Shooting Color and Black and White Film… At the Same Time

There are lots of loopy concepts on the market on the subject of experimental pictures. A number of exposures. Movie Soups. Capturing your rolls backward. However have you ever ever heard of anyone loading two rolls of movie right into a digital camera on the similar time? Me neither, and that’s precisely why I’m going to do it!

The thought in a nutshell is to determine a strategy to get a coloration roll and a black and white roll of 35mm movie loaded into my Nikon F3 so that every press of the shutter exposes each movies on the similar time. After they have been developed I may probably stack or layer the developed negatives for a cool impact. Hopefully.

Going into this experiment I figured I’d have some issues to resolve. The primary could be getting the right publicity for the again roll as a result of the sunshine has to not solely expose the entrance roll but additionally journey by means of the entrance roll to reveal the second roll behind it. After discovering out how a lot mild discount happens when it travels by means of movie, I’ll offset every movie’s iso to match nevertheless many stops I would like.

One other apparent drawback is that movie cameras are designed to deal with one roll at a time, and nicely, that’s not what I’m doing right here. So going into this I anticipated some binding points, or perhaps even some ripped movie. It’s price noting that the winder on the F3 is so diesel I’ve torn movie leaders off a single roll earlier than not to mention including the extra resistance of two rolls.

Lastly, I assumed that doing this is able to mess with the picture sharpness of each the back and front rolls in some capability. Sandwiching two movies right into a digital camera will transfer the entrance movie barely out of alignment from the aircraft of focus, and the again movie will likely be obstructed by the entrance roll probably delivering mush photographs.

So let’s simply set the bar good and low right here; do I anticipate tack-sharp photos? Nope. If I come away with a couple of frames that have been lined up and uncovered all through, I’ll take into account {that a} win.

Loading the Two Rolls

If cramming two rolls of movie into one canister sounds actually awkward and like an enormous ache, you’d be proper. It’s.

I attempted a couple of other ways of getting each movies rolled into one canister. I figured the easiest way to stop the 2 sandwiched movies from getting caught when advancing was to verify the perimeters lined up completely. Doing this at the hours of darkness could be practically not possible, so I needed to give you a strategy to begin the rolls into the canister with the lights on.

Training connecting two sections collectively.

What I ended up doing was utilizing an empty canister to switch the roll of Fujicolor 200 into briefly whereas nonetheless hooked up to its personal canister. This non permanent switch was performed in a darkish closet so the movie wasn’t ruined, however then I may entry the top of the Fujicolor’s roll within the mild to line up and tape on the second movie. This different roll could be T-Max P3200 black and white, and when within the digital camera will likely be positioned behind the roll of Fujicolor 200, in opposition to the strain plate.

After every part was lined up and taped collectively, I went again into the darkish closet and wound as a lot of the 2 movies into the one canister as I may match and reduce off the surplus. Utilizing this technique I used to be capable of load about 20 frames into the canister utilizing two 36-exposure rolls. Surprisingly, turning the spindle with two back-to-back rolls was a bit stiff, however not not possible.

Connecting the 2 rolls collectively.

With each movies loaded into one cassette, it took a couple of makes an attempt to get the chief proper. At first, I attempted reducing a double-leader beginning each movies on the winder, however that ended up creating a niche on the advancing spindle and a ripple between the movies. What ended up working was reducing the rear movie chief off straight and taping it simply behind the opposite chief of the entrance roll.

The explanation I selected to place the colour movie within the entrance and the black and white movie in the direction of the again is that I believed this is able to ship a greater finish consequence. I wouldn’t have to fret about coloration shifting like I might have if the sunshine traveled by means of the black-and-white roll first.

OK, so the digital camera is loaded, and the arduous half is full!

There Had been Some Failures

After some preliminary assessments with my mild meter, I measured a couple of 3-stop mild discount by means of movie.

For my first try, I grabbed a roll of Kodak Ultramax 400 and Fomapan 400 to stack. To get my 3-stop distinction between the movies I made a decision to shoot the Ultramax at field pace and pull the roll of Fomapan (Holga) to iso 50.

Sadly, this primary run turned out to be a bust. Whereas the colour Ultramax photographs turned out superb, the black and white roll didn’t have any photographs uncovered. It appears to be like like I would wish extra mild to make it by means of the entrance roll of movie.

