Film Friday – Testing Film – Ilford HP5 Plus

Medium Format 120 Ilford HP5 Plus.

Its been a few years since I shot much Black & White film. About twenty years I had a two year period where I shot nothing but Black & White, developing and printing it myself, but apart from a few rolls of medium format film in the last couple of years shot on my Hasselblad, I have not shot any.  Most of my Black & White has been either digital or Colour film converted to Black & White.

During the summer I tested some Ilford HP5 Plus on the Hasselblad in quite bright and contrasty conditions, I was very impressed with how it handled the dynamic range.

The last couple of weeks I have been trying out some Ilford HP5 in my Leica M4.

Its generally rated at 100ISO but you can go much higher, its a bit grainer then some people would like but even in these duller shots its handled itself quite well.  When the sun came out and the contrast increased it certainly looked better. A Black & White film for those high contrast days I suspect.

When shooting people with the Leica, I used zone focusing in the shots above, which meant setting the aperture to f/8 to give me enough depth of field, this meant on occasion the shutter speed was a little low resulting in blurred movement, in this shots they still work but it is something I need to be more aware of.  If I was shooting with my DSLR’s (Nikon D200) or my CSC (Nikon System One V1), I would just ramp up the ISO to give me a faster shutter speed, but with film or a camera with poor high ISO capability, that is something you cannot do.


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