Tag Archives: ilford HP5

Results From Today’s Dev


  • Ilford HP5 rated at 400ISO
  • Developer- Kodak D76 Stock at 20 degrees
  • Agitation- Continuous for the first minute then 10 seconds every subsequent minute
  • Time- Eight minutes
  • Fix- Ten minutes
  • Wash- Twenty minutes
  • Scanner- Nikon LS9000 using Silverfast 8, 16 bit and multi-pass for a 150 megabyte file
  • Post- Lightroom clarity and sharpening

I exposed most of this by estimation and I was pretty much spot on, good to see that after twenty or so years of shooting I can still nail an exposure without resorting to a meter.

The older Hasselblad lenses are not as contrasty as the CF ones so you get beautiful creamy tonality with excellent edge sharpness- not bad for a lens almost as old as I am.

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The 500CM Goes To Shinjuku

The 500CM was introduced in 1957 and remained in production until 1970, my one is from the mid “60s and is very worn. I shot exclusively on Ilford Hp5 developed in Kodak D76 or ID11 (pretty much the same developers). For a camera this old it didn’t miss a beat, no light meter so I guestimated the exposures and mostly was pretty close. The Reciprocal Rule works like this-

The ISO equals the shutter speed at f16 on a bright sunny day. So for the 500cm with 400 ISO film it works out as: f16 at 1/500 sec.

Scanned on the Nikon LS9000 scanner using SilverFast, slow but the quality is amazing.

I worked around that, opening up in the shadows by a couple of stops as needed, usually works fine and is a hell of a lot quicker than stuffing around with light meters.

Still have to do an edit

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Zeiss 85mm f1.4 & F90x

So I headed out to King st to give the combination a whirl. The F90x was my go-to camera back in the paparazzi days and even though the EOS system was killing it in the pro world, the bullet proof F90x and the Speedlight system never let me down.

The camera works flawlessly with the Zeiss 85mm, the lens itself has a lot of focus travel so you can see why it would double as a cine lens. Zeiss typically relies on optics for sharpness not contrast so you usually get both tonal range and sharpness. Cheaper lenses will typically deliver sharpens via contrast, Sigma Art series is the exception to this.

Film was HP5 processed in LC29. Prefer ID11 myself out beggars can’t be choosers, use what you have.

Its great to be able to put the latest lenses on some relatively old film cameras and have them work perfectly.

The 85mm is a great portrait lens, probably wouldn’t carry it around the street but definitely need one in the bag for the Portrait Project.

This lens has been updated in the new Milvus range, which they are saying will deliver a higher degree of sharpness- bring it on.


Push Process


When your stuck and the light fails you need to push your film to the limit. This shot is HP5 rated at 3200 ISO and pushed using temperature rather than time. Best to use a combination of both, temperature only tends to punch out the grain but the effect can be nice. Film is pretty robust and can be abused to a point, black and white is good for this because it can be done at home, labs if they have the capability tend to charge a heap for it.

This shot was done on a Leica M7 and has held its sharpness well, important to capture the best quality picture as pushing film effects the detail you get in highlights and shadows.

Heat And Chaos

One summer I photographed Livid in Brisbane, the “three songs, no flash” rule left me looking for stuff to shoot. The crowd was the obvious subject. The first twenty meters from the stage was a seething mass of semi naked humanity that at regular intervals ejected its members over the barrier and into the arms of the waiting security. Looking back at these pictures, given that they are nearly twenty years on it seems a simpler time- no phones and everyone getting on with it. It was the late nineties and grunge was beginning to wind down, piercings were in and everyone was going to the big festivals.

The heat was taking its toll throughout the day, in the pit we had access to free drinks backstage but the punters were suffering big time- security was pulling heat effected kids out all day and some were in a pretty serious condition. As the day wore on the crowd got bigger, drunker and more boisterous but manged to keep it together, avoiding any major violence.

I remember it being way wilder than Sydney Big Day Out or individual gigs I shot of the bands at the time but I guess Brisbane has something to do with that.

The kids in these pictures would be in their thirties now- if you see yourself in them drop me an email.

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Kickboxing Via The LS9000

The LS9000 scanner lives and its time to scan the back catalogue. First cab of the rank is some kickboxing shot nearly fifteen years ago in Bangkok. HP5 is the film and the camera was the Nikon F90 with an 80-200 f2.8. These negs have been kicking around in a box unsleeved and unloved for the whole time. I have done a quick spot in Lightroom but left them pretty much as is. This trip turned out to be the last time I ever shot only film, shifting completely to digital shortly after.

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