Tag Archives: medium format

Ilford HP5+, part 2

In part 1 I noted that my HP5+ negatives were rather thin. The next roll I developed for 13 minutes at 68F in Rodinal 1+50 and the results were much closer to what I’m used to with Tri-X and Acros. Still a little low in contrast compared to them, so the next one was souped for 14 minutes.

This is the first time I’ve had to really dial in a film, Tri-X and Acros development times were about spot-on first time I tried them. I’m pleased to have been able to diagnose the problem too, maybe I am learning something after all?

Otherwise I am definitely happy with the results. On a light table with a 10x lupe I’m unable to notice much of any difference between HP5+ and Tri-X shot in the same camera and developed the same way. Similar grain, similar sharpness. Same thing when scanned. I have no complaints so far. Still curious to see what, if any, difference I’d see with enlargements made in a darkroom.

On the basis of something mentioned over at TOP recently about getting better results by pulling one stop and under developing (thereby increasing shadow density while controlling highlights), plus the “I think it’s undercooked a stop” experience of my first two rolls, I’m shooting my last roll of HP5+ at EI 200 and will be developing it for 11 minutes.

On a related note I now have 7 rolls of Ilford’s mid-speed FP4+ in the fridge awaiting their turn. My starting point there will be EI 64 and whatever Ilford’s official time for Rodinal 1+50 is.

Ilford HP5+ part 1

My first two rolls of Ilford‘s HP5+ film have been shot and developed.

The film was shot at box speed (400) metered using the ever reliable Gossen Luna Pro F. I developed in Rodinal 1+50 dilution for 11 minutes at 68F. This is the official time recommended by Ilford and also listed in the Massive Dev Chart.

First of all, I’m pretty certain that the development time was too short. Almost all of the negatives came out quite thin. I know my metering was correct, especially so for the incident metered shots which were very consistent in their difference from what I consider normal. I’m reasonably sure that the Yashica’s shutter speeds are in spec, or certainly not out by a stop or more. I haven’t had any trouble with previous rolls of Tri-X, Acros and Ektar run through it. I used all the shutter speeds throughout the roll and counted out some exposures in the 2-4 second range with the shutter set to bulb. Just can’t see all the speeds suddenly being out of whack by the same amount and my counting to be off by the same amount.

Also the edge markings on the film seem to be rather thin-looking.

So next roll I develop I’ll try something else. Possibly 13 minutes with normal agitation (30 seconds at start, 3 inversions every minute).

I also got a reasonable answer on my “which reciprocity adjustments to use” question: the Ilford official adjustments resulted in an overly dense negative, even with everything else on the roll looking thin. The shorter time garnered from testing yielded a negative with tones a lot closer to the other shots on the two rolls. I’m going to stick with those times and throw the datasheet’s recommendations under the bus.

I did notice that the lights in my night shots seem to be very dense despite the underdevelopment. Perhaps this film would respond well to a reduced agitation approach. Perhaps I’m used to Fuji Acros 100’s ridiculous ability to hold onto highlights.

What else? I like what I see so far in terms of detail and grain (supposedly Rodinal and HP5+ are not a match made in heaven, but I’m not seeing any big problem. Then again I’m not pathologically averse to grain either). I’ll be picking up another few rolls of this and refining my development.

Photo USA

Just wanted to give a quick shout out for a local business, Photo USA on Colonial Avenue in Roanoke. I’ve used them for several rolls of color print film developing, and am more than happy with the results and especially their handling of my film. No fingerprints and no scratches or crud on the last half-dozen frames because they know that a 36-exposure roll held at waist level will drag along the ground behind you and therefore refrain from doing that.

At $3/roll plus sales tax for C-41 develop only ($4 for 120 format) at time of writing this, they’re not much more expensive than CVS were, and cheaper than mailing out. They’ll package up my uncut negatives in continuous plastic sleeve which means I can just lay the whole thing out flat on the kitchen table for cutting. Only then do I need to don the creepy white cotton gloves to transfer the strips into archival pages. Much easier to deal with.

I’ll be trying them for some E-6 development soon, once I’ve run a roll of the Fujichrome film I ordered recently through a camera.

If you’re shooting film in the Roanoke Virginia area and want it processed by people who know what they’re doing, I’d recommend Photo USA.

Now with 100% more medium format!

I don’t win things very often. Won an art contest in my 3rd year of primary school, must have been around 1979 or so. Won the smallest prize available in the UK lottery a couple of times (paying several times the total I won to get there, hardly a good return on investment).

So when the Film Photography Podcast was giving away a Yashica-A twin lens reflex camera, I sent off an email asking to be included in the draw but with no expectation of winning.

Well, wasn’t I surprised when I found out I was wrong this time? Just about drove off the road I was so shocked! (I listen to the podcast, like all other podcasts I follow, while driving)

New Arrival!Anyway, here’s the camera and new owner (yes, that would be me). Michael threw in 4 rolls of film for good measure, so I’m able to get up and running right away. The Vivitar 3900 handle-mount flash which came with the Canon F-1 works great with it, or at least fires; I’ll see the actual results a little later.

It’s a fun little camera, with pretty much just the bare essentials for shooting. A viewing lens and viewfinder with flip-out loupe for focusing accurately (you can actually see the entire frame through the loupe, too, which is handy). A taking lens with a simple 4-speed leaf shutter, an aperture iris controlled directly by a lever, a focusing knob which racks the lens board back and forward, and a knob to wind the film on (it uses a red window in the back which shows the frame numbers printed on the film’s paper backing).

No meter, no batteries required, no mess, no fuss. It slows me down and makes me think about the steps involved. Decide on and set the exposure. Focus on the subject with the loupe. Set the composition in the viewfinder (which is made extra-thoughtful by the laterally-reversed image!). Cock the shutter. Trip the shutter. Wind the film to the next shot. Perfect simplicity.

So now, in my film renaissance, I have 35mm interchangeable lens covered with the F-1, medium format with the Yashica, and hopefully when Kelli and I get over to Northern Ireland next week for my brother’s wedding, I’ll be able to find the Canon Sure Shot Prima AF-8 which was the first 35mm camera I owned, the first camera I bought myself, and the last film camera I owned before going digital in 1999, and I’ll have 35mm point-and-shoot covered too.