ilford

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I was recently looking for another 35mm camera and, browsing the web one lunchtime, I came across some reviews of the Minolta Maxxum 7000. A while later I found one at a local camera fair with the classic 50mm f1.7 lens. The vendor assured me that it was in working condition and although I had no batteries to test it with, I bought it. Once I’d cleaned out the battery compartment it seemed to work fine so last week I took it out with a roll of Ilford XP2 in it.

XP2, as I’m sure you don’t really need telling, is a black and white film designed to be processed as C41. Which is fine if you don’t develop at home, but I do and I’d read that XP2 can easily be stand-developed in Rodinal with minimal grain if shot at EI 200. SO my objective was to put a roll through at 200, develop at home (I haven’t tried colour yet, so this was going to be pure b&w development) and see what emerged.

I work in Toronto so I decided to take the Minolta with me to work and instead of just riding the subway from the main rail station I walked a couple of subway stops taking some pictures of the early morning commuters. I finished the roll the next day during a rainy lunchtime. The camera behaved itself perfectly, all the electronics worked fine and there was no hint that anything had malfunctioned through age or misuse. The ergonomics of the camera are pretty good, mode changes are easy and focusing is quick.

I developed the film in Blazinal, which is the tradename in Canada for Rodinal. Stand developed, at 1:100 for one hour and then scanned the results on a Epson V550.

Toronto
CN Tower – lunchtime in the rain

Toronto
Diners

Toronto
Commuters

Toronto
At the bank

Toronto
Reflected buildings

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About a year ago I started shooting film again. I thought it might be a temporary thing but the more I shoot it, the more I want to shoot and the less I feel like taking the digital cameras out. That’s not to say that the D610 & D7100 don’t have their place; if I’m going to do any wildlife or sports then those are my go-to cameras, but for street, landscape – and a few portraits – I’m thinking more of film than ever before.

And not just shooting film. I’ve also made the step up to developing and printing. Setting up a darkroom wasn’t expensive with the help of Kijiji, Youtube and my niece; it was cheaper to do that than to go to a local college and take lessons, although I do have to discipline myself to use test strips and not just go for the print!

While the variety of film available isn’t what it used to be, the quality is there and I’m slowly getting used to the different characteristics of different films.

Ektar02
Ontario Farm – Kodak Ektar 100, Nikon F90x

Kent01
Kentmere 400, Olympus Trip 35

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Ilford Delta 100, Olympus Trip 35

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Kodak Portra 160, Bronica ETRC – medium format

Check out these links for just a few of the ever-increasing number of analogue photography sites.
I Still Shoot film
The Film Photography project and podcast
A brilliant documentary highlighting film shooters

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