Vivitar 35ES + Protopan 400 @ 200 + Adox APH 09

Vivitar 35ES

Protopan 400 @ 200
Adox APH 09
10 min.

This film/developer combination does not make justice to the little Vivitar.
Protopan is, at the moment, the cheapest film I can get and I get it from We Love Film. In fact apart from the Rolleis all my films come from my friends at We Love Film.

Protopan is a grainy, not very contrasted film but what drives me crazy is the fact that I don’t seem to get consistent results from it. Many times even using my own recipes the outcome is totally different from roll to roll. I don’t trust it for a serious job however I’ve seen excellent and consistent results from friends so it must be a personal bad karma thing between me and the Protopan.

The Vivitar 35ES is a sweet little camera. It’s a shutter speed priority camera (top speed of 1/500) so the “usual” aperture ring is in fact the shutter speed ring. The given aperture is shown in the viewfinder.

The rangefinder patch is easy to see and use but the lens revolution is very short and that’s something it toke me a while getting used to.
Personal note: I don’t know if revolution is the right word in English for the amount of rotation it takes to go from the minimum to the maximum focal length.

Anyway it is a cool camera and the rangefinder never gets out of alignment. Mine never did and I’m not the most gentle person with the Vivitar. My Leica CL is in the repair man for a year now having the whole rangefinder system rebuilt with some custom made parts.

The only problem with my Vivitar is when the roll gets to frame 22… 25… the film advance gets heavy and difficult and some frame overlapping occurs.

My son got better results with it.



  1. Hachege said:


    Few days ago I bought an old Olympus XA2 and I,m thinking spend with it some film rolls during this week.

    I love Kodak Tri X but Protopan is cheaper

    What do you think about Protopan 400 ASA (maybe I forced to 800 ASA)?



    • My friend if you are on a budget go for Protopan.
      My best results with it were using Xtol, 1:1, 9 minutes.

      If I was pushing it to 800 I’d use the same recipe and give about 10 minutes.

      Adox APH 09, which is pretty much like Rodinal or Agfa R09 One Shot would be my second best choice.

      I like using it 1+25 for about 10 minutes.

      You can even go further and use it at 3200 ASA, I still think the Adox APH 09 is a great developer.

      As a final word yes, go for it and develop it in Rodinal or, if you can, get also a bottle of Adox APH 09, brilliant developer and very cheap, about 8 euros for 500ml. 🙂

      • Hachege said:

        Thanks for your quick answer.
        I write for remember the formulation, Xtol 1:1 9 min or 10 min if I push the film to 800 ASA
        I have in home Kodak D-76, what do you thinking about use D-76 with this film ?

      • I’ll have to be totally honest with you. My only experiment was with ID-11 but I was doing a crazy push up, from 400 to 2000 ASA and the results were not very good to say the least. But if you planning on using the Protopan at 400 or 800… why not to give D-76 a try?

        A friend got some pretty decent results using Protopan at 400 ASA in D-76, stock, 10 minutes at 20C.

        Hope it helps 🙂

      • Hachege said:

        Of course, you help me
        10 min at 20ºC

        Thank you very much !!!

      • If something goes wrong with your negatives I will deny we ever had this conversation! 🙂

      • Hachege said:


        dont worry


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: