I grabbed a roll of CatLABS X Film 320 Pro in some random online order or another. Remembering my lesson from the JCH StreetPan I did some reading on the film before loading it in the Spotmatic.

For best results rate it at 200 ISO when shooting outdoors under bright sunlight…characterized by its distinct grain quality, contrast and tonal range

So I rated it at 200 and started shooting. Mostly outdoors, as per the suggestion.

But in the fall/winter I occasionally get the most delightful sun coming through my back porch door. And if I’m really lucky my dog Rumble will sleep on the couch and pose himself in the sunbeam. I spent a little over 1/3 of the roll snapping shots of him using the 105mm/2.8 lens so as to not disrupt his rest.

A black and white photo of a black and white boxer/pit mix dog resting on a couch. The sun partially illuminates his face.
1/60, f4.8, 105mm/2.8

In looking at the negatives, especially the histogram from the scan, I can really see amount of tonal range that CatLABS advertised. There’s a lot of range between the highlights and the shadows here.

A black and white photo of a black and white boxer/pit mix dog. His head is resting on the arm of a couch and a sun beam covers his face.
Unknown, 105mm/2.8

With Rumble’s face more directly in the sun I get a more contrasty image, but still with a lot of detail in both his black and white fur.

A black and white photo of a black and white boxer/pit mix dog. His head is resting on the arm of a couch, though his eyes are open and he's somewhat alert. A sun beam hits his face, illuminating it. But most of the rest of the picture is shadow.
1/500, f4, 105mm/2.8

My favorite of the bunch. The highlights are less blown out than the previous picture, the shadows are rich and Rumble’s eyes are open. I really love how the film has captured his fur here.

For development I followed CatLABS recommended times for Rodinal 1+50 at 19:00. Their most recommended developer is 510 Pyro, which I didn’t have on hand but am interested to try when I get more of this film.

And I definitely plan on shooting more of this. For purposes of the article title I’m only sharing the dog photos here, but I really liked a lot of the photos from this roll. Even when the photo turned out boring, I liked how the film looked.

Working with this film in the darkroom has also been quite easy. The proper proof sheet looks good across the board. And the prints I’ve made from my favorite Rumble negative were straight forward without any need to mess with contrast, dodging or burning.

Full album

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