Shooting Kodak HCP 5369

Environmental Education Centre at Ralph Klein Park in Calgary, Canada
#1432. Kodak HCP 5369, Canon Rebel 2000. Xtol (stock), 5:45 min @ 20 °C.
I shot these photos on Kodak HCP 5369, which I picked up from Labeauratoire. It was a bright sunny day and so I shot most of these at the recommended ISO 20, while a few were shot at ISO 16.[1]The first, third & fourth photos were shot at ISO 16. The rest were shot at ISO 20. The bright sunshine meant that I was able to shoot every photo at f/11 for around 1/30 second without a tripod.

Discontinued 10 years ago, HCP 5369 is a high-contrast panchromatic intermediate motion picture film used for making silhouette and travelling mattes (aka blue screen special effects).[2]You can read a general description of how travelling mattes and blue screens are used to create special effects in movies shot on film at How Blue Screens Work. Kodak produced this film from 1973 until it was finally discontinued in 2011[3]See Kodak’s Chronology of Film. and describes 5369 as having “ultra-high resolving power, with excellent definition and sharpness” and it is coated on “a clear acetate safety base with an anti-halation undercoat”.[4]It took a long time to track down Kodak’s 5369 data sheet as it is no longer available online. I am therefore making it available for those who are interested: Kodak 5369 Technical Data.

Environmental Education Centre at Ralph Klein Park in Calgary, Canada
#1433. Kodak HCP 5369, Canon Rebel 2000. Xtol (stock), 5:45 min @ 20 °C.
Researching this film was quite a challenge. There is very little information available online and what I did find, was often contradictory. Some claim that 5369 is the same emulsion as the much loved Kodak SO-331,[5]See post #7 in this Photrio discussion thread. while others claim that the two emulsions are “close cousins”.[6]See the description on this Photo Warehouse product page However, none of the claimants cite the source of their information. The only credible claim I have come across in researching this film’s origin is that 5369 is the production name for SO-389.[7]See the 5th paragraph just above Table 1 in Unblinking Eye’s fantastic (and technical) article on 5369 as a possible heir apparent to Kodak Technical Pan film. Unfortunately, while Unblinking Eye does cite its source, finding the actual reference online has so far proven unsuccessful. Regardless of its origin, this is a beautiful, very fine-grained film and I had fun shooting it.


Environmental Education Centre at Ralph Klein Park in Calgary, Canada
#1434. Kodak HCP 5369, Canon Rebel 2000. Xtol (stock), 5:45 min @ 20 °C.
Originally designed to be developed in Kodak’s D-97 developer,[8]See Kodak 5369 Technical Data. there is almost no information available online about how to develop this film using other black & white developers. This left me wondering how to develop the negatives. Fortunately, Lance at Labeauratoire has had great success developing HCP 5369 using his own Caffenol Concoction (15 min. at 20 °C) as well as with Rodinal (1+50 for 14 min. at 20 °C).[9]You can see Lance’s example photos, his shooting and developing recommendations, or purchase the film and Caffenol Concoction on Labeauratoire’s Kodak HCP 5369 page.


Environmental Education Centre at Ralph Klein Park in Calgary, Canada
#1435. Kodak HCP 5369, Canon Rebel 2000. Xtol (stock), 5:45 min @ 20 °C.
Since I had just mixed up my first batch of Kodak Xtol, I really wanted to try it out. Looking back, I took a bit of a risk developing this film in Xtol. At the time, I believed 5369 was the same emulsion as Kodak’s SO-331, so as a starting point I used the recommended times for developing SO-331 in Xtol as posted on Flickr.[10]A discussion of various developers and times to use for SO-331 can be found in the Kodak SO-331 High Contrast Intermediate Film group on Flickr. I used Wayne Stevenson’s excellent chart that shows all the results of variations in ISO, time & temperature when developing SO-331 in Xtol[11]Also found in the Kodak SO-331 High Contrast Intermediate Film group on Flickr. to make what I thought at the time was an informed decision[12]Now I know it was more of a lucky guess. as to how I should develop my film. Making allowances for the difference in ISO, I decided to develop HCP 5369 in Xtol using a stock solution for 5:45 minutes at 20 °C.


rooftop of the Environmental Education Centre at Ralph Klein Park in Calgary, Canada
#1436. Kodak HCP 5369, Canon Rebel 2000. Xtol (stock), 5:45 min @ 20 °C.
I could’t be more pleased with the way these photos turned out![13]Shooting expired film is always a crap shoot. Ideally, you should have 1 or 2 extra rolls of the same film that you can test and learn how best to shoot and develop, but it isn’t always possible, not to mention affordable. It’s great if the film is good and you like it, but if it turns out to be crap (see my ‘spotty’ Agfa CT Precisa 200 photos in When Expired Film Goes Bad), then you’re stuck with it. HCP 5369 lived up to expectations and I can’t wait to shoot the other roll I purchased. And scanning the negatives turned out to be easy as they lay nice and flat. All in all, I would recommend this film to anyone wanting to try a unique and rare black & white film.


Ralph Klein Park in Calgary, Canada
#1437. Kodak HCP 5369, Canon Rebel 2000. Xtol (stock), 5:45 min @ 20 °C.
Incidentally, these photos were all shot at Ralph Klein Park which is the largest constructed stormwater treatment wetland in Canada.[14]More information on this really cool park can be found on this city of Calgary webpage: Ralph Klein Park Self-Guided Walk The main building in most of the photos is the Environmental Education Centre, whereas the last photo features part of the nearby playground.


Environmental Education Centre at Ralph Klein Park in Calgary, Canada
#1438. Kodak HCP 5369, Canon Rebel 2000. Xtol (stock), 5:45 min @ 20 °C.

Environmental Education Centre at Ralph Klein Park in Calgary, Canada
#1439. Kodak HCP 5369, Canon Rebel 2000. Xtol (stock), 5:45 min @ 20 °C.

Ralph Klein Park in Calgary, Canada
#1440. Kodak HCP 5369, Canon Rebel 2000. Xtol (stock), 5:45 min @ 20 °C.

playground at Ralph Klein Park in Calgary, Canada
#1441. Kodak HCP 5369, Canon Rebel 2000. Xtol (stock), 5:45 min @ 20 °C.

Footnotes[+]

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