Jim Grey lives in Indiana in the US and runs the fantastic blog Down the Road, a must-visit site for any fan of film photography.
I’m delighted to feature him as a Kosmonaut. Jim’s site is full of great articles about film cameras and film photography in general, and he’s a quiet community stalwarts doing a lot to help promote all the best qualities of film photography.
Where are you from?
Indiana, USA. Lifelong: born in South Bend (one of the snowiest cities in the nation), schooled in Terre Haute, and now going on 25 years in Indianapolis and its suburbs.
How long have you been shooting film?
Since I was nine, in 1976, except for a long break in my 30s when I hardly shot any photos at all.
What camera do you shoot on?
I love experiencing new-to-me old cameras and usually have one loaded with film. But otherwise the cameras I reach for most often are my Pentax ME with my 50/1.4 SMC Pentax-M and my Nikon F2AS with a 50/2 AI Nikkor. I shot this roll of Kosmo Foto Mono in my Olympus XA because it was out and handy.
What other films do you like using?
I shoot miles and miles of Fujicolor 200. It’s inexpensive, easy to get, and pretty good. I’m also a big fan of Kodak’s Tri-X and T-Max 400. I’d say those three films are 90% of what I shoot.
What are your thoughts about Kosmo Foto Mono?
It is old-school super contrasty, but the grain is well managed. I shot half of my first roll on the streets of Chicago at Christmas, and it was a solid choice for street work. I shot the rest of the roll at my usual haunts, home and work and church, and enjoyed its rich blacks and punchy rendering of detail. In the dim light of a grey Indiana December this film did lose some shadow detail. I’ll try again in the spring, when the sun is out, and see how it handles a bright day.
What films would you like to see on the market (old films or new ones)?
I’d be happy if Fuji would just stop discontinuing films. My main hope is that there will remain decent inexpensive films for everyday use. I break into a sweat when a roll of film costs me more than $5.