Testing Orwo N74+ / by Nigel Rumsey

I posted before a sample of Orwo N74+ developed using Kodak HC-110, the sample below was developed using Rodinal diluted at 1+50. A christmas cake shot in NT Ightham Moat

For those not familiar with it Rodinal is one of the earliest developers and a favourite of many photographers for its low cost, ease of use and incredibly long shelf life. One of the features of Rodinal, which can be a good thing or a bad thing depending on the look you're after, is it gives pronounced grain on faster speed films. As in all things 'too grainy' is entirely subjective, for me the cut-off with Rodinal is iso400. Having said all that I like the look that N74+ gives in Rodinal, you get the acutance you expect from Rodinal but the grain isn't too distracting.

The question that inevitably comes up whenever I look at different films is "would it take the place of my favourite film Kodak TRI-X?" At the moment I have to say N74+ is closer than anything else I've tried, but my heart still lies with TRI-X. I've come to realise, and it's somewhat embarrassing that it's taken me so long, is that probably in my eyes nothing will ever beat TRI-X. This begs the question why do I feel the need to keep looking, why can't I be happy with the film I really like? Maybe that is a reflection of our time.

I've noticed in all the best pixel peeping blogs they always show a crop of the image at 100% so here, just for you my friends, Orwo N74+ in HC-110 and Rodinal at 100%.

Orwo N74+ & HC-110 100% crop

Orwo N74+ & Rodinal 100% crop

If you have experience of using Orwo films I'd love to hear about it please let me know in the comments below.