NOTE: I’ll begin this experience report with a brief disclaimer. It’s been less than a year since I’ve returned to shooting 35mm film after switching to digital photography over 20 years ago. I’ve inundated myself in as much film education as I could find between web articles and advice from experienced film shooters. But, with my former experience way in the past and limited recent experience, this review is coming from a relative novice point of view.
Last December, on a cold (2ºC), overcast and damp day, I ventured into Princeton on a personal photo walk. I wanted to complete a roll of Rollei RPX 25 that had sat in my Minolta X-700 for several months. I explored the homes and other buildings along Witherspoon Street and Leigh Avenue. The sky was filled with grey clouds give me a “softbox” lumination. Exposing the ISO 25 film was a challenge given the lighting conditions, but fortunately, I had a tripod. I alternated using my Fuji X-T2 with the XF27mmF2.8 lens (~ 41mm FOV) and the X-700 with the Minolta MD-Rokkor-X 45mm F2 lens.
The images sat around in my Adobe Lightroom catalogue, and I rediscovered them today. I shot the roll at box speed. The roll was developed and scanned by an old school camera store New Jersey Camera and One Hour Photo. When I saw the display case full of 1970-1980s classic film cameras, I knew I had found something special. The only camera store in the area filled with more nostalgia is New York Camera in Princeton.
While I love slower 35mm film for the fine grain, I was disappointed with the results from Rollei RPX 25. I blame myself, not the film stock. I should have waited for a sunnier day and used a balance on my tripod. I have to correct the horizontal perspective for all of the images. And on a very sunny day, I may not even need a tripod.
- Type: Panchromatic B&W Negative Film
- Base: Polyester (PE)
- Film Speed: ASA-25, with a Latitude between ASA-12 and ASA-50
- Formats Available: 35mm/120/4×5