#1 [Pollux] Neopan 400 & Rodinal

#1 | Pollux | Neopan 400 | Rodinal 1+25

Neopan 400 -1 EV
Rodinal 1+25 7,5 min.
Nikon F5
28mm, 180mm, 300mm


Fixer disintegrated! The Calbe A300 in a standard plastic bottle suddenly smelled like ammonia and looked like granulated chalk, unfortunately this went unnoticed by me, so I spreaded the decrement all over the film. Heavily restored with Photoshop. Felt like tidying up the Milky Way. I shall get two glass bottles for the two bath fixing process. Felt the urge to start again, didn’t like the pictures first, developed two other films with some pictures of 2016 (but the films were from the last weeks of 2015), but then again, I decided to save them. Not necessarily important pictures, and until late spring not the kind of pictures I’d like to try again. So, having done them once is okay, but with regard to contents, I’d rather like to move on. The other two rolls should be fine, maybe I can update week #1 with some fresh material.


These featured pictures were made on 2016-1-1. Underexposed, Neopan looks gritty, but it can get this Crayon look with Rodinal, especially in diffused, hazy daylight with objects in a distance.


The first one was a standard shot, but it was 6.30 a.m. – a soldier getting some sleep after New Year’s Eve. The remaining party crowd occasionally got into the trains or headed into the dark morning.



Muddy light after dawn, but then the sun took over for half an hour. The rest of the day remained foggy.




Right where the old Hohenzollern Castle (Stadtschloss) was blasted by the GDR government, Germany decided to build up a second one for some kind of public purposes. During Christmas and for the first days of 2016, on the top of the new roof (still a building lot) there’s a Christmas tree installed.


I like the lighter texture in the haze, and of course it has nothing to do with Luigi Ghirri, but somehow I feel a connection to his Crayon style.


The (very) old center of Berlin doesn’t really exist anymore at the Fischerinsel (Fishermen’s Island), but the Nikolaikirche is the oldest church you’ll find in Berlin (built around 1250). I like the packed perspective, framed with a 70-300.

There were several other shots, but I’ll leave it like that with two last pictures:


These two photographs may be worth a try in Baryta in the wet lab, but I don’t think the negatives can be saved. Conclusion: Make new ones!


Pollux on 52rolls:

34 thoughts on “#1 [Pollux] Neopan 400 & Rodinal

    • An unfortunate moment to experience this for the first time, but it got worse: Yesterday I lost the pen of my tablet interface for the Photoshop retouching. So I had to work on the photos with a notchy mouse which at least doubled the amount of time I would usually need for a work like this. If I were a prisoner, I’d gladly take up the challenge to restore all the frames. I washed them three times and even took the Kodak Hydro Agent out of the dusty shelf. Meanwhile the negative is full of marks and scratches and … on top of that, chalk prints as well.

      All in all, this felt like a divine trial, one of the kind that makes you continue with more humility.


  1. Very nice – the last one is great. I don’t feel so bad now about taking so many photographs of Parisian parks film in poor light. Berlin at times can have such a strange atmosphere. I understand now that it was a good idea to change my fixer last week (I too have been plagued by stars and suspected it was coming from the fixer…) 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Cheers to Paris! Spent a great week in 10e in April (Rue Faubourg de St. Martin) with the family.
      When wandering around at Canal St. Martin at dusk or in the early hours at La Villette, people looked interested, one man even asked m about the camera in a supermarket, telling me about the merits of it and the ability to take pictures of the blue hour, when natural light and artificial light blend together in a gentle way.

      The atmosphere here in Berlin has been a little harsh, even though Winter refused to enter the scene until today. Grey is the color now, and it is expected to stay like this until April. But now the cold breezes are giving us shivers comme-il-faut.


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