5×4 FomaPan & HC110

St Mary’s Church Sprotbrough Doncaster

The church of St Mary’s in Sprotbrough Doncaster is one of the few churches which is open 8 hours a day 7 days a week. It is also where I head to when I am wanting to do some testing, The church always seems to produce difficult lighting mainly due to the very high windows.

On this occasion, I wanted to test Fomapan 200 5×4 sheet film which was to be developed in HC110 developer.

Taking an EV reading from the pews and then from the stained glass window to the rear gave me a value of 12.7 which I knew was going to give issues due to the extent of the dynamic range. I opted to take an average of the 2 readings and use that as my base exposure. Due to the the reciprocity of this film, I chose an aperture of f/22 which at ISO 100 gave a shutter speed of 1 second.

If there were any Pre-visualisation, I wanted the final print to have the appearance of a lower contrast image, something which I have always been drawn to.

Looking at the characteristic curve for HC110, it was apparent that it has a short toe which worried me a little but as I never metered for the zone system, there was nothing I could really do about that. I opted to mix the developer at 1:63 and develop for 11 minutes.

Overall, I like the result tonal wise, it matched my Pre-visualisation pretty well but my only concern was the amount of scanner noise in the shadows. Upon my next visit, I shall repeat the same test only this time, I will probably meter for the shadows, placing them of zone 4 to compensate for the short toe and let the high values fall where they want to and reduce the development time down to 9 minutes.

St Marys Church Sprotbrough
St Marys Church Sprotbrough

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