Film photography is a niche within the photography universe, and black and white slides are a niche within a niche. I hadn’t tried them out until a few months ago, then on a whim I bought two rolls.
Adox Scala is available in two speeds, 160 and 50 – I tried to buy one of each speed but couldn’t find the 160 in stock so settled for two rolls of 50 speed.
It turns out that Adox Scala 50 is exactly the same film as Adox HR-50, but it is marketed with a different name to make it clear that it can be developed to black and white slides (or “reversal processed”). In the same manner, Adox Scala 160 is the same film as Adox Silvermax 100. This isn’t just an internet rumour, it is explained by the company owner on Youtube (the relevant segment starts at 26:54).
I chose to develop the first roll as slides, but I didn’t have the chemicals necessary to develop them myself, so I sent the roll to Silverpan Lab for processing. This is what they look like when received from the lab:
So here are a few examples of the results ….
A few of the shots were a little underexposed; a possible reason is that I failed to consider that a recoprity adjustment may be needed for shooting in the woods in dull weather. I couldn’t find reciprocity information for Scala 50, but the HR-50 data sheet gives the following brief summary:
I used the summary above to add the HR50 reciprocity information into the table I keep on my phone, together with the data for some other films:
Would I do it again ?
This question has two parts (a) would I shoot this film again, and (b) would I process it to slides again ?
I will definitely shoot this film again. The second roll which I purchased is still in camera, and in fact I’ve splashed out on a 100feet bulk roll of the film (labelled as HR50).
However, I’m not likely to process the rest of the film as slides – I will process them “normally” as negatives. The main reason is that I don’t really have a reason to use slides. I do have a slide projector but haven’t used it for a few years. I like to tweak my images in Lightroom, but projecting a slide means I’m limited to exactly how the image looks after processing.
Also, the few chemical kits available for reversal processing, are likely to have quite a short life so that I would need to save up 8 or so films to develop them at once. I’m already doing this with my Kodak Vision films for ECN processing, so I’d prefer a more immediate process for B&W.
However I’ve enjoyed the one-time novelty of getting B&W slides, and it’s helped me to find another film to add to my armoury.
PS all shots were taken with a Pentax ME Super and Pentax SMC 24-35 zoom lens.
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