Taking the Hasselblad XPan camera with me to work, which means mainly low or lower light levels - is not a good idea. The lens is in essence a ƒ5.6 lens (with filter), and you do need higher shutter speeds in order to get sharp images. I have noticed far too many times, that handheld the shutter speeds at 1/30 nor 1/60 really give good sharpness.


Tripod is essential with the XPan camera

So - for night time and evening times - tripod makes a HUGE difference. You just get that special quality - which you do not get when taken hand held shots. Sure, I do it anyway - but later i realize... uh. what a waste. It doesn't really look so cool when cheating.

Sometimes is OK - but not too often. So, tripod is truly a good idea. It makes such a vast difference in terms of technical quality.

The other issue is, that the light meter is not very sensitive and quits early as soon the sun goes down, or you are indoors with café light levels.

In the images above I used for the first time a Cinestill 500 film. Not impressed, even if it has it's character - i feel it is not worth the price, really. But that's me, and I only have developed one roll. The images came out a bit funky... albeit i like the strange red highlights (haloation from the removed ramjet prior exposure, typical in Cinestill films).


The step child camera

My Hasselblad XPan camera is the kind of strange hybrid analog camera - which always seem to be a "step child" among my cameras... It falls "in between". On the brighter side, i have figures out how to better deal with the stitched negatives together with Lightroom Classic and Negative Lab Pro software - without having to use TIFF (which result into weird results).


Difficulties to obtain 5 liter C-41 kit

I usually buy my color negative film chemicals via Germany - but their prices are so outrageous plus that they add Swedish 25% tax on it, instead of the 19% German tax... which ends up around 120 Euro (!) in total, which is more like 1330 SEK. I used to pay something like 850 SEK, you know... So the price increase is immensely in that regard. Strangely other stores in Netherlands and Belgium do not have as extreme prices... Germany is starting to be a pain in the ass - selling products for far too high prices. Given how badly the situation is - the sellers take more and more paid. Well everyone adds extra margins, whether required or not. The more the merrier...

Anyway, my mostly used C-41 chemistry, the Digibase Compared 5 liter kit - seem to be finished everywhere - with the risk that they stopped production (but I am not sure, if that is true. I had a place in the Netherlands which sold it for 75 € - but i had to wait for my salary... and when i got it - the Digibase chemistry was gone.



Fuji C-41 process after 30 years

So, now i bought a Fuji C41 5 liter kit - for the end price of 92 € from Belgium including shipping and taxes - which turned out to be something like something like 1007 SEK. That is a fair price given the weird situation in Europe with prices and taxes...

Let's call it a compromise.

Fuji C-41 I used 30 year ago after the dreadful failures with Tetenal C-41 chemicals back in 1994... which always gave me oddly dense, high contrast negatives. It drove me nuts. So, instead i tested Fuji C-41 chemicals - and suddenly all my film where just absolutely fantastic. Now i will used it again.

Instead of breaking the concentrates in parts like i did back then - but will last as long - I'll mix all 5 liter at once, Tightly stored in bottles - which lasts a very long time when mixed (at least a year). I think the developer needs to be frozen... (which apparently works well and does not separate). That way everything last longer compared to broken concentrates (and here I am thinking of the developer which is most vulnerable in that regard).


Photo Stores still sell other, smaller C-41 kits, but...

hilariously expensive in comparison to a 5 liter kit. I know a physical store in the old town of Stockholm - and they sell the Tetenal 2.5 liter kit for 1450 SEK. That's just incredible expensive... And one liter Tetenal C-41 costs 690 SEK.

One of the reason i avoid the Tetenal (and similar kits) is that they combined bleach and fixer into one. This results into denser negatives. I only buy C-41 chemicals where bleach and fix are used separately.


Why still dealing with analog color negative film ?

Well... i love (sometimes) the physical part of the procedures of dealing with color negative films. And on top, i am now at the peak of fantastic digital tools to bring these negatives into the digital world, often with excellent end results in ways I never had before (thanks to Negative Lab Pro software) together with using a Canon EOS R camera as a reproduction "Repro" camera.

It works incredible well, really, truly ! I mean, the camera is stationary mounted in the bed room - I only have to go there, and after a couple of minutes, I can already work with the output at my computer via Negative Lab Pro in Lightroom Classic, and a little bit of Topaz Photo AI. The latter which takes care of the excessive noise, turning it into more smooth, with less pronounced grain, and the details often turn out finer. It doesn't always work (for example on very grainy color film), but most of the time, it works excellent.

I still have fresh (frozen) color negative films - and plenty of 4x5 sheet film for my 4x5 camera I have not used for many, many years. That film needs color chemicals... Which means, as long i have color film at home, i will buy C-41 chemicals. Once all those films are gone - I stop with analog color film - but continue with analog black & white.

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