Tag: ADOX CMS 20

Taming Contrast

Adox CMS 20 II is basically a high contrast ultra fine grain microfilm stock that can be used as a continuous tone film when developed with special developers. The main developer for this film (Adotech) tends to be expensive so photographers are always looking for other options. In this case I tried Rollei RLC Low contrast developer, itself not cheap but I had some around. It was a very bright day, almost unfair for this film but I did get some usable images.

Voigtlander Bessa R2M, 35mm/f.17 Voigtlander Ultron lens
Adox CMS 20 II film, Rollei RLC Low Contrast developer,
1+19 15 minutes @ 24 C

Note: Check out my latest episode of MPP (My Photography Podcast) where I talk with urban explorer photographer Giovanni Geo Romolo!

Formalism is Where You Find It

Last Saturday in Milton I was struck by the geometric patterns of the pipes etc. on this wall, with the bright sunlight and contrasty film throwing them into stark relief.

CMs 20 Rollie LC008

Canon P Rangefinder, 35mm/2.5 Voigtlander Skopar lens
Adox CMS 20 II film, developed on Rollei RLC Developer


The low sun of a Canadian winter can make for some interesting shadows.

CMs 20 Rollie LC021

Canon P 35mm rangefinder, 35mm/2.5 Voigtlander Skopar lens
Adox CMS 20 II film, developed in Rollei RLC Low Contrast Developer,
1+4 for 6 minutes @ 20 C

Take What the Light Gives You

Yesterday morning was quite gloomy from a lighting perspective in Toronto, so I had to adjust my shooting plans accordingly.  I decided to have another go with a roll of Adox CMS 20 film. This film is basically a super high contrast micro-film, which can provide conventional tonality when developed with specific developers, and/or specific development techniques that can tame the contrast. I developed this roll using Diafine two-bath developer, 3 minutes in each solution. One challenge is the fact that the dull light that made the contrast tameable also made for challenging exposures: this film is very low speed, and I was shooting at E.I. 20, which meant shooting with the lens wide open-much of the time.

Old Railway in the Don Valley

(Nikon F3 35mm SLR, 28mm/2.8 Nikkor Wide-Angle lens)

Early Morning

It was sometime between 7:30 and 8:00, walking along the Rideau Canal in Ottawa on a Sunday morning during PAB 2012 weekend. It was clear and bright, with the promise of a warm day ahead, but with early morning stillness upon the water.

Ottawa Adox 20 CMS012

Young and Old

Today’s image of a new young model is from my Vintage 35mm project — using old rangefinder cameras for portraits with a vintage feel. For this photograph I used my 1939 vintage Leica IIIb body, with a 50mm Summitar f2 lens. As I was using a very slow film (E.I. 20 Adox CMS 20 film) even though it was a bright sunny day I was shooting wide open at f2, for a nice swirly effect in the background.

naima 034

Trying a Fine Grain Film

I’ve been shooting more 35mm lately (in addition to medium format), and of course with the smaller negative, grain becomes more of a reality. One can either embrace the grain, or try super fine grain film. For today’s image it is the latter: it was made using Adox CMS 20 film (with a speed of ISO 20, so it is very slow and wants a lot of light). It’s basically high contrast microfilm stock, but developed with a special developer to allow continuous tones. This type of film requires some taming, but I love the look! I used my Leica IIIb and a 50mm lens for the image, taken in Guild Park, Scarborough, Ontario Canada.

Guild Park, Toronto, Ontario