Ilford FP4 Plus in my Nikon F2A

It was wonderful to use my Nikon F2A again after Sover Wong overhauled it. Everything was as good as new.

I shot Ilford FP4 Plus in it, which I developed in LegacyPro L110, Dilution B. I’m still working out the development time that works best for me with this film. The Massive Dev Chart frustratingly gives a range of seven to nine minutes at 20° C. I tried eight minutes and got good results.

Propane heater

Most photos were properly exposed and developed. My scanner had no trouble pulling information off the negatives.

Coffee cup

I made these first two photos when I visited my mom. I bought her a propane tank and an inexpensive tank-top heater meant for construction projects. It puts out a prodigious amount of heat, which lets us sit on her patio on chilly afternoons.

Bathroom mirror selfie

The haziness in the lower left of this image is certainly due to my finger being in front of the lens. D’oh!


This being a test roll, I just shot whatever felt good. I had my 50mm f/2 AI Nikkor lens mounted. It’s a fine all-around performer. Many Nikon fans use the 50/1.8 or the 50/1.4, which cost a heck of a lot more than my 50/2 did. I’m perfectly happy with this lens and don’t see myself buying a faster 50.


I took the F2A on a number of walks around my neighborhood. I’ve made a ton of photos of this suburban vinyl village this year, toward an idea I have for a book that shows the beauty and banality of this place.

Willow pond

I’m very happy with these photos, as they show a Nikon F2A in perfect working condition. Sover’s service was mighty expensive, but it was thorough and precise. If I care for this camera, it will outlast me.


I shot subjects I’ve shot many times before. Why not? The act of making a photograph is enough of a pleasure, who cares if I come back to the same subjects over and over?


This shot in my living room was a lark: what happens if I shoot handheld in dim indoor light? I love the mood in this image, but I had no idea what I’d get when I pressed the shutter button.

Basketball goals

When I shot these basketball hoops, I had a 4×5 crop in mind. I came upon them at the perfect time of day for this composition.


If you own a Nikon F2, save your nickels so that you can send it to Sover Wong for an overhaul. You’ll get back a like-new F2 that will serve you well for many years.

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18 responses to “Ilford FP4 Plus in my Nikon F2A”

  1. J P Avatar

    I love the shot of the window blinds.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      Thanks! I’m glad it worked out.

  2. Andy Umbo Avatar
    Andy Umbo

    Love Ilford FP-4….I was not that enamored of the FP-4 “plus” when they introduced it, but learned to love it as one of the best medium speed black & white films after the demise of regular FP-4, Verichrome Pan and APX100. Even tho Tri-X 120 is still available (and not the disliked Tri-X Pro 320), I’ve been shooting Ilford HP-5 to support a company that still believes in black and white conventional film. Viva La Ilford!

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      It’s a nice film and I’m glad we have it. I bought some HP5 and Delta 400 recently as well.

  3. Mike Connealy Avatar

    Very nice range of tones and good detail at both ends of the spectrum from that combination of film and developer.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      Thank you Mike! I may try 7.5 minutes next time and see what I get, but 8 minutes looks pretty good.

  4. bodegabayf2 Avatar

    The F2 was the camera I lusted over in my youth. I remember reading Modern Photography and seeing the ads for the F2, drooling. Then, I would go to the back of the magazine where the photo retailers had all of their ads and see the price of an F2! How could anyone afford one….especially me with my lawn mowing money budget!

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      Yes, a lawn mowing budget didn’t get us very far back in the day! It’s great to be able to use these cameras now, though.

  5. tbm3fan Avatar

    My F2 is on his waiting list for sometime next year. I assume you did the standard service? What about the finder?

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      I sent both in, let him diagnose both the body and finder, and tell me what level of service they needed. I think that’s the way he prefers to work, to match the level of service to what issues he finds with the gear. Here’s the service I got with costs:

      F2 body standard service = $285
      DP-11 extended service = $190
      Airmail and GBP 250 insurance = $55
      Total = $530

  6. marcusterrypeddle Avatar

    Expensive servicing, but worth it for something that you can use for many more years.
    My favourite photo is the one of you with your finger over the lens. It makes me feel good to know I’m not the only one who does this . . . .

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      This servicing makes this the camera that’s cost me the most in my collection, by far. But if I can use it trouble free for the rest of my life, then it comes out to only a few dollars a year. Not bad.

  7. Khürt Williams Avatar

    Hi Jim, I have too many film cameras and lenses but I use and enjoy fully only a few. Today I inspected and packed up everything for sale except the Minolta X-700, XD11 and Pentax P3n and three primes. I’ll sell the P3n and lens once the I complete the roll of Rollei RPX 100. I have no interest in collecting stuff. I want to take photos.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      You’ve chosen two fine SLRs to keep.

  8. Katie Yang Avatar

    I love it light and shadows end up being the subject of a photograph instead of the subject itself, as with your photo of the blinds.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      Thanks! I had no idea what I’d get when I pointed the camera at that subject, but it turned out all right.

  9. Kent Teffeteller Avatar
    Kent Teffeteller

    Jim, have a fresh roll of Ilford FP4 Plus I just bought today. Plan on loading it in my Olympus 35RC and turning on spastic street photographer mode. AKA my tagline “The Spastic Image” befitting of a photographer with Cerebral Palsy who’s program mode is his hands, mind, and skillset who likes his cameras manual. Also have Kodak Retina 1b and Nikkormat FTN and Nikon FG to enjoy.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      You have a nice stable of cameras there. Good luck with your FP4!

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