Mar 27, 2021

Zeroing in with HP5+, part 2

A previous post showed what happens with HP5+ at ISO 800 when shooting with a yellow filter and developing in d-76 1:1. Part two of this series shows the results at ISO 200, still with a yellow filter, and developing at 1:2.  

I'll post the photos here and let them do most of the talking. They were shot on the Mamiya C220 with the 80mm f/2.8 lens. I do like the softer tones in the sky that this combination creates. The shadows have opened up tremendously. And the scans certainly came out sharper, which I'm largely attributing to the extended developing time. 

Sunday afternoon rural tour

There are some artifacts that have crept up also, and I can't ignore them. For one, I'm seeing what I ~think~ is uneven development. One rule I ran across right after I developed this roll was that d-76 needs a certain amount of stock in the developing tank in order to do its job, regardless of the dilution used. I couldn't find an exact number of that 'certain amount', but it's more than I used here. If my tank was 600 ml, then the amount of stock present was 200 ml. 

Sunday afternoon rural tour

Also, some white specks have shown up which might be attributed to, well, most anything I suppose. In the interest of full disclosure, I do mix my d-76 in single batches. I've been told that's a no-no, but I've never had any problems that I can directly tie to that practice.

Sunday afternoon rural tour

All in all, though, this little experiment has shown the results that are possible by changing just a few variables in the process. Reliable results can be had with HP5+. My next roll will be at ISO 400 in a stock solution. If it still shows some of the uneven development, I may have to look closer at my developing practices.

Sunday afternoon rural tour

Sunday afternoon rural tour

Sunday afternoon rural tour

Sunday afternoon rural tour

Tri-x Up for Grabs

On the off chance that the two or three readers I have on this blog are interested, I am shopping 14 rolls of Tri-x in 120 format. I'm starting to narrow down my film preferences at this point, and I just hate to have an emulsion like Tri-x just sit in my freezer unused. It expired in 2016 and 2018, but has been sealed and cold stored since new.

What am I asking for it? Good question. If expired/second hand film in this format is $5 USD a roll, that would equal out to $70. I'm not necessarily looking for cash, though. If someone out there has an item in either Canon FD or Mamiya TLR mount, I'd be willing to consider a flat out trade. I would also consider some fresh/nearly fresh film from another brand as well.  US only, and we both pay our own shipping costs. Whatcha got?



Mar 22, 2021

Zeroing in with HP5+

As a film photographer for the last eight years, I've been playing the field in regards to my selection of black and white films. I've tried the majority of them as this point: Everything available to me from Ilford and Kodak, with maybe the exception of P3200, and a few off brands in there as well. Bergger. Arista Edu. Street Pan. You get the point. Frankly, I lost count a long time ago. 

At The Ready

To really make film work to your advantage, though, it's important to stick with one film and then work to get reliable results at a given ISO and with a given developer. I've known that for years now, but haven't actually put it into practice. It's time to do just that. 


Ilford HP5+ is my emulsion of choice. It's versatile, (reasonably) affordable, and readily available in both 35mm and 120 formats. Several times when I have shot and processed it, though, I've been less than happy with the results. Too many grays. All of the tones bunched up in the middle, even when I try to spread them out. Other times, though, I've been completely happy with it. 


A few weeks ago, I headed out on a partly sunny day with the Canon AE-1, 28mm f/2.8 lens, and a roll of HP5+. I attached a yellow #8 filter and shot the roll at ISO 800. Afterward, I souped the roll in d-76 1:1.  The results? You can see for yourself. A lot of contrast with much of the shadow areas blocked up. In some situations, this might be ok. You might even think that approach is ok with these frames (one of them was Explored on Flickr).  I want some contrast, but I also want some even tones. 

 Abandoned Grain Thresher, SE Washington State. {Explored, thank you}

My next roll, which is waiting to be developed, was shot at ISO 200, again with a yellow #8 filter. I will develop it in d-76 again but at a 1:2 ratio. Yes, I'm changing two variables, but I think I can get closer to what I'm looking for with this combination. At least, we'll see what happens, and we can tweak it from there.  More to come.

Dec 21, 2020

Directions: 2020 Rewind

2020 was a strange year, as everyone knows. Some shooters were able to take advantage of the extended downtime (voluntarily or not) and actually increased their amount of film shooting over the year. 

I was thinking that my own shooting habits had not followed this pattern. But as I look back, I was surprised at how much I did get in. I'll follow up this list with examples from Flickr.

