Shooting some Ilford HP5+ that expired back in 1995…….

img006A few weeks ago my very, very kind cousin gave me a huge bundle of film all of which had expired over various dates.

One of the oldest was a roll of HP5+ that expired back in 1995, as none of the film had been either fridge/freezer stored for quite a while I was expecting pretty hit or miss results but I love the unexpected.20150902_193036img009-EditI loaded up my Mamiya 645 and popped out to see what I would get.

I exposed as if it was 200 iso and processed accordingly using ilfotec HC 1+47 dilution for 8 minutes and the negatives came out fine at 1st sight.img004-Editimg002But on close inspection the sharpness and contrast were just fine but the grain in the lighter areas was pretty soft and mushy, not that I minded it was fine and towards the end of the roll the circles of the paper backing were evident in 2 of the frames.img012-2As you can see in this crop…img01220150902_193102Nevertheless I was really impressed with the film, I love grain and contrast and this roll had not really lost either, I could have most probably developed a little longer and got it even more contrasty.img005img001img011I love HP5, its my goto film most of the time and even if it expired 20 years ago its still great in my book…… thank goodness that Ilford are still flying the flag for film.img014-EditThanks for looking

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You can also find more film goodness over at my “Film Only” blog at:

Aberystwyth in the August rain with the Nikon L35af……

img010I had the day off on Friday to take Amy back to Aberystwyth to help her move out from her year 2 accommodation into the new house she is sharing with her friends.

Typical British weather in August it poured with rain for the 2 hour drive but after parking up the rain stopped for a while giving me the opportunity to shoot a roll of ilford HP5 that I rated at 800 iso due to the crappy light.11313505_1610944782477262_1652964010_nI have shot HP5 at 800 quite a bit and I really like the contrast and grain I get much more than when shooting box speed.

The Nikon L35af is a lovely camera to use and the lens is very sharp the only thing I don’t like is the close focus which seems to be a little hit and miss and a few of the frames were out of focus but as a street camera its great.img006As the weather was holding off a bit we walked up to the “Philip Jones Griffiths” exhibition at the National Library of Wales which was one of the best photography exhibitions I have visited.

img020 img012img013Not only seeing the prints but all of the photographers cameras, paperwork, bookshelves reconstructed with all their contents and the various documentaries running in the booths.

I cannot recommend more highly that this exhibition is really worth the drive and long walk up to the Library it was a privilege to get to view it.img015If anyone is looking for a small point and shoot film camera that takes well exposed and sharp images then the Nikon L35af is a cracker, I picked mine up for £15 off e-bay which in my eyes was a bargain. img019 img018 img007

Thanks for looking…

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I also have a film only blog over at if anyone is interested :-)


Processing C-41 in B&W chemicals……

img018I have loads of expired C-41 film which I have been shooting in various cameras mainly to test if the cameras I buy are working ok.

I have read on the web about all the different things that can be done when processing both B&W and colour films be it cross processing or caffenol type stuff and came across developing C-41 with standard B&W chemicals.

X-Pro1-2063So I loaded up my T90 with some Boots 200 film that expired back in 2008 and went out for a walk.

I shot the film at box speed and processed it in Ilfotec HC for 10 minutes agitating 4 times every minute and then standard stop/fix/wash as per my normal B&W developing.

When the negs emerged from the tank my 1st thought was that there was nothing on the film as it looked totally black but when unrolled and held up to the light I saw there was something there albeit darker than what I usually see.X-Pro1-2070Once dry the curl was horrendous and the scanning was hard work as the software could not identify the frames so I had to scan them individually but the epson software did a good job.X-Pro1-2066I was very pleased with the scans even though the sharpness was not the best which is typical of most cheap expired films they often look slightly unsharp unlike Ektar.

I did slightly increase the contrast and pull down the highlights in Lightroom as the negs were pretty flat but the look they produced reminded me of Fomapan 100 with the glowing look to the images.

I think I may shoot more C-41 and process it this way maybe varying the exposure and developing times just to see what I get, obviously I am never going to get the quality of genuine B&W film but I like the unpredictability of this experiment.

I think I will try a roll or Ektar next so then at least I know how sharp the negs should be when processed normally.

Thanks for looking…..

