I've been spending a lot of time lately experimenting with several 35mm rangefinders from the former Soviet union. My goal is to have a traditional film based solution for street photography that is affordable and fun and produces results that I can be happy with. So far I have been pretty unhappy with much of the grain produced by the scans of the B&W negatives I've shot. Most of the results have not been a nice, gritty, traditional grain but rather looking more like it was shot through a screen door badly in need of repair. I can deal with grain in street photos but I need to draw the line when it makes faces almost unrecognizable. The photo below has been one of the few acceptable shots from the initial set of experiments.
I have a few more rounds of testing to do in the coming weeks that will eliminate some variables and add some others and hopefully I can get things to work so that I can have a solution for shooting in the neighborhood of ISO 400, F8 at at least 1/500th second shutter speed under metered light of EV 12*ish* and a pleasing amount of grain without an ugly grain structure. I will worry about pushing to ISO 1600 for shooting in dimmer light later and for that I have an Ilford Microphen based solution waiting.
Ultimately I may just say screw it and sell some of my other gear to fund a Fuji X100T digital kit for street shooting and be done with it but I want to let this 35mm film rangefinder experiment play out to its conclusion before allowing digital solutions to creep back into my workflow again.
Fed 2d 35mm Soviet era (1950's) rangefinder camera with an Industar-61 LD 55mm F2.8 lens.
Ilford HP5+ shot at ISO 400.
1/500th second at F11.
Developed in Pyrocat HD at 1:1:100 dilution for 15 minutes @ 20 degrees Celsius in Paterson 3 reel tank. 30 seconds initial inversions followed by 5 seconds of inversions every 30 seconds.
Negative scanned with Epson V600.