too much with Oxygen. Afterwards I added some film cleaning spray into the filled up bottles, to protect the working stock dilution from reacting with Oxygen (does it really help? I heard rumours and gave it a try).

I like the results, but I also already knew they would turn out great because this combination feels very familiar to me. As if these pictures asked me after drifting around with so many other combinations: ‘What took you so long?’ TriX and Rodinal is another story, but I don’t know if there’s a chance to check it out soon, because now, when Xtol is prepared, I don’t see a chance for Rodinal in the medium term.

In the studio we improvised with a one light setup and a non-working light meter (measured the exposure with a digital camera), overexposed the TriX (+ ⅓ EV) and we didn’t care about backgrounds too much, because I was focussed on the skin tones.

Unfortunately I forgot to note which pictures were made with an orange filter. We also had some shots with the Distagon (for which I haven’t got filters – see #2.2 Know Your Gear), but the Planar 80mm has the standard filters, so it might well be that all three of these shown photographs were shot with an orange filter.

Jacks also had some fun with the cam and made these with the F5 and a 105/2.8 Ai-S macro attached, so this are pictures from another roll of TriX, this time in 135 format with no filters. Accidentally I opened the cam too early, so this caused the white overcast.


I might be allowed to show some digital files here, just for the sake of documenting how beautiful she looks like when enjoying shooting with a heavy combination like this.


Pollux on 52rolls:


23 thoughts on “#2.3 [Pollux]: What took you so long?

  1. Pingback: #2.4 Diary Shots | 52 rolls

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