linhof technika iv 6x9 | xenar 105mm/f3.5 | kodak electron so-163 6.5x9cm

These portraits were taken two months ago, on a sunny November evening. I was hoping for overcast skies and a lot of clouds, but the weather tricked me (yet again). I wasn't inspired by the extreme sunshine, but I decided to give the Linhof a chance - it has been gathering dust since the arrival of the Speed Graphic and I am sorry for it (but really, what can you do? after seeing an image through a 10x12.5cm ground glass, its 6.5x9 counterpart feels like a toy). I had some film holders loaded up with Kodak Electron SO-163, and I decided to use them instead of loading up the 6x7 film back.

Purchased a hundred sheets of this film almost a year ago - it is originally intended to be used with microscopes, its emulsion is blue-sensitive and its sensitivity is something like 25-50 ASA. It has a very thick polyester base and it's quite fine-grained, although its resolving power is nothing to write home about.

Being in sheet-film format, it's easier to use than the 6x7 back of the Linhof; moreover, it covers the full 6.5x9 this camera can offer. The sheets also fit a standard 120-size reel, so they're easy to develop. Finding precise development times wasn't easy, I started off with the times given for the ortho/pan low ASA films and I fine-tuned by observing the results.

It's not an easy film to use on poor lighting conditions, but it's good enough when the light is fine and you can get an acceptable shutter speed. Using the smaller film holders is certainly enjoyable, and it's a shame I can't find a "normal" film for them - the big companies don't support the 6.5x9cm size any more.

I'm into view camera portraiture lately - it totally rocks my boat. Soon the Linhof will be getting the attention it deserves.