Tuesday, March 10, 2020

One Roll Review - Tasma Mikrat 200 - The Slow Meow

Back in February, I purchased three rolls of Tasma Mikrat 200 - an expired document copy film, from Eric (aka conspiracy.of.cartographers).  The film, cleverly named  by Eric as "The Slow Meow," is  nominally a 6-12 ISO film, on acetate stock, and without an anti-halation layer.   How do I know it does not have an anti-halation later?  Read on, dear reader!

First of all, by now you know that I love playing with slow films, and the Tasma Mikrat 200 is one that I had not had an opportunity to test out before now.  With any of the films from Tasma, it is likely that they are old stock, but given what I know about Russian and Ukraine film companies, it's safe to say that we don't ever really know what the actual story is.  I have tried many Svema films, as well as Tasma Mikrat Ortho and Tasma NKII film (sold by the FPP). However, The Tasma Mikrat 200 is one that stands out because I have seen very few examples of results from this film online.   When I saw that Eric was selling this film in 3-roll packs, I immediately placed an order.  It arrived very quickly, and the film cassetes were packed inside a black plastic ziploc bag.  I transferred them to black canisters, and made sure that I didn't leave them out in the light for too long.  Since I now know that the film is on an acetate base and not a polyester base, light-piping was not a problem.

I loaded the first roll into a Nikon FM2N, since the lowest ISO setting is 12.  I used it with a series E 35mm f/2.5 lens (just for the hell of it, I suppose).  I shot the first few frames on an overcast day, and used a tripod.  The photos of the sheep at the Biltmore Estate were about 1/8 sec exposures (March 4).  The rest of the roll I shot on a sunny afternoon of March 8  along Depot Street in the River Arts District of Asheville.  Those were all hand-held, and I shot at 1/30 sec, meaning most were shot at f/8.  There were 34 exposures on that roll.  Today, I developed the roll in Rodinal at 1:50 for 12 minutes, per samples that Eric had posted online.

After drying, the film has a very slight cupping, but nothing like Kodak Tri-X or old Agfa APX 400.  It scanned very well, and my initial reaction is that in a full sun situation, I could have shot the film at ISO 25.  For cloudy overcast conditions, I'd say that 12 was right on.    Due to the sunny conditions on the 8th, the film exhibited a "blooming effect" when bright reflections are in the frame, which I have seen with Lucky films, and with Polypan-F.   That indicates there the film has no anti-halation layer.  It would be far worse if the camera has a chrome or textured chrome film pressure plate.

Overall, I am very pleased with this film and developer combination.  A bit contrasty in full sun, which is fine, but also very fine-grained.  Kudos to Eric for taking the risk of buying a big-ass roll of this film to share with the film-shooting community.  I'm glad that I purchased three rolls!


At Biltmore Estate, overcast day

late in the day, setting sun. Lots of tonality here

Bright, but not direct sun

Direct sun, note the "blooming" at the bottom white structures

some motion at ISO 12.

Kudzu Army

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