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Friday, 29 November 2013

Ye old R3

Out of date R3
Over recent times I have had the tidying up bug  including a good rummage round in my film cupboard where I discovered four rolls of film. Nothing remarkable in that, I hear you say! However what I came across were two rolls of Rollie retro 100 and two rolls of R3, tucked away in a corner! I know! very out of date unless your name is Mitch in which case they are reaching maturity. It is strange how things come together. I recently posted a very grainy picture of a surfer dramatically falling off his board to illustrate how grainy things can get if you do not process your negs correctly. The film used to take the picture is the late lamented Rollie R3. If I had used the film with a fine grain developer the 1600 ISO negatives would have been a lot smoother.

R3 used at 400 ISO
When available it was advertised as a variable ISO film ranging from 50 to 3200 The idea of a ultra fast film is what encouraged me to purchase some. It took a little while for me to find a suitable subject to test it out on. By chance I was walking along the coastal footpath into Croyd Bay with an empty camera.  So I loaded the R3 set 1600 ISO and spent an hour or so taking pictures of surfers as the sun went down.

R3 used at 400 ISO
I cannot believe that it was 2009 that I last used the R3 and then at 400 ISO, having learnt my lesson previously, I used a fine grain developer. You could not of hoped for a finer set of negatives, they were that smooth it looked as though they had been sprayed on to the film back.


I don't use fast films a lot as I like bright sunny days with lots of contrast. It just so happens I was recently given the imaging warehouses catalogue and while thumbing through it I noticed they stocked Rollie 400s, which got me thinking  how would it compare to the old R3? There is only one way to find out!