While I had Ilford HP5 Plus loaded into my Nikon N90s, my wife bought me a gift of two vintage pocket watches. I’ve always loved watches and for decades have had to strongly resist collecting them. My wife tossed all that good resistance out the window. Not that I’m complaining.
I mounted my 55mm f/2.8 Micro-Nikkor to the N90s and went in close. I shot handheld at box speed, ISO 400.
Analogue Wonderland provided me the roll of HP5 Plus in exchange for mentioning that they did. Get yours from them here.
This post is brought to you by Analogue Wonderland, who offer dozens of fun films for you to try. Click the logo to see!
Why did I wait so long to start shooting Ilford?
I actually know why: so many fine childhood photographic memories that involve little yellow boxes. It leads me to reach for Kodak first. But I’ve been missing out.
Ilford HP5 Plus is a fast (ISO 400) black-and-white film with a traditional grain structure. As you can see, it delivers plenty of lovely grays evenly at every level between white and black. No “chalk and soot” here, no sir.
The only thing I did with any of these photos in Photoshop was boost contrast and exposure a little to suit my tastes. But truly, I could have used these images without any post-processing. I almost never get that outcome with film. Oh Ilford, I’m sorry I waited so long!
I shot this roll in my Nikon N90s with my 50mm f/1.8 AF Nikkor lens attached. I have to think this camera’s advanced (for its time) matrix metering helped get even exposures on this blindingly bright day.
These scenes are all from Downtown Indianapolis, where I work now. It’s lovely to take a camera on a lunchtime photowalk. The sun directly overhead typically provides the harshest light; conventional wisdom is to go earlier or later. But noon’s when I can get out, and Ilford HP5 Plus is just the film for it.
There’s so much to photograph Downtown now! I last worked Downtown in 1996, and revitalization had only just begun. I wish I had made lunchtime photowalks then for then-and-now comparisons!
If you’d like to try Ilford HP5 Plus for yourself, you can order it from Analogue Wonderland here. They provided me this roll of film in exchange for this mention.
A portrait of the doggo as a young pupper Nikon N90s, 50mm f/1.8 AF Nikkor Ilford HP5 Plus 2019
This is our son Zach’s dog Obie, sitting regally on the rug by the door to the garage. We see a lot of Obie as we’re his default babysitters when Zach travels. He’s a chihuahua-rat terrier mix. This is as big as he’ll be. I’m much more a large-dog person, but Obie’s a charmer and we’re always happy to have him around.
It seems appropriate to photograph a black-and-white dog on black-and-white film. I’d never shot Ilford’s HP5 Plus before, but Analogue Wonderland sent me a roll to try (get yours from them here) in exchange for mentioning that they did.
I’ll have much more to say about HP5 Plus tomorrow, but for today: this ISO 400 film is just lovely, sensitively capturing the entire range of grays. This photograph required no frippery in Photoshop to correct anything. It is perfect just as it came off the processor’s scanner.
This is my favorite photo from the Cars and Coffee I went to recently. This 1966 Chevrolet was a low-line Biscayne with rubber floor mats and no radio. It also had neither air conditioning nor power accessories, but that was pretty common then.
What it lacked in amenities, it made up for in sheer cubic inches. The monster big-block 427 was under this Biscayne’s hood. A four-speed Hurst shifter sticks up out of the floor. I’ll bet this thing is a terror to drive.
This car was indoors — a real challenge for the ISO 100 Fujicolor Industrial. Fortunately, I had a fast lens and a steady hand. I counted on shallow depth of field and I got it.
This post is sponsored by Analogue Wonderland, which offers more than 200 films. You can buy Fujicolor Industrial 100 from them here.
Analogue Wonderland, who sponsor this post, ships film almost anywhere. Click their logo to choose from their extensive selection.
I love car shows! Especially those where everyday people show off their old iron. A nearby dealer of classic cars invites folks to bring their muscle and classic cars the last Saturday of every month during the warm-weather months. I visited last month with my Nikon N90s and 50mm f/2 AF Nikkor lens.
My Nikon was packing Fujifilm Fujicolor Industrial 100, which Analogue Wonderland sent me in exchange for the mentions in this review. I liked the old Fujifilm Superia 100 very much — the two rolls I got to shoot before it was discontinued. I’d heard that this film was still available in Japan, but was rebranded as Fujicolor Industrial 100.
These results are good enough for me: if this isn’t the same film it’s darn close. Unfortunately, it’s a little pricey. But when you need a smooth-grained, bold-colored film with managed contrast and excellent sharpness, this option remains available. As of this writing, at least; Fujifilm loves to discontinue film stocks. (You can buy this film from Analogue Wonderland here.)
This isn’t my first time shooting cars with a Fujifilm ISO 100 color film. I used Superia 100 at a show a couple years ago; see my shots here. I liked those photos so much that I saved my one roll of Industrial 100 until I could again find myself among some old cars. So far I’ve shared a ’67 Corvette, a Pontiac GTO from the late 60s (with the tachometer on the hood), an early-70s VW Bug from Australia (hence the amber turn signal; they were red in the US), and a ’66 Plymouth Satellite reflecting a newer Ford Mustang.
This photo of a ’76 Chevy El Camino shows the sharpness this film can capture. The 50/1.8 AF Nikkor lets this film’s capabilities shine through. This El Camino was yellow and white (which surely wasn’t a factory color combination). I find that many color films struggle to capture yellow. Not so the Industrial 100.
The light matters, of course; here’s the front fender of the same car and the yellow isn’t as vibrant. My Photoshoppery on these images was largely limited to using Auto Tone to remove a slight green caste, and to lightly tone down highlights and, sometimes, to boost contrast a little.
A car show is a great place to test color film because classic cars were painted in real colors, not just black, white, gray, and beige as today! Can you imagine buying a pea-soup-green sedan now? Various shades of green were common on cars in the ’70s. The jutting fender is out of focus because I made this shot inside in available light, and this ISO 100 film granted little depth of field.
What’s a car show without a ’57 Chevy?
I loved how this one had a model of itself on the back parcel shelf.
This film even likes black. A lot. Notice how the blacks are different on the ’57 Chevy above and ’67 Camaro below? It’s not a difference in lighting — these are legitimately two different blacks, and Fujicolor Industrial 100 rendered them both beautifully.
Now I want to buy five or six rolls of this film and keep shooting it. But I have too much Agfa Vista 200 in the freezer to need more color negative film. Maybe after I finish shooting up the Agfa, buying some more Fujicolor Industrial 100 can be my reward.
You can buy Fujicolor Industrial 100 in a few places online — including Analogue Wonderland, here.