Kodak Ultramax 400 at ISO 400
Kodak Ultramax 400 at ISO 400
Kodak Ultramax 400 at ISO 400

I can see from the publicity on the Fomapan negatives that there was positively a problem with the 2 movies not staying flat or aligning correctly within the digital camera as nicely.

Fomapan 400 at ISO 50
Fomapan 400 at ISO 50
Fomapan 400 at ISO 50

Let’s Attempt This Once more

Okay, so spherical two. I wanted extra mild to hit the again movie so I elevated the iso distinction between the back and front movies. This time I used a roll of Fujicolor 200 and Kodak T-Max P3200. I rated these photographs at 100, overexposing the Fujicolor barely whereas growing the roll of T-Max at 3200.

To repair the binding concern, I in the reduction of the rear movie so there was just one starter chief (the Fujicolor) getting superior by the sprocket wheel. I believe the issue was that when each movies have been hooked up to the winder it was making a bow and an area between the back and front rolls.

After loading and capturing 18 frames of the Fujicolor/T-Max rolls I used to be completely happy to see this time was successful! Type of…

Fujicolor 200 at ISO 100
Fujicolor 200 at ISO 100
Fujicolor 200 at ISO 100
Kodak T-Max P3200 at ISO 3200
Kodak T-Max P3200 at ISO 3200
Kodak T-Max P3200 at ISO 3200

With this try once more the entrance roll of coloration movie got here out superb, however now with a 5-stop distinction between the 2 rolls I had precise photographs on the again roll of black and white. These photographs have been nonetheless a number of stops under a “right” publicity, however nonetheless, they got here by means of!

Within the sharpness division, I didn’t see that a lot of a distinction within the Fuji photographs, however the T-Max was a unique story. There was important blurring mixed with extreme blotchiness of the grain from underexposure. Mainly, the black-and-white photographs seemed like I used to be like capturing a pinhole picture with out utilizing a pinhole digital camera.

Additionally, I used to be given a pleasant reminder that I would like to alter the door seals on my F3…

A blurry scorching mess with no shadow element? Seems to be avant-garde to me!

Combining the Photographs

To merge the 2 negatives in Photoshop I stacked them collectively as layers after which used the rework software to get the alignment as shut as I may. I positioned the colour layer on high and adjusted the mix mode to “coloration” to composite the pictures collectively.

The ‘coloration’ mix mode in Photoshop ignores variations in luminosity between your adjustment layer and your base layer so it transfers the colour from the Fuji damaging onto the T-Max damaging, similar to it will have been contained in the digital camera.

Fujicolor 200
T-Max P3200
Merged picture

Nevertheless, as a result of the T-Max photographs have been underexposed, immediately merging the 2 movies decreased the general brightness. The shadow areas seemed a bit bizarre and mushy from making use of coloration on high of one thing that had no element.

I obtained a significantly better consequence utilizing among the contrast-based mix modes as a result of they modify the luminosity of the merged photographs. ‘Smooth mild’ seemed much like the ‘coloration’ mix mode when merging the 2 movies however helped even out the distinction in exposures between the 2 rolls. ‘Pin mild’ and ‘Arduous mild’ mix modes created one thing that nearly jogged my memory of a cross-processed picture.

Fujicolor 200
T-Max P3200
Coloration mix mode
Arduous mild mix mode
Pin mild mix mode
Smooth mild mix mode

Another choice I attempted that seemed attention-grabbing was not utilizing mix modes however simply adjusting the opacity of the colour layer all the way down to about 50%.

Fujicolor 200
T-Max P3200
Coloration merged at 50% opacity.

Going Ahead

After I was initially planning this experiment I puzzled if the ultimate stacked photographs would create some type of neat separation or 3D impact. Whereas the approach didn’t ship good outcomes that soar out of the body I’d nonetheless take into account it successful.

It’s price noting that there’s in all probability a extra technical strategy to go about doing this, however I get pleasure from tinkering round and simply messing with issues till they work. A giant a part of the enjoyable for me with any movie experiment is all about trial and error.

After all, there’s nonetheless loads of room for enchancment right here, however after just some makes an attempt, I’m capable of get photographs on each rolls with out them jamming up the digital camera. In order that’s an superior start line in my e book.

Concerning the creator: Chris Kuhn is a photographer and YouTuber who creates content material about movie pictures. Yow will discover extra of his work on his website, Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram. This text was additionally printed here.

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