As an avid follower of the fabulous Emulsive film photography website’s updates, interviews, and Twittering, I recently read his “roll call” post regarding 52 rolls in 52 weeks projects. The idea of shooting and sharing one roll of film per week did not originate with the enigmatic Emulsive, but from a Flickr post in 2012. German film aficionado Urban Hafner subsequently set up the site 52rolls.org and has hosted the projects of numerous contributors since 2013.
This was the first time I’d heard of the project or exercise. I’m fairly certain I average at least a roll per week of film in my ongoing photographic activities, but mostly load film and shoot it in my various cameras in fairly haphazard fashion. The concept of 52 rolls in 52 weeks really appealed to me as a way to perhaps lend some structure or organization to my personal photography and maybe try a few new things.
I decided I wanted to take on such a project, but before diving into such an undertaking – or even getting in touch with Urban about being an official participant via his fine site – I wanted to establish some ground rules to guide the proceedings. As I enjoy shooting everything from 135 film to 4×5 format in black and white and colour, and everything from pinhole and plastic cameras to sharp glass on high resolution DSLRs, I thought it would be nice to follow a seasonal approach, mixing formats along the way.
Here is the structure for my own 52 rolls project:
First Quarter (Last Week of Dec. 2015 – March 2016)
Kodak 250D Only
The full name of this emulsion, which along with its tungsten balanced twin, Kodak Vision 3 500T/5219 can likely be credited with keeping Kodak’s film division alive, is Kodak Vision 3 250D, or just Kodak 5207. I have been shooting this film for around four years since being introduced to movie film for use in still cameras by a member of the National Taiwan University Photography Club. For 135 format film 250D quickly emerged as my favorite colour emulsion, whilst Eastman 5222, AKA Double X, is also a motion picture emulsion (see the opening pre-title scene of the 2006 James Bond Casino Royale movie, shot on Eastman 5222) and is my favorite black and white film.
For this project, I’ll develop Kodak 250D at home as black and white in HC-110 solution or send it to a professional lab to develop as colour in C41 chemicals.
If you’re interested in motion picture film in general, or specifically for use in still cameras, I highly recommend subscribing to the Kodak Motion Picture Film Twitter feed @Kodak_ShootFilm.
Second Quarter (April – June 2016)
I own one dedicated pinhole camera, the multi-format Zero Image 612B, which takes 120 roll film and can be configured to make 6×4.5, 6×6, 6×9 or 6×12 images. I also have a Holga pinhole lens that can be attached to any Nikon mount SLR or DSLR, and a 4×5 format Travelwide camera that can be configured as a pinhole.
Third Quarter (July – September 2016)
6×7 format 120 film only
At present I have two 6×7 format cameras, a Mamiya RB67 and a Pentax 67. Both are venerable cameras that more than pull their own quite substantial weight in image quality, thanks to some fabulous lenses in each line.
Fourth Quarter (October – December 2016)
One camera, one lens, one film:
Camera: Nikon FA
Lens: Nikon Series E 50mm f/1.8
Film: Eastman 5222 (Double X) motion picture film
I was very tempted to dedicate an entire quarter to using Holga cameras, but I probably get enough use out of my plastics fantastic as it is, so opted for other challenges. Whether or not I end up contributing via Urban’s 52rolls.org site, I will be sharing one post/week here on Etude Imaging. Follow my Twitter feed to catch the latest update.