Film Photography Project's aims to increase the use of film and film cameras. In doing so, they opened up an online store which gives folks a chance to try out films that they might never see otherwise. A few weeks ago, Mike sent me a small package with three rolls of the Ukrainian-made Svema FN64. Now, the last time I tried a roll of Svema, it was one that had been produced in the 1970s. This latest batch of film is not that. This is a fresh film, and FPP is selling it in individual rolls and in bulk rolls. I have no idea how they find this stuff, but the word must get around! Anyhow, the film has an ISO of 64, and is made on what looks to be a PET base, not acetate. Therefore, be careful when respooling from bulk rolls, because that film base has "light piping" -- it transmits light like a fiber optic. The good thing is that the PET base is very flat and not prone to curling and scans very well. My first question after shooting a roll of something new is, "Do I like it?" That is, if I like the appearance of the negatives when I hang the film to dry, it's a good chance I'll like the results.
My first roll of the FN64 was shot in my always-dependable Nikon FM2N with a 50mm f/2 lens -- the standby. I shot the film at the box ISO of 64. The film was developed in Rodinal 1:25 for 6 minutes and 15 seconds at 20°C. I greatly enjoyed seeing the used developer pour out as a dark purple -- much as when I used to shoot the Agfa films.
I shot the roll walking around the campus during my lunch hour last week -- one of the days where it seemed like we are finally in the grip of spring and not winter. The film has some grain which may be more noticeable due using Rodinal. However, the grain is not unpleasing, and the shadow detail is very good. I am pleased with the results from the scans, and it looks like this film would produce some good prints. I'll shoot the other two rolls, and probably buy a bulk roll soon. Thanks to Mike and the FPP for giving me a chance to try this out!