As you know, film is not dead. It has been alive and well again for some years now, and it’s even having babies. There are some new, exciting and unusual films coming to market all the time. The latest addition to the film family is Street Candy ATM 400 black and white film. I shot two rolls of it and though I’d share you my experience with some sample images.
I love funky films! Street Candy ATM 400 is re-rolled surveillance film and not your average T-Max or HP5. It has a look of it’s own. If you’re into unusual films, but don’t want to get too weird with the results, something like Street Candy is a perfect choice. It renders beautiful and accurate images, but without being too clinical and boring.
I shot my Street Candy rolls with my Olympus OM-2n (50mm f1.8) and Leica M6 (35mm f2.8 Summaron) at box speed. ISO 400 was recommended by the manufacturer. Some amount of pushing (one stop) can be done, but the film has a thin emulsion, which is why ISO 400—800 is the recommended setting. Two stop push could be too much for the thin emulsion. I processed my films in D-76 (1:1 dilution) for 13min, just as I would’ve processed Ilford HP5+. The actual film is very thin too which makes it rather easy to be loaded into the developing spiral.
The tones and the grain
The following sample images comes straight from the scanner and they have not been adjusted in Photoshop. This way you can get the best idea of what the images look straight from the box. I went ahead and did some minor adjustments on Snapseed before posting the pics on my Instagram, but these particular ones are just as they came from the developing tank.
I managed to do pretty accurate exposures and I was completely happy with the tonal rendition. I didn’t feel the need to do any editing, which is a sign of a good film. Street candy seems to be a rather contrasty film, but not too much. Bear in mind, that these are unadjusted pics that are shot at box speed. None the less, they have the look and feel of a 400 speed photos that have been pushed one stop. All the photos display a very nice range of tones too, which is something that I really enjoy! Especially the mid-tones look really nice and smooth for my taste.
The grain structure looks neat and gritty too. I can’t put my finger on what it reminds me of. It certainly doesn’t look as clinical and predictable as Tri-X, T-Max, HP5 or any of the other famous 400 speed films. Especially for street shooting, this kind of look is a spot on. It’s not too rough though to be unsuitable for portraiture as well. I like the results I got with D-76. Nice balance between graininess and smoothness. The grain size, at least according to my experience, seems to be rather small, but distinct.
Where to get it?
I got my rolls directly from Vincent from On Film Only (A.K.A One Year with Film Only). Purchases can be made at least directly from www.oneyearwithfilmonly.com/street-candy-film
The film totally isn’t too pricey. They’re selling a bundle pack of 5 rolls for only 30€.