Leica M2: What to look for while inspecting?

Discussion in 'Leica and Rangefinders' started by mechs, Feb 16, 2021.

  1. AJG


    It does look grainy to me--I've posted a number of shots made with Contax cameras over the last several years, all of them made with Tri-X developed in HC 110 dilution B and they look less grainy than the ones you posted. What developer did you use?
    jimnorwood likes this.
  2. SCL


    Hi Jim - glad to hear you're enjoying your M2. Tri-X is and always has been on the grainy side, regardless of the developer or technique. Call it a blessing or a curse, depending on how you incorporate it. Do note, however, that it won't disappear. It used to be that grain haters used Tri-X's "brother", Plus-X, but that is no longer available. There are low grain films available on the market, some work better with special developers than others. I suggest you look over some of Rick Drawbridge's posts for the films and developer combinations he very effectively uses to achieve both sharpness and excellent tonality. As you have probably discovered by now, this is a journey toward an infinately distant destination. Enjoy the journey.
    jimnorwood likes this.
  3. Thanks to all who took the time to reply. I have developing my own black and white films on my New Years resolution list but this film was developed by a lab. I just wanted to check that I or the lab hadn’t done anything wrong and I judge from the answers this is just the way Tri X is. Am I right that Tri X is more suited to overcast and window lighting than bright sunshine ?

    It’s funny in a way because going through old films I picked out two I really liked because of the grain and contrast. Those photos were shot with Fuji 1600 PR. I was frustrated that there didn’t seem to be equivalent films available now. Tri X though is even more extreme !

    Anyway to end on a positive note here are some shots included which I’m really happy with. Generally I’m really enjoying the simplicity of the M2. My daughter handed me my trusty FE2 to take a shot and it suddenly seemed complicated ! I’m still not convinced the rangefinder focus is easier and those focusing tabs definitely aren’t. I still sometimes take shots with the cap on. Despite this minor niggles I’m inspired to work more with this camera.

    Learning how to use the camera and a Rolleiflex 3.5 F really helped my through a difficult year so thanks for all the tips.


    Last edited: Jan 9, 2022
  4. AJG


    I would check with your lab as to how they developed your film. Many years ago I was traveling and was curious to see some results from Panatomic X which was ASA 32 and virtually grainless if processed competently. The grain was prominent in 4x6 prints, and much worse in 8x10. Nobody else has developed my B&W film since that experience. Tri-X for me is my everyday film--it works well in bright sunlight and dimmer light as well. When processed properly grain shouldn't be that bad nor should the contrast. For my work I am happy to have a slightly faster shutter speed or a smaller f/stop than slower film would allow, but YMMV.
    jimnorwood likes this.
  5. I asked the lab and they replied that the film was developed in Rodinal and that the film was significantly overexposed which caused the grain.
  6. I use a Polaris light meter in incident mode. The camera has recently been serviced so should be fine. Previous colour rolls were ok. The Rolleiflex 400 black and white film that is shot at the same time using the same meter turned out fine. So I’m a bit confused as to what went wrong.
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2022
  7. AJG


    Rodinal has some interesting properties and devoted users, but it has never been known for fine grain.

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