Grain? What Grain?

I am grateful to my friend and fellow photography enthusiast, Pjotr Utkin, without whom I would not have been writing this short article. Apart from putting me on to Spur HRX developer, he also gifted me a roll of Rollei Ortho 25 Plus before the dreaded virus hit. I never got around to using it during winter as I thought that such a slow film was unsuitable. Wrong!

Rollei Ortho 25 Plus is an orthochromatic film which is insensitive to red light and so renders reds as black and blues lighter. It is exceedingly high contrast and it is debatable whether it has any grain pattern whatsoever!

I shot it at 100 ISO – two f-stops higher than box speed. This was not a case of bravado on my part but based upon a published recommendation. Spur actually recommend shooting this film at 80 ISO.

For anyone tempted to try this combination of film and developer, I developed it for 11.5 minutes at 20 C. I continuously used inversion agitation for the first 30 seconds and the one inversion every minute thereafter.

As for the results, I will let you make up your own mind. However, I will just point out that the shot of the rubbish bins was a deliberate attempt to see how the film reacted to various colours. From left to right, the bins are coloured blue, yellow, blue and red. I also cropped the original image to just show the sign to give an indication of how sharp and grainless this film is.

Images shot with Kiev 60, Volna-3 and scanned with Epson V600.

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