I purchased a few unconventional rolls of film from the Film Photography Project store a while back. One weekend recently I decided to load one of these rolls into a Canonet QL17 GIII I was trying out. It was a 24 exposure roll of Eastman 5363, a high contrast black and white film. This is a copy film, used for copying titles and mats in motion picture films according to the FPP site. From what what I'd read, I was hopeful I could get a nice contrasty "noir" look. I loaded up the Canonet and headed to my favorite nearby photography testing grounds in downtown Taylor, TX.
Well, I can say that this high contrast film certainly lives up to that description. I shot in a variety of settings, from harsh daylight to open shade. In the right light, this film looks great and gives a fantastic noir look. The camera I used didn't have a working meter so I ball parked things with the sunny 16 rule. What I found is that the dynamic range of this film is very limited. Shadows and, more importantly, highlights are easily lost in bright sunlight or on anything reflective. Normally, I'd use a yellow or orange filter to help tame sunlight but this was advised against by the folks at FPP. Keep the light a little flat like in open shade and the results are impressive.
My film was developed and scanned by the friendly folks at Austin Camera. Here are a few of my favorite frames.
This is some interesting film stock and I'll definitely order more. I was hoping it would do a little better in bright daylight. Perhaps better results could be had with different development chemistry or pulling the development time down a bit. I'd like to see how well it does on an overcast day and early evening. At ASA 25, this slow film would become a challenge at night without a tripod. I'd be up for trying it out though. Working with some limitations, this film has promise for giving me that noir fix.