Shooting a whole roll of film in a day is … well, not really a challenge. Unless the challenge is to do it on a certain day, come hell or high water, no matter what plans you already had, no matter whether anything interesting is happening for you to shoot. The biggest challenge, though, is posting 36 frames for everyone to see, duds and all.
Well, that’s exactly what the Roll in a Day group on Flickr.com does every so often. I stumbled across it looking for something else, but even though the next day was only a few days out when I found it, the idea excited me. As a print journalist the idea excited me, too — shoot a whole roll of film, develop it, scan the negatives and send the whole thing off.
Okay, you had a few days to develop and scan every thing, but I haven’t had anything pressing me to work my film any faster than I wanted until now. Maybe I’ll press myself more in the future.
For this experiment I grabbed the Nikon FM2 that was given to me recently by a very kind Dean Krakel. Despite the missing rewind crank and eyepiece ring, with a little cleaning it was raring to go. I’d already put one of film through it, but hadn’t developed it yet so I was going into this blind, not knowing how accurate the exposure meter and shutter were, or hell, even if it was accurately advancing the film (another post coming soon about repairing the lockout that prevent double winding — this camera’s already taught me a lot).
I ordered 20 rolls of Kodak Tri-X from B&H not that long ago and mysteriously, I received 18 rolls of 400TX and two rolls of Kodak T-Max 400. At first I was dismayed, but I figured I’d use it no matter what. So that’s what I used to test the Nikon and shoot my Roll in a Day.
The results speak for themselves.
I haven’t been as big a fan of the T-grain film in my Yashica-D; I think the Ilford Delta 100 and (obviously) Kodak Portra 160 have performed fabulously, though.
I already had plans that day, so I just took the camera along with me with a 50mm f/2.0 lens. I made most of the exposures walking in Denver’s Capitol Hill, but a few focused on my friend’s cats Orange, White, and Minerva.
So I uploaded my 36 exposures — out of focus, over-exposed, motion-blurred and all — to the group and prayed. So far, the response has been great and I still got a few shots I really liked. I’ve put my favorites in the slide show above. The full set of 36 frames is on my Flickr page.
All these photos were taken with a Nikon FM2 and a Nikon Ai-S 50mm f/2.0 lens; nearly all were at f/2. Kodak T-Max 400 film developed in Kodak HC-110E (47:1) for 7:45 min at 69 degrees Fahrenheit.