Monday, May 27, 2013

Testing the Kodak Hawkeye Traffic Surveillance Color Film

While I was at the FPP Findlay Walking Workshop in mid-April, there was some talk about some film on ebay.  It turns out that a seller had lots of 100 ft rolls of Kodak Hawkeye Traffic Surveillance Film - a 400 ISO C-41 color emulsion.  There was a "buy it now" for less than $30, so I bit.  I am amazed at the oddball films that show up on ebay, and have to wonder how many "custom" films were sold for specialized uses.
The film arrived quickly, and I finally spooled some up into cassettes.  I have only done bulk b&w film before this (and that's been a LOT of bulk rolls), so it was no problem with this film.  I put a roll into my Nikon F2S, and shot a bunch of things close to home and in the garden.  Note to the readers -- NEVER take an untested film out to shoot something you can't do over again.  I learned that the hard way many years ago.

Anyhow, there is some literature on this film, and some folks on Flickr claim they have pushed it to ISO 1600 with good, if not grainy results.  I myself wonder if it isn't just a variant of  Portra 400.  As promised, here are some images straight from the scans from Huron Camera without any adjustment on my part.

I think that the color rendition is good, and look forward to shooting more of it.  I have a C-41 kit that I have yet to try, so perhaps this will be a good opportunity to see what develops :). The film seems a bit grainy, but that may be due to the scans on the Fuji lab equipment.  I'll try scanning on my Minolta scanner and see if there is any difference.  In any case, it is an inexpensive roll of bulk film that will be put to use.

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