More Film

February 07, 2014  •  Leave a Comment

I have just had another roll of film back from the developer, this being a roll of 35mm Ilford XP2 Super 400 that I was given years ago.  This film is processed using a standard C41 colour film developing process, so it is easier and cheaper to develop than normal B&W films.


The Ilford is similarly grainy as the Kodak Tri-X but less gritty and with lower contrast.  The grain almost looks like fine rain or snow.  Its a nice film and I would definitely use it again, the additional bonus being cheaper developing.


This entire roll was shot using my Nikon F3 HP with Nikkor 85mm f1.4 AIS lens.  No filters were used.


Here are a few from the roll.  Most were just family snaps but as always I made an effort to get accurate focus, use reduced depth of field and get exposure correct.  I have tended to push the exposure a bit, many by 0.75EV when there are a lot of light tones or a degree of backlighting.

Shot at f4




f5.6 here.  I didn't think this one would come out as it was right at the end of the roll and didn't appear to wind fully, but I took it anyway and was glad I did as getting Theo to pose is a rare event and it came out nicely!  I got 38 exposures off this roll.


f2.8.  I love the rendering of the film and lens combo here as regards depth of field, fall-off from sharpness and perspective.  The Nikkor 85 f1.4 AIS lens was the first of its kind and is a remarkably good performer even on today's cameras.


A small update on using the Rolleicord TLR.  I was finding the metering situation a bit cumbersome when using the Rolleicord, which has no automatic or built-in meter.  I had been using another camera to meter a scene and then setting the exposure on the Rolleicord, but it is somewhat awkward with one camera around my neck while trying to shoot looking down into the TLR viewfinder.  I researched light meters and finally came up with this little Sekonic device, the L-398A.  Its a really simple meter with no batteries needed and which can measure incident or reflected light.  Its well built and chunky but fits neatly in the palm and is very straightforward to use.  


Set the ISO, measure the light value by holding the button.  Take that reading and transfer it to the rotating scale, placing it at the arrow pointer or at whatever exposure compensation is needed.  Then simply read off the aperture and shutter combos on the lower arc of the rotating scale.  When conditions are bright you add a "high slide" which is a drilled plate that simply blocks some of the light reaching the cell and then you align the reading with the "H" for high marking on the scale instead of the arrow.  Its a brilliant tool for cameras with no metering but I see it as useful for measuring exposures in considered shooting situations such as landscapes, when using graduated filters for example.


Having been very impressed with the effect of a yellow filter on the 1st 35mm B&W film I shot, I wanted to be able to use one on the Rolleicord.  The original ones can be found on Ebay, but good ones are quite pricey and its always a bit of a lottery as to what you get.  I decided to try SRB Griturn's Bay 1 to 46mm screw filter adaptor.  I got a Hoya yellow K2 filter to use with it and shot a fair bit of a roll today in a brief respite between storm force wind and driving rain, so I shall hopefully find out soon whether my metering and filtering has worked!


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