Photos & Projects

One Rainy Night in SF – Nikon F3HP + Kodak TRI-X pushed to 3200 – By Benjamin Fargen

August 24, 2019

May 18, 2019 – I decided to accompany my teenage son and his friend on a trip down to San Francisco. They had tickets to see Mac DeMarco perform at the Bill Graham Civic auditorium and had never navigated the BART transit system…so I went along for moral support. My goal was to get them to the front door of the concert hall and then head out for some early evening street photography with my trusty Nikon F3HP + 50mm f1.8. Much to my chagrin, the forecast called for a single solitary evening of rain in what was an otherwise mostly dry May.

Because the evening was so much darker than I could have imagined, I decided at that moment to see about pushing the boundaries of Kodak TRIX 400. After some test metering in the area I was going to photograph in, I decided I was going to go “The Full Monty” and push the roll to 3200. I wandered around the streets that rainy San Francisco night, running between covered awnings in an attempt to stay dry while looking for interesting light sources. The most intriguing moments materialized in the form of boutique shop windows, car headlights and cozy café windows framing warm dry patrons.

My Nikon F3HP was a good choice of camera that night, as it has never let me down regardless of the weather or other plenty of abuses it has taken in travel & transit (ask me sometime about it a cam strap ring coming loose and it hitting the asphalt full tilt in Malibu, CA) If you are looking for a rock solid every day 35mm workhorse, you can’t beat the functionality ,ergonomics and of course the wonderful selection of vintage & new Nikkor lenses.

I was pleasantly surprised when I receive the pushed 3200 film scans back a few weeks later from the fine folks at the darkroom.com. The frames had plenty of detail and I rather liked the drastic separation between true whites and blacks with radically diminished gray tones. These frames represent my favorites of the 2 hour evening session. I definitely won’t hesitate to push Kodak Trix 400 anytime I need to In the future… and neither should you.

Photo’s of my Nikon F3HP were shot with a Leica Q (28mm f1.7)
Benjamin Fargen is photographer & documentary filmmaker living in Sacramento, CA
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11 Comments

  • Reply
    David Smith
    August 24, 2019 at 2:24 pm

    You mention sending the Tri-X to “darkroom.com” which seems to be in the custom PCB field. I have quite a backlog of film waiting to be developed in my bathroom and am tempted to mail it off somewhere – did you mean “thedarkroom.com” by any chance?

  • Reply
    benjaminfargen
    August 24, 2019 at 3:36 pm

    Hi David,

    Yes…www.thedarkroom.com is correct.
    They do fantastic work. I highly recommend them.

    All the best,
    Benjamin Fargen

  • Reply
    Brian
    August 24, 2019 at 4:00 pm

    I think the correct site is

    https://thedarkroom.com/

    “darkroom.com” is a printed circuit design shop,

    This is like on Taxi, do you mean the darkroom.com or thedarkroom,com… (Blue Berries or Blueberries)

  • Reply
    Ashley Carr
    August 24, 2019 at 7:59 pm

    I found your post refreshing in that you actually pushed your film because the situation called for it instead of the ‘I always push film because that’s what you do when you start shooting film’ crowd.

    Enjoyed the write up and the photos.

    • Reply
      benjaminfargen
      August 24, 2019 at 8:06 pm

      Thanks for the kind words.

      I’m glad you enjoyed the post.

      All the best,
      Benjamin Fargen

  • Reply
    eric
    August 24, 2019 at 9:12 pm

    Hiiii Benjamin,
    Great, wonderful photographs : really love them. Really they carry some thing rich. The camera is a wonderful machine and the Trix-X especially pushed give a fantastic touch.
    Whaouuuu very very beautiful, there is art and emotion in these photographs. I would say despite I ama Leica user (M3 black 1965) and of course Nikon user (so great camera and lenses), that we do not need a Leica to make good photographs (sometimes a very good Leica CL is better than some M) : all is in the talent of the artist.

    • Reply
      benjaminfargen
      August 24, 2019 at 10:20 pm

      Hi Eric,
      Thank you for taking the time to check out the post and comment. I love my 1969 Leicaflex SL as well…but I think I have a favorite camera from almost every different manufacture made…none is better to me…only a different tool for a different job.
      All the best!
      Benjamin Fargen

  • Reply
    Huss
    August 26, 2019 at 3:47 am

    Really nice pics. Unlike you I cannot recommend thedarkroom.com. They have screwed up my film way too many times that I stopped using them.
    I use thefindlab.com or northcoastphoto.com, neither of which have ever messed up my film. And both give excellent results.

    • Reply
      benjaminfargen
      August 26, 2019 at 5:15 pm

      Thanks for the feedback! Always good to have options regarding development..thanks for the info!
      All the best,
      Benjamin

  • Reply
    Returning to film with a fun, compact, affordable and easy to use Nikon FE - By Daniel Sigg - 35mmc
    November 26, 2019 at 10:00 am

    […] I do admit suffering from GAS, hopefully not the delusional one! And I did order a Nikon F3 as well. I can’t wait to compare it to the FE and my digital […]

    • Reply
      benjaminfargen
      November 27, 2019 at 4:36 pm

      You certainly won’t regret it. One of Nikon’s most legendary professional designs for sure…probably used by more pros around the world than we could list on this entire page.

      Enjoy!
      Benjamin

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