Let’s travel back to the beginning of 2014, me and my friend Jonas had a discussion that we wanted some cheap and good film black and white film to shoot. After doing some research we ended up going for a black and white iso 50 called “Polystar Polypan F”, it is a cinema duplication film that doesn’t have an anti-halation layer. Hence, you get a dreamlike glow in your highlights, it is also sensitive to light piping so load the film in the dark!
Polylan F 50 also tends to be sensitive to scratches on the negatives, but that isn’t something I had too much trouble with after scanning the roll thanks to photoshop. The base iso is 50, I shoot my frames with one-stop push and develop as 100 and in one case accidentally shot a roll as 200, the film handles it wonderfully and hasn’t once let me down!
I like the results from the film, it’s a good amount of contrast, sharpness, highlights, mid-tones and generally gives me a pleasant look! The 152-meter big canister I got expired in 2015 but I made sure to cold store it in my fridge since I the film so no problems at all!
After getting the film, I realized I needed a way to bulk load the frames into 35mm canisters, and the bulk loader I own is limited to only 30 meters of film, so I needed a plan!
My solution was to go into a darkroom (my bathroom) and manually cut 36-ish frames by measuring them by using the length of my arms, making sure I don’t ruin my big source canister and working in the darkness. This method has worked great for me!
When I only had about 30 meters left, I tried loading it in my bulk loader, but I never became friends with it so put back the film into its big canister and continued with the darkroom and guess loading 36ish frames manually by hand method!
I prefer d76 stock and found that 9 minutes gives me good results on the negatives. I don’t remember how I found that time because the massive dev chart wasn’t too helpful when I was looking for development times. I guess I went with a number and 9 minutes won! I haven’t tried 1:100 or 1:50 standing development with Rodinal but I imagine it would work well too!
The Final 17 rolls
On August 31, 2022, I took the remaining meters of my dear friend the Polypan F 50 and loaded them into seventeen 35mm canisters, and with that finished a project that lasted me 9 years!
This then left me with a question: Will I continue bulk loading 35mm film? My current answer is no, I feel that I had a great amount of joy with the Polypan F 50 but it’s time to move on and with the way I shoot film. I can afford to get a good amount of rolls online or in stores that lasts me a good amount of time even with the prices of film going up and up, so I shall shoot like that for a while. It’s been a positive experience though.
A Selection of Frames Shot with Polypan F 50
In conclusion, I really like this film and I have created some great memories with it!