About a year after I purchased the M3, a good friend jokingly chastised me that I needed a proper Leica lens for a Lecia body. My half-joking response to him was, “What do you have for sale?” And that’s when I purchased 50mm Summarit f/1.5 lens from him. While it’s not known as the best piece of Leica glass, I still stand by a quote from photographer Scott Bourne, “Ninety-nine percent of the lenses are better than 100% of photographers.” While it would be nice to have a Summicron f/2 Rigid that was made around the same period as the M3. I think my budget is going to stick with the Summarit for now.
The following images were shot on my second roll of Ferrania P30 Alpha. This film that was created by Ferrania a few years back to fund new film and appease Kickstarter backers. You can read my original post about it here. Again, this film has a lot of contrast that can lend itself to specific subjects.
Camera: Leica M3 (1959) single stroke with Leica Meter MR and 50mm Summarit f/1.5 lens
Film: Ferrania P30 Alpha ISO 80
Process: Kodak HC-110 (1+31) 5 Min @ 68°
Scanned: Epson V700 Photo
The resurrection of Italy’s Film Ferrania from 2014 is an ongoing process. While preparing for full scale production of their 100 ASA color reversal film products, they’ve released an 80 ISO panchromatic black & white motion picture film for still photography. P30 is based on Ferrania’s high silver content film from the 1960’s. The film was released as an Alpha product in limited quantities, giving Kickstarter backers the option to change their backing to P30 film, wait for the color film, or keep the color film and purchase P30 early at a discount.
I kept my original backing, purchased the max limit of 5 rolls, and decided to develop the film myself. While placing the film on a Patterson reel, the edges of the film at the sprockets cracked, twice. This is what I expect from old film, not new. And though Ferrania has published and updated a data sheet of best practices for developing this film, there still seems to be a bit of guesswork involved. I developed mine in Kodak D-76 with a dilution of 1:1 for 13 minutes at 20° C. After developing, I found that this film scratches very easy. And it’s almost impossible to determine which side of the film is the emulsion side, making scanning difficult. My resulting images are high contrast, like I’ve seen online from other photographers. Keeping that in mind, I knew what I was getting into with an alpha product. These are the best that came from my 36-exposure roll.
Camera: Olympus OM-1N MD (1979)
Film: Ferrania P30 Alpha
Process: Kodak D-76 (1+1) 13:00 @ 20 C
Scanner: Epson Perfection V600 Photo