Film recipe: Kentmere 400 pushed 1 stop + Kodak D76


Recipe: Kentmere 400 (35mm, pushed 1 stop) + Kodak D76
Developer: Kodak D76
  • Dilution: 1+1
  • Time: 17:00
  • Temperature: 20C, 68F
  • Agitations: 60 seconds, then four rotations every minute
  • Kodak Stop Bath
  • Time: 2:00
  • Ilford Rapid Fixer
  • Time: 3:00
  • Shot at EI 800, pushed one stop in development. Tried to be gentle with the agitation to keep grain down but I'm not really sure that makes a difference.

Juice break

I had never shot anything from Kentmere but because it was cheap and available on Prime, I took a chance. I’ve read some people who say it’s repackaged HP5 (which Ilford says it doesn’t do) and others who say it’s repackaged Fomapan. Whatever the case, it’s a budget film that I was reasonably sure I could push one stop without it falling apart, image quality-wise. (I would have pushed it to 1600 but my Canonet’s meter only works up to 800 and I’m not confident enough to shoot in low light without a meter.)

Downtown corner

Developing this was fairly standard. I went with the Massive Dev Chart’s recommendation of 17:00 but I maybe went over by 30 seconds or so. I tried to be careful with agitation, going back and forth between inverting and using the stick. I honestly don’t know if this makes a difference –I’m starting to think it doesn’t– but I don’t have enough data to make a decision.

Fire station no. 6

In terms of shooting, I did enjoy getting out in low light. The only time I seriously screwed up was in the above photo that I shot in pretty bright light. I had forgotten I was pushing the film and when I pulled the camera out to take the shot the meter basically told me to knock it off. Even with a shutter speed of 1/500 at f16 it would be overexposed. I took the picture anyway and had to do a little work in scanning and LightRoom to make it work.

Night Court

This shot might be my favorite (although the header image is pretty good, too). It wasn’t as dark out as the shot might make you think; it was probably right at sunset, at the last moments of the golden hour. I exposed for the brightest area of the court, hoping to get that and the sky just right, knowing that some of the shadows would be pure black. I really like the result.

Pedestrian bridge

All in all, I like Kentmere 400. Given that it was a few dollars cheaper than other B&w films I think I’ll use it again. What it really got me excited for, though, is shooting a roll of Tri-X at 1600 or 3200.