  1. At the beginning of the year, I started the Baker's Dozen series. I had envisioned completing more of those rolls, but they will get done in due time.
  2. Tried some Ilford Ortho Plus in 120 format.  It's the right film for the right situation.
  3. Accidental double exposure on Street Pan. Shot in 2019, but processed this year. I was sad in a way because there were a lot of great opportunities on this roll. That said, there were a few cool results, though.
  4. Kentmere 400 in a February snow dusting, before the pandemic started. Before everything hit the fan. I remember just being happy that spring was right around the corner.
  5. Participated in WPPD in April. Some years I miss that date, but I managed to make this one.
  6. Did a Document Your Life roll in the spring. DYL is going to be a focus for me in 2021.
  7. Ektachrome slide film on Memorial Day weekend. This was my second roll ever, and I got some good, but not great results. Not like my first roll, which had a lot of nice frames.
  8. Lomo Metropolis on the OSU campus at graduation time.  I might shoot this stuff again some day.
  9. Two rolls of Kodak Vision 3 500T in 35mm format ordered for holiday shooting in December. I probably won't get it shot and processed in time for this post, but it's on the way.

1. Baker's Dozen:

 Hatch Grade Road 


2. Ilford Ortho:



3. Accidental Double Exposure: 

JCH Double (36) 


4. February snow:

 Kentmere 400 


5. WPPD:

 WPPD 2020 


6. Document Your Life: 



7. Ektachrome:

 Ektachrome - Memorial Weekend 2020 


8. Lomo Metropolis at OSU: 

Lomo Metropolis at Oregon State University

Dec 15, 2020

Baker's Dozen #3: Ilford HP5+

Next up on our hit parade of b/w film stocks in medium format, none other than Ilford's super popular HP5+. I was roaming around the back roads where I live and hadn't anticipated the mid afternoon winter sun coming out the way it did on this particular December afternoon. Luckily, I had my C220 and my project film along with me for the ride. I swung by a familiar haunt (literally and figuratively) and spent a few minutes at the Finnish Cemetery. The sun was creating some cool, long shadows that I tried to take advantage of. 

I didn't have a meter with me, so I just Sunny 16'ed the entire roll. I think I underguessed the exposures (if that's a word), so I gave it about an extra half to two-thirds stop in development. Effectively, the roll was shot at ISO 640, but it probably didn't make that much of a difference in the end.

It felt good to get one more Baker's Dozen roll in before the end of the year. I don't really have an end date for this particular project, just whenever I can get them done. Most of the rolls are either expiring or have long expired.  

This location has a lot of potential, and I believe there are some more photographs here to be had. I'm happy to revisit under different circumstances to see what else I can get.

Even though this cemetery seldom gets used for its original purpose, there are frequent visitors to the gravesites. Many of these people are held in high esteem of their families.

The Visitor. Long shadows were the theme of the day with this roll.

This tree always intrigues me whenever I visit this cemetery. It's an old locust tree and sits at a 45 degree angle. That must have been a crazy wind to lean it over like that.

Historical cemeteries tell stories about the community they serve. Sometimes those stories are quite sad.


Dec 7, 2020

HP5+ in November

I recently shot and processed some Ilford HP5+ in 35mm format, something I hadn't done in several months. In fact, this was the first film I'd shot and processed myself in that span of time. Between Covid and our extensive house remodel, the opportunities just haven't been there. At least, that's been my excuse. These were mostly shot in the county, within 20 miles or so of my home. And with a Canon FD 28mm f/2.8 that I picked up last spring, but am just now starting to use. I like that focal length and can well imagine some good uses for it.

I'd like to not make this the last roll for 2020. In fact, I have another roll of HP5+ that I just loaded earlier today.

The first chance I've really taken to shoot the Canon FD 28mm f/2.8 that I picked up this last year.

Gratuitous film selfie.

Anytown, USA

HP5+ doesn't play well with red filters. However, on a sunny day with some clouds, a yellow #8 filter will serve you just fine.

Dec 1, 2020

Directions: 2020 Pause

It's amazing what this year has done for my sense of time. Late last summer I started saying, "I really should do a mid-year update to the blog," and then I look at the calendar and it's December 1. Really, where did this year go? I'll explore that further in my annual year end post.

As I look at my FilmTrackr data, I shot and processed some film late last spring. That was mostly some color film I had printed. For whatever reason, it hasn't found its way to this blog.

The better news is that I recently shot a single roll of HP5+ and it's sitting ready to be developed. That might be a good weekend project. In the meantime, I'll leave with some shots from the archives. These are linked directly from Flickr. 

More to come later.

Autumn's Demise {Explored, thank you}Pendleton SnowMore film

Zeroing in with HP5+, part 2