I have a film only blog over at

if you are interested in having a peek :-)

Testing Nikon 35mm f1.8 AF-S DX on full frame ……

img010-EditI love the 35mm focal length when shooting. I have various 35mm lenses to fit my old film slr’s but the only autofocus 35mm I have is the Nikkor 35mm f1.8 AF-S which is a DX lens and when I shoot with it on my D7000 it behaves like a 50mm approx. which isn’t really what I like so the lens even though very sharp stays in my bag most of the time.img014-EditI have tried it on my full frame D600 and as long as I turn off auto DX mode it works great and the only real Vignetting occurred from f4 onwards and was easily sorted with lens correction in Lightroom.

I like Vignetting especially when I shoot contrasty B&W film so I decided to load up my F100 with some HP5 rated at 800 to see how the lens performed.img003The results were really pleasing and as the day was pretty overcast and quite dark I rarely shot above f5.6 so the Vignetting was almost no existent and the images were lovely and sharp/contrasty which is why I love HP5.img006I was thinking about getting the Nikon 35mm f2 AFD to shoot on my F100 and F4 but the results with this little lens really impressed and gave me the look I like with my B&W I would recommend this little gem highly especially as it is so affordable.img022 img008 img012 img016 img021-EditThanks for looking

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I also have a film only blog over at if you want to take a peak :-)

Shooting Ilford HP5+ at 1600 iso……..

img020-Edit-EditMy favourite B&W film is ilford HP5 and I rarely shoot any thing else when it comes to B&W.

I love the contrast and grain it produces and depending on which developer I process with I can get plenty of looks from one film stock.

img022-EditI have been reading quite a few blog posts and watching some youtube videos where various other photographers recommend shooting HP5 at 1600 iso as it don’t seem to loose any sharpness and the increase in contrast/grain doesn’t impact on the image.

I like grain and contrast so I was not all that bothered if they increased but as a test I was interested in how sharp the images were, so I shot a roll with my Nikon F100 and 50mm f1.4 which is a very sharp lens and processed it using ilfotec HC 1+15.

The results were great, the sharpness was impressive and the grain didn’t impair the look at all.

Rating HP5 at 1600 may become my standard from now on as it gives me extra versatility to be able to shoot in more lighting situations while keeping the look I like from using this film stock.

Thanks for looking

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You can find more lovely film stuff on my film only blog at ……..

Trying a new C-41 Developing/scanning service…..

After having fairly inconsistent results from processing my own C-41 at home I have been using AG Photographic to develop my negatives and then scan them on my Epson v500.

I have been pretty satisfied with what I have got and the cost has not been too high either but scanning colour negatives is pretty time consuming trying to get some sort of uniformity in appearance.

I recently came across a company online “Filmdev” who will develop and scan at various sizes depending on what I want, then let me download the images from the web before sending me a dvd with the hires tiff files and my negatives. All for the brilliant price of £5 for the 3600×2400 or £8 for the 4500×3000 scans. ( they also scan at 5400×3600 for £12 )

After posting off 2 films 1x Kodak Portra 400 & 1x Agfa Vista 200 expired I had a telephone call off David the owner telling me they have received my films and was there any particular things I required like push/pull, tiff scans or jpeg or a certain look to the scans all for no extra cost.

I decided on just straight process and corrections just to have some sort of reference next time I send more films.

I must say the results were excellent, great colours and very sharp clear scans with no dust/hairs etc, I was very impressed and suffice to say I will be sending all my films to them from now on.

The 1st gallery is the Agfa Vista 200 expired shot on my Olympus OM2n with the 35mm f2.8.

The 2nd gallery is the Kodak Portra 400 shot on my Nikon F100 with the 50mm f1.4.

Links to the company are here :

Thank you for looking any comment very welcome :-)

Nikon F100 first test roll ……..

11116867_759343114180497_1430282617_nI have been looking on eBay for a while for Nikon F100 and the prices seem to vary greatly, I didn’t want to spend a fortune but on the other hand I also didn’t want to buy a well used example either.

I managed to bag this almost mint example for the bargain price of £70 which was a big surprise but I am not going to moan about it :-)

I decided to try my Nikkor 24-85 vr lens with my 1st roll of HP5 which turned out to be an excellent choice as the images it produced were very sharp and lovely and contrasty.

I am very happy with the F100 it was lovely to shoot with and combined with this lens the images it produced were excellent, I love shooting my older manual focus Nikon/Canon/Olympus/Pentax slr’s but this was almost like shooting my D600 which I have never felt like before when shooting film.

