5 frames with...

5 Frames With Eastman 5222 at EI1600 – By Hern Tan

March 22, 2020

You already know the drill: Bulk loaded film in canisters of wildly varying DX codes, lack of markings anywhere on the back plate indicating the film stock born out of pure hubris and laziness, and a meter set to the entirely wrong ISO.

Eastman 5222 is my fair weather film, great for tropical noons where the sun just tries its darnest to scorch off whatever skin you are foolish enough to leave exposed. Normally, the HP5 at EI 1600 takes over when night falls. 

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The Contax G2 is a camera I have yet to come to truly love, and this lack of connection ultimately led to it being mothballed in favor of more mechanical companions for the daily road. No time in the hand, consequently, led to forgetting many things – including remembering to change settings when I swapped out the film stock after a night session. You can probably imagine my absolute frustration when I was done with the roll and out came the leader. Kodak 5222, 35 EXP. Bloody hell.

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To work, then. 35 exposures is still a good chunk of my time shooting, and I wasn’t about to let all of that go to waste. But EI250 to EI1600 is quite the leap, and from preliminary Googling, neither Kodak nor Massive Dev Chart had anything helpful to my headache. 5222 isn’t the most fine grained film stock around, and a push of nearly 3 stops was not going to help with a classic emulsion from the ‘70s. 

20% additional developing time for every stop pushed was the approach I ended up taking, with tightly crossed fingers and an additional minute chucked in for good measure. HC-110 at Dilution B had been pretty idiot-proof so far, and so it was the obvious choice for the rescue mission. Almost 16 minutes of developing time. Hmmm.

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I’m pretty pleased to report that the grain size is very manageable, with plenty of shadow detail for me to play around in post processing. Highlights do seem a bit more blown out than usual, though luckily for me, that roll was mostly shot in the shade (pushing for low light and all). It’s done really well to stand up to the challenge, and it has certainly given me some reassurance that both of my daily emulsions are quite comfortable to be pushed as hard as needed. 

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Catch me over at Instagram for a semi-regular trickle of my stuff, and here for some more writing by me. Until next time, Hern.

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