5 Frames… Around my Houston neighborhood on Adox CMS 20 II Pro (EI 20 / 35mm Format / Minolta X-700 + MD Rokkor 35mm f/2.8) – by Joseph Jacobs
Hi, my name is Joseph, and I am a recovering analog gear addict (a resounding “Hi Joseph” from the interwebs). Yes…back in 2017, at the beginning of my “analog journey”, I found myself obsessively buying all of the cheap film cameras that Etsy and eBay could offer. They simply looked cool (am I right here, folks?). Through the mountain of Minolta Hi-Matics, Zorkis and Lubitel throwaways shined a beacon. It was a Minolta X-700 given to me on my 38th birthday. From then on, no matter where I went, the X-700 went with me.
I enjoy the sharpness of the Rokkor lenses. So, it was no surprise that it was my choice to take on a little stroll around my neighborhood. I used my trusty MD Rokkor 35mm f/2.8. I had always favored the 50mm f/1.7, but I fell in love with the versatility of the 35mm focal length. It is now my go-to lens for most occasions. While the camera and lens were all too familiar, the film was quite foreign (literally).
My first time hearing about Adox was during an interview I conducted with the great Lina Bessonova. It just so happened that she was engaged to the owner, Mirko, and was testing out some of their stocks at the time. After our wonderful conversation, I decided to get my hands on some. I bought two rolls of Adox CMS 20 II Pro. It can be a little rough getting their products in the US.
Fortunately, I found some at B&H. This film, according to the package, is rated 12 ISO in full sun and 20 ISO in overcast conditions. It was a fairly cloudy day, so I opted to shoot at 20. Unfortunately, the X-700 only goes down to 25 ISO, so I stopped down a tad. In hindsight, I should have used my Minolta XE-7, as it is rated down to 12 ISO. Nonetheless, here are the results of my stroll around my Houston neighborhood.
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I had walked this area countless times. I tried to really embrace the low ISO and go for some moody compositions. I’m not sure why having this film in my camera gave me a new set of eyes, but I started seeing more and more opportunities. It was a really refreshing foray through a place I thought I had exhausted.
I developed the roll with Adox FX-39 and scanned with an Epson Perfection V500 Pro. I have to say, the clear base of this film creates a wonderful scan, and a really cool, contrasty look. I do enjoy contrast in my emulsions, but this stuff packs a punch! It is moody and almost cinematic, in a b-movie way that I really enjoy.
I have one more roll to shoot. This time, I’ll be using my XE-7. After shooting this film, I do want to try more Adox emulsions. Let’s hope to see more Adox products over here in the states! Happy shooting ya’ll!
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