I am going to shoot a roll of Ektar next and can only imagine how sharp the resultant negatives will be….. happy days… Film is definitely not dead :-)

Expired Agfa HDC plus and my Nikon F4……..

Agfa boxAges ago I was kindly given a bag full of film, all expired ranging from 2000 to 2009 and the friend who gave it to me didn’t know how it was stored as he himself was given it by 3rd party.

I have been using some of it to test any old 35mm camera I managed to pick up and to be honest it has all been ok but I have not shot it with a decent camera/lens combination and had it processed professionally so the other week I loaded up my Nikon F4 with some Agfa HDC plus 200 that expired back in 2002.F4I deliberately set my iso to 100 and also over-exposed quite a few shots hoping to get a bit of contrast and colour in the film as what I have found with the other rolls that I shot at box speed and camera exposure have all been a little flat.F4_Agfa_HDC_200-004As with most Agfa colour films I have used before the images had a magenta tone to them which I don’t mind.

I was impressed with the contrast and sharpness too, it really made a difference shooting this film in the F4 with my nice 50mm f1.8.F4_Agfa_HDC_200-017F4_Agfa_HDC_200-011 F4_Agfa_HDC_200-008 F4_Agfa_HDC_200-005 F4_Agfa_HDC_200-001F4_Agfa_HDC_200-022F4_Agfa_HDC_200-012After our little walk I still had a few frames left and my better half had a go with the F4 while we relaxed outside our local pub shooting my happy face.F4_Agfa_HDC_200-039All in all I am very happy with how the film performed, it really made a difference using it in a good camera and the processing was done by AG Photographic and not at home by me.

I have another 10 rolls of this as well as various other Agfa/Kodak mixture so now I know that the film works fine I will shoot these in my better cameras rather that just as test rolls in the many point & shoot/rangefinders I seem to pick up in charity shops “I have a GAS problem :-) “.F4_Agfa_HDC_200-006F4_Agfa_HDC_200-026Thanks for looking….comments most welcome :-)

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also check out my “Film Only” blog at Using Film


Zorki 4k re-visited …….

Zorki_HP5021-EditI have had my Zorki 4k and Jupiter 8 50mm f2 for ages but I have only put 2 rolls of film through it.

I don’t know why I have not used this camera more as it handles great and the results from the the 1st 2 rolls were also very pleasing.Zorki_HP5022As with my first attempts, getting the framing correct is still a bit hit or miss especially if trying to frame pretty tight.Zorki_HP5016So I have to leave plenty of space just to make sure I get the shot but thats not really a huge problem.Zorki_HP5014HP5 shoots great with the Jupiter 8 giving quite smooth out of focus areas while still getting great contrast which is what I like about HP5.Zorki_HP5010I am going to try to shoot this camera much more from now on and I have been looking on eBay for a nice lens hood as the lens is prone to quite a bit of flare.Zorki_HP5007Zorki_HP5008 Zorki_HP5011 Zorki_HP5020-EditZorki_HP5018Thanks for looking

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Fuji X-Pro & my Canon FD 50mm f1.4 testing…….

X-Pro1-1750Today’s weather is pretty poor so just for a change from shooting film I put my Canon FD 50mm on the X-Pro and popped out to see how it performed in the real world of a walk about test.X-Pro1-1747I have used it before but only as a closeup, short DOF type test so shooting it on a walk and only manual focus was going to be a bit of a challenge.X-Pro1-1796As the camera does not know what aperture the lens is at (well at least the exif does not say) I am not sure exactly what aperture I used for each shot was but apart from the container shot which I know was F8 all the others were between f1.4 to f4.0.X-Pro1-1757I was a bit awkward shooting manual focus but the focus peaking on the X-Pro helped greatly but any fast street style shooting was out of question unless I used zone focusing.X-Pro1-1760The results were very pleasing overall, I am not sure I totally like the Bokeh this lens produces with the X-Pro unlike what it produces when I use my Canon T90 but that aside the images came out fine.X-Pro1-1791I have a shed load of FD mount lenses so I am going to try each one just to see which if any I prefer and will blog the results.X-Pro1-1805 X-Pro1-1802 X-Pro1-1783 X-Pro1-1775 X-Pro1-1767 X-Pro1-1764X-Pro1-1814All the images were shot Raw and processed using Adobe Lightroom 5

Thanks for looking

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I also blog all my film stuff here if anyone cares to take a